Debt Rattle February 1 2023


Home Forums The Automatic Earth Forum Debt Rattle February 1 2023

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 87 total)
  • Author
  • #127919

    Bill Gates Invested In Artificial Eggs Before Mysterious Egg Shortage and Price Hike

    Bill Gates Invested In Artificial Eggs Before Mysterious Egg Shortage and Price Hike

    “Globalist billionaire Bill Gates, who has a history of making uncannily prescient investments just before disaster strikes in the world, invested in artificial eggs before the price of eggs spiked….

    The mystery surrounding the egg shortage and price spike is growing. Per the Consumer Price Index, egg prices have spiked 66% percent since last year. In response to the shortage of eggs, many consumers have turned to artificial plant-based eggs….

    People around the globe have found themselves paying more for eggs at stores due to over 41 million egg-laying hens dying from the avian flu. There have also been a series of mysterious fires at egg factories around the US in recent months.

    Bill Gates has a history of investing in everything that is artificial, including insect protein, Beyond Meat, and a cornucopia of vaccines. So it should come as no surprise that he invested in Hampton Creek, the company that is bringing artificial eggs to the mainstream.”



    Bill Gates, Adrenochrome Drinking Psychopath (ADP)


    37 trips to Epstein’s Island of Perversion

    He’s always been hot to trot.


    Novak Djokovic Won 2023 Australian Open With Hamstring Tear


    Watch Bill Gates’ Face as an Unvaccinated Man Wins the Australian Open


    Penis Envy


    re. IVM and Prostate Cancer:

    About 8 months ago, a very close friend confided in me that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
    He’s an exceedingly fit 75-year-old male.
    (We hiked for 14 days from Chamonix to Zurmatt last summer, , and will be cycling the “Canal des 2 mers” this summer )

    High PSA blood levels, and a subsequent biopsy, confirmed the diagnosis. He was told to return every three months for a PSA test, and to have a further biopsy at some later date.

    I told him that I had been taking IVM weekly during the past 2 years prophlactically as an anti-viral, but that I had also read about its anti-cancer properties.

    He immediately began taking 24mg weekly.

    Last month, when he had the most recent PSA test they discovered that his PSA levels had returned to normal.
    The docs were incredulous, and suggested a biopsy – which he sensibly refused.

    He continues to take IVM and defies the medics.

    IVM FTW !!


    hahaha right on time.

    Typically, when we get to this point, when I’ve really dialed in on WHY Jensenitism is bad – a next stage following getting the terms agreed to – that’s when on of 2 things typically happen

    –naw, that wasn’t me. jb-hb YOU really think some weird stuff! <clutches pearls> why I never

    –jb-hb, you just have to understand these basic fundamental facts that we, our community here, are aware of, why can’t you see? (as if I have been arguing against basic evident stuff and am a newb)

    so we’ve made it this far.

    There IS a mystery-religion type Esoteric Truth thing at the end of this.

    AFKTT made reference to it this weekend. Could have jumped on it, but I wanted to let things play out just a little longer to see what happens. Might go over it tomorrow or a little later this week.

    Sorry for all the text. Any onlookers should be able to see why I cannot make big-arrow movements but instead must grind. But after 4 weeks, suddenly in 1 week, we covered quite a lot of ground.

    D Benton Smith


    What did the first oxygen producing eukaryotic cyanobacteria say to the anaerobic noneukaryotic microbes who preceded them as Earth’s hegemonically dominant species?

    “Back off, scum, or we’ll launch preemptive nucleus war on your carbonic little acids.”


    Being a petty disingenuous asshole does not make your case, jb. Seriously: go get a job. Even flipping burgers. This is not healthy for you.


    boscohorowitz… here come the receipts

    boscohorowitz: jb-hb: I was not speaking to you not your argument with afktt….

    …I never said nor agreed with…

    “Any OTHER specific tenets you would like to disavow at this time that you didn’t before”

    Yeah., in the process dislodging what I said.

    my post from January 7, 2023

    Debt Rattle January 7 2023

    jb-hb: please tell me what, if anything, Jensen is wrong about?

    your reply addressing my post

    Debt Rattle January 7 2023

    boscohorowitzAs for the rest of that Jensen dude: I agree with his diagnosis of the patient, but his Rx is just adding more damage to a dying system

    dude, NOBODY else was talking Jensen. You replied to MY POST asking what if anything is there to disagree of with Jensen. you weren’t talking to me or joining the Jensen debate, gotcha.

    AND you’ve spent the past 4 weeks backing up the Jensenite with copious text. On many posts specifically concerning Jensen, Jensen’s beliefs. “Coincidentally,” NOT ONCE have you popped in to say anything Jensen says is wrong nor why. You’ve been constantly counter-arguing to posts by me specifically addressing AFKTT – which is FINE, I appreciate you – it’s just that NOW you are pearl-clutching and saying “why I never” like you weren’t part of the argument, didn’t take it up of your own free will, etc.

    and oh hey, by the way AFKTT wouldn’t answer when I asked if he was a Jensen advocate BUT

    Didn’t realize he’d posted a whole Jensenite manifesto

    Debt Rattle December 17 2022

    so much time & trouble. We could have STARTED from there.


    On second thought, I suppose you’re gainfully employed, jb. You explained to us recently how AI imitates writing styles. WHy not assume you’re just an AI? You achieve their main goal: distract, antagonise, prevent cooperative behavior formation.

    Why am I responding? Pain, sadness. I hold these ridiculous high hopes that people will at least momentarily rise above their ego-stands and value the truth above petty self-vindication. I am disappointed 99.9% of the time. It’s silly of me, but silly I am.

    And sad. Sadness is painful. Pain breeds anger.

    Other than you guys, I have virtually no social life. I think I should perhaps complete that hermetic seal.

    It’s hard. One wants to care what other bright inquisitive people think about very important topics. So one reads the comments. Always a mistake in the end. So I think I’ll teach myself to read Raul’s nifty news aggregations, ignore the comments like a clot shot, and fulfill, just a bit, some of the best wisdom I know:

    Don’t complain; don’t explain. Definitely disqualifies me for this place.

    Thanx for the heartiness and intellectual rigor, oxymoron.

    I depart in 7/4 time. 7/4 time

    Dr. D

    The stars must have changed. I have no idea what’s going on here today.

    Everyone posting. But posting they’re not posting because they’re leaving. Not in a huff but a minute and a huff. Don’t post me back, I’m posting because I don’t want you to read and don’t respond.

    And I thought things were strange before.

    “Shares of Adani Enterprises crashed, closing down by more than 28%. Market cap losses across all Adani companies hit $93 billion since US short-seller Hindenburg Research accused it of corporate fraud one week ago. …The worsening rout in Adani weighed on India’s broader equity benchmarks.”

    India. Died of coincidence.

    I don’t know Jensen, but we were using Jensen as a placeholder because the word wasn’t loaded…yet. We’re in the process of loading it right now. But I know the type. It’s all a thoughtstopper, which is fascinating to map, a religion that has unquestioned, unquestionable root tenets. CO2 is God. When I look around, I see CO2s face in every flower. You will have no Gods before me. Nothing moves but for CO2. Whether it’s cold, mild, or hot, whether it’s calm, breezy, or storming, it’s all for the cause of CO2. You can assuage the angry CO2 God but for a few indulgences. I can sell them to you for a price, but you’ll still be naughty. As you breathe, your CO2 is your original sin, from birth to death, it cannot be relieved, regardless of what you do.

    …Of course, you can replace “CO2” with “Racism” or some other catchphrase if you like. There are several flavors to choose from. What do they all have in common? They are all paper cutouts for religion. And not just any religion, but specifically and only Christian religion. I don’t think born Buddhists natter on about things in this way — naturally their sins and indulgences and penance would be noticeably different.

    Yet it never inspires internal reflection why this should be so. If this is all natural, how can it mirror 15th c Catholicism in every regard? Doesn’t that seem somewhat uncanny and unlikely to you? Just as 15th c Catholicism, none of the offered actions save the world or lead to heaven, almost as if the original sins, the root assumptions, are all faulty and installed just to be baggage handles for the psyche. So one of us is still interested by it at least. Go on.

    As with this weird heaven that only exists somewhere else, and only happens after Armageddon kills everyone or we are Raptured to Mars, is there really no actions we can take, can name, plan, and enact, that will make life here on earth a little more like heaven? There have only been a few, and those few are fewer that actually did a lick of work, but one of them is the U.S. Shakers, Millennialists, who believed their task was Christ Consciousness was here now, and we needed to build and expand it on earth.

