Angelism: Five Principles, Twenty-Five Methods, One Goal.
The Universal Church of Angelism boasts over 7 members! Join today and free yourself from the terrible burden of IRRATIONALITY!
If anyone disputes the content of this website, they are probably trying to sell you something. On an unrelated note, the annual membership fee for a Gold-level enrollment into UCA Ministries™ is 25.00 Uncle Sam Funbucks™, payable by cash, check, money order, or PayPal. The Palladium and Tritium rates are 100.00, and 250.00 USD, respectively.*
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*Upon joining the UCA, you will receive an authentic certificate of membership, an unlaminated membership card, and an official warning letter for violating the sacrosanct Principle of Individualism. Continued membership will require the purchase or gift of an indulgence from the Patriarch HIMself. Failure to do so may result in immediate excommunication.
The Twenty-Five Methods of Clean and Virtuous Living
1. Don't get excited.
2. Be aware of cognitive biases.
3. If you find yourself feeling defensive, run a meme-check.
4. A day without doing one thing that has a permanent benefit is a day not worth living.
5. Expectation is the root of all suffering.
6. No regrets.
7. Keep your damn mouth shut.
a. Never say anything you would not want everyone to know. There is no such thing as a secret.
b. Volunteering information is giving people the leverage they need to destroy you.
8. Listen to everything; let the weight of evidence determine your conclusions. Disregard emotional appeals.
9. Comport yourself with dignity.
10. Do it yourself.
11. Don't waste time trying to talk stupids out of their stupidity.
12. Don't lend out anything that you'd miss if you didn't get it back.
13. Know what your bad habits are. If you can't change them, work around them.
14. Do not emulate those you do not wish to be like.
15. Don't take advice from people stupider than you.
16. Never give anyone a second chance.
17. Clean up your own mess.
18. Try not to give people less than they ask for, but definitely never give them more.
19. Don't be afraid to cut your losses and run.
20. A cluttered room is a cluttered mind.
21. Stick to the routine.
a. Allow usage patterns to determine item placement.
22. Do not become attached to people or things.
23. Don't eat.
a. If you couldn't look it directly in the eye and murder it yourself, you have no business eating it.
b. Restrict calories to under 1200 per day.
24. Don't consume media that you don't want to remember forever.
25. One thing at a time.
The goal is gradual, and cumulative, self-improvement.
Get a free .pdf copy of The 25 Methods here.
Levels 1-3 are available to all members.
Level 1: Disciple
Basic member of the UCA. May attend services, purchase indulgences, and proselytize.
Responsibilities: Must be baptized and pay annual fee.
Level 2: Apostle
Second-level member of the UCA. May attend services, purchase indulgences, and proselytize.
Responsibilities: Must be confirmed and pay annual fee.
Level 3: Preacher
Third-level member of the UCA. May speak at services, purchase indulgences, proselytize, offer counsel and guidance to other members.
Responsibilities: Must have held a membership for one-year, complete a sexual harassment training course, and pay an additional fee of 5 USD annually.
Levels 4-6 are available to Palladium members and up.
Level 4: Elder
Fourth-level member of the UCA. May speak at services, purchase indulgences, proselytize, offer counsel and guidance to other members. May also teach official courses in Angelism (teaching materials available upon request).
Responsibilities: We require at least a three-year membership with the Church before one is considered eligible for this title.
Level 5: Priest
Fifth-level member of the UCA. May speak at services, purchase indulgences, proselytize, and offer counsel and guidance to other members. May also teach official courses in Angelism (teaching materials available upon request). Upon ordination, may officiate at weddings. All priests may also conduct mass and exorcise demons.
Responsibilities: Must meet all previous requirements, as well as take an extra course in sexual harassment.
Level 6: High Priest
Sixth-level member of the UCA. May speak at services, purchase indulgences, proselytize, and offer counsel and guidance to other members. May also teach official courses in Angelism (teaching materials available upon request). Upon ordination, may officiate at weddings. All priests may also conduct mass and exorcise demons.
Responsibilities: Must meet all previous requirements, and also have learned epic-level magicka.
Levels 7-8 are available only to Tritium members.
Level 7: Titular Bishop
Seventh-level member of the UCA, a consecrated member of the clergy. May sell indulgences (10% commission). Does not have an official diocese (does have a titular see). May serve as a patriarchal diplomat, oversee the faythful, speak at press conferences, order mission expeditions to infidel-infested regions, and may require members to genuflect in his presence.
Responsibilities: Must be appointed by the Patriarch.
Level 8: Archbishop
Eighth-level member of the UCA, a consecrated member of the clergy. May sell indulgences (11% commission). Does have an official diocese. May serve as a patriarchal diplomat, oversee the faythful, speak at press conferences, order mission expeditions and crusades to infidel-infested regions, and may require members to genuflect in his presence.
Responsibilities: Must be appointed by the Patriarch.
Level 9: ProFit
Highest-level status achievable by UCA members. The ProFit serves as a representative of the Patriarch on Earth, inspires members with wise teachings, may have apostles, and manages the Church treasury.
Level 11: Patriarch. Il Duce. The Alpha and Omega. The Esteemed Leader of the Universal Angelist Church.
The current Patriarch of Angelism is The Reverend, BA, MS, NRPA, FWS. Rev is the first (and last) Patriarch. Should some ill befall HIM that makes HIM unable to continue HIS duties as Patriarch, or should HE tragically perish, all members are encouraged to commit suicide in solidarity.*
Any member of the UCA may also receive the following additional titles, provided they meet certain requirements:
*The UCA, its members, and its affiliates are not responsible for any damage, injury, or death caused by someone being stupid enough to follow its advice.
**The priesthood of the UCA denies all allegations of boy molestation, and reminds members that they are encouraged not to reproduce, in order to avoid spawning more of the filthy little liars.
Let this be known, disciples: The Reverend cares not what you do, so long as you do not initiate force against HIM or, relatedly, violate HIS property rights. That being said, you are probably doing both, by virtue of not being perfect.
The first thing you need to realize is that you are suboptimal. Whoever it is you are, there is something (probably innumerable somethings) that you are not doing right. Irrational idiots make HIS life miserable. For both HIS sake and yours, let us figure out how to change that.
Second, it is undisputable that you are terrible at rational thinking. But this is true for all humans. Rather than feeling guilty about it, or throwing up your arms and giving in to degenerate wrongthink, embrace the small sliver of rationality you do have and exercise it to the utmost of your ability.
Third, you must understand that humans are programmable. The smarter an organism is, the more freedom it has to overcome instinct and behave rationally. In essence, if you were of truly superior intellect, you could theoretically program yourself to be maximally rational.
The only way to train the human neural net and body, barring any structural impairments precluding such activities, is to act like the person you want to be until you are. And when you are that person, maybe you will want to be even better.
The teachings of The Reverend ("Rev" for short), and the practical wisdom of the Great ProFit Bruce C. Miller, will aid you in your quest for self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is the key to self-improvement, and it is only by continuous self-improvement that you will understand how cl00less you have been, until now. There are only two good reasons to stop progressing--either you are perfect, or you are dead, and we both know that, unlike The Venerable Reverend, you are not perfect.
Get to work.
The overvaluation of pleasure will lead you down the path of Corruption and Sin.
Irrational thinking is foremost amongst the crimes of the guilty.
The dirty amongst us are habitual Violators of the Five SACRED Principles of Angelism:
Decadence always ultimately begets great suffering. Penance for immoral behavior is the result of a deterministic universal TRUTH. Modernity's virtues are weakness, gluttony, and ineptitude, rather than strength, temperance, and competence. This state of affairs is unnatural and unsustainable. The least fit are mired in Sin; Those who tarry in the swamps of Evil are the doom of this species.
Sin is the Opposite of the FIVE. Humanity's ills are subdivided as follows:
Irrationality: The refusal to apply the principles of LOGIC to one's behavior, is unacceptable in Angelism, as nothing is as important as having a realistic and correct understanding of the universe in which we find ourselves. To fail to do so is an invitation for poor behavior. It is the product of and the catalyst for self-perpetuating insanity, and makes one a slave to their passions. Every SIN is a result of this MetaSIN.
Overconsumption: The realization of irrational behaviors. We witness the morally bankrupt suffer from greed and find it equivalent to staring into the gaping abyss, a Satanic Goatse which reminds us all of the agony IRRATIONALS inflict upon the VIRTUOUS.
Collectivism: Angelists never define themselves as a member of a collective unless they must do so by force or coercion. The Angelist serves only one master: himself. Collectivism is a breeding ground for memetic infection, and deprives humans of critical thinking.
Dependence: Dependence on another human, or on society, forces the individual to prostitute oneself in an exchange for the means of survival. Survival, however, is less important than taking a figurative one up the ass.
Impurity: Angelists seeks a clean body and mind. There is no distinction between physical and mental purity. Scientific research suggests that the link is more than simple metaphor. Thus, we cleanse our bodies and environment to create an atmosphere conducive to productive thought. Mentally, we avoid filling our finite storage space with garbage, such as established religion, political ideologies, and various sexual perversions.
Serious: This category includes the most minor of offenses. These generally do not violate one of the Five Principles, but may transgress upon the Methods.
Examples: Accidentally treading upon the tail of a cat, asking stupid questions, listening to pop music, running over a pedestrian (intentionally or unintentionally), eating fast food, drinking non-diet soda, altruism, writing bad poetry, wearing outside shoes in the house, using British English, playing a musical instrument and/or singing, playing MMORPGS or FPSes, typos, not knowing how to use an em dash, heterosexuality
Consequences: None. Penitential options--voluntary donation to the Church, self-mutilation, and fasting.
Severe: This category includes offenses that, while not unforgivable, are highly discouraged and may result in excommunication should the behavior continue. These usually violate one or more of the Five Principles.
Examples: Joining the UCA, purchasing greeting cards, operating motor vehicles, home ownership, public drunkenness, purchasing Veblen goods, expectorating, owning a dog, producing loud noises, obesity, body odor, interracial dating, being an employee, using time unproductively, hoarding, burning scented candles, applying cosmetics, attending buffets, tardiness
Consequences: Possible excommunication. Penitential options--Mandatory donation to the Church, self-mutilation, fasting, letter of apology to the bishop of one's diocese, and fifty Hail Santas.
Unforgivable: Self-explanatory. These SINS violate the ONE GOAL, or pollute the world with misery.
Examples: Cat murder, using the word "cute" to describe inanimate objects, prostitution, refusal to curb one's dog, using a leaf blower (double excommunication for doing it before 12pm), stampeding, marriage, reproducing, accepting government entitlements (Agorists are exempted from this rule), voting, believing in any religion other than Angelism, stupidity, using social media
Consequences: Immediate Excommunication. Penitential options--Suicide.
Why is it important to be rational? Does it even make a difference in one's quality of life?
You'd be surprised how many ask this of Rev, as if rationality were some ideal one pursues for its own benefit, rather than for any tangible effect.
And, the tr00th is, rationality may make your life worse.
Here is why you want to be rational anyway: life will present you will a series of challenges. Problems to solve. Problems such as disease, and death. While many events are partially the result of chance, there are actions one can take in order to tip the odds in your favor. One of these is knowing the variables which are interacting with one another (and you) to create favorable, unfavorable, and neutral circumstances. It is easier to solve a math problem the more variables you know, both in quantity and in value, and when one has a fundamental grasp of mathematical principles.
Similarly, when in life one operates from assumptions which do not reflect reality, one is MORE LIKELY to get an answer with little predictive value or consistency. Optimal problem-solving requires accurate information in the appropriate quantities, and there is always an optimal solution. As in math, in life there is a single perfect resolution to any situation. The more rational one is, the more likely one is to hone in on it. If it appears as if there is more than one solution to some question, then the question is probably nonsensical. If you want the right answers, you have to first ask the right questions.
It is important to remember that probability is the fundamental principle by which the universe operates, not certainty. Sometimes there are simply too many values for the feeble human mind to calculate.
Sometimes there are factors one cannot control for, even if they are recognizable as serious issues. Social ostracism and murder are possible consequences for individuals who question memes. This is not a persecution complex, as history has demonstrated repeatedly that there are consequences for challenging the status quo--"So Crates" comes to mind--whether or not the challenge is rational. Though future humans may ultimately benefit from the sacrifice of those who are open about their alternative lifestyles (and isn't it a horrible thought that logical thinkers are in the minority?), one may be rational and silent. Whether or not one speaks out depends on an individual's cost-benefit calculation about whether the world is even worth living in when everyone around you is an idiot.
Rationality is a complex issue, as any student of Game Theory is aware. For those who dislike thinking, the barrier of entry into rationalism is too high. So, there is ignorance, and willful ignorance. But, whether you like it or not, you are playing The Game. Would you rather leave things up to chance, or are you going to learn how to count cards?
More rules, because you need them to not eff up your life. These all pertain to computers:
The Angelist is not charitable. He does not donate to a cause. He does not offer the panhandler a dollar bill. He does not volunteer.
Why is this so? Because charity does more harm than good.
A Note About Moral Responsibility
As an unemployed youth, I have copious amounts of free time to put to good use or ill, so I watched a movie the other night, M (1931). It left me thinking about my stance on moral culpability. Without getting into too much detail, the film essentially boiled down to an argument between those who feel that people who engage in "immoral" behaviors (in this case, murder and paedophilia), are not morally responsible for them if committed under duress--even if the duress is internal, rather than external--and those who believe that they are. This isn't the first film I've seen that brings up the longstanding debate about personal responsibility; I am reminded of a scene in that god-awful attempt at film-making, Olympus Has Fallen (2013), where the North Korean terrorists demand the nuclear codes from various government department heads. The audience (presumably, given the amount of time spent on this particularly gory exchange) is supposed to sympathize with Secretary of Defense and representative of the feminist agenda in Hollywood, Ruth McMillan, as she resists giving the code to Kang Yeonsak and his co-conspirators, even while undergoing a severe beating. Not like that cowardly, piece-of-shit MAN who spilt the beans right away. I could get into how much I dislike the way men are portrayed in the media these days, but I will refrain from doing so for the sake of brevity. Anyway, I can perhaps forgive M for asking its audience such trifling moral questions, since it was made in the 30s, but why are people still scratching their heads about the matter now? This is a question that could have been answered for good a long time ago.
A Matter of Degree
There's always been something that nagged at me whenever philosophers (Stefan Molyneux comes to mind) referenced this problem of responsibility, even when I otherwise find his logic agreeable. Molyneux, in particular, oft mentions the subject when discussing the use of force to collect taxes. If, as he has stated, one is pointing a gun at your head and demanding your property, you have no choice but to hand it over. Or rather, if you make that decision, you can't be held morally responsible when your taxes are used to fund wars in the Middle East. Ignoring for a moment that some, despite the use of force perpetrated against them, still have, on principle, taken the bullet (Irwin Schiff, for example), it seems to me that moral culpability is more a matter of degree better illustrated by a spectrum rather than a dichromatic system of polar opposites. For example, if someone holds a gun to my head and tells me to rape someone, sure, I'm less responsible than someone who raped because they wanted to, but I'd still be a rapist as the society defines the term, in the same sense that we couldn't call the raped individual a virgin. There are theoretical extremes on both ends, of course. On one end is someone who has complete control over his or her misdeeds, and on the other one who is completely blameless, and everyone can be placed somewhere along this spectrum of responsibility. A hypothetical person who had his brain hacked into, subsequently rendering him a meat-puppet unable to control the movement of his limbs or bowels, would be closer to one end of the spectrum, whereas the hacker pulling the strings would be closer to the other. (Ah, I should probably be beaten for mixing my metaphors).