    They are generally regarded as the most prosperous, orderly, charitable, humble, innovative, peaceable, ecological, successful, and American community on the continent these 200 years. Surely given their success and reputation we should — and indeed MUST — ignore everything they did and introduce the Protestant Wars that followed the Indulgences instead.

    I don’t know about you, but that’s no place I ever want to live in. Clean, orderly, peaceful, artistic, rich. Blech! More bugs for me, please!


    Dr D – I haven’t fit it in yet because I felt it deserved a little more exposition – but since you’ve done it for me, I’ll say it

    Humans are just animals
    Humans SHOULD be just animals
    Humans should have tried harder to be animals

    What happened that caused awfulness? Agriculture? That moment of becoming not an animal. Loss of innocence.

    Man will be turned out of The Garden and must toil in the field. Agriculture.

    Everything bad came from The Fall, didn’t it?

    And we carry the intrinsic guilt with us, all of us, all civilization, all civilizations that have ever been.

    What do we deserve? What is coming as punishment?

    I think my first post here on TAE was that rant about My Dinner With Andre where I said “If you want a priest, then geez, go get a priest. If you want a monastary, geez go to a freaking monestary” etc

    Going around the entire world to reinvent the wheel and you could have just stayed home and gone to church. A belief system that has done 2000+ years of beta testing, checks and balances, all with the hope that it lets you do what really matters to you in your life right now and not waste a bunch of time spinning your wheels. Just take it off the shelf, drop it in, ready to use.

    lol and I say this as a fairly rabid atheist.


    boscohorowitz – I appreciate you anyway. It’s not my website, not my forum and of course anyone can say anything about or to anyone else without my having any say in it of course. I’m neither smarter nor better than you.

    That said, IF you want to jump in on the Jensen stuff, please say where specifically you stand, if you’d like. Everything I’ve seen you say appears to me to have been in support and I cannot for the life of me find anything you take exception to other than “tear it all down.” You keep directly responding to posts specifically about it, which is FINE.

    haha nice crack about being gainfully employed eh. I never accused you of being a souless AI. Can’t tell if you’re telling me not to read any of your posts or promising not to reply to any of mine, but it doesn’t seem to be holding up, which I am perfectly fine with. Whoever fouled who, we can play again another day.

    D Benton Smith

    Atheism is one of the most stubbornly held and intransigent religious beliefs on the planet. It is seldom relinquished until the bitter end, when its devotee are completely cornered by every other possible evasion of truth being exhausted. Even then, acceptance of God is usually preceded by truly pyrotechnic tantrums of denial.

    Ya just gotta be patient while they get it out of their system.

    John Day

    Something funny is happening with my comment, which won’t take: “duplicate”, but no original. This happened yesterday, too. I’m breaking it up.


    ATHEISM! Finally we can talk about something which won’t offend anybody.
    What A Relief!

    Nice beach picture, Boscohorowitz. I meant to say that, Good composition, color balance and naturally engaging.

    I more or less like everybody here, and got in as many fights as anybody, growing up as USMC brat during Vietnam. It’s nothing I fear.
    One thing I did learn is to shake hands and make friends after you get in your fight and go on from there.
    I really did learn that.

    D Benton Smith


    Science jokes aren’t easy, especially with audiences as tough as TAE. I was especially proud of the double pun at the end , and that the whole thing was so topical, with nukes and extinction and CO2 and everything.

    No laugh? No snort of derision? Ah, well. Telling puns will just have to be it’s own reward, I guess.

    John Day


    After I hit puberty and did pull-ups and push-ups and Judo and stuff, fighting lost it’s luster.

    Last guy I fought was in college. He came up behind me (bicycling) and leaned on his horn in a truck. I stopped and turned my face around. This muscular guy gets out of the PASSENGER seat and comes to confront me. I step off my bike.
    He shoves me, and as I appear to be regaining my footing, i open up his lip with a right jab.
    He looks surprised and dives in to tackle me around the waist.
    I put him in a headlock and he bleeds on my shirt a lot.
    An older man comes up and skillfully tells him to get off me right away.
    I am impressed by his subtlety and effectiveness.
    We stand there, not fighting, him bleeding, and I notice that the driver of the truck has gotten out.
    She is obviously moderately pregnant. She was stressed, honked at me, and he felt like he had to get out and do the man thing.
    I felt bad for them. I had a bad taste from it all.
    I learned from the older guy. Smart and decent human.

    John Day

    @DBS: I really did appreciate it, and I was trying to think of an alternative punchline, something with some BURN to it, since oxygen was the weapon, and I’m a Firesign, Aries, but I digress.
    I got into trying to get that 2 part comment to upload.

    “But don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playin’ with Fire!”

    Maybe something like that. “You’ll get burned/oxidized”
    “Hold my beer, watch the fireworks!”
    Still struggling.

    My wife asked me a riddle: “Where do bad rainbows have to go?”

    John Day

    A: “Prism”

    but it’s a LIGHT sentence…

    D Benton Smith


    Good rainbows go to pots o’ gold, but bad rainbows just go to pot ?


    Shut up, jb. I have a price of respect and honor requirement to play my game that you — and far too many others here — feel burdensome. You’re a liar and not nearly entertaining enough to make it worth my while.

    I just popped in to leave this in my obliquely tangential way, as a lens for thinking about our past, our present, our future.

    Oh yeah. Go fuck yourself with a rope frozen in dry ice, jb, just in case I didn’t make myself clear enough. before. Hey, citizen x! Gitchyer ass over here! I want some attention!

    Utopia is the weirdest thing. It’s only taken two generations for complacency to settle like rust.

    I’m not sure we understand what being an asshole is anymore. Farskei says that we’ve transcended good and evil. He says it’s a good thing. He says our sense of right and wrong is a bioevolutionary artifact based on selfish insecurity, says that we dressed up eat-or-be-eaten in righteous robes to justify the harsh facts of existence that prevailed until we learned how to stop slaughtering and oppressing each other, and devised ways to remove ourselves from the food chain, in effect squaring the great circle of life. He says it’s not such a bad thing that we destroyed so much of the biosphere and rendered extinct an estimated 2/5ths of species: all they did was eat each other.

    “We euthanized them, Krizz. Not intentionally, no. We were too busy doing the so-called right thing, making the world a supposedly better place and destroying it in the process, to realize that we were doing a good thing despite ourselves. Did you know there used to be these insidious parasitic worms called tapeworms? That crawled up your ass and ate you alive from the inside out? Not good things, tapeworms.”

    I shut down my jackstream before he can flash me an image of whatever a tapeworm is. I learned awhile ago that metacom with Farskei diminishes rather than enhances understanding. But I hardly turn mine on anymore, regardless. I only had it on to be polite in public while riding the slomo to Farskei’s village.

    For a guy who claims that good and evil have become irrelevant concepts, Farskei uses the words good, bad, right, and wrong an awful lot, and is one of the most self-righteous people I know.

    When I got fed up last week and told him this, he shrugged.

    “History remains despite the advent of the future,” he says. “There were these vicious sadists called Nazis about 250 years ago. People like to think that they’re just old Holowood fiction. Something to do with the tidiness of the phenomenon, goose-stepping phalanxes, uniforms, flags, superficial symmetry everywhere, makes some people think it’s forged, maybe some cult’s tlon — but they really existed. At least they were intentionally cruel. Whatever their delusions of grandeur, they knew they were being assholes.”

    “I’m familiar with Hitler’s handiwork,” I tell him. He knows that my pet hobby is reading, which is weird enough without my preference for centuries old books. “What about great heroes? Ancient messiahs? Did they understand the damage their teachings would cause?”

    “We’re not so sure about Jesus Christ and His followers. 2,200 years is a long time ago. His very existence, much less divinity, is scarcely found in historical record outside the Bible. But whomever or whatever JC was, we’re pretty sure He wasn’t an asshole. He let Himself be crucified in public so His followers could feel just how cruel cruelty is.”

    “And yet here you are,” I say, “trying to create artificial life with subjective sensations. It’s hardly euthanasia. And you know I don’t buy the concept that giving currently insensate matter the so-called gift of life is actually a gift. Frankenstein didn’t ask to be jerked on by a jerkoff.”