I suspect that most for whom the legal persecution of thought crimes or, relatedly, hate crimes, are distasteful, are uncomfortable with the notion that intent would factor into the consideration of judges, prosecutors, and jurors. The idea that one can regulate thought, or consider motive in regards to crime and punishment, is simply unpalatable for some. Crime, in their view, is more about the result and less about the squishy feels that might be behind the vandalism, theft, murder, or what have you. It brings up the question, and I think it's an important one, as to what a judicial system is supposed to do. Is it about arbitration, ensuring recompense for property crimes (which are, arguably, the only kind of crime there is), or even a deterrent for bad behavior? Some way to guarantee public safety? If a murderer can't "control" his actions, then is the judicial system intended to pursue some utilitarian ideal of promoting public welfare when locking him away forever? When is he "responsible" for his actions, and does it even matter whether or not he is when deciding whether or not to throw him in the clink until he is too dead or too senile to act on his antisocial proclivities?
Figuring Out the REAL Problem
As with most philosophical "problems," the real problem here isn't the one being discussed. Rather, the reason that it is so difficult to disentangle thoughts on the subject is because, as usual, it has been sloppily conceived. Basically, it's an issue with framing. After all, if you ask a stupid question, you'll more than likely get a stupid answer, and you'd deserve it, too.
One might wonder why I'm beating around the bush instead of getting to the point. It's because if individuals don't agree on the base axioms of a problem, they will never come up with a coherent answer to the problem. If people can't agree that 1+1=2, or even the property that = signs indicate that something is equivalent to something else, then this means there is a serious and insurmountable communication problem.
So, let me start from the beginning.
First of all, let's agree on the fact that the universe is deterministic. That is, that for some action, there will be certain consequences. Please don't confuse my using the term "having consequences" as some sort of moral statement. I mean it in the most physical sense. The application of moral connotations can come later. Let us also say that these actions have predictable results. Again, I don't want to introduce ambiguity here. If I throw a ball into the air, gravity will pull it back toward the center of the earth. That is, the ball is going to come back down. I'm not going to account for wind speed or the direction in which I threw the ball or any of that right now. Actions have predicable consequences. If they didn't, math and science would be impossible. Science, for example, depends on the ability of scientists to replicate results. Certainly, there are numerous variables that can affect how something turns out, but if we could never predict the outcome of throwing a ball in the air (will it float, turn into a chicken, or sing a song?), we would live in a very different universe indeed.
This has some serious implications in how we conceive of the issue of free will. Oh dear, I can hear your teeth grinding already. I know this is an annoying debate, and I'm loathe to even bring it up. I'm not saying that because the universe is deterministic, we don't have free will. I'm saying the problem is poorly framed, and when you frame it correctly, it is no longer a problem at all. If the universe is deterministic, and there is substantial evidence to suggest that it is, and that these actions are predicable actions, then the outcomes of certain events do seem inevitable. Since the quantity of the complex variables involved is impossible (for humans or computers with their current computing ability) to account for, then in a practical, macroscopic sense, talking about the variables that happened eons ago that may or may not have influenced one's moral choice is inane. Therefore, we might as well state that we have free will, since it isn't particularly useful to try and account for the infinite variables that ultimately led to a certain outcome.
Rational vs. Irrational Instead of Good vs. Bad
Since we can all agree that we exist in a deterministic universe, perhaps it would be more useful to frame moral problems in terms of predictability. That is, rational action vs. irrational action. Rational individuals perform cost/benefit analyses based upon facts in as much as their meaty human brain allows them to, whereas irrational individuals' behaviors are governed by unpredictable factors such as feelings and ill-conceived ideas. In the universe where actions have unpredictable consequences and balls turn into chickens, perhaps it doesn't matter what the facts are or how one goes about deciding whether or not to engage in some activity (divination, anyone?) but, where we live, rationality confers the benefit of predictability, which is a lot less insanity-inducing than trying to comprehend reality by just feeling your way through.
I propose, then, that instead of attaching labels like "Good" and "Evil" to behavior, we instead frame moral questions as "Rational" or "Irrational," and that we prefer the former to the latter.
Back to the Murderer Question
So how does all this relate back to the question of moral culpability? Instead of discussing some amorphous idea salad with multiple levels of ambiguity, let's use the new, improved system to determine if someone should be held responsible for a murder. First, the distinction between mind and body is irrational, and there are enough books and papers written debunking the Cartesian theatre/dualism that I don't believe it makes sense any longer to conceive of a person's actions as somehow separate from their "mind." The "You" that exists is a combination of many things, a significant proportion of which you are not consciously aware, so let's stop acting as if just because you claim that there is some deep impulse within you that drives you to kill, some demon that you cannot control, that you're somehow not responsible for what you've done. You are what you do, even more so than you are what you claim to be, and we have the studies to back it up. Without acknowledging this interlinking between mind and body, we get all confused about what constitutes the "self." I'd argue, however, that whether or not you were compelled by some external or internal force is irrelevant. What is important is if you acted rationally, and whether or not you are capable of acting rationally in the future. If you killed someone out of self-defense because you value your own life (a sentiment that most jurors can sympathize with), then what you did was rational. If, however, you kill because the demon in your head tells you that you must exterminate the reptoids masquerading as men, then, barring some evidence that reptilian invaders are indeed inhabiting the planet with the aim of committing nefarious Jewish scheming, you are clearly prone to irrationality and cannot be trusted to be part of society. Not a rational society, anyway.
So, SHOULD I Pay My Taxes?
With all this in mind, can we say whether paying taxes is rational or irrational? Well, I guess it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you are a man of principle, maybe you shouldn't, even when there's a gun to your head. I, on the other hand, am willing to get a little bit of blood on my hands in exchange for not going to prison forever, so I'll hand over the cash. Of course, this presumes that I even get to choose whether or not to pay (I don't, since the money is taken from me before I ever see it), but even if I did get to make that decision, I'd go ahead and write the check. Both of those options are rational, I suppose. The point is, even under duress, you are still often capable of making rational decisions based upon the information as you understand it. In any case, whether or not you are engaged in something distasteful isn't really the point. Rather, I'd say morality is synonymous with rationality, and most moral arguments are considerably more cogent if discussed in those terms.
No making loud noises, slouching, gawping, gaping, lollygagging, mouth-breathing, walking around with your mouth hanging open like some Neanderthal, blinking too much, ogling, being generally derpy, coughing, sniffling, snorting, clapping, emitting bodily [odors, sounds, or fluids], public grooming, eating [loudly, messily, excessively], staring off into space blankly, running, pushing/shoving, throwing objects, grabbing for things like a greedy shit, overly emotional displays, grinning, laughing/giggling, crying, begging, being clumsy, bragging, whining, sniveling, rambling, being intentionally confrontational, excessive vulgarity, being picky, humming/singing/whistling, using makeup/perfume, agitating dogs thereby causing them to bark, taking up too much space, consuming dairy products, leaving shopping carts in the parking lot outside of the designated shopping cart return station, touching people without permission, talking to people without permission, looking at people without permission, engaging in conversational non-sequitors, using thought-terminating cliches, over-sharing, interrupting people, talking to oneself, saying things without first thinking about them, asking pointless or inane questions, being an asshat, or anything else that makes you look dense and/or mentally challenged.
There are few people willing to admit just how little they actually know. At this point in human scientific development, it is quite apparent just how many supposed facts, which initially seemed intuitive, were outright incorrect--i.e. the Cartesian Theater, Mind-Body Duality, the Nutrition Facts on food packaging, etc. In fact, until Gettier put forth his model of knowledge as "justified true belief" in 1963, no one even knew what knowledge was. Perhaps we still don't. Not to get overly tautological but, Gettier's model is just that--a model. However, is it "Just a Model," (stated in the same smug, dismissive tone employed by Creatards whenever they bring up the Theory of "Evilution")?
A theoretical model, assuming humans don't get much smarter than they are now, will probably never be technically correct. They will always suffer some degree of wrongness, owing to oversimplification (so that feeble meatbrains can understand it), lack of information, or various methodological flaws which arise during the course of inquiry. For example, consider this: someday, the Cosmic Background Radiation will fade completely. Future civilizations, even if they develop a hypothesis akin to the Big Bang, will never have access to this evidence. What will their conclusion be when they look out into the cosmos and find an empty, cold void? That the hypothesis is incorrect?The power of a model lies in its explanatory power--how good its predictions are. One fine example is the atomic model, which is different in chemistry than in quantum mechanics. Yet, society still teaches children that atoms are electrons orbiting little balls of protons and neutrons. Why do this when everyone is aware that atoms are not, in fact, little balls? Obviously, the answer is because that model is good enough for a bunch of booger-eating high schoolers. Indeed, rather than asking whether a model is "correct", it may be more helpful to ask how useful it is, which, of course, depends partly on the context in which it is used.
A model is a cognitive tool, and there are models in every discipline. The most fundamentally predictive models, of course, are within the field of mathematics. From then on, the squishier the subjects get--i.e. how far removed from mathematics it is--the sloppier the models get. The leakier the abstractions become. At some point, the subject gets so squishy that the models barely help at all, and the thing being modeled appears to be effectively non-deterministic. The reason for this could be the obvious one--that the model is bad and the problem isn't being considered in the right way. Perhaps the number of variables involved is too great, or the behavior is too complex, to formulate a useful model.
Fortunately, the model doesn't always have to be good. Sometimes, it just needs to be good enough. This is the case with most interpersonal interactions. Although modeling a human brain (even a stupid's) is beyond any single person's capacity, a bit of slop generally doesn't affect the outcome. So long as you're better than average at understanding other people's motivations, you'll probably be better off than most.
Keep the deficiencies of modeling reality in mind, always. Doing so will remind to the fact that humanity, even now, still finds itself in the position of being unequipped to grasp the fundamentals of reality. Turns out a spongy, sad sack of cholesterol doesn't make for very good thinking. Sadly, neither does it make for very good eating.
It annoys me to no end that I can't buy any drug I want from a vending machine without a prescription, mod this body any way I see fit, or kill myself without someone trying to intervene. I'm not saying I have the right to make companies sell me those drugs, or force doctors cut bits off when they don't want to, or stop someone from suggesting that I shouldn't hang myself from a ceiling fan with an electrical cord, but there are too many laws restricting what I can do with this meat shell--with or without the aid of other people--regardless as to whether or not the activity is consensual. I don't even care how deranged or mentally ill you are. If you want to go on the internet, hire someone to kill you, and give them permission to eat your corpse, you should be able to do so. If you want to will your corpse to the National Association of Necrophiles, you should be able to do that, too. Maybe all of those things should be taboo, or frowned-upon by society, but certainly not illegal.
People argue against the mentally ill having complete bodily autonomy because they say that the person isn't really themselves, that they might look back someday and be grateful that they didn't kill themselves or whatever. But, mental illness is rarely curable, and that future person who'd have such gratitude may never exist. Their non-mentally ill self is just a hypothetical, and who gives a crap about hypotheticals? It's like anti-abortionists who claim that infanticide is wrong because you're destroying potential. Murdering babies is probably a bad thing to do, but not because of the thing's "potential," ESPECIALLY considering that the brat could grow into a value-added person, human trash, or anything in-between. The point is that dealing in possibilities can be very stupid if it means ignoring the facts right in front of your face.
Listen. "Potential" is not a thing. It does not exist. It is an abstract concept. It's like "freedom," "justice," or Plato's Ideal of a Circle: i.e. bullshit nothing. And, just like anything else hypothetical, "Future You" doesn't exist. Meanwhile, a mentally ill person in their current state is real. They are made of matter. They occupy space and time. They have some level of sentience that is measurable and quantifiable. They have agency. So what if they want to develop an opioid habit or pour bleach into their own eyes? That's their prerogative as autonomous entities.
Blah blah "but what of the children? Aren't crazies basically like children, since they lack the ability to reason properly?" First off, YOU (and everyone else) lack the ability to reason properly. You don't consider yourself akin to a child, do you? Second, kids have more mental acuity than you give them credit for and maybe you should make more of an effort to reason with them. Third, I'm not talking about children anyway. There are degrees of autonomy, everyone acknowledges that, and adults get to have more because it's, ya know, COMMON SENSE. So yeah, a crazy adult (i.e. all adults) should have more say in what they do with their own corpse than kids, which are kinda-sorta the property of their parents. It's like how I let my cats do stupid shit because my cats are, biologically-speaking, grown-ups and don't like humans running their lives. By the way, isn't it interesting how we typically let animals (especially those in the wild) have more agency than an adult human, despite the fact animals aren't even sapient, let alone rational?
Look, sometimes I wonder about the decisions made by my past self. On occasion, Past Mes has screwed Current Me over. Sometimes they have done Current Me favors. I thank them for the latter, but I don't blame them for the former. They did what made sense to them at the time. Their body was their body as much as this body is mine, and all of us deserve(d) the right to do with our own property as we see fit. If there is one in this world you should have full, unrestricted control over, it is your body. The whole notion of property is utterly meaningless. If you don't have complete control over your own body, you have nothing.
Every Angelist's cabinet should be stocked with a wide variety of laxatives, more laxatives, and internal purification aids (activated charcoal, chlorophyll tablets, digestive enzymes, and the like). Certainly, there is always the danger of chemical dependence on substances designed to irrigate one's own bowels, but trivial concepts such as "healthfulness" and "avoiding death" are under the jurisdiction of corrupt "doctors" and "nutritionists," and ergo outside the purview of things I give a damn about.
Some of the damage of laxatives can be mitigated by using more than one. Switching between mineral oil, stimulant laxatives, ballerina teas, stool softeners, osmotic bulking agents, and fiber helps to prevent dependence on any particular type.
Out of all the behaviors under the heading of over-consumption, one of the most offensive is gluttony. Gluttony is irrationality, physically manifest. Greed, sloth, and gluttony all rolled (many, many rolls, mind you) together into a fleshy billboard that advertises to the outside world the unhealthy mental state of the individual boasting the few extra-hundred pounds. Much economic activity is based upon catering to the desires of the insatiable maws of fatties and, while I cannot fault the market for catering to that demand, gluttons have created an unhealthy marketplace where non-food comestibles like donuts and chocolate bars make sense. Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer the consequences, as the government subsidizes the production of high-fructose corn syrup so that people who don't need the calories can afford to purchase soda using their EBT benefits, money torn out of the hands of the taxpayer at the point of a gun. The brilliant minds who might be developing nutritive substances are economically incentivized to produce crap instead. The general public, surrounded by insanity, becomes confused and begins to glorify gluttony, even going so far as to find BBW "real womynz" sexually appealing. Then, after destroying their bodies, fatties feel entitled to medical attention to treat their various, self-inflicted CONDISHUNZ, thereby forcing more responsible parties to pay extra for healthcare. This is to say nothing about more minor annoyances, such as having to sit next to sweaty hamplanets on public transport--we have just broached the pitted surface of the problems caused by Earth's perpetually increasing biomass.