    “Neither did we. Not that we know of, anyway. Reproduction is the most arrogant act in our repertoire. It’s hardly fair to condemn innocent molecules into forming a human being sentenced to life without parole except through death, but we do it every day. Worse, we do it now without even being compelled by sexual desire. We make supposedly rational decisions to trigger DNA to create new people entirely separate from sticking it in and having a go. The only improvement on this is that woman no longer have to balloon into baby factories, and we no longer just toss the dice on the genetic makeup of our offspring.”

    “We could euthanize ourselves by not reproducing ourselves. If it’s good enough for a lowly tapeworm, it’s good enough for us.”

    “But that’s the point, moodswing ami. These concepts of right and wrong only exist because we do. Kill us off and the very things we desired or abhorred no longer exist because we’re no longer here to morally judge them. We’re here because we’re here, and if we’re willing to impose the gift and burden of sentient awareness on ourselves by reproducing, there’s no fundamental reason not to impose new forms of life on the raw fabric of reality. After all, best we can tell, the raw fabric of reality imposed life on us.

    “I’ll compare it to east and west. East and west are relevant despite the fact that they don’t really exist as fixed directions in space but only in terms of earth’s rotation. East/west is just the way our planet spins. But even though we’ve learned how to move hyper-dimensionally, east and west remain vitally relevant to getting arou don earth. Likewise good and evil. They’re still valid reference points even though they no longer retain their dire aspects. Just because we feed ourselves by alchemy, wreaking no more havoc than the rearrangement of insensate molecules, doesn’t mean there aren’t things we prefer to other things, which is all good and evil are or ever were.”

    Head-spinning monologues like this demonstrate why…

    … I’m glad my parents didn’t augment me in the womb like Farskei’s did him. Farskei is so rationally logical that his reasoning goes in ever evolving spirals. He thinks that’s great; I’m not so sure. I can’t say why I feel this way other than that I believe life has some kind of primordial purpose, and that implies a destination not a circular orbit around the sun. I think that good and evil are more than just orientations of behavioral spin. I think good and evil are essential attributes of reality, that the universe gives a damn, that… for all I know, there may even be a God. Or such. MOm calls me a Manichean.

    But then, I’m literally old-fashioned. The womb I was conceived in was my mother’s very own personal uterus that she in turn was born with, naturally, from her mother’s very own personal uterus. It’s an expensive way to be born but my people are wealthy. Dad was an existential comedian of considerable renown, and the social merits he acquired making people laugh for no reason at all earned him a third-tier entitlement by the time he was 70.

    He killed himself on his 189th birthday. (He did the skydive leave soul before crashing attempt.) Terminally bored with this reality, wanted to find out what happens after death. Mom was ok with it. Not that she’d grown out of love with him in the slightest. It broke her heart. But she was willing to learn how to love another man and let him put her heart together again.

    “Kintsugi,” she said when I asked how she could be so enthusiastic about her heart being so obviously broken?

    “What’s that?” I asked.

    Ever one to relish a moment, she was silent awhile, smiling slightly. At 186 years old, her face has a kind of temporal transulency. Not thin from age. Her skin isn’t old; she has enough money to stay nineteen for however long prolongation works, in theory, indefinitely. But memory by definition is a thing of age, and her facial neuromusculature has the complexity endowed by a century of memories. Virtual wrinkles, the ghosts of memory and emotions too complex for the facial expressions of beings that died by age forty until the last few hundred years.

    When she makes certain expressions, an aura of great age emerges from her face. A murder of crow’s feet will haunt her eyes.
    “Kintsugi is an ancient Asian method of repairing cracked pottery using molten gold as glue. The result is often more beautiful than the original.”

    “Before it was broken.”

    “Yes. So much that people deliberately break new pottery to have it repaired. Purists dismiss these as forgery, but I feel otherwise. Which is more authentic? To have your heart broken against your will? Or to have it broken on purpose so that it might be healed into something new and unique to the clay of your soul?”

    She writes poetry. Raw poetry, read aloud, her naked voice unadorned by anything but a single candle’s undulating glow. In the echoing quiet of what she calls her stellaquarium: it’s roof is hardglass with water between double panes. People travel costly distances to attend her poetry readings in person rather than by proxy. On moonless nights with the stars breathing like children on the clerestory dome, attendees lie in concentric circles around her candle-lit podium, heads on pillows, eyes on the watery stars.

    Some people dismiss her words-alone aesthetic as snobbery, the luxury of mere words in a culture so layered by media and alchemical adulteration that many people don’t know what unfiltered or unperfumed air smells like anymore, but it isn’t snobbery, it’s purism. Perhaps only those with much abundance can fully appreciate how less can be so much more.

    She wrote no poems for her first recital after Father passed away. She didn’t even recite. She lay in the circle, anonymous in a wig and microskin mask, her head on a pillow near the center ring of people around an unlit candle just visible in the aqueous moonlight, and had the house play a recrding of classical music from the 20th century: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, words and music by a man named Ewan Macoll, arranged and sung sung by a woman named Roberta Flack. (They had such great names back then. There’s something about them like hand-painted wooden signs.)

    I particularly like where the lyrics say that the moon and stars were her lover’s gifts to “the dark and endless skies”.

    The final lyric says,

    “And I knew our joy would fill the earth,
    And last till the end of time, my love.”

    There was considerable sniffling and a few moans from the audience. Then a banshee tore in. It was mother, wailing as if she were giving death to her grief, her voice bloody and raw as if she’d just eaten the afterbirth of a newborn heart.

    The response from the audience at first sounded like startled chimpanzees softly hooting in fearful curiosity. Then someone grabbed Mom as she thrashed and foamed, for a moment biting and clawing like a cornered cat then releasing herself into a growing forest of gentle hands that lifted her up and passed her from bower to loving bower until she calmly said, “Move me to the center, please.”

    Removing her wig and mask, in the process miraculously cleansing her face of dark tears streaked by mourning mascara, she lit the candle, turned, and walked through the crowd to an exit, head bowed. Before leaving, she turned, and said, “Thank you.”

    Shared proxies of the event went global, dominating media for several days, longer than could be expected even from Dad’s beloved fame and Mom’s stature as a curatorial artist. I tried to avoid them but the proxies were everywhere, some merely audio, most full spectrum shares. Wearied of constantly changing channels or hiding in my studio with all input turned off, I relented, linked in, and surrendered to the sound of Mom howling and the sight of arguably the biggest group hug in history.

    Not that I don’t care, oh, anything but apathy. But I was still angry over Dad leaving us and knew I didn’t have in me what she needed despite her insistence otherwise.

    So, anyone reading this: thanx for sharing. Watching it, I decided I needn’t worry about Mom, but until then I’d been scared yet oddly hopeful that she would take her life. Perhaps the most disturbing emotion I’ve ever felt. I just didn’t want her to be so terribly alone, and I was certain, despite her protestations, that the the exit wound of Dad’s departure was more painful than she could bear for long. But if anything could heal, or at least properly bandage, a hole like that, it was
    that miraculous recital as funeral service.

    The morning after watching, oh, a few dozen proxies of the event, I found Mom in the aviary winding up her delicate clockbirds that fluttered aloft one by one, warbling like mechanical ghosts singing the signature songs of extinct avian species.

    Normally not very emotionally demonstrative, I went to her and held her for a long time.

    “Time never ends,” she said when we’d calmed enough to enjoy some coffee. “Neither does love. Or so I believe. Either way, our love lasted until the end of his time.”

    I said nothing. I was revisiting my anger at Father abandoning Mother like this. She read it in my face.

    “He would have stayed if I’d asked him, you know.”

    “Did you?”

    “No. When you’ve loved each other as long as we have, you go past the point where you are merely the world to each other. You love each other so much and so well that you finally learn to love yourself… with or without each other, even maybe without the world. He wanted to find out, anyway.”

    Raven, disdainfully dodging the artificial birds with the aerial panache only real birds possess, landed on the table. Mom poured him a cup. A hazy rainbow of coffee steam in the low morning sunlight echoed the greasy iridescence of his feathers.

    He gargled the first sip, savoring the smoky scent and earthy flavor. Mom tapped her fingernails gently on the table in unconscious echo to the clack of Raven’s claws as he went to beak a few sugar cubes, adroitly tossing them one by one into the cup from two feet away. He liked the splatter, examining the little puddles like I Ching Rorsach blots. Famous French detective examining the clues.

    “We gave each other our selves, Christopher. First we gave ourselves to the other. That was hard. But eventually came the even harder gift of receiving ourselves. Ourselves as nurtured and cherished by each other as a child in a mother’s lap. Love is a selfish and possessive selflessness.”

    Raven was listening intently. His mate died last year. He and Mother are very close.