High BMIs aren't necessarily the unpleasant aspect of gluttony. Certainly, there are consequences to carrying around a hundred extra pounds, but no more than the risk I take by never wearing a seatbelt.
Gluttony is a state of mind--it is something insatiable, entitled, a presence that creates a gravitational orbit which others cannot escape. Let's be frank--a person does not become overweight without some degree of irresponsibility. They are plagued by some emotional issue which causes them to have an addiction to food. That irrational thinking is the real vice amongst chr0nic 0vereaters.
To avoid slipping into complacency, regular fasting and purging through exercise or other means, a restrictive diet of under 1200 kcal per day (ideally, under 1000), ensures that the Angelist never finds himself consuming more than he needs. If temptation does prevail, the damage of the occasional dietary mistake can be somewhat mitigated with the simple insertion of a couple of fingers down one's throat. And, after forcibly emptying out one's system (and after the agonizing stomach cramps have faded into distant memory), nothing quite compares to the feeling of starting afresh. It is bracing, to say the least, to wake at six in the morn as the purgatives taken the previous evening have finally had an effect, such as an intense sensation of nausea. To void both one's intestines AND one's stomach at the same time is the epitome of purity and an exercise in humility.
Decluttering our innards reminds us of our commitment to remain free from vice. The Angelist must acquire immunity from the tyranny of sustenance. Thereby are we rejuvenated from the inside.
Once, The ProFit was musing about the benefits of a high-fiber diet.
The Reverend: I'm glad to see that you've finally come around to my high-fiber ways. I knew you'd eventually see reason.
The ProFit: I'm just interested in being maximally healthy. I don't have a fiber fetish like you do.
The Reverend: It isn't a fetish!
The ProFit: Anyway, fiber barely has any calories in it. I guess that's the point--that you don't digest it. What do you think would happen if you ate nothing but fiber? You'd have the healthiest butt ever.
The Reverend: I'm pretty sure there are limits as to how much you should eat.
The ProFit: Anyway, which religion was it that has a meditative practice where you focus on some body part? Like, "I have an elbow. I can feel every aspect of my elbow."
The Reverend: I don't know. Hinduism, perhaps? Are you saying I should meditate on my butt?
The ProFit: What? No. That's disgusting.
The Reverend: I thought that's where this conversation was going.
The ProFit: You and that ass-man co-worker of mine should be friends. You know, I've noticed that I can identify an ass-man pretty quickly these days. I just need to talk to someone for a few minutes and I'm like, "Yep, this person enjoys sticking their face in-between a pair of butt cheeks." There's just something about a man that gives him away. Did you know? One-third of the American population is into that, evidently. You walk into a room, look around, and one-third of the dudes in there? Ass-men. Even in this apartment, between the three of us in this living room, one of us is obsessed with butts.
The ProFit's gaze shifts over to Bishop Meow Meow.
I'm willing to bet that the same instinct that drives the cats to stick their noses in butts is the same instinct that motivates ass-men to do the same thing. I've also noticed that dogs are especially butt-obsessed, and that the categories of dog-owners and ass-men have significant overlap. I think we've uncovered a deep connection, here. Sort of like the deep connections that run between the various fields of mathematics. What do you think about that, Sisface?
The Reverend: I'm thinking about writing my next Dialogues with the ProFit.
The moral here is that there are deep connections running through many seemingly-unrelated sub fields, and that a high-fiber diet does not mean that you should eat two pounds of psyllium husks.
I was, once, in the market for behavioral health services. My encounters with mental health facilities, however, have discouraged me from ever pursuing any psychological treatment to deal with the existential ennui that comes with the territory of being a man with so much responsibility on his shoulders. Not that it matters, as I've been turned away from almost every such establishment, anyway.
The reason for my decision to abandon psychology as a means by which to achieve sanity is the awful customer service I've experienced over the past few years. I have called or emailed dozens of psychologists, and was repeatedly met with indifference or outright hostility. That is, when I wasn't entirely ignored. During one phone call where I was thoroughly interrogated by the therapist about my financial situation, she was so curt and rude that, even though I would have been able to make the co-payment, I couldn't even sputter out a response, so stunned was I by her honesty about how she couldn't do anything before she had assurance that she'd get paid (such as getting a signed letter from my mother). Then, when I finally did get in to see someone, I was treated to constant reminders about payment and liability.
I am under no delusion that psychology is anything other than a business transaction, and that's simply the reality. Yet, when one's major source of mental anguish happens to be financial instability, being refused for treatment because of one's dire economic situation is particularly disheartening.
The line I kept hearing was--why don't you "take your business elsewhere?"
I'm not sure what it is about the psychological industry that warrants such terrible customer service. Perhaps it is because patients are plentiful and, as such, psychologists don't feel compelled to court their clientele. If you are the hottest guy in the room and females are throwing themselves at you, why would you feel the need to compete for any particular woman? After all, they are a dime-a-dozen. Even if you make one angry enough to storm off in a huff, you've got plenty more to choose from. In the same way, I suspect there is significant demand for psychologists, so they've become lazy salesmen, unwilling to explain why their specific specialty is suitable for any particular individual. Or, perhaps psychologists have had their egos stroked so many times that they view their clients as suckers, a captive audience too brain-damaged to realize they are being condescended to. All I know is I haven't experienced that much greed and disdain from any other business I've frequented in recent memory.
Of course, finding pharmacological solutions to one's mental problems is a different story. You can't walk out of a psychiatrist's office sans a fistful of prescriptions--plenty of mind-altering substances to keep you placated and sane enough to hold down a job. You wouldn't want to lose your job, after all. Who else is going to pay for all those meds? I don't think this is unique to my experience. I'm pretty sure that, considering something like 20% of Americans are on psychotropic medications, this is a national trend.
I don't trust the medical-industrial complex. The "physicians" are in the pockets of big pharma, which would be fine except that the pills don't actually work. Study after study has demonstrated this to be a fact. Everything I've read or heard while researching the subject makes me certain that psychology is a pseudo-science, that doctors and shrinks are worthless rent-seekers, and only an idiot would listen to anyone whose eyes, when they look at you, turn into giant dollar-signs.
Well, eventually I managed to get an appointment with a seemingly rational individual (I read his blog to make sure he wasn't a total scumbag) who claimed to be a "cognitive therapist." But, I did some digging and it was very apparent that he didn't even have a good understanding of the fundamental axioms of the theory to which he subscribed. This the-rapist couldn't even tell me why he liked CBT over say, some other subfield. This in spite of the fact that I practically begged the man for a sales pitch. His first answer was that CBT is evidence-based. When I pried a little, however, it became clear that this was not the real reason for his specialization. The most probable scenario is that one of his professors was some kind of REBT devotee, and so those under his tutelage simply emulated him.
Every theoretical question I asked he either ignored or deflected, changing the subject back to ones he knew, like television. His numerous defensive mechanisms could have made him an interesting subject for a case study. Ultimately, the psychologist finally just admitted he picked CBT because it "appealed to him". Typical fayth-based thinking. That's a bullshit answer, and I'm not too shy to call bullshit out when I see it. After all, being a millionaire "appeals to me," but that doesn't make me rich or mean that I ought to go out and buy that golden-plated toilet seat. The reasons for believing something should reflect reality, not "feels," which so often lead people astray.
As for the rest of the session, when he wasn't making some stupid popular culture reference, offering terrible advice (why don't you just move back home with your mother, instead of trying to be an independent, responsible adult?), or telling me about his youth as a former drug-abuser, he just spewed the same empty platitudes ("these are tough economic times, but those who persevere will make it through" rubbish) I've heard a million times from average nobodies who don't have his "credentials." Even if he is an expert in psychology (and, as I have emphasized, he's not), I'm not sure why he thinks he's qualified to offer clients any kind of economic advice.
The saddest part of all this is, he's probably just average. There are better shrinks out there, and ones that are worse. What we can say is that average is pretty bad, and that doesn't give me much confidence in the profession as a whole. Why are supposed "experts" outside of the hard sciences always such walking jokes? I guess in fields where you only have subjective measurements of performance, this is what you get. Well, in my case it didn't matter how good he was, because after fifty-two minutes of fisking, he told me to go shop around some more--a polite way of telling me to eff off. I didn't take this advice of his, either. I think I've seen plenty. More than I needed to. I can't say the experience wasn't educational, but it certainly wasn't productive in regards to alleviating my mizern00.
Anyway, if you are seeking aid NOT in pill-form, you should realize that there isn't any out there. Unless, of course, you feel like paying ridiculous amounts of money to be treated with indignity, in which case the market is happy to provide. Or, you could just join the UCA. As screwed-up as I am, I'd still rather be me than any of the greedy assholes I've had to deal with lately. I'm starting to think that I'm the most well-adjusted person on this planet. That's why you should just take advice from Rev, and forget about heading to the clinic. You'll be better off for it, and I charge less.
MASCULINITY is a prerequisite of PRODUCTIVITY. Whereas the female (or feminized transvestite) concerns itself with useless trivialities, males are capable of innovation, developing the means of production, and driving the engine of PROGRESS forward. Men's capacity for creation, were it not for their single, tragic flaw (women), is nearly limitless. Men created civilization and sustained it for millennia.
Unfortunately for both men and women alike, the FEMINAZIs, encouraged by the MSM, have successfully managed to eat away at the seams of civilized society, corroding the social order like acid. Males are now depicted in the media simultaneously as a) "privileged," "oppressive" brutes, with an insatiable sexual appetite, and b) bumbling incompetents with an insatiable sexual appetite. Meanwhile, single mothers are lauded as saints, rather than whores. Worse, courts regularly reward women for breaking up families (women initiate divorce more than men), offer them full custody rights of children, and refuse to punish women who destroy men's lives with false rape allegations. The government offers social services programs to support these "strong, independent womyn who don't need no man," effectively replacing the role of the father in the family unit. Husbands are made redundant and irrelevant. How does the government do this? By taxing productive members of society. That is to say, men. Men are being forced to fund the system that seeks to oust them. No wonder men feel alienated. The glorification of the single mother is perplexing, especially considering the statistics that demonstrate just how damaging it is for children, particularly boys, to grow up in such an environment. Prisons are stuffed to the brim with the offspring of single mothers, perhaps owing to a combination of a lack of male role models and the fact that women violently abuse children more often than men do. This is contrary to what the media has to say about men--that the whole lot of them are abusers and rapists and creepy paedophiles.
If men aren't being villainized, they are made to simply disappear. Boys grow up in a world of women. They are raised by single mothers who, thanks to feminism, are encouraged to place them in childcare services, which are run entirely by women. Teachers are women. Thanks to government quotas, colleges are filled with female students. What courses to take? How about women's studies? There is, of course, no equivalent men's studies. For feminists, equality stinks too much of "oppression."
Boys are denied male role models, and then society collectively wonders why they have behavioral issues. Schools are designed to encourage collectivism and obedience--the sorts of things girls are good at, and yet social scientists are boggled when boys perform poorly in that non-intellectual, creativity-quashing landscape. The schools, desperate to get boys to sit still in class, diagnose perfectly normal children with imaginary mental disorders such as ADHD and encourage mothers to dope their children up with psychoactive drugs. Additionally, men are denied emotional support structures outside of the women in their lives-- close male friendships are viewed as "gay." Yet, we can't seem to understand why break-ups result in depression in men more than it does for females, who can always turn to their "grrlfriendz" for solace after losing a significant other.
Similarly, men have been expunged from the work environment. Male unemployment figures are much higher than women's. And, because unemployment negatively affects men more than it does women, unemployed men are more likely to commit suicide than females in similar situations. Women, who demand equal pay for less demanding jobs, whose ability to become pregnant makes them risky to hire, who file sexual harassment charges with abandon (while often getting away with sexual harassment themselves), who refuse productive manual labor in favor of easy service-sector jobs, then take all their earnings and, rather than reinvest the money, blow it on consumer goods.
This is really what feminism is all about. Wealth distributed into the hands of a woman doesn't remain there long. It quickly reenters the market. This is why most advertising is directed at women (and the children who have access to them). Resources are allocated accordingly. As long as women have money to spend, corporate entities will focus on developing the products that women will buy: cosmetics, scented candles, impractical clothes, home decor, more cosmetics (women are nothing if not vain), and the like.
Under such social pressure, men must either flee or adapt. Neither option looks good. Refugees from modern society who choose to escape are labeled "deadbeats" and are socially maligned. Those who adapt become de facto women. The "vegetarian men" of Japan are one example of the dysfunctional creature created by a society that does not value masculine qualities. In the United States, we see infantilism, materialism, perversion, and transvestitism.
Women don't really benefit from this state of affairs, either. Women have been forced to assume the role of men, roles they simply are not built to fulfill. They assume managerial roles and don a power suit but, for all their supposed "emotional intelligence," office dynamics are usually petty and passive-aggressive. Then, when they get pregnant, instead of spending time raising their children, they dump them into some prison-like government facility so that they can work, since men no longer want to incur the liability of marrying and financially supporting them. Women are manipulated into obsessing over their appearance as advertisers instill them with insecurity over their skin, hair, and body odor.
Feminism is dysfunction all around, but it is very profitable dysfunction. The following are just some of entities that flourish under the current ideological climate of cultural marxism:
The United States government
The cosmetics industry
Scented candle manufacturers
Prescription drug companies
Perhaps the sickest aspect of feminism is that those who profit most from the degradation of men are OTHER MEN. The CEOs of all those makeup companies? Men. When women do have leadership roles, they serve only as figureheads. Women simply aren't cunning enough to have created this kind of economy. They are foolish pawns who have been convinced through propaganda that feminism is equality, that equality is innately desirable, and that they are happy under the current social order. Meanwhile, a few d00ds out there are getting very, very rich by selling out their own gender.
And so we see that men's capacity for destruction is as great as its potential for creation. The Church of Angelism implores men to stop sowing the seeds of their own extirpation, and asks nothing of women as females are impossible to reason with.
With all this discussion on the relationship between masculinity and femininity, Rev would be remiss not to define his terms. As Rev is infallible, and thus by definition cannot be remiss, he will explain what these attributes mean in order to ensure we all know what we are actually talking about.
The Masculine Ideal:
The Feminine Ideal:
Once, the ProFit was driving the Reverend to his evening computer architecture class at the college. On the way, Team Sisface's conversation drifted to the topic of the fall of Western civilization.The Reverend: I must admit, I am somewhat...distracted this evening.
The ProFit: Why is that? Are you thinking of France?
The Reverend: In a sense. Specifically, I am wondering where it all went wrong. Is the Götterdämmerung of Europe inevitable?
The ProFit: My hypothesis is that the current state of affairs began with the First World War, as we discussed earlier. World War I has been called the European Tragedy by some, but truly it was a Global Tragedy.
The Reverend: Indeed. For example, were it not for WWI, the spread of Marxism in Asia would never have happened.
At least Europe can use the World Wars as a legitimate reason for its slow decline. What is America's?
The ProFit: Food is too tasty and we like buying plastic shit from China a lot. If America had been in a similar situation as Europe, Americans would at least be able to say, "Oh well, things were great, until the war," and everyone in the room would solemnly nod their heads in agreement.
The Reverend: Instead, America is a failure because: food is too tasty. Europeans are lucky in that sense, since they can claim not just a war, but a global war, as an excuse for modern culture.
The ProFit: Europe was a far more virtuous place before the Great War. Wherever the white man walked, he did so with a sense of purpose, of independence...
The Reverend: ...of Progress.
The ProFit: Yes. But not anymore.
The Reverend: It is a battle between Babylon and Barbarism.The ProFit: How so?
The Reverend: It is fanatical liberalism and degeneracy pitted against medieval savagery. Let the two groups fight it out. They deserve one another. I do not mourn Europe. I do not view the Muslim invasion as a tragedy, except perhaps in the theatrical meaning of the term.
The ProFit: I disagree, in a sense. The loss of pre-war Europe was a tragedy for mankind. But, it depends on the context. Is this a tragedy of galactic proportion? No. We are specks fighting other specks for pieces of a sphere trapped inside a gravity well.
The Reverend: I suspect, were it not for the Great War, we would be far less nihilistic, Half-Brother.
The ProFit: Technically, we would not exist. But I see your point.
The Reverend: And now--I must go to class, to be inundated with more liberal propaganda.
The ProFit: Do they do that at your school?
The Reverend: Well, my computer courses are in the art building, for whatever reason. The walls are festooned with vulgarity and feminism. But I am redundant.
The ProFit: At least the numerous immigrants at your school have to stare at the "artwork," too.
The Reverend: Ha! True. I am amused by the thought of the overly-sensitive women in h..hi..haj...head scarves turning about, only to be greeted by a series of schlong portraits cheerfully peering out at them from the walls.The ProFit: I believe the word you are seeking is, "hijab."
The Reverend: Whatever.
The ProFit: Anyway, they do deserve it. There are many out there who need to be goatsed.
The Reverend: Everyone ought to be goatsed once in their lives.
The ProFit: Yes. Perhaps there will be a few innocent casualties but, for every one person out there who does not deserve goatse, there are thousands who do. It is for the greater good. Imagine, if Anwar al-Awlaki had spent an evening in front of his computer, staring into the...er...abyss. He would have been a different man. One does not stare into the abyss and come out unchanged. Think about it.
The Reverend: It is so. It is so.
The moral here is that, if you want to prevent the fall of Western civilization, you should send goatse.cx to your granny.
All right, I'm calling a cease fire against Xtianity until the Mohammedan problem is dealt with. This is just a temporary detente, so don't get too comfortable. The fact of the matter is, much as I'm not buying their arguments, I can at least live with modern Xtian values. That is not true for IsLame.
Take away jesus, and suddenly everyone's a commie or muslim. Apparently, the only way to inoculate humans against a parasitic meme is to have them host a different parasitic meme in its place. Truthfully, I'd prefer that, if someone did need a religion, they'd pick something more abstract and become Druids or whatever. Unfortunately, such memes are not robust enough to survive amongst the big players (i.e. the Abrahamic religions). Xtianity and Islam dominate the memespace, having displaced and destroyed any other species in their wake. They truly are the fittest. Islam, however, currently has the edge against its opponent.
The memespace, for those of you who have been sleeping in class, is your brains. That level of abstraction where memes are born, reproduce, and die.
It's like if you have a dog that keeps chewing up your slippers. You can give the dog a stuffed animal to play with so that it doesn't tear apart your stuff. The annoying behavior is still there, but it has been channeled into a harmless surrogate activity. Right now, the chew toy is Xtianity.
Don't think I've forgiven you for trying to eat my brain, Xtians. Your religion is still on notice. Islam is just so much more dangerous that I'll let the whole Christ the Lich King thing go for a minute. I actually miss the days where religious k00ks just talked about the Satanic symbolism in the Procter & Gamble logo. At least you came out of that encounter with your head still attached to your torso, and no one was going to cook themselves off over it.
Get proselytizing, gnu-J00s. I'll even help you out. Send me some free Bibles (or, even better, a bunch of copies of the Book of Mormon). I will personally pass them out on your behalf and I promise I won't even cut out any of the passages I find offensive or revise the commandments to reflect The Twenty-Five Methods.
As above, so below.
Public school "education" is worthless, and everyone knows it. Like anything else touched by the sticky fingers of government, the entire institution is ill-conceived, mismanaged, and miserable.
So, why doesn't anyone care? Even if you don't have children (and if you do, shame on you for not home schooling them), the public school system still affects you in a multitude of ways. You are mandated by law to fund it, you have to live with the emotionally and mentally scarred victims that emerge from its shit-stained halls and, most likely, you had to attend one of these kiddie prisons yourself at some point.
It isn't much of a stretch to compare the average public school to a federal penitentiary. In fact, I'm having trouble thinking of even one way in which the two differ. During your sentence, your time and activities are monitored and regulated, harsh disciplines are meted out the name of "reform," big black men beat you up, cliques and gangs hold significant sway, illegal substances flow freely, information to and from the outside is restricted and, consequently, you're trapped in a little reality bubble that seems to encompass everything and extend into an indeterminate point in the future. For cHRIST's sake, from an architectural standpoint, they even LOOK the same.
Worse than all that, as bad as it is, the supposed "education" you get in public school is utter garbage. You come out of school stupider than you went in. If you only learned nothing during your stay, you're one of the lucky ones--most come out with a brain loaded with memes and disinfo. I suspect the intention behind public education is to indoctrinate everyone while they're still young and malleable, but that it doesn't always work because of the utter incompetence of the government employees in charge of the whole affair.
For public school to not be entirely terrible, it has to be voluntary. The resentment of being sent to kiddie prison is alone enough to deter anyone from even trying to learn. Moreover, some kids simply aren't educable, and putting them in the same room with a smart kid just means that the smart kid gets dumber.
Instead of teaching boring trivia (usually with some kind of pro-Americana spin), public school might actually be useful if it taught students how the world works and how to navigate within that world. Sure, literacy is important--how else are you going to read the dollar menu at McBeetus?--but also important is knowing how to manage one's finances. Ideally, lower education ought to be pragmatic. First aid, microeconomics, basic mathematics and engineering, cooking, sanitation, sexual health, driving, and critical thinking would all be fine instructional topics for proto-adults. They would graduate with important life skills and a sense of the society in which they are going to have to participate in. If you emerge from twelve or more years of "education" and have no idea about how to do anything, obviously the system has failed.
I still have nightmares about my time in lockup. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and overcome by a vague sense of unease. I'm a different man than I was before my detainment, mind forever warped by the stress of psychological abuse at the hands of the state. But, at least I can recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the rest of the kids, right?
The worst mistake a naive youth can make isn't totaling a car (even an expensive one), getting knocked up (social entitlement programs will take care of you), or even getting arrested (I hear prison food is decent). Rather, the biggest mistake a young person can make is taking out a student loan.
Student loan debt is notoriously difficult to discharge. Additionally, the interest rates are enormous, ranging from 3.4-6.8% for federal loans, and 9-11% for private loans. Declaring bankruptcy on a student loan is impossible. Yet, these predatory loans are ubiquitous, with 60% of college attendees borrowing annually. As of November 2013, student loan debt in the United States is 1.2 TRILLION dollars.
And what do you get for all this? A worthless piece of paper, and years of opportunity cost as you delay starting your career. Chances are your overspecialized liberal arts degree is not going to get you a job, or might actually hurt your chances of getting hired in some circumstances, and you'll end up working for minimum wage at TacoHut. Good luck meeting your monthly payments then.
Recommendation: Learn a real skill instead. Don't bother going to university unless it is actually necessary for the purpose of career advancement, and your employer is paying for it. Otherwise, you'll end up spending tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of dollars and years of your productive years to essentially indulge in a hobby. For most people, college is at best a frivolous waste, and at worst an economic death sentence.
If you are still considering becoming a college student, it is imperative that you follow a logical decision tree when choosing a major. The propaganda that one ought to "find their bliss" has destroyed countless careers and billions (Rev's highly-scientific estimate that he extracted from his ass) of dollars in productivity. Here are some considerations you might want to take into account whilst deciding upon which subject to focus on in college:
What do I want to get out of college? A job? An education? Fun?
What amount of funds and time am I willing to invest in college to achieve this goal?
The internal dialogue should proceed from there. For example, the question "Is the subject fun/something I am interested in?" is relevant if you can make the argument for it furthering your goal, whatever it may be. Ask yourself, "Would I go to college if the subject matter was not fun if it meant I could get a job?" "Is there a demand for graduates of whatever major I am considering?" "Is it worth spending the money to go to school if I potentially won't get a job out of it?"
Side note: Time is also factor. It is better to go sooner, rather than later, especially if you are getting a BA. Undergrads are basically still high schoolers when they first get into college, and your ability to tolerate their company will diminish as you increase in age.
Now, say you want an interesting, challenging major, preferably fun, you want to be employable, and you want to get away from people. Let us analyze a few subjects.
First Up is Marketing
Compare to Say, Communications
Fun--Check (easy, certainly)
Under ideal circumstances, college functions like any other tool--you get out exactly what you put in. If you just go and complete the coursework, but don't do anything extra, you'll be wasting your time, guaranteed. All you'll get for it is an item that gives you the stat boost of a slightly higher percent chance a potential employer will gaze at your resume. Sometimes that's all you need, but wouldn't you rather spend that money to become less of a n00b? College is a product; the point is to get the most value per Uncle Sam Funbuck™.
The real benefit of college is that it forces you into a certain mindset and gives you opportunities to explore concepts and get feedback that you might not get otherwise. Things like access to academic journals, or the ability to speak with an expert in real-time (if your professors aren't tenured jerks who refuse to lower themselves by actually meeting with their students, instead of dumping all their responsibilities on a TA), are a little hard to get when you are self-taught. Moreover, few even have the discipline for self-study.
The most important thing to remember is that most people are not buying an education when they pay their tuition fees. They are buying a social experience, or paying for the satisfaction of knowing that they've met some societal obligation the government foisted upon them. You don't NEED to go to school to be successful, or to be uber. In fact, if you go for dumb reasons, you might even come out stupider than you went in. Marketing has once again convinced everyone to purchase a product they didn't need, kind of like health insurance, diamond engagement rings, and greeting cards.
Along the lines of principles as Price's Square Root Law and the 80/20 Rule, in 2017, The ProFit elucidated a theorem even more extreme. The Infinitely Valuable Programmer Theorem, which has important implications for businesses and academic disciplines, is as follows:
"Particularly in the field of programming, one gifted individual is infinitely more valuable than any number of mediocre ones. This is because the non-gifted, even when given infinite time, can never come up with the solutions or innovative ideas that can be developed by a single talented individual."
Once, the Reverend was interviewed for a promotion.
The Reverend: My boss told me today that I don't have the key leadership quality of "presence". What the hell does that even mean? I'll tell you what it means: Nothing. Her mouth was open, and words were coming out, but she wasn't actually saying anything.
The ProFit: Don't listen to idiots. Compared to us, this person is basically an automaton. The mental chasm between us and them is so great that they are completely unrelatable.
The Reverend: I'm just getting tired of having to waste time listening to people who speak without bothering to communicate any information.
The ProFit: Just don't take anything she says personally. Look at it this way, Sisface, let's say a drooling retard walks up to you in the street, slobber dribbling down his chin. He points to you and says, "Duhh, you st00pid." You look around and, seeing no one else, reply, "Who, me?" The retard nods and says, "Yes. You are st00pid." Are you going to be offended, or are you going to say, "Right. Thanks for your opinion," before walking away and forgetting about the encounter?
The Reverend: I suppose I would ignore his comment.
The ProFit: Right. And the reverse is also true. If that retard had walked up to you and instead says, "Hey, you smart," and you, looking around and seeing no one else responded, "Who me?" and the retard said, "Yeah, you, GENIUS," would you listen to him? Do you really think that he's an authority on any matters relating to your intelligence?
The Reverend: No, he's not.
The ProFit: Now, if Haskell Curry comes up to you and exclaims, "Pardon me but you, Sir, are a fool! I do believe I witnessed a ball in the road. If you hurry, you might be able to go bounce it. Carry on now--that's a good fellow." Then maybe your feelings should be hurt a bit, because he might be right. But some low-level manager in a greeting card store isn't an expert on how to be awesome, and is therefore unqualified to assess your innate abilities.
The Reverend: That is a very cogent argument.
The ProFit: Thus endeth the lesson.
The moral here is not to listen to advice or commentary offered by individuals who don't have the credibility to give it. Most people spend their lives in a stupidity-induced stupor. To anthropomorphize these people is to credit them with rich, inner mental lives they simply do not possess.
Quotes are bullshit.
I see them everywhere, usually accompanied by a photograph of some brown person or, even worse, a woman. They generally relate to such ostensibly lofty subject matter as religion, human rights/natures, and social "responsibilities." They are meant to be thought-provoking, but only superficially so, and only when taken at face-value.
Of course, I refer to the trend of what I shall refer to as "quotentitficating." Quotentificating is when one "identifies" with a quote, or gives another human the opportunity to associate a quote with the one repeating the quotation. The most visible of these quote-connoisseurs are females in office buildings, who plaster their walls and doors with wrinkled, coffee-stained printouts that offer such non-useful wisdom as, "So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you."
Some of these ubiquitous decorations are cleverly-worded, certainly, but an aptitude for wordplay neither makes the source of the quote a philosopher, nor does it suggest the advice given is of above-average quality. Moreover, rather than inspire, such advice should put the recipient of a quote on alert, as quotentification amounts to blatant emotional manipulation. These placards and motivational posters are intended to make the uninspired philistines, such as yourself, gape in awe of such abiding wisdom, and hopefully create a mental association between Gandhi and Susan in her cubicle on the fifty-seventh floor. The formula is simple. "Me think Gandhi smart (enema fixation aside); Susan say word like Gandhi; Susan smart." No, you're all dumb, all the way down the line.
What I'd like to know is why nobody ever quotes themselves on their email signatures? Oh right, because articulating ideas for oneself is hard work, and it's so much easier to just print something off of the internet than bother to think of an impactful means by which convey fundamental world views to others. It isn't like this is serious business or anything, you're only communicating the tenets by which you (supposedly) live your life.
The practice of quotation is also often misused by individuals and organizations intent on promoting an agenda. Nutritionists, liberals, human rights advocates, and religious zealots are some examples of the quote-happy sorts that do this. They cherry-pick, selectively edit, and dredge up outdated and discredited research to emotionally appeal to their target audience, mislead and misdirect, or even outright fake support for their stupid, but lucrative, opinions.