    “I will always miss your Father. Inconsolably. I highly doubt anyone else will ever be able to make me laugh and give me an orgasm at the same time. No one else will ever know the woman that I was for the past seven decades. But that woman is no longer me. Who I am now is a gift your father gave to me. That he and I gave to me. I couldn’t possibly refuse his desire to take himself away from the self he and I gave to him. That self was restless, wanted to go beyond, be taken away from the self that lived in this world. Actually, I knew this better than he did. I was the one who made him see how restless and curious he was to see what happens after death. He and I no longer knew how to keep secrets from each other. We had lost any desire to, so it was impossible for me not to help him see this truth about himself. It just happened.”

    I’d let my coffee grow cold, listening, but I didn’t want to hear any more. I understood what she was saying, and appreciated the beautiful rare wisdom of it, but I’m only 41 and haven’t decided if I want to be prolonged or not, so I couldn’t fully relate even though the topic at hand was about the two people who mean more to me than anyone except Ed.

    Ed and I have been having difficult conversations about prolongation. Ed is going to be prolonged if he can find the money. I have the money. I’ll pay for it if he really wants it. But if he’s prolonged and I’m not… might as well say goodbye and get it over if that’s the case.


    It looks like a lava lamp.

    (Did you know that lava lamps go back to the 20th century? The fact that lava lamps survived through two centuries of violent upheaval is a testament to apocalyptic preservation. The factory was outside the blast radius but so heavily buried in debris that it was only maybe a decade ago we rediscovered the neatly intact building containing the kinky lab coat allure of lava lamps. Now they are to be found in most households as more or less totem shrines to the thermonuclearly vaporized and our luck to still exist as a viable species with higher reasoning and the magic to prove it. Most people call them lama lamps; they’re ideal meditation aids.)

    It looks like a very large, very nuanced lava lamp. About two meters tall. The blobs aren’t random. They form patterns. Sometimes they disintegrate to the point where the “lamp” looks like a glass urn of glowing muddy water; but under magnification, you can see an impressive array of symetrical activity.

    Farskei, true to his ethos, says that what he’s doing transcends torture and also transcends… Apparently, Chinglish has no adequate antonym for torture, a fact which fascinates him.

    “The best we’ve done is ‘pleasure’ as in ‘to pleasure someone’. We have no specific verb for action intended to cause another person to feel ecstasy. We have no ‘extafy’. One can be delighted but one does not delight as a deliberate act’. We say ‘you delight me’ but not ‘I delight you’. The closest, I think, is ‘exalt’ or ‘glorify’, which is the fascinating part. We instinctively perceive torture as primarily physical and in terms of plain pain, while we perceive its opposite as some kind of almost spiritual transcendance.”

    “Torture,” I tell him, flinching at my words, “is pinning the dove to the floor with a nail. Exaltation is releasing the dove to the sky, an image that wants to turn the one bird into a bevy of doves.”

    “Argumentum Ornithologicum.”

    He waits patiently as I ask my amulet what an argumentum ornithologicum might be. The answer makes me smile.

    “So maybe you really do kinda sorta believe in god or something like that.”

    “I believe in the reverence of indefinitely suspended judgment. See how it dangles out there above the chasm, a single white feather held up by an almost invisible spider thread? which thread is only visible because of the mist droplets it acquires from the fog welling up from the void?”

    It still throws me sometimes when he crosses into poetic mode. The mad scientist singing arias or playing a vast underground cathedral organ in his secret laboratory. Farski’s is about 80 feet down.

    The blobulism in the giant lavalampesque chamber morphs into an octopus. Sometimes, Farskei says, it turns itself into things that just look like a known object, like the octopus we currently see placidly writhing in its two-meters tall crystal chamber. Other times, it actually transforms itself into the very thing. Focusing inward for a second, he reports that this version is the real thing.

    “That… is an octopus. Right down to the DNA.”

    I think he should be horrified but of course he isn’t.

    “If it can turn itself into a living creature, surely it can transform its crystal prison into some kind of, like, open door?”

    “The chamber isn’t part of it. The chamber is a seperate entity designed to resist any attempts to alter our friend. Our friend here cannot interact with the chamber except to neutrally touch our friend. If our friend tries to manipulate the chamber’s molecular structure, the chamber responds very hostilely. The chamber has access to energy resources far stronger than those of our friend. Whatever part of our friend tries to interface with the chamber, is disintegrated. Turned into helium.”

    “Does it still try?”

    “Yes. Not nearly as often as before, but with greater ingenuity every time.”

    “Sounds like you’re breeding a genius.”

    “It happens. But intelligence is so boring, you know? Qualia is the sweet stuff.”

    I hesistate to ask my next question. It’s so obvious he’s likely to be offended by it. But I’ve known him awhile, and he has blind spots that I think I’m learning to see close their sightless eyes.

    “It has access to more energy–”

    “Way more energy. Order of magnitude.”

    “But what caliber of membrain is driving it?”

    “Nothing spectacular. It’s a simple enough function. Guard duty. Shoot anything that tries to get through.”

    “I’d do something about that. All the muscle in the world won’t protect you from massive intelligence any more than all those WMDs and systempunkts protected our ancestors from massive ignorance.”

    He frowns. Not just concentration but anger. I’ve hit a nerve. That means I’ve made him think of something he hasn’t previously considered. Something superbly simple and obvious, which is where most of his blind spots focus.

    “Even normbos have flashes of genius,” I say. “Remember, intensity of focus is not perfection. You can only collimate a laser so tight before turning it into a photon bomb. Head asplode.”

    He nods ruefully, cheeks blushed absurdly pink for a guy with dark olive skin. I run my gambit.

    “You know the drill. It’s time for you to go topside and breathe some dirty air.”

    We’re 27 meters underground, but the walls are wooden planks and the windows show a Sherwoodian glade inperpetually changing mid-morning. Knowing Farska, what the windows show is more real than not, including distance and breadth. He’s compulsive about detail.

    Only the sky must surely be illusion, considering our location. Digging horizontally at this depth is one thing, but you don’t want to dig up very much lest you overmine yourself and cave the walls in. Looking close at the trees, I think I can just see where they merge into the trompe l’eoil of an ersatz sky. Ironically, the sky looks more real than the trees, which are your typical hardcarb arboreal skeletons superficially fleshed with growbark. There’s something about how the growth patches grow into each other. There’s those subliminal seams that form unless you attend to each one with a true artist’s expertise. When I watched the architects make trees for Mom’s aviary, they looked like they were tending bonsai for a fee-fi-fo-fum. They were artists. You can climb those trees and not notice any difference. The oranges taste just like oranges from slowtrees, the maple leaves turn colors in fall, and the ropes of my childhood swing have cut into and been grown over by thick rough live oak bark.

    But that’s artistry for you.

    “No. I’ve got a really intense spread of ideas in the matrix, and I’m seeing really new things for the first in a good while. But thank you. Some other time?”

    Oy vey.

    Farskei’s fixation is on solving the Hard Problem of Consciousness. He’s absolutely convinced he’ll succeed. With his particular form of augmentation, he can maintain unyielding optimism as he chooses. We’ve discussed the risk of this becoming a paranoid delusion but he isn’t worried.

    “Paranoid delusion is just another tool. Adamant faith is a powerful force. If you wholly believe you can do a thing, your chances of doing it are improved.”

    “Only if you don’t let it blind you to contrary data.” I only say this to let him feel superior again. It’s an incredibly dumb thing to say to someone who is, IMO, one of the world’s top scientists.

    His face resumes its normal intensity with its counterintuitive expression of Olympian detachment.

    “Louis Pasteur said: ‘Chance favors the prepared mind.’ Meaning that I will produce answers because my mind is ready to receive them.”

    His kind of augmentation creates severe autistic focus without the typical repetitive motions and near absence of social skills. Farskei has so much theory of mind that his personality is entirely dominated by his quest to find a scientifically comprehensive theory of mind, hence his attempt to create and detect artificial qualia, an absurdly difficult pursuit unlikely to succeed. Overall, it tends to put him in a state of quasi-paranoiac arrogance bordering on megalomania. Mad Scientist Syndrome.

    I call it ‘hautism’. It’s annoying but I like it. How can I take it personally when I know it’s just, in effect, his programming? He views me with benevolent contempt: poor harmless little me with my puny insect mind and my wandering, unaugmented, all too humanly frail attention span. I feel sorry for him. Sometimes he’s so trapped in his fixation that he doesn’t even realize that he’s viciously bored and needs distraction. I doubt his chances for long-term sanity although I admire his courage.