Quotes are not an argument, they are not facts, and they are usually out of context, if they are even copied properly at all. They are basically nothing. Empty platitudes and pseudo-statistics are hardly convincing, as anyone can be quoted about anything, and whatever was said might have been wrong to begin with, or relate an observation that was anecdotal, or is too general to be meaningful. It might be misattributed, or reproduced incorrectly.
As the ProFit once said, "Proofs tend not to come in quote-form."
Granted, sometimes quotation is necessary as a means by which to reconstruct some argument. They might also be included for the purpose of documenting eye-witness accounts of events, personal experiences, and the like. Quotes used in this way, however, are always interpreted, and only within the framework of this interpretation are they in any way useful. The problem isn't necessarily the quotes themselves--they are just a tool which should be left to those trained in their use. The problem is thoughtless quotation, which is basically just simple thoughtlessness.
Stop tacking quotes everywhere, or at least quote something more interesting and utilitarian, like the user manual for your washing machine. Motivational posters and thought-terminating cliches count as quotes, by the way. Knowing at which settings to launder delicates will do the world more good than another "hang in there" poster featuring a kitten holding on for dear life as it begins to feel itself slipping from its tenuous hold on a tree branch, probably seconds away from a gruesome death. "Oh," you say, "but cats have nine lives. Cats always land on their feet!" Perhaps felines are very good at surviving falls, but are you? Your false comparisons are inane, and really, does that picture of a cat in any way alleviate the somber reality that you spend eight hours or more a day staring at those same four walls, as your internal clock slowly ticks down, bringing you ever so much closer to death, and you can't go home because your wife hates you and your kids are acting out because you're never there? Personally, seeing pointless, worthless advice on my walls makes me feel more inclined to eat a gun, not less.
Really, if it can mean anything, it probably means nothing.
The Little Old Lady and the Icon:
Once, during a brisk day in winter, a little old lady walked into a Cards R Us Emporium at the mall. The mall was covered in festive suxmas decorations for some reason (the reason being to increase spending, of course) even though it was still early in November. This old woman was looking for something. When a particularly handsome and intelligent sales associate approached her (sporting a shit-eating grin and a concerned tone-of-voice, because pretending to give a damn about the customer is an unfortunate job requirement), the little old lady asked whether or not the store carried statues of suXtian saints. Despite being horrified by the admission that this kindly old lady worshiped FALSE GODS and therefore was an infidel, the handsome sales associate walked with her to the store's disgustingly tacky FAYTH section, which was abundant with graven images. The old woman seemed confused and communicating with the geriatric proved difficult, but eventually, the handsome sales associate was able to discern her desire. The little old woman wanted to purchase a statuette of "st. joseph" to bury upside down in the yard of her dwelling, for the purposes of attracting good fortune. Evidently, one of her "friends" had suggested the practice to her, and claimed that it "really worked!" The store, despite its ample religious inventory, did not carry the item as described to the amazingly perceptive sales associate, so the little old lady left empty-handed, her equally senile husband in tow.
QUESTIONS: Which of the Five Sins did this Cards R Us customer commit? What does this situation reveal about the dangerous consequences of a religious mindset? How should the brilliant and attractive sales associate have behaved in this situation, whilst confronted with a SINner disguised as an old woman?
ANSWERS: The little old woman committed ALL of the FIVE SINS! In one brief interaction lasting less than five minutes, she demonstrated her belief in an irrational and superstitious belief system, attempted to purchase a material object that she did not really NEED, revealed that she is easily influenced by her misguided associate, attempted to shift responsibility for bringing good fortune (which isn't even a real thing) into her life to an inanimate object, and brought along her spouse with which she has engaged in carnal relations. Old age is no excuse for irrationality or SINful behavior. This woman is a threat to the moral integrity of the human race, and therefore deserving of EXCOMMUNICATION.
Religious thinking results in the violation of every single one of the FIVE Principles. Even xtians, ostensibly obsessed with sexual purity, have an institution called "marriage," which promotes unspeakable behaviors by giving individuals licensure to do so. No religion is free of irrationality and collectivism, because they propagate via memes. Religions require cognitive dissonance and groupthink. They create an addiction amongst their victims, making them dependent upon the "comfort" they feel from "knowing" that their pathetic lives have meaning, or that they can be absolved of the negative consequences of their behaviors without actually changing them. Religions also often require the expenditure of money. Even worse than that, they waste time and neural processing power which might be allocated elsewhere and therefore bring the individual closer to achieving the ONE GOAL. The loss of potential suffered by humanity is the real tragedy. Just how much time have people wasted sitting in churches? How many resources have been squandered on the unnecessary construction of elaborate temples? How much further along would humans be in disciplines which could actually prolong life rather than offer only the illusion of immortality, had the species not had the unfortunate predilection for religion? The sole comfort is that with the liberation of information provided by modern technology, many with the capacity to learn and think rationally may now do so. When the marketplace of ideas opens, there is no longer an excuse for ignorance. Those who, in the face of reality, choose to wallow like pigs in centuries-old dogma, are probably too stupid to have done anything productive with their lives to begin with.
The sales associate, while unfortunately required to prostitute himself by accepting monetary compensation in return for taking orders from a corporate entity, handled this situation excellently. Rather than attempt to talk the SINner out of SINning, he actively encouraged her to purchase an icon. He attempted to add credibility to the claim that digging a hole in one's yard and burying an obscene representation of some dead guy will ensure the acquisition of their preferred diety's favor by stating that this is a popular tradition (argumentum ad populum). Cognitive fallacies are highly effective on dummies. The sales associate did all he could to find the statue, knowing store he works in is very overpriced, especially considering how the old woman intended to use it--for burying in the ground rather than display.
Why would an Angelist not discourage (or even encourage) someone to sin? The Universe, my disciples, operates according to the law of CAUSE AND EFFECT. Additionally, we know that stupid actions have stupid consequences. Those who behave sub-optimally tend to have sub-optimal lives. Certainly, this is not always true on an individual basis, but society as a whole suffers for the irrationality of its constituents. If enough cells in a, organism begin to behave erratically and unpredictably, eventually the body will perish. So too will a society perish, because society is similar to a macroorganism in its structure and operation, and individual humans are its cells. That is, the universe has a way of giving people/societies/species what they deserve. Just as the Agorist may accept government entitlements to overburden and thereby undermine the socialist economic system in which they exist, so too may the Angelist encourage the irrationality that they detest, with the FAYTH (based upon evidence gleaned by evolutionary history, in which populations UNFIT to survive become extinct) that the universe will eventually work itself out. Through their irrationality, humans have created a self-destructive environment--the current situation in which they find themselves is unsustainable, a Malthusian Catastrophe which will eventually expunge the EVIL from this planet.
Once, the Reverend mentioned retired people to the ProFit.
The Reverend: I suppose they consider their leisure to be self-actualizing?
The ProFit: Pointless. They live pointless lives.
The Reverend: They just are doing what they want.
The ProFit: POINTLESS. All they want to do is eat as much of the world as they can before they die. And because the market caters to that desire, they can. They'd be better off just killing themselves instead of filling the world with more shit.
Most of them think of their experiences in terms of the food they eat and subsequently shit back out. Think about the way people talk about special events, and you'll see how they characterize their lives via the resources they shovel into their gaping maws. In through the mouth, out through the butthole. They look at the beauty in the world and only think about how to turn it into pl0p.
The Reverend: The cats are sort of like that.
The ProFit: Because they are simple. Most humans: also simple.
The Reverend: At least the cats are far less destructive.
The ProFit: The overconsumption of the old and stupid is why I am fond of the Soylent Mindset. Whereas old people see the world as something to consume, I am able to detach myself from finding satisfaction in life only from that which I eat, as I eat to live, rather than the reverse.
The Reverend: We instead focus on experiences. Experiences have much more permanence, as you can carry a powerful memory with you long after the pleasure of a candy bar has melted away.
The ProFit: All the better if they are experiences that you design for yourself. Purchasing a tour package is fundamentally the same as eating a candy bar.
The Reverend: So it is. So it is.
The ProFit: This is why old people can't accept death. There is so much of the world to eat, and so little time. It is especially egregious because most of them have children. Despite whatever claims they make about caring about the well-being of their offspring, they seem to have no qualms about leaving behind a barren planet for their young to endure. They're perfectly content squandering the planet's finite resources for a few fleeting moments of gratification.
The Reverend: At this rate, humans will have eaten too much of the world to ever muster enough resources to get to space. And, as we know, humanity is doomed if it does not manage to leave this gravity well.
The ProFit: In any case, I have a much healthier relationship with life and death than those people in nursing homes that spent their time on earth trying to elevate themselves through consumerism instead of making their lives permanently better though hard work. At least, I have a rational perspective on the whole affair.
The Reverend: The longer one avoids reality, the harder it hits.
The moral here is that a rational perspective is ultimately easier to make peace with than an irrational one.
The Adult Baby Hypothesis, proposed by the great Angelist ProFit Bruce Miller, is a theoretical model of an individual's level of maturity.
Visualize a spectrum. At one end is an adult baby, an infantilist who wears diapers and spends his days nestled in the large bosom of a co-dependent "mommy" figure. The adult baby sits in an adult-sized high chair, eats baby food, drinks from be-teated bottles, and plays with children's toys. This is the logical extreme of dependency and immaturity. The adult baby makes a conscious decision to remain forever a child, shunning the responsibilities (but also the rewards) of adulthood.
At the other end of the spectrum is the theoretical fully mature adult. One might imagine this person as a man who lives entirely off the grid, who hunts his own game and grows his own vegetables. He fashions his own clothes from the skins of the animals he has slain. The mature adult sports a full beard, and the only "pacifier" he's ever known has been the knowledge that he need not ever depend on anyone but himself.
According to the Adult Baby hypothesis, most people exist somewhere in-between these two extremes. There is the twenty-five-year-old liberal arts graduate still living at home, figuratively clinging to the hem of his mother's skirt, who is closer to the adult baby than the mature adult. Then there is the former computer scientist, retired at thirty-five, financially independent enough to be highly selective about which jobs he takes, if he even works at all. Not quite self-sufficient, but much closer to the hypothetical "mature adult" than the pathetic neckbeard still letting mother wash his clothes for him.
Why is it important to be a mature adult, and not an infantilist? The reason is because maturity offers one freedom from many insecurities. Dependency means that, should those one is dependent upon suddenly vanish, the adult baby parasite must quickly find another host organism or face terrible consequences. Just like a real baby, the life of an adult baby is fraught with peril. Although regressing to a child-like state may FEEL secure, the reality is exactly the reverse. There is a reason so many animals are born developed enough to take care of themselves, and that reason is that if they couldn't survive on their own, they'd be subject to predation.
An immature person is the perfect victim.
The Boy and His Pets:
There was a boy who loved animals, especially insects. One day, he found a pair of cute little American cucarachas. "Oh, how splendid!" said he, scooping them up into an empty pasta bowl. The boy watched in fascination as the two cucarachas scuttled about and groomed their antennae.
This boy may or may not have actually been the Reverend. And rather than a boy, it is possible the following events occurred when Rev was actually a grown-ass adult, whilst attending college. And before anyone says anything about keeping cucarachas as pets in empty ramen containers, it wasn't MY fault that the dorm was positively infested with the things. Kevin ran right into my room of his own free will. And they are rather cute, in a sense. Oh, and to that anonymous tipster who reported me to the RA as having dorm pets in a rather clear violation of the "no-fun policy," or whatever, you may go choke on a bag of hairy, diseased cock...roaches. That being said:
This boy had some spare pocket change. Every week, he received an allowance of one nickel, which was just enough to buy a square of chocolate. Usually, he would eat the chocolate himself, but the boy figured that the poor little cucarachas had so little to eat, such difficult lives, that the chocolate money he got from his mother would be better redistributed toward the unfortunate insects.
The insects now had food and shelter. Yet, the simple creatures never seemed quite satisfied with their lot. They certainly never thanked the boy for their meal, and instead seemed rather oblivious to his existence, except for the few times when he attempted to stick his tiny fingers in the bowl--then they would either scamper away, or bite him with their mandibles.
Nevertheless, the boy kept them. He felt a sense of responsibility toward those less fortunate than himself. He anthropomorphized them, blamed their thanklessness on the past injustices and discrimination they had suffered. He even decided to appoint some of the cucarachas to important political offices, such as "Director in Charge of Sustained National Reallocation Programs," despite their noticeable lack of qualifications.
This went on for some time, until one day the boy opened the bowl, only to find a dozen little cucarachas inside! "Oh, how splendid!" said the boy. "Now I have even more friends!" He ignored the fact that the cucarachas actually hated all humans, including him. He told all his schoolmates about the wonderful relationship he had with the cucaracha community, and beamed with pride when they all showered him with praise for his generosity.
Unfortunately, the boy still had but one nickel to spare. Sometimes he managed to scrounge up an extra few cents by soliciting the other schoolchildren, or by depriving himself of something he REALLY wanted. "I need it less than the poor cucarachas," he told himself. His school friends began to become a bit agitated with the boy, however, because they were constantly being passed over for political appointment in favor of cucarachas, and kids who attempted to exclude cucarachas from their playtime were constantly slammed with discrimination lawsuits.
With only a nickel to spare, the chocolate didn't go as far. More cucarachas were left hungry, which made them irritable. Yet, because they still had enough food to stay alive, they continued to reproduce. Every week they doubled in number. They gave off pheromones that attracted wild cucarachas from outside the bowl, which bolstered their numbers even more.
The boy did his best to feed them all, but it was no use. He knew that the cucarachas would have to learn to fend for themselves. He tried to teach them to find their own food, explaining that the chocolate rations were only a hand-up--just enough to keep them from starving to death until they could become self-sufficient. But, the cucarachas didn't like to hear this. They ignored all appeals to reason. The cucarachas preferred to live in poverty than to elevate their condition, so long as they didn't have to work for their meals. Instead, they used the boy as a scapegoat for all their troubles. Violence broke out, most of it directed at other cucaracha, but some of it was aimed at the boy.
Then, the boy went to open the bowl one afternoon and found all the cucarachas dead. They had starved to death, but not before turning to cannibalism. The boy felt guilty over having helped create this situation, and vowed never to do anything like that again.
QUESTIONS: What does the story of A Boy and His Pets teach us about the futility of charity?
ANSWERS: While the boy's efforts began with the best of intentions, ultimately the boy created more suffering by helping the cucarachas. The cucarachas reproduced until they had utilized all available resources, which preceded a population crash. Many cucarachas were born, suffered, and died because of the actions of the boy. Rather than take pity on them because of past grievances he had nothing to do with, the boy ought to have simply left them alone.
The UCA considers charity to be counter-productive, except for the purposes of immediate disaster relief (consisting of loans that are to be repaid upon resumption of normal levels of productivity). While it may improve quality of life in the short-term, in the long-term charity only serves to exacerbate societal ills. Think about that the next time someone hands you a collection plate.
Philosophical Musings - Functional vs. Nonfunctional Objects Reflect Functional vs. Dysfunctional People
As a meager attempt to fend off the mental sluggishness that accompanies the drudgery of retail, I was ruminating on the topic of "possession," while waiting on customers at the cash register. This left me somewhat distracted, and might have resulted in a few instances of giving back incorrect change, but I simply cannot allow wage-slavery to interfere with my important religious duties. The customers never seem to understand this, for some reason, and I'm constantly being rudely bombarded with insults while I'm trying to think.