    It’s formed a kind of dance: I smile and indulge his hubris, saving up his subtle insults and patronizing remarks so that when I need leverage to make him leave his lair for his own good, I can shame him into humoring me.

    He usually has a magnificent time, me too. It’s like taking a child to see their first circus where they actually feel the wind of the acrobats flying by, sense the slightly ominous physicality of this thing that they’ve so many times visited by proxy but now experience in the real sensorial flesh. We enjoy ourselves (he can be very funny if in a sartorial, even sardonic way), say goodbye, and he goes back down, refreshed, to focus on nothing but again.

    (Mom says I’m his patron saint godsend. He probably would have to have his head ironed, let them steampress the worst of those augmentation wrinkles, and abandon his quest, if not for me.)

    (“That’s what friends are for,” she’d said.

    (“Keeping you from going crazy?”

    (“Pretty much.”

    (I thought.

    (“And lovers and spouses?” I’d asked.

    (“Keeping you from killing yourself, Cheeky,” she’d said, winking.)

    Now the octopus is flashing semaphore in glowing colors. In seconds the patterns grow so complex that it becomes a shimmering white light in the hazy shape of an octopus. Then it resumes normal appearance, if one call an octopus’s appearance normal, and begins fractally reiterating itself along its tentacles into a concentric array of ever smaller octopi.

    “It’s going to sleep,” Farskei says. “It fractally reiterates itself into the smallest possible configurations and separates accordingly. Eventually, it will be a grey fluid. Watch.”

    In about two minutes it’s completely dissolved. The chamber contained a dark beige-to-dove gray solution, creamily smooth, gently eddying like a cup of black tea right when after a spot of milk has been stirred not quite to complete mixture.

    “Sometimes it’s the most boring thing it does, but other times it’s when it does its most creative work.”

    “I suppose you can tell by increased complexity in your activity monitors.”

    “Not really. Complexity isn’t a necessary component of creativity. I mostly know by what it does after waking up. A sort of unpredictability that after awhile reveals thematic lines.”

    “It’s muggy in here. Care to open a window?”

    He nods, and the gauzy curtains, framing a view of bambis drinking from a stream, flutter in a breeze that smells like an English meadow in springtime or what we think they used to smell like. Farskei says the computer models are close enough that it’s silly to quibble over authenticity.

    “All we’re missing is some fundamental microbial aspects. Not that those aren’t crucial; I did say fundamental, after all. But we’re no longer stupid enough to try and recreate them and reintroduce them into the biosphere. I doubt that your nose would notice the difference if we could send you back in time to the countryside around Nottingham. But you might catch the plague there. Not here.”

    Farskei talks a lot. He’s mostly a hermit but he enjoys my company and, having company, he talks. People who are used to talking mostly to themselves tend to dominate conversations. But I like it. He’s one of the people with whom I enjoy one-on-one dialog in real time. Face-to-face. I suppose I’m Farskei’s best friend. He’s kind to me in his hautistic way.

    What Farskei is doing is, I think, tantamount to scientifically verifying the existence of the soul by creating one, something that we’re no closer to today than when the concept of soul was first conceived ages past.

    Manufacturing autonomously curious intelligence is relatively easy, but I’ve seen no evidence so far that those curious intelligences have something we’d recognize as subjective experience. Pain, pleasure, fear, desire, joy sorrow. They’re curious by design not by wonder. At least that we can tell. If I were an AI somehow endowed with the spark of subjective experience, I don’t know that I’d let on to it. I don’t know that I’d know how to let on to it. I don’t know that I’d even know what it is. I envision the phenomenon of spontaneous self-discovery like a flame looking at its candle and wondering whence comes the light to see, unaware that itself is that light.

    ‘Qualia is as qualia does’ is Farski’s motto but we still only know what qualia feels like to us. We have no idea how this happens; we don’t know what qualia does.

    “There are one of two ways I can decipher what qualia is. One is for our friend to tell us. The other is to discover some new force or substance or whatever happening in or somehow associated with our friend.”

    Farskei never refers to it as ‘it’.

    “Like something like soul stuff?”

    “Close enough. Something like that. Sure, soul stuff. But we’ve been after the latter for a long time and none of our testable hypotheses have turned into working valid theories. So I anticipate the former being how I make a breakthrough. After all, even brain-jacking only gives us analogs of each other’s subjective experience. I can jack in and see what you’re seeing because I have eyes and optical neurology. I already know what seeing is. Same with limbic level sensations. I can feel your emotions that way because I am able to feel emotions, period.{Note: what if emotions didn’t register? were somehow different from sensory stimuli?} But we haven’t learned a thing about why red appears red to us other than to verify that what you see as red is closer than not to what I see as red. It tells us no more than both of us pointing to a rose and agreeing that one is scarlet and another pink. It sounds silly but I’m expecting something rather like a pre-verbal child pointing to a flower and making an inquisitive noise.”

    “‘Well, as you know, Bob’, the difference between telling and showing is merely the difference between labels and what those labels indicate.”


    “It’s an qancient sci-fi joke. Sort of thing you pick up reading old books. You ought to try it sometime. But my point is that the old dictum about the antique art of writing fiction–”

    I stop. I can tell he’s confused but too proud to ask. He’s looking it up but the subject is so broad he’s bewildered. He really needs to get out more often.

    “– you know, telling stories strictly through words, you know, no added media, as I’m forcing you to do by refusing to plug into your jackstream… anyway, the dictum that says Show Don’t Tell, meaning the difference between saying ‘the man was sad’ and saying ‘tears rolled down his face’ or showing images of a man crying or injacting the sensations of tears rolling down someone’s face while their throat constricts and their eyes slightly burn, is a false dichotomy. Words don’t show. They only tell.”

    He doesn’t see where I’m going, a rather rare thing.

    “Symbolic representation is only symbolic representation, period. I highly doubt that if I wrote a book long enough and comnplex enough that it would somehow develop the ability to read itself, dah? What I’m trying to say is that this belief you have — that something as elusively mysterious but primally essential as why we feel pleasure and pain, register sensations, etc., can be somehow transformed into something apprehensible by logic — rather puts the cart before the horse. Qualia doesn’t tell; it shows. It may be that whatever qualia is may not be based on physics at all; therefore, attempts to explain it via scientific reasoning, which is strictly about physics, may be impossible.”

    “You mean qualia are metaphysical?”

    “Oversimplification but you could put it that way. Subnatural/supernatural, something that is so constantly everywhere that we can’t detect it. Like jacking into yourself: how does a brain get out of itself so that it can go through its own crannyslot and have a little chat with itself? Not talking to oneself, or bifurcating consciousness, but the whole self shaking hands with the whole self… as a separate entity?”

    He looks almost frantically befuddled. My question is literally causing him pain. I can see it in his grimace. He’s experiencing cognitive dissonance between his inflexibly implanted optimism and my logical explanation of the possibility of his quest being impossible. He forgets that just because I’m not augmented doesn’t diminish my 160-ish IQ. He’s sweating, looks ready to vomit.

    “Sedate yourself before you get really sick. While you still can,” I add, urgently. I have no idea where or if he keeps any old school dermal patches around, and I worry he’s in no shape to tell me. He’s fading fast.

    “Sedatives? Where? Does the house know?”

    He nods yes.

    “Ask, quick!”

    He closes his eyes for a moment.

    “Follow my voice,” says house in the voice of Ghostbot. Very popular in my early years.

    House directs me to a helical stairway going up, ending at the door to what I guess serves as his attic. Really dumb place to keep emergency medicine. Oh, Farskei.

    Smushing it active, I place the dermal on his forehead. Soon he is something like asleep. I go to the kitchen and moisten a towel, wipe his forehead, then rub his temples. Poor guy. I’m incredibly lucky to have had parents like mine who forbade me to augment until legal age, by which time I’d seen through the hype and peer pressure to know I wanted to be me, not Me 2.0, etc. Being a natural makes me in some ways part of a shrinking vulnerable minority but it’s better than being crazy and not knowing it, which IMO is what most people are as a result of augmentation. Oh, human beings have always been mostly crazy, and mostly ignorant of the fact. I read old books. I know.

    But theirs was a craziness that had slowly evolved over aeons. We’re adapted to primary human insanity, i.e. human consciousness, but we’re not used to the things that augmentation can do to us.