Anyway, working in a retail environment really gives a man perspective. Everyone should have a salesman job at once in their lives (but only once). You will learn quite a lot about society. For one thing, most people's live suck ass, and the sole respite of the miserable is escapism. That's what you're really selling at Bath and Body Derps, by the way. You are hawking an experience, a short fiesta from boredom and dissatisfaction. Sure, you've got to move product, but oftentimes the customer just wants conversation more than anything else, and whatever it is they are buying is just the price of admission to the checkout line and its "friendly" cashiers. Smart business owners know this, which is why customer service is always priority number one. Pimping out your wage slaves means you don't have to waste time vetting your products--you can just slap price tags on turds and people will gladly fork over the cash so that, turd in hand (or mouth), they might unload their emotional problems on whoever has register duty that hour.
One of the locations which has deemed me fit for employment sells cosmetic products and body lotions; the other plies gauche novelty items. As I witness person after person come in on fetch quests, I have begun to realize just how much capital is spent annually on useless crap. The numbers are truly staggering--last year's earnings for the cosmetics corporation I mentioned was over a billion dollars. A billion dollars is a ton of fricken lotion.
Most of the products people are buying in these kinds of shops are never going to be used in anything but a decorative capacity. That, my disciples, is a lot of wasted resources. Black Friday, of course, is the most extreme display of irrational consumer behavior. It is a revolting display of herd dynamics, a twisted festival celebrating greed and debauchery. I shudder to think of it.As far as I can tell, there are three categories of objects which a person might own. They are as follows:
Obviously, this list is over-simplified for the sake of simplicity, and there is overlap between categories. As you might suspect, I don't have much to complain about non-excessive machine or tool ownership, as these item categories represent functionality. Inert objects, however, are always indicative of excessive consumption. Not only are they engineered in such a way that they cannot be used, they also have expensive costs associated with them, including the cost of ownership (which is the time, money, and cognitive overhead it takes to maintain them). The more "valuable" the item, the higher those costs, although never before have I seen the world "value" so misused as when applied to inerts. The only benefit to owning them is that inerts purchased at a sufficiently high price point are usually better at maintaining wealth than functional objects that become obsolete or decay over with use (such as cars), and can sometimes even appreciate in value over time. Still, there are better ways to store wealth--in functional objects, such as guns, that will both serve the purpose of doing work AND maintain/appreciate the initial investment costs of acquiring them.
Inert objects are purely decorative. They can't be used in a functional sense, not even in the capacity of the object they are designed to mimic. Favorite subjects of inert artisans are dining/tableware (decorative plates, spoons, glasses), icons (statuettes, triptychs), and expressionistic pieces that show the spectator "who YOU are" (portraits, paintings, cellular phone cases, novelty T-shirts). They are obvious examples of overconsumption, and each subtype of inert is rooted in some kind of moral vice. Decorative tableware that one cannot eat off of is rooted in gluttony. It says to the viewer, "I have such excessive wealth that I can afford to display it in this manner," and brings to mind images of consumption and plenty. Icons typically have religious roots. Even before civilization began, humans were crafting fertility symbols from rocks and clay. Now the figurines might take different forms--plastic snow globes, for example--but they still have symbolic value. Perhaps they are engraved with an inspirational quote or prayer. Religion and idolatry, of course, are also moral failings. The last group, expressionistic objects, are an appeal to human vanity. They are meant to inform others about the unique qualities of their owners, but are regularly, and counter-intuitively, mass-produced; that does actually tell me something about the sort of people who cover their cars in political bumper stickers, but I don't think it's the message they were trying to send.
One of the most aggravating features of inerts is that they tend to mimic tools, but lack their functionality. For example, I once broke a glass at work. Gently nudging the shelf it was displayed on caused it to tip over, whereupon the glass shattered into pieces. This glass had less durability than an eggshell. Moreover, it was emblazoned with plastic rhinestones and festooned with the word "princess" in hideous pink paint. The glass was never intended to be used as a container for anything, except maybe dust, and yet it certainly emulated a glass in some sort of Platonic Ideal kind of way. It is sometimes easy to confuse inerts and functionals, and that deceptive mimicry may lead to tragedy. And yet, inerts are amazingly popular. The word "cute" is often used as a justification for their acquisition.
When deciding how to spend one's hard-earned income, one ought to consider whether the object of their desire is a machine, a tool, or an inert. At the very least, inerts are excellent at separating suckers from their money. Are you a sucker? If the answer is yes, there's a pink wine glass out there for ya, Princess. Or there was, until I broke it.
Once, the ProFit considered purchasing a new bed.The Reverend: You want to replace your bed? Whatever for?
As a side note, The Reverend sleeps on a camping cot.
The ProFit: I think I'll get a twin-XL size foam mattress with a foldable platform. No box spring, which will be a massive size reduction. I don't really need a bed that has room for me, two prostitutes, multiple cats, meanwhile also not being long enough such that my feet hang over the end.
The Reverend: Will you sell the mattress? It is relatively new.
The ProFit: No. It's already sagging. I'll have to replace it.
The Reverend: How did that happen?
The ProFit: Never trust your local mattress salesman. I refuse to ever step foot in another mattress store.
The Reverend: They are oddly sketchy, considering the blandness of the product.
The ProFit: Just like the dinette set and end table businesses, the mattress industry is the way it is for various reasons that maximize mattress revenue. Most consumers are too stupid to punish it for pushing substandard products. In retrospect, I should have recognized the signs of a scummy business model. Now, I'm always on the lookout and their methods wouldn't work on me. I suppose $500 is a fair price to pay for an education.
Basically, I separate products into the following categories: BuyItForLife, durable goods, and consumables. Once you categorize stuff that way, optimization is quick and easy. For example, shoes are in the durable goods category, since I expect them to last five years or so. Speaking of which, I need to buy new shoes, too.
The Reverend: I prefer to buy my "durables" cheap, because I tend to break them.
The ProFit: I also buy items that could potentially be BIFL, but since I don't need one enough to justify the expense, it can be downgraded to consumable. That's a dangerous thing to do, however, since reoccurring expenses add up to far more than one-time expenses. Furniture should be BIFL, if you don't intend to be transient, as well as a lot of stuff in the kitchen.
The Reverend: By the way, where is our frying pan?
The moral here is that if one needs to use a durable cast iron skillet to fry eggs over easy because The ProFit threw the frying pan away, you can condition (season) the skillet by hard baking oil onto it.
When it cometh to property ownership, the rational man's desire doth ende when his needs are satisfied. To own only the bare minimum of material goods is genuine wealth, as the man of humble means carries few mental burdens.
Lo, it is the tragedy of modernity, of the luxurious present. The kings of old would have looked upon the poorest amongst us with envy. Humanity has more riches than it knows how to manage, the primate brain unable to comprehend the scope of riches bequeathed upon it.
What, say ye, is the misfortune that befalls the man of many things? Is it not prudent to welcome surplus during a time of plenty?
Nay! Repudiate thine acquisitions! Cast asunder thy silken robes, thy dinette sets, thy perfumed candles, for they art despicable to you. They drain thee of thy mental faculties, for they place upon thy shoulders woes more numerous than all the stars in the sky. You must parte with earnings to purchase them, finde a place to put them, keepe them free frome dust, mentally catalogue them, and invest emotionally in them.
-The Angelist Scriptures
Take a look around you. If your floor is littered with discarded clothing, your bed unmade, and the decor which decorates your room is stamped "Made in China," then chances are you are an idiot. How many of those items are decorative, or single-purpose? The more crap you have taking up space in your house/apartment/trailer, the less room you have to think. "Stuff" is more than just molecules--it's cognitive overhead. You probably have a lot of baggage attached to your things: where you bought them or who gave them to you, product specifications, where the items belong in the context of your dwelling, and the ever-present worry that someone is going to come along and take (or break) that which rightfully belongs to you.
The subsequent information overload can be debilitating. How anyone can function amidst all that distraction is beyond me, but for those with a permanent case of "popcorn brain," over-stimulation must simply seem to be the natural state of affairs. For those inundated with materia, owing to a compulsive desire to collect (hoarding), so much emotion and brain power are tied up in "stuff," they can't even function. Hoarders often neglect themselves and their children, but they can tell you that they picked up this particular only-slightly-used doggie chew toy at a flea market in 1999 for forty cents and, no, they've never owned a dog but they are sure they will find a use for it eventually... (they don't).
The odds are also good that most of your possessions are grabaaj made in foreign sweatshops for pennies. Whilst there is nothing wrong with some good, old-fashioned industriousness, the obsolescence on anything exported from the current manufacturing hubs fast approacheth. That's fine for some things, but quality goods will last you a lot longer than a similar product obtained at say, Walmart, where you'll end up having to repurchase it later when it breaks. Before you purchase anything, there is always a cost/benefit analysis that needs to happen, such that you strike some kind of compromise between expense and grade--quality where it matters, and thrift where it doesn't.
Aim to have as many possessions as you require to engage in regular activities without inconveniencing others. For example, it might be prudent to borrow a power tool from your neighbor instead of buying one yourself, provided that you use them only on rare occasions. Borrowing a fork every day, on the other hand, is basically just stealing value from other people's property.
Try selling or giving away some items that you don't want. For every pound of "stuff" you get out of your life, you'll feel a pound lighter.
Remember Method #19: A cluttered room is a cluttered mind.
Often Rev. encounters individuals who complain that they are unable to slow down. They constantly need to be doing something--their minds are racing, their feet are pacing (at least that burns a few calories).
This condition is a result of constant overstimulation. Remove the stimuli, and your ability to concentrate will gradually improve as you retrain your brain to think methodically and precisely. As you well know, a person today can't even go to a grocery store without experiencing the following:
Your brain is pretty good at ignoring information, which is why memory is so faulty. If you had to store every day's assault upon your senses, you'd quickly run out of disk space. The overall effect is still overwhelming, however.
Advertisements are particularly tricky because, though you may think that knowing the tricks makes you immune to them, statistics tell a different story. They work in the same way placebos work--effective even if you know they are a placebo. You might know that you are being marketed to, but you are still susceptible because it isn't always the moments you plan for that marketers care about. It is the impulse buy, the decision you make when you find the generic brand you typically purchase out-of-stock and you have to make do with something else.
And all this designed by marketing experts, armed with thousands of studies pertaining to cognition, to make the consumer buy more. You can practically smell their machinations as you aimlessly wander the supermarket, too overwhelmed to really think about what you're doing.
Let's say you are determined not to make decisions based upon marketing. This is also irrational. Unless you are completely self-sufficient or on the barter system, advertising can be beneficial in that it raises the potential buyer's knowledge of a product or type of product. Don't forget about the time costs, too. Spending time thinking about what tampons you want is cognitive overhead and burns both lifespan and calories. That's a pretty substantial cost, and the human brain looks for shortcuts to cut down on such costs. As such, a sense of familiarity with a brand can make or break a sale when one has only limited time and mental/physical resources to make a choice.
You need to stop thinking of yourself as a victim. This transaction requires participation from both parties.
The point being, it's complicated. Everything is complicated, even when corporations try and make decisions simple for you.
It's painful to even write about, and this has just been a few brief remarks on the typical grocery store experience. Now add more levels of complexity. Then ponder your exposure to other types of stores, religions, media, social networks, and such-and-such. With so many interested parties competing for brain space, of course you have popcorn brain. Compare to somewhere like say, Sub-Suxharen Blackfrica, where everyone is just focused on survival. Rev is absolutely not suggesting that it is better to live in primitive conditions, just that human brains are operating in environments they did not evolve in, environments riddled with supernormal stimuli. Neuroplasticity being what it is, modern trends have created individuals able to function in this new ideaspace. For many, being scatterbrained is essential to survival, especially in retail-type jobs where one is being pulled in many different directions at once.
This is why Rev espouses minimalism. You can't control the public space, but at least your private space can be relatively free of distraction. No pictures, posters, loud colors, clutter, and so forth to send your brain spinning in a dozen different directions at once. Science has revealed that, no matter what you think, humans are actually horrible multitaskers. Distributing your processing power across multiple activities just makes you suck at all of them.
Of course, even after addressing your environmental concerns, those of you afflicted with popcorn brain will still find yourself easily distracted. This just means you need to work more on teaching your brain to concentrate on one thing at a time. It is achievable, but few will try, and fewer will succeed.
Once, the ProFit was eating vegan bologna straight out of the package.
The ProFit: *Eating soy deli meat*
The Reverend: Enjoying yourself?
The ProFit: Have a slice.
The Reverend: I don't want to. It's too similar to real meat.
The ProFit: This is pretty uncanny, but the fake bologna is the most realistic soy meat I've had yet.
The Reverend: Yeah, you made me try some last time. It's disgusting. Why do you even eat such garbage?
The ProFit: It makes me think about what's important in life.
The Reverend: And what's that?
The ProFit: Computer science, obviously.
The Reverend: Bologna makes you think about computer science?
The ProFit: It reminds me of it. Eating bland and boring meals frees one from the complacency of self-gratification. Rather than get on the hedonic treadmill, my behavior is dictated by the rational conclusions I've derived from certain base axioms. In essence, I seem to exist in some kind of reality, this reality seems to be shared with external observers and, furthermore, that reality seems to be governed by consistent laws. From those axioms I can draw various conclusions about the optimal way in which to operate within said reality. Consequently, logic and science, especially computer science, can answer the questions millennia of bickering philosophers couldn't.
The Reverend: Life is already awful enough--do you really need to eat foods that make it worse?
The ProFit: I don't eat the bologna because I think life is too good; I eat it to put things in the proper perspective.
The Reverend: I did have a slice.
The ProFit: Shh. It's okay if you're not ready for this. Don't rush it. You can't just go to the store and buy the bologna, nor can you just eat one slice. Most importantly, you have to understand why you're eating it. Once you've endured the horrible drudgery of the whole package, you'll be a real man.
The Reverend: I hardly think not wanting to torture myself with deli meat means that I'm somehow less manly.
The ProFit: "Achieving happiness," wanting to "be happy," are misleading objectives. Happiness is nothing more than a state transition, and state transitions are, by definition, ephemeral.
The Reverend: But-
The ProFit: *holds up a hand* That is why I eat the bologna.
The moral here is that there are terrible consequences for attempting to permanently achieve the transient.