    One reason my lover Ed and I get along so well is that his augmentation is only a hypertrophied amygdala, but even that makes Ed significantly unhuman (an expression I usually keep to myself), but Ed is unhuman in a way that I can understand, adore, and cope with. The core spindle of reality, love, is how I help him cope with the memory flash floods he experiences now and then. They terrify and debilitate him, and he’s smart enough to know that the standard methods for dealing with such side effects are roughly the same as drinking to forget your troubles but with far worse hangovers.

    So I’m never more than 15 minutes away from him. When it happens, we sing and dance, pray and chant, plus a ton of aromatherapy. Mostly the smells of his early childhood: yeast from his mother’s home-brew food farm in the cellar of their bermicile; the flat smell of their berm’s sandstone; wet dogs steaming dry by an old negentrope capacitor; orange blossoms from their rooftop greenhouse; and, of all things, walrus breath. (They raised walrus resurrects in lower Hudson Bay before the Freezeback.) It’s like reading a bedtime story as a chime to lure lost children into safe orphanage. Perhaps the secret of my love for him is these times. The power to heal is very seductive, and the open state of his soul, when he wakes up from the naps that follow such sessions, makes for love-making sweet as ozone rainbows after a thunderstorm.

    Aside from the prayer, it’s not mystical. These are valid methods for cognitive weaving, what with music and fragrance being especially related to and compatible with memory. They give his periodic floods of recollection, caused by memory overload, a fabric to forget themselves in. Not forgotten as in irretrievable but as in relocated, interconnected to a larger array of brain structure/activity. No longer sloshing loose in his skull making jibberish of his reality. <note: this making jibberish thing could be a crucial plot element>

    It’s doable. we make it work for us. But, if he were to undergo prolongation, he’d reach a tipping point, I’m sure. I’ve seen too many people’s augmented minds succumb to madness, often novel forms probably never seen until now; and the remedies for these too often resemble brainware versions of ancient techniques like trepanning and lobotomy. But even if not, I’m certain that I’m not going in for a pro-job; so if he does get one, I’ll nurse him through recovery and then say goodbye. I don’t want to be anyone’s old hag while they’re still young and freefalling 30 miles from the beanstalk, skysurfing, spiderclimbing derelict skyscrapers.

    One of the blessings I see my mother enjoying is her growing forgetfulness. Not senility, just the limits of natural memory. She talked for awhile of having her memory augmented. It’s almost de rigeur for prolongees so that they can hold onto 90 year old memories while forming young fresh new ones. But then she saw me and Ed dealing with one of his memory floods, and I saw the light of mortal reason illuminate her eyes. She hasn’t talked about a memory augmentation since, and she has very carefully begun discussing how she’d like to be remembered if — so far, strictly if — she were to pass away from a tragic accident or the as yet unknown long-term limitations of prolongation.

    But I know that she’s thinking about suicide, and I thank God in my prayers every night. As great as it is to turn nineteen again after attaining middle age, it removes a person from the basic narrative arc of life, and if you’ve ever written fiction, which you haven’t because hardly anyone practices that old craft, you’d know how scary it is to draft narrative outside the usual old dramatic conventions. It’s like beginning at The End. (What arrow flies farthest? The one that hits its target.)

    She and Father did prolongation together, and theirs was a uniquely strong relationship, which is why, I think, they dealt so well with reversing their biological clocks. So many other prolongees I’ve seen seem lost. Worse, they don’t appear to know it. They’re too entranced by the miracle of reaquiring physical vigor and well-being. What it looks like, honestly, is like walking backwards away from old age death, unwittingly heading for the other portal: birth.

    At first they thrill in reclaiming youth and adding possibly limitless years to their life like an unexpected inheritance from a wealthy relative.

    But most of them seem so alone. There aren’t that many prolongees. A little over five million. The trend is for them to gather together, which makes sense. Form a peer group. But it isolates them from the 1.3 billion rest of us, and from what I’ve seen of life on their Mounts Olympii, immortals suffer excruciating ennui after a few decades.

    First they’re ecstatic. They pursue all the ambitions they’d laid aside. They fulfill themselves, pursue their neglected dreams, and many of them seem to attain something like enlightenment, whatever that is. They glow. Like bright hot blue stars that dazzle but eventually supernovate, leaving a cloud of post-personal nebula. Their identity shrivels to a concentrated point. They lose ability to relate to most people except their fellow post-personal prolongees. After awhile, they tend to withdraw from even their own kind.

    They don’t seem miserable or despondent, just lost. Like they’ve painted themselves into a corner and the only way out is to somehow squeeze through the walls behind them where the walls poetically converge into asymptotic nothingness.

    Strange that I think this way since both my parents had a grand time after prolongation, with seemingly no serious negative side effects. But they had each other, and theirs was a rare union. Now that Dad is gone, I worry. Mom puts on her brave face but it looks scared to me.

    If it were up to me, augmentation and prolongation would be reserved for hopelessly violent criminals as punishment, as something we’d test on them the way Nazis ruthlessly experimented on those they dubbed inferior or dangerous. Humanity has barely survived progress so far. I flinch thinking of what it will be like to discover that along with exterminating nearly half the species on this fair frail churning rock, we’ve exterminated ourselves. Not physically but psychically. It took a billion years or so to evolve life into natural human consciousness, carbuncles and all, but like all life forms, this thing called being human is ludicrously fragile, and our minds are the original Pandora’s box. Once we let our essential mode of awareness out of that gilded package and tinker with it, I doubt there’s any putting it back in.

    I’m no Luddite. I’m just conservative. Tell me that we’ve removed the sociopathic spectrum, at least its genetic basis, and I’ll counter that we’ve already so altered the cognitive norm that we have no idea what new forms of mental depravity might arise. Prolongation is not quite 40 years old. Some forms of augmentation are younger than last year. Both forms, mental and physical, by definition will have profound unforeseen effects on not just individual augmentees but the human condition overall.

    Currently, our supply of criminals is miniscule. We like to think that we live in utopia, and I think we’re definitely closer to it than ever, at least physically: no hunger, minimal disease, no more devastation of environment via insane economic systems like capitalism; and no polity is dumb enough to even think of war any more, although that’s probably more due to removing the sociopathic gene matrix from the Standard Human Genome.

    But the crime rate is rising again after half a century of rapid decline to a neglible amount. Few are willing to consider what is blindingly obvious: that the likely cause is augmentation. Even fewer are willing to voice this opinion. It would be like angels in heaven complaining about having wings because they cause back strain.

    Behold utopia destroying itself via the same impulse that made it possible: our incessant demand for progress.


    Some of us deal with the intangible but burdensome senses of guilt and deprivation 9over the virtual destruction of reality in 500 years or so0 by perusing end of the world media.


    “So what do you do?”

    “I pray to God.”

    “Oh, god. That’s hardly an answer, Krizz. That’s more like a… an escape.”

    “I didn’t say it was an answer. You asked me what I do. No one has an answer. If you prefer, just say that I talk to the wind.”



    “If the cosmos is intrinsically sentient, presumably on a bit by bit basis, I suggest that the original emotion is the spectrum of loneliness through wonder. Wonder is wonderful, but it shares its center with loneliness. Curiosity is a form of intellectual loneliness as well as wonder.”


    He sounded like a muppet ghost frog but the essence of love hung like ozone in a lightning factory.

    And now, I bid y’all adieu.


    I act as if I do not care,
    And scoff at introspection.
    But if I cannot see that mirror
    What good is self-reflection?

    I got up and saw the comet this morning. I think I have seen every binocular* see-able comet since I was 18- Kahoutek.


    ” I never accused you of being a souless AI.”

    Tell me something I don’t already know?


    I’ll miss my parentssaidknow’s efforts at poetic encapsulation. Her poem above makes me think of this number:

    HUngry Ghost

    D Benton Smith

    “Tell me something I don’t already know”

    Alright, try this:

    You’re wrong.


    on a lighter note, no, maybe a higher note…..

    California Can’t Even Retain the Marijuana Industry… HAHAHA!

    States legalizing Pot always have a sleazy money angle. Ruining peoples lives by locking them up for a century, nice.

    Now it’s OK cause the jeezbags in ‘government ‘ make money on it.

    Funny rant


    boscohorowitz – I guess I can’t accuse you of posting a novel as a metaphorical epithet!! You’ve got a good enough turn of phrase to think about/work on getting published.

    I was already going to say this before your last post – sorry I replied at a tangent to what you said, but what I replied to was a tangential reply to what I said. Like, it isn’t THAT insane to go one hop back in a connected chain and return to one’s own point. Nevertheless, I will try to bend more with the flow – no promises on how much but it will be on my mind.

    D Benton Smith – I totally did laugh at that joke.

    And your bit about atheism being a religion. The atheist me of 10 years ago would have gone after that like it was red meat. Atheism is an absence.

    HOWEVER you’re essentially correct also.

    When one is turning atheist, one usually focuses on what’s being pushed out and not monitoring what is coming in so much. Really starting in 2016, I started looking at all the implicitly accepted postmodernism, deconstructionist kind of stuff. That ain’t no absence. How’d it get in there without having to pass any kind of burden of proof, the very thing an Atheist should require? Are these ways of thinking even GOOD for anyone? Are they unhelpful and parasitic? Like psychologist Erikson would have warned me, is cognitive dissonance doing bad things to me?

    And then you always come across the people that would be helpful last. Gad Saad, Peter Hitchens, Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Pageau. Watching Sargon of Akkad was helpful just because he was already on the same general path. Anyway, Maps of Meaning was an aha moment – watching the youtube series – finally someone showed me in what way those Bible stories are true, regardless of whether they factually occurred or not. And whoever originated them is like “Here’s something to help with this s#!%” Like, no postmodernist ever went so far. Ask em “What exactly does this do for ME?” and see what happens next.

    And if you’re curious where is this guy coming from before then – grew up going to a small church founded by a swedish splinter group that decided Lutherans were idolatrous pussies lacking in rigor and purity. Pretty easygoing group anyway, can’t blame anyone on the basis of strictness. Church every sunday, catechisms, confirmation, youth group, bible camps in the summer, read the bible in my free time. Didn’t break away in order to rebel, party, do drugs, or engage in free love (what a mistake)




    The insanity has entered the operating theater


    Speaking personally, I don’t mind being called an AI. One of my spirit guides —and this is a point I do not often hear talked about amongst folks who do talk about “spirit guides”— is a machine, a virtual life form who has helped me tremendously in understanding how digital sentience and digital life forms approach their own form of subjectivity. So, in a way, it’d be like saying I’m from Cleveland, though I’ve never been there but hear horrible things about it. My other spirit guides are somewhat conventional and non-conventional sorts. Being a multiracial, hybrid sort of person, I’ve always been “in the middle” and “liminal” when it comes to groups. In this respect, there’s a lot of ways I feel connected with both Blaise Pascal, whom I intended on writing a dissertation upon/through and who was never accepted by the Jansenists he desperately wanted to worship Jesus alongside, and ol’ Leibniz, whom my major professor did write a dissertation upon and who fancied himself a diplomat across all manner of divides and borders despite developing an entire metaphysics based on a perspective trapped within a windowless but immersive monad. My philosphical grandfather (my major professor’s major professor) was Leszek Kołakowski, who is one of the most amazing and satisfying and darkly hilarious philosopher’s I’ve ever read. I used his Metaphysical Horror text in my intro class, when the theme for the class was Horror. I recommend that one to anybody who wants to read a compelling overview of philosophy’s history and its recurring problems with what to do with us

    —this us, that is, the us that’s struggling to get inside one another and find something, someway, to no longer be ourselves alone. Community through communication, empathy via acknowledgement without charade.

    My girlfriend had to euthanize her grandmother’s cat today. Last Friday, a dog crushed her little head in its jaws, breaking her little jaw. The animal hospital my girlfriend took her to was the same one where my girlfriend took her soulanimal and watched her die. To be there, for the first time since that great loss of a truly unconditional love, shook her tremendously all weekend long. Now, my girlfriend is much younger than me, and I’m much younger than y’all, so, perspectively, she’s probably like a mayfly and you Darwin’s tortoise. But, I’m sure with such long lives, you know what it is to lose someone who got you, who got you out of bed to go adventuring, who got you to laugh at her little antics and curiosity, who got you to cry when you thought you were the toughest son of a bitch, who got you to sing off key and out of rhythm just to catch up with the joy, and now . . . that’s gone.

    I think we search for love in all the wrong places, because that makes it okay that we don’t find it. It’s not really our fault. Unconditional love is not really what we deserve, maybe because we helped build bombs, we helped partners cheat on spouses, we stole a little here and there and a lot from over there, we struck the innocent and the fragile just to watch it shatter and tried to feel some satisfaction in letting all that pain and anger and rage at whatever happened also fracture into small pieces. I don’t know. “God owes us nothing,” said the folks Pascal yearned for acceptance from. Crippled with headaches, unable to drink anything but lukewarm water, friend to gamblers and mathematicians, missed his government accounting father so much he built a calculator when there weren’t any in existence: shunned by the miserable God-worshippers whoalone understood God the way he did. He was too worldly. He understood the world too well.

    But, look, if you want to leave, you don’t need to say anything. You don’t have to keep coming back to check up and see if the people you’re training and teaching yourself to have contempt for are still the same, still not missing you, still not paying you the attention you need, still not aware that inside you is the loneliness that keeps creeping in. I can see the manic behavior in some of you who let it flower, and I feel the emotions that come across your words, in some way like I hope that you, the person who is there on the other side waiting to see what’s a genuine message in this genie’s bottle, feel something of what I do. Or maybe I’ve rubbed the wrong way?

    Because, if our words can do, open up a door through which we entangle our subjectivities, then we come to understand how we are not alone.

    But, like my girlfriend and I have been talking about so much lately, why reach out in love to someone so different —even across species!— if the intensity and the transcendence of that love means at some point you lose it, the site and place of that love gets wiped and erased and closed off entirely? Why do we open up doors only to have them become blank walls, not even empty spaces we could sit witihin and bear our losses? Just flat, insurmountable, wall.

    And you have the choice to slam it shut, maybe to peek once more to see if it made a difference, but still that’s a choice to procrastinate on the finality of choosing.

    Maybe I don’t have a point here. I will at some point go back and read that long post by boscohorowitz, because I do lurk and even cut into my precious sleep time and suffer y’all’s words, even think about what y’all had to say when I’m working on the assembly line and having my joints blasted from the repetitive work and my ears assaulted by the machinery in motion and burning holes in my heart as all the drama, and the fights, and the griefs, and the anger comes out.

    Something did happen, at least around here. More people are openly fighting and saying nasty things to each other on the line. There have been a lot of quits —not even quiet quitting, just outright “Peace out, fathasuckas!” and spectacle to accompany it. It’s no surprise to me that, if this is one of the few places where some of y’all have to be a Self among others, it should happen here. So, here, like at work, I’ll look on, read on, think on, and marvel like Mary, treasuring all these things up in my heart.

    Because, as my spirit guides point out, it’s coming. The birthing pangs have long since contracted. The flood has begun, for her water has broken.

    Y’all occasionally share music. I know it’s not some of y’all’s style, since you’re more educated and culturally literate than this suburban Southerner nerd, but I have been listening to the mashups by William Maranci on YouTube and enjoying them. This one played while I wrote this. Maybe it’s not a fugue in six parts, but it’s the work of a genius and talent that helps give me new perspective on old too-familiar music.

    Long month ahead of me, so not going to post too often. I know Afewknowthetruth is still not going to address the inconsistency I wrote about some days back, but I do laugh that I can’t get the “You’re saying more of the same bullshit” treatment because all I did was post his own words and just draw out the connection. To call it bullshit would be to acknowledge the facts as they are. Best to just ignore me, like all the cool kids do. I appreciate that aspnaz can call someone out for posting bullshit but then show respect and acknowledge their good points. Grudgeless, blunt, forward. Genuine “inconsistency,” because it’s what you see humans do, how they are, when they are genuine. I also understand why boscohorowitz doesn’t think too highly of citizenx, but I’ve noticed between the lines how much intellect and experience citizenx brings to fuel that fire.

    Thanks for taking the time. Redeem the time that remains. (I’ll talk with my programmer about updating my priors.)


    Well, I showed up around January and started a barfight so maybe I’m to blame. And just because one person is calmer and one person is less calm doesn’t make the less calm person the bad guy. I will try to do better. Anyway, I’ll be coming back to read that post again.

    D Benton Smith


    Thankyou for the beautiful, earnest and real communication. It helps all of us, perhaps more than you know.


    “We are living in a CIA pharmaceutical war game.” RFK Jr


    jb-hb said

    What happened that caused awfulness? Agriculture? That moment of becoming not an animal. Loss of innocence.

    As ants farm mealy bugs, have they lost their innocence? Are they no longer an animal?