The Mormon in the Cage:
There is a co-worker of the ProFit that is completely deranged. All humans have problems that become evident once you get to know them, but this man takes the cake. I mean this in both a literal and in a figurative sense. The man is extraordinarily obese, pushing five-hundred pounds. He has to sit in an extra-wide, reinforced office chair in order to accommodate his girth. He is also a Mormon, complete with Majick Underwear (+1 undead resistance, -5 CHA), though from his behavior you'd be hard-pressed to believe it. While Mormons are known for their friendliness, this man is easily enraged, regularly blowing up (emotionally, not in the Jihadi "cooking himself off" way) and spewing vicious profanities to anyone who is within listening range. He has a very loud voice, so this listening range extends throughout the entire office. He is, as all Mormon males are, married. Owing to his sour demeanor, brought on by his incompetence at work, he makes up 1/3 (more, if we are going by weight) of the eponymous "Lemon Party," consisting of two other, equally obsolete, old men who are angry about the fact that the world is changing around them. The worst thing about Mormon Guy, however, is the fact that he sits in his giant chair all day and picks at the skin on his arms, which are bald from trichotillomania and covered in oozing scabs. He picks the scabs off, and then he eats them, like some crazed animal in a cage. He is trapped in a cage, though he doesn't realize it.
There is another employee who works in a nearby office. When the ProFit moved into the building, this dude pokes his head in and offers to help him with the printer, which is an unusual introduction to say the least. So, the ProFit explores the office. In this particular room, the printer is always running, spewing out reams of paper all day long. On the floor are piled thousands of sheets of paper, none of which are necessary or useful. Why is this so? The man makes a change to some document, prints it out, notices an error, makes a change to the document, prints it out, notices an error.... A career later, and the office is full of teetering stacks of useless papers that no one needs, but it certainly looks like he's been busy. He isn't alone in doing this, either. An entire workplace subculture has developed around using this printer.
So many people in offices around the world, and most of them completely, utterly insane. There are transvestites, people with anger management problems, douchebags, cliques representing various interest groups, hamplanets who spend all day eating, phonies and frauds, backstabbers, and on and on and on.
QUESTIONS: Why is the entire world so unhinged? These people are seriously broken. Years of being employees and living in modern society has caused their madness to ossify. How did this happen?
ANSWERS: The Unibomber, with his anarcho-primitive ideology, may have been on to something when he penned his manifesto the following:
"The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering...."
While forgoing the benefits of modern technology is a poor solution to the problem of office crazies, Mr. Kaczynski has a point. Humans did not evolve in environments where they were forced to "function" in such abnormal, unnatural conditions. Modern society has become a gilded cage, and everyone's movements and thoughts are restricted to a degree that would horrify non-free range chickens. But, here's the thing. These cages are of our own design and making.
Consider the Mormon gentleman. He is a prisoner in every sense. He has no control over his life. Imprisoned ideologically by religion, socially by his spouse, physically by the cramped conditions of city and suburban life, and by his own body, and all of it through his own choices. Who is to blame for this? Society gave him the opportunity to live this way, sure, but he shoved the donuts in his mouth with his own, scabby hands. He commits suicide with every Big Gulp, and everyone around him is forced to watch. Why humans have created a world that they hate, that actually drives them insane, seems to be an emergent behavior. But, it's incredibly self-destructive. There is still enough space on the planet, still enough resources and opportunities that you don't have to live like this. You only have to realize that society only handed you the shackles--you put them on. You can also take them off. Or, like Mormon Guy, you can swallow the key. And the donuts. You can distract yourself from your dissatisfaction only for so long by buying that boat (make sure to get your boating license and boater's safety card, by the way. Wouldn't want to accidentally forget to follow all the regulations.), but it doesn't actually solve your problem and make you more well-adjusted. Adding more shackles won't make you any freer, and freedom is the only thing that's going to help you. How do I know the problem is a lack of freedom? Just look at the behaviors exhibited by our case studies--Do they not remind you of zoo animals or Skinnerian experimental subjects? Animals all react similarly to being caged: learned helplessness, self-injury, repetitive behaviors (recall Printer Dude), suicide, or simply death from the failure to thrive in captive environment.
We are "oversocialized" and somehow both over- and under-stimulated. Whether consciously or not, you will instinctually attempt to escape your cage. Whether you escape by pursuing freedom by distancing yourself from society, or escape through a premature and gruesome death, is your choice.
Most humans understand the necessity of establishing and meeting goals so, naturally, most of them are absolutely terrible at it. This has to do with the fact that, while humans brains are quite effective at executing complex, multi-stage tasks, the control structures responsible for directing those efforts are a complete mess.For example, while a paedophile can become rather practiced at finding sale deals on duct tape, figuring out the best places to purchase rope, and driving windowless utility vans at night, he never really stops to wonder whether the objective of the entire operation is, perhaps, questionable. Many a male has squandered his entire life of making money and buying nice stuff because the desire to impress women was at the heart of his actions. What could he have accomplished had he set his mind to a more noble calling? Carrying out the goal is actually the easiest part of goal-setting. The more difficult problem is coming up with useful and productive goals. Most of the ones that are derived from basal urges are rather droll. The best goal to have, of course, is continual self-improvement. Most likely, you aren't worried about starving to death, so why not aim high on Maslow's hierarchy? You are what you do, so think about what kind of person you want to be and then do the things that such an individual would do. And, make sure that you actually do them. Plans are worthless unless you also take action.
Idiots rarely give much consideration to how they utilize their "free" time, although time is never, arguably, free. One should be constantly on their guard against time-wasting activities. Of all resources that the universe has bequeathed upon you, time is the most finite and also the most commonly squandered.
Even if you think you are using your time wisely by adopting a hobby, you probably aren't as productive as you think you are. There are many areas of interest out there that one can become an expert in, but very few of them actually deserve the amount of attention that it takes to become an expert.
What follows is a list of hobby types and their respective values for your consideration:
Type I: The more you learn, the better off you'll be.
Make your hobbies work for you. The more time you invest in this hobby type, the more bountiful the eventual payout.
Examples: Programming, electrical engineering, lambda calculus, engaging in research and composing papers to submit to peer-reviewed academic journals in the hard sciences, practicing melee and ranged combat.
Type II: Useful, but with diminishing returns as one inputs more time into the subject.
Do not overindulge in these. You will get a high initial payout but, eventually, you will find yourself working harder and harder for negligible gains. Works sort of like EXP-scaling.
Examples: Reading non-scientific literature, writing philosophical treatises, vaping, playing thought-provoking computer games, cooking, gardening, cleaning.
Type III: Much to know, and all of it is useless.
These are the most easily accessible hobbies, the only barrier to entry usually being a paywall. If you enjoy the pay-to-win model of many modern online games, then you'll be content with any of these.
Examples: Media such as television, music, and feature films; feminism; recreational drugs; poetry; celebrity gossip (includes political "celebrities"); MMORPGs, audio snobbery.
Gaming is one of those hobbies that has the potential to be more than a mere timesink, but usually isn't owing to the exploitation of human irrationality. In the non-human world, the nature of "play" is such that it serves to train important skills and exercise the body and mind. Lion cubs feign slaughtering one another, chasing their siblings down and biting them on the neck, because they are practicing for the killing they will have to perform in adulthood, much in the same manner that your children might play with toy guns. Outside of childhood, however, game designers have failed miserably at creating games that develop useful skills. If you master one of these games, you just get better at playing the game. There isn't any translation of the skills you used to beat the game to the skills you need to be awesome in the real world. A few examples of these are popular titles such as StarCraft and Call of Duty. Other games, such as those developed by Zynga, probably shouldn't even be called games at all. I have seen a few videos of their idea of gameplay, and those gaming environments are nothing more than a Skinner box. There is no reason that games shouldn't challenge the mind, except that an addictive, mind-dulling experience like Farmville is better at using conditioning to sucker in stupids who can't understand that their cognitive proclivities are being used against them. Meanwhile, as you sit there farming mats in WoW and cybering your Second Life "daughters," mouth agape, eyes unfocused, pants off, unable to pry yourself away from the pixelcrack rewards and the allure of reaching the next level, your brain is slowly decomposing inside your skull. You should probably feed your cat, too, and maybe do something about the fact your son has confused his toy gun with the real one that you absent-mindedly left on the kitchen counter.
Even as you read this, your time is slowly ticking away. What have you done today to make yourself more awesome? Reading this is a good start, certainly, but it is only a start. All I can do is introduce you to your potential--it is up to you to turn that potential into a better reality.
Tick, tick, tick.
Every armchair philosopher is familiar with the problem of the "brain in a vat." The problem of what constitutes reality: the physical or the perceived, is one that can be applied to the veneer of civilization in which a large number of humans choose to live, with one important difference: Unlike the oblivious brain floating in a nutritive solution, to exist in the Disney reality in which many of us find ourselves, one must actively participate in the delusion.
The bubble of civilization is thin membrane awaiting the needle. One need only peek behind the gossamer veil to see that all is not as it seems. You have been sheltered from the harsh reality in which the human species evolved--violence, brutality, starvation, terrible sights, and the smell of death--none of which you have to see because your experience of the world has been sanitized. When you are forced to exit the mass delusion, you are forever traumatized even though, for your ancestors, there was no shield against the horrors. They never had the benefit of the distractions provided by consumerism, pornography, and the media. Instead, they had to make do with religion, and knowing that death would finally bring an end to their suffering. They were right about the death bit, but not about the Paradise they thought would surely follow.
You live in a bubble of unreality. You cling to safety in any way you can to mitigate the anxieties you feel about the world. You pretend that you can escape that reality, even though there is no such escape. Sheltered by an excess of resources, you do not realize that civilization breaks down as soon as the food runs low. When that happens, all those good intentions vanish like a puff of smoke, leaving you woefully unprepared to face the challenges that soon follow. You do yourself a disservice by shielding yourself from the inevitable horrors the rest of humanity has faced (and will always face), because some day they will come upon you, too. You don't know what to do, except pretend like the problems don't exist and hope they go away.
And yet, that bleak state still exists, shut away in nursing homes and in the back rooms of strip clubs. This is the sewage reality glimpsed only in brief moments of clarity, usually while eating, shitting, or screwing--the last bastion of uniquely human experiences that expose the filthiness of the race and the universe, a twilight between the shiny advertisements and the rotten, reeking TrVth. It is the world seen by municipal sanitation workers whenever they dive neck-deep into the effluence. Humans constantly seek out this world while also denying it's existence. And so, it bubbles and froths beneath the surface. If you finally choose to see the world as it is, and not as it is presented to you, expect to be ostracized for threatening the social order. It is, after all, not that they cannot see, but that they wish not to.
Once, the ProFit was postulating about the likelihood that the universe is mostly populated with Boltzmann Brains.
The ProFit: Pop quiz! What are the three "omnis" commonly used to describe gOD?
The Reverend: Omnipotent, omnipresent, and...er, what's the word for all-knowing again?
The ProFit: Omniscient. Yeah, William Lane Craig argues that gOD is all of those things. He seems to ignore the inherent contradictions, though.
The Reverend: Clearly, he hasn't read his bible carefully enough, considering that gOD is none of those "omnis" in Genesis.
The ProFit: Look at this. He's arguing that the resurrection of Jesus is real because (1) the tomb was empty and (2) because Jesus appeared to other people. Of course, he's assuming the bible is trustworthy source material. Man, I don't know what it is with Craig. He's got this problem where he goes down this line of reasoning but misses something important in the middle. Or the beginning.
The Reverend: His statements are predicated on a lot of stupid assumptions.
The ProFit: He doesn't advocate for young earth creationism or intelligent design, though. And here he is talking about how a lot of people incorrectly think of omnipresence as gOD being spread across the universe like some kind of ether.
The Reverend: I don't think William Lane Craig needs to be talking about physics.
The ProFit: Well, some Xtians argue that gOD is a Boltzmann Brain existing in a multiverse, or something. You know what those are, right? That's where a self-aware consciousness emerges out of random fluctuations, given infinite time.
The Reverend: Sounds like one of those thought experiments that isn't meant to be taken literally, like P-zeds. Either everyone is a P-zed or no one is. That's the problem with pop sci. It gives uninformed idiots ridiculous notions about how the universe works.
The ProFit: Right. It's just a model used to test hypotheses against. If someone posits a universe where there are more Boltzmann Brains than evolved brains, then it's probably wrong.
The Reverend: It seems to me that, even given infinite time, something like a Boltzmann Brain would never emerge. At least, given the laws of physics as we understand them. I don't know.
The ProFit: I don't have the math so I can't prove this, but I think of it like this: a Boltzmann brain is in a state of very low entropy. Meanwhile, the chaos from which they are supposed to emerge is a state of extremely high entropy. I suspect there's some entropy threshold that is too low, especially on a large scale (i.e. that of a human mind), to ever come out of a high entropy state, even given infinite time. Like, a full movie is never going to come out of a screen that displays static, unless the movie is some random sequence of pixels. It's just not going to happen. Just because something is mathematically possible doesn't mean it's going to occur.
The Reverend: In any case, it's not useful to think about whether or not something like Boltzmann Brains are real. Better to just try to optimize for living in the universe as we understand it.
The moral here is that non-physicists should not be musing about the nature of reality and, in reality, most physicists probably shouldn't be doing it, either.
Once, The ProFit and The Reverend were driving back from the vet, when the topic of guns and programming came up, as it does.
The ProFit: I read an interview the other day of some west coast programmer's SHTF scenario. When he was asked about how he'd handle urban defense, he told the interviewer that, while he hates weapons, he had purchased a bow and taken a couple of classes on how to use it.
The Reverend: Are you kidding? The programmers over in Silicon Valley are remarkably out-of-touch. They really do live in an impenetrable reality bubble.
The ProFit: You know, a lot of them ascribe to that "simulated universe" hypothesis. I think they like it because there are a lot of indicators that suggest it could be the case, computationally-speaking. For example, the speed of light being fixed. There's even a team out there attempting to "hack the universe."
The Reverend: If we do exist in a simulation, I'm not sure hacking it is a very good idea.
The ProFit: Right. Let's say they're successful, try to read from memory, and the whole thing segfaults.
The Reverend: Can you read from the host machine's memory when you're in a VM?
The Reverend: It isn't like it makes much of a difference to us whether we are living in a simulation. It's our reality either way.
The ProFit: Heh, some of these guys even think that the powers that be will reinstantiate them after they die in some kind of simulated paradise, as if their virtue and programming talent will be recognized and win them a place in virtual heaven. Like, good job, you've just recreated religion.
The Reverend: Screw that. Who is anyone, even a bunch of programmers who can simulate universes, to judge me? Plus, if they're such virtuous programmers, maybe they should stop polluting the world with ads.
The ProFit: The software they write does make the universe a worse place to live, that's for sure. If anything, they'd be sent to simulated hell. But, I highly doubt anyone's actually watching, considering that the universe is such an uncaring place. If such entities do exist, they clearly don't give a crap about the suffering of the programs that exist in their simulations.
The Reverend: What a horrible idea, regardless. When I stopped believing in gOD, after getting over the initial anger of being lied to, I was so relieved. My whole life, I'd felt as if my mind was being monitored all the time, and that I should be wearing a tinfoil hat or something. Not having to self-censor your own thoughts, or worry about the junk that bubbles up to the surface from your subconscious, was a huge burden lifted off my shoulders.
The ProFit: I know what you mean, although I still moderate my own thoughts a little bit, just to ensure I'm not going down some pointless line of reasoning or wasting my time.