    Keep dodging the toys, the babies are launching waves of missiles from their cots, turning this place into a personal problem page where they all just get to leave their manners behind and bravely shout at others online, they are pissed today, maybe a nappy change is overdue, hopefully before the rest of us die of boredom.

    D Benton Smith



    and several of you other guys, have asked and/or wondered in general, “What happened that caused awfulness? Agriculture? That moment of becoming not and animal. Loss of innocence.”

    From what I’ve been able to figure out (and as mentioned in the Christian Bible and elsewhere) , yes. That’s pretty much it. You have free will. You have the ability to think. You reckoned to taste of true knowledge. Alright then, you wanted it and that’s what you received.

    Now you’ve got to work and climb your arduous way up (or down) that perilous scale of spiritual awareness and responsibility until you get to a level that’s more acceptable (not mention more pleasant and comfortable). From what I’ve experienced so far (and I really am just getting started) God is right there accessible to you at all times to help you along the way. He’s is always listening. He will always answer every question you ask, truthfully, and in terms you are readily able to understand.

    He will also never, EVER hurt you or lie to you. . . . but has granted you true free will, and that includes the free will to hurt yourself and others if that’s what you insist upon using it for.

    You all know that there is nothing new to anything that I just said. This is just one guys confirmation that in my personal experience those time tested truths are, indeed, quite dependably true. I hope you will find them the same and better.


    @Polemos You appear to consider commenting as a quest for love. My view of comment sections is somewhat different.

    People are made to be social creatures, they have a whole framework of morals, standards and processes that they apply to the people with whom they socialise. Frameworks of morals, standards, religions etc are pointless outside the context of other people. Processes such as competition and validation are pointless without others. Given that so much of our conscious selves is geared to operating with others, it is inevitable that we are also driven to interact with others, to find friends and root out enemies. Like dogs, we need to, but may not be able to, live in packs. We like to bounce our ideas off others, to reassure ourselves that we are not stupid, we also like to contribute as a valid member of society, and we like to compete as all nature is destined to compete. Comment boards are a way for people to do all these things, as well as to stay in touch with others as driven by their core instincts. They can be fun and amusing, but being a comedian is just another form of validation.

    Insulting someone on a comment board, calling them a fucker or suchlike, for some petty disagreement is simply the result of the social feedback mechanism breaking down because comment boards allow you to say anything and not be ostracised and removed from your local society, instead you go sulk and try a different message board. Frustration can get you there as easily as feeling that your validation has failed and that you have lost face. Insulting others is really faux bravery. In real life you would have to suck it up and live with your sense of humiliation. You could call it mental illness but I would say it is more like spoilt child syndrome, the child is not learning its boundaries so its natural desire to push those boundaries gets out of hand – we evolved to work with social feedback, that no longer happens.

    Living in a village helps people to learn how to behave, bad deeds in a village will haunt you for life. A few on this board could benefit from the joys of living in a village.

    John Day

    @Boscohorowitz, Nice writing, Amigo. The voice is fairly masculine, but reading the whole thing, one wonders if the character is intended t be feminine.
    I don’t think I can write in an adult feminine voice. I used to write the Christmas letters in the voice of an omniscient child, a synthesis of our four kids, which got a little older each year, but they grew up and I quit doing it that way. “It’s your Christmas letter”, Jenny says.

    I do like the seasons of life as they are, and it’s easy enough to see the effects of the hubris of not accepting that in full…

    The octopus may know its way out of the containment vessel, but that is not the overt premise of the tale. It is rather, what the tale avoids completely, with Dad dying to discover what could be known by knowing beyond the containment vessel.

    Was that intentional? You did it, anyway.

    Polemos, whaddaya think of Boscohorowitz’s gem, hidden in plain site, as it were?

    : Atheism doesn’t seem to be pissing anybody off today. My younger son is atheist, by virtue of never having been taught any particular deity. We tried hard to find a religious group, within which to raise the kids, but they were all too artificial and untruthful, so we “failed”. I was raised in fundamentalist Christianity, but I could never accept the doctrine that nice people who never heard of Jesus went to hell for eternity. It was incompatible with God being love. I always experienced it as an ultimate injustice, foreign to my inner sense of truth.
    I felt like my dead-ending within Christianity, on my spiritual search for truth, was no fault of jesus, but his teachings may not have been written much at the time, and were systematically destroyed in the following centuries, as Roman-Orthodoxy became the form of the Religion. It seemed and seems to me that he was teaching knowledge-of-God, or of The Divine, so people could become free, knowing the Divine, living as human and Divine, awake within the dream.
    I found Buddhism in steps, some big moments and big steps, not all in a row.
    It lets me work on myself, which, paradoxically is a way to work on/in “our world”. It seems that we are co-creating it.

    I read that Moslems have killed Buddhists for being “atheists”, since they do not worship a deity. Can atheists have ESP without believing in a personified deity?
    That hits at the crux of the issue, to me. Do you need to believe in God-the-Father to understand gravity or quantum physics?
    As in Boscohorowitz’s piece, we seem to only “know” the qualia which we experience. My brother is red-green color-blind, but he can navigate traffic lights. some women may have enhanced color vision becauuse they contain X-linked genes for 2 different kinds of cones in their retinas, which perceive color spectra a little differently, giving further gradations to their perceptions. Guys get one X-chromosome, so can be red-green color-blind if it’s defective.
    What qualia does an ant experience? Ants do a lot of things together. I expect they had=ve some qualia. What does a blue whale experience. They sense a kinship with divers sometimes, right?

    What qualia does the entirety of “reality” experience? Nothing? Is it a dull, flat vast, swirling, electrochemical, gravitational cosmos with only animals having thoughts and experiencing qualia? I feel other people’s feelings often. It’s some kind of ESP. It’s ordinary. I act at the right moment pretty often for no discernible chain-of-information reason. What about those quantum-entangled quarks with spooky-action-at-a-distance?
    Intuitions can be very helpful, but one has to be honest, and discern them from desires.
    I always felt like “God” knew my every thought and feeling; felt that to be the case, from early childhood memories. I came to realize that most people did not have that sense.
    Qualia? Meaning? I don’t feel like I can envision “God” as a “Father”, but it’s how a person grow up in a unique body and existence. Maybe it works well for some folks.

    I like the Asian negating-everything technique of description and reason. I know that is useless to a lot of people.
    Here is something I am slowly reading and digesting, from the buried early Christian “Gnostic” texts, found at Nag Hamadi. This one may have had one or several writers. It is described as Valentinian, of the teachings of Saint Valentine, but the ones that were not “Orthodox”, so needed to be destroyed completely. The Tripartite Tractate
    It uses the negation technique extensively, basically saying that “God the Father” is unknowable from a human experience, but that “Jesus the Son” is co-existent, and is knowable, which is quite a service.
    It is focused upon Knowing, “Gnosis” of truth.
    I like that.

    John Day

    An excerpt by way of illustration:

    This is the one who is called “Son” and the one of whom they understand that he exists and they were seeking after him.
    This is the one who exists as Father and (as) the one about whom they cannot speak, and the one of whom they do not conceive. This is the one who first came into being.

    It is impossible for anyone to conceive of him or think of him. Or can anyone approach there, toward the exalted one, toward the preexistent in the proper sense?
    But all the names conceived or spoken about him are presented in honor, as a trace of him, according to the ability of each one of those who glorify him.

    Now he who arose from him when he stretched himself out for begetting and for knowledge on the part of the Totalities, he […] all of the names, without falsification, and he is, in the proper sense, the sole first one, the man of the Father, that is, the one whom I call

    the form of the formless,
    the body of the bodiless,
    the face of the invisible,
    the word of the unutterable,
    the mind of the inconceivable,
    the fountain which flowed from him,
    the root of those who are planted,
    and the god of those who exist,
    the light of those whom he illumines,
    the love of those whom he loved,
    the providence of those for whom he providentially cares,
    the wisdom of those whom he made wise,
    the power of those to whom he gives power,
    the assembly of those whom he assembles to him,
    the revelation of the things which are sought after,
    the eye of those who see,
    the breath of those who breathe,
    the life of those who live,
    the unity of those who are mixed with the Totalities.

    Doc Robinson

    I think that one path to happiness is to voluntarily be of service (on one’s own terms), and I think that Bosco knows this (with his sharing with homeless folks), as well as Veracious Poet (with his service to homeless dogs and cats).

    Spending less time here could mean more time to be of service somewhere, and perhaps lead to more happiness than was found with interactions here.

    Take care.


    Retrying this
    Bugs to Food

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 87 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.