The Reverend: Of course. Well, I don't think I'll be adopting their ideology without some damn good evidence. It isn't like giving up religion was voluntary for me, anyway. I couldn't help it. I was just too unconvinced by the religious arguments. Likewise, voluntarily adopting a new religion would be impossible, and I'm not particularly motivated to sign up when it involves self-imposed censorship.
The ProFit: It seems leftists have recreated a lot of elements of religion, haven't they?
The Reverend: In any case, unlike the west coast elites, I can't afford to self-indulge in existential musings about whether I exist a simulation or not, since I have actual work to do.
The moral of the story is, perhaps, that all roads do lead to Rome.
There is an ugly girl. She has been told her entire life that she is beautiful and amazing and can do anything she sets her piggy, adipose-riddled little mind to. She finishes her G.E.D. and moves out of the small town in which she lives the first chance she gets. Of course, she's chosen Hollywood. With a fistful of "modeling" pictures clutched in her sausage fingers, she goes from audition to audition, failing to land a gig every time. She's hopeful, though, and this job as a waitress is totally just temporary. She's just serving organic, non-GMO artisan salads to much more beautiful people until she is "discovered." Of course, we all know this will never happen.
Ugly's mother has tried to shield her hideous crotchspawn from the truth her entire life. So, Ugly gets to California and is confused when the agencies don't want anything to do with her. What gives? Why doesn't anyone like my nudes? Mommy told me my cellulite was adorable, and that the hump in my nose adds character. Now Ugly has two options. One, she can accept her limitations and feel, all at once, a lifetime's worth of pain that her mother has been sheltering her from, thus giving her the opportunity to retool her career and make the best out of what she has. Two, Ugly can continue in a deluded haze, going from one interview to the next and never understanding why she never gets callbacks. Meanwhile, she ain't getting any younger. Chances are that, somewhere in the dark, cholesterol-encrusted recesses of her mind, she suspects the truth. Yet, living a lie she can never confront it.
QUESTIONS: Live a lie, or accept reality?
ANSWERS: You probably realize, giving that I don't give a crap about looks, that I am not talking about those supposedly unobtainable standards of beauty. If anything, the physical body is the easiest part of yourself to change (especially if you're fat). This is, of course, a metaphor. Replace "ugly" and "fat" with "stupid," and you'll understand the point of this exercise.
Convincing people that they are something they're not is damaging. Hollow compliments might temporarily provide a small boost to self-esteem, but you are hurting the recipient in the long term by perpetuating a lie. Modern culture insists on giving everyone a trophy, even the losers, when they should instead be offering trVth. Wouldn't you rather know that you suck, instead of just suspecting that you do? What can you achieve, living in constant doubt about your abilities? Encouraging mediocrity is perverse. I am sickened by this trend, truly.
Rev. will never understand the human obsession with emotion. At best, feelings are the background programs that run on one's mental hardware, which one can neither access nor turn off (brains are sort of like Microsoft Windows in that way). The best one can do is hope that sad.exe isn't actually taking up too much processing power or memory, and carry on as if it isn't there.
The post-Freudian idea that one ought to interpret every last stupid feel who wanders by is ridiculous. You don't have enough time for that, what with the bullet hell that is emotion. If you were to interpret each one, you'd quickly become overwhelmed. Many do, and spend their lives thinking about how something makes them feel at the expense of doing any living. Moreover, more touchy-feely a person is, the worse they are at empathizing with others, owing to their lack of objectivity. Those who claim to be the most "emotionally intelligent" (whatever the hell that means) are always the least--a textbook Dunning-Krueger situation. This is not to mention the largest problem with feeling your way around, which is that most emotions are entirely irrational and counter-productive to getting actual work done.
If people were honest with themselves, they'd realize that they don't know what they want, or how that makes them feel. They certainly can't know what anyone else wants or feels, either. Everyone is so confused and lost. The reason is simple, actually. A person cannot mentally model anything as complex as a human brain, even their own, and the unsophisticated simulacra they have to work with aren't up to the job of serious analysis.
Emotion isn't entirely useless but, like any tool, a skilled craftsman must know how to wield it, or risk injuring himself through his own ignorance. Here is how The Reverend utilizes emotion. First, monitor only general impressions. That is, instead of attempting to categorize every feeling, just lump them into the following two categories: Dislike, and Don't Dislike. Further complexity is not necessary for a weapon as blunt as emotion. Feels are a cudgel, not a scalpel. Then, take the event/individual/situation you would like to interpret though the emotional lens and match it with one of those categories. If being around someone generally sucks, then put them into "Dislike." If an interaction seems rewarding, or neutral, then stick it in "Don't Dislike." From there it should be obvious what to do.
Do not base your final decisions on your emotional analysis. Rationality is the correct tool for the job. The Feel Method is a quick and dirty strategy that misses more than it hits. The only real advantages of FM are its speed and the fact that primal feelings, such as fear, have access to the more primitive parts of your brain that your rational mind does not. Sometimes the fact that you're afraid is all you need to know in order to start running.
The best explanation for emotions I can come up with is that they are a mostly vestigial trait. Consider the Cosmic Background Radiation which permeates the universe. It definitely, measurably exists, is stronger in some areas than in others, and is completely unaffected by anything you do. Furthermore, it is doomed to fade from existence entirely, leaving future astronomers without any way to develop hypotheses about the event which created it, or even confirm it happened at all.
Here is a final, important point about fee fees. I am not responsible for being the arbiter of your emotions. I don't provide that service here. Some people do provide that service--within the bounds of their contractual obligations. They are called hookers, and you can find one on Backpage for less than $100 Uncle Sam Funbucks™ (so I've heard). Because emotions are inherently personal, any sensible person recognizes their feelings as their own business to sort out. I do not expect others to make any provision for accommodating my fleeting fancies, nor do I do so in return. I already have to feign interest in the lives of my classmates and coworkers in the utilitarian interest of basic self-preservation, and it is annoying. As you all know, I don't like being annoyed, and I'm certainly not going to intentionally bring irritating influences into my personal life. Rather, my compatriots are those I find inherently non-offensive and, as such, the feelings stuff works itself out. Moreover, the nature of voluntary association means that I am free to disassociate myself from anyone who sucks. So are you.
Putting aside the popular vernacular, anyone with a fourth grade vocabulary knows the difference between empathy and sympathy. Yet, I still see a lot of people claiming to be empathetic, when they're actually just sympathetic. In fact, those people are so unempathetic that they can't even understand themselves.
One thing people don't get at all is how much they rationalize. If you've ever tried to befriend someone and found them bombarding you with excuses as to why they can't meet up with you, you know what I mean. No amount of negotiation will ever get them to want to spend time with you, because they've already decided they hate your guts, even if they don't consciously realize why. Frankly, the why doesn't even matter. There's no point in negotiating with them unless you have some masochistic desire to play "Why Don't You--Yes, But." Someone who really wants to make a relationship work will go out of their way to do so instead of coming up with reasons why it can't work. Their reasons might be true or not, but you don't know and neither do they.
Here's what actually happens:
*Thus, forcing every decision, no matter how complex and multi-dimensional, into a binary choice dichotomy. This explains why there are only ever "two sides" to any issue, as in politics. There's also "Meh," or opting out of making a decision. "Meh" is disengagement of the brain, after which attention is directed toward something with more emotional appeal.
If you think you don't make decisions this way, you're wrong. It's how you make basically every purchasing decision and likely how you chose your car, your house, and your wife. Don't act like you're better than everyone and refuse to admit it. Since decision-making is hard and fatiguing to the blob of fat in your head, you'll take any mental shortcuts you can. Steps One and Two are completely automatic, although it's usually only when you have to justify your choices that Steps Three and Four come into play.
This is why you shouldn't waste your time arguing with someone's limbic system. You can do it, sometimes, but the process is sloppy because human meat is sloppy. Your model of the other person's brain doesn't even have to be 1% as complex as their actual brain in order to manipulate them. You just need the motivation to change their mind and a lot of patience.
If you have to convince someone to do something, you have to guide their emotional thinking such that they come to the conclusion to do the thing you want "by themselves," without them realizing you're actually guiding their feelings along the way. If you appeal to them through reason, they might acknowledge that your's is the correct course of action, but they won't still won't change their behavior. This is a tough skill to develop, even if you understand the mechanism. Moreover, it's a huge pain and easier to simply let them do the stupid thing.
Empathetic. Yeah, right. Honestly, humans are so pathetically easy to understand that you'd think everyone would be empathetic. But, the average-IQ moron doesn't want to spend even a few seconds trying to emulate someone's brain in their head, even if it's their own. So, why should you do it unless you absolutely have to? The answer is: you shouldn't.
Everyone has to deal with environmental pollutants. I do not refer to microplastics or nuclear waste, but instead to cancerous mental detritus that clutters and ultimately destroys the brain. These toxins originate primarily from the polluted minds of other humans, whose heads are a garbage dump of pr0n, religion, collectivism, and negativity. Any time one of these humans opens their mouth, you risk being sprayed with a toxic sludge of stupid that will permanently miswire your neurons.
In many circumstances, social interaction with such individuals is largely sterile. Workplaces, for example, generally disallow non-work-related conversation. During family gatherings, it is considered taboo to bring up politics. These time-tested practices, however, are beginning to break down, meaning that formerly safe territories are now landmines of mental toxicity. No longer is the "small talk escape hatch" sufficient to avoid those who insist on dumping noxious levels of negativity all over you--and, of course, it's contagious.
One way to avoid toxic conversation takes its inspiration from computing. Web services must often interact with non-trusted entities. This is done by setting up a communication firewall, which exposes the API but does not allow external entities to control what the servers do. Only designated communication packets are allowed through. Untrusted code is not allowed through, but certain input is permitted so that it can then be evaluated by your code. This is called a trust boundary.
The reason this is applicable to dealing with negativity is because the main pain point during person-to-person interactions is the process of attempting to emulate a crazy brain (i.e. running untrusted code in your own head). That's why you need to set up a kind of trust boundary. For example, you can set your own dial to "positive" (preferably, a little more positive than default). The brain, being lousy at operating in full-duplex, is thus prevented from entering "negativity sponge mode". Moreover, when you force an interaction in some direction (emotionally), the other person will (generally) follow along, unless they're a complete k00k (which is, of course, when you unholster your firearm).
Ever play Butt Slam!!!?
Butt Slam!!! is a DOS game from 1989. It is a two-player game, where Player One adopts the role of Greg, a nude gentleman sporting an enormous erection, and Player Two controls Fred, another naked man also apparently afflicted with priapism (and an abnormally wide ass). The two players exist in an empty void, whilst a timer counts down the seconds as Greg, wearing only a disgusting grin, seeks to fulfill his only objective: Butt Slamming!!! Fred from behind as Fred flees. When the timer runs out after one minute and forty-five seconds, the men switch roles, and now Fred is the one with the grin on his pixilated face. The player with the most Butt Slams!!! wins the game. One-hundred points per slam.
It's the perfect metaphor for life. Philosophers have spent thousands of years writing innumerable tomes on the meaning of life, but all we ever needed was Joe Martinez's simple game to explain everything. At any given point, one might be Greg, or one might be Fred, but one is definitely one or the other. Everyone is positioning themselves behind everyone to stab their fellows right in the back. Or the butt. One might Butt Slam!!! to defend one's own anal virginity, or they may Butt Slam!!! to achieve some goal, or they might simply do it for its own sake, but Butt Slam!!! they must. Butt Slam!!! is the only reality known to Greg and Fred; it is the only reality known to the rapidly dwindling population of incestuous cheetahs roaming the African savannah; the only reality known to the hares fleeing the hawks in your backyards; it is the only reality known to you wretches.
Speaking of wildlife, humans don't limit themselves to Butt Slamming!!! members of their own species. Humans will do it to just about anything: oceans, forests, endangered species, planets, their own brains. Humanity evolved, looked up into the cosmos, and realized that there's nothing that can't be rectally violated. Butt Slam!!! the world, if you like, but remember that sometimes the world Butt Slams!!! back (and in the back).
So yes, you are playing Butt Slam!!! right now, in fact, to answer to my original question. Everyone is playing Butt Slam!!! whether they like it or not, and there is no way to turn it off, so to speak. Butt Slam!!! is ubiquitous in nature just as it is in human society. Your only choice is to Butt Slam!!! or be Butt Slammed!!!
Something to think about.
I find it difficult to empathize with a crab or a jellyfish, owing to their simple programming. They are capable of running a few algorithms, and that's about it. More complex mammals, like cats, are actually running those same algorithms, just with a layer of emotionalism tacked on top. Add an internal narrative expansion pack to that, and you have a human. Still pretty simple.
Human interaction is not much different than interacting with a slug. It involves stimuli and response. If you want to make a slug do something, try poking it in the eyestalk. The eyestalk will retract. Great. Exactly what have you accomplished here? This isn't a challenge. All you have to do is press the right buttons in the right order, and you're done. Once you understand that much, the game isn't fun anymore. It's like playing DDR or modern console games. Instead of choices, I see dialogue trees and quicktime events. It's boring and unsatisfying, and the stupider the person you're talking to, the more obvious all this is; the less I want to bother playing.
Humans are resentful creatures. They obsess over what others do and, even more significantly, they obsess over what others think about them. The latter is particularly difficult to deal with. Most people carry around lifelong grudges, forever hating their ex-wives or a former coworker and wishing the object of their non-affection would just hurry up and die (not that would make them hate that person any less). It seems that people simply cannot let go of the past, no matter how destructive that line of thinking is. For example, except for the most masochistic perverts, absolutely no one likes an HOA. Yet, these freedom-hating organizations are everywhere. Why? To understand, one must know something of the mechanics of human misery. Consider this hypothetical scenario:
Think of the person you despise the most in this world. Like, that ex-roommate that used to leave dirty panties all over the floor, get shitfaced and puke in the trash can while you were trying to write an important paper, and had sheets stained with chocolate syrup from degenerate evening dalliances with a scumbag drunkard boyfriend. Not that Rev would have been in such a disagreeable situation. Rev certainly also certainly wouldn't have ended the dispute with a number of strongly-worded letters or say, arson. Anyway, visualize this disgrace to the species in your mind's eye. Now imagine that a mysterious stranger approaches you and offers you a deal. You will receive an Uncle Sam Funbuck™ while your arch nemesis receives one hundred; or, you both lose $100. Which option do you choose? I suspect many of you would pick the latter, even if you suffer along with your enemy.
This reaction isn't rational, but it is typical. Wars have been fought based on the desire to see one's hated opponent die at any cost. HOAs seem to operate according to the same principle: people see value in making others miserable, even if it means being miserable themselves. Sure, you have to live under a totalitarian regime wherein your lawn is periodically inspected to ensure the grass is exactly one inch in height, but so do your shitty neighbors who have that annoying dog and were fined last week for not curbing their pet. It's a twisted mentality and so entirely human.
The right thing to do is let your enemy benefit if you would benefit too, whether this benefit is material or emotional. Fear not that injustice has been done. In the end, justice prevails. The irrational behaviors which your ex-roommate exhibited have negative consequences, the effects of which catch up to a person in the end. Even if the individual you despise doesn't suffer personally from their actions, people like that person generally do. So what if it isn't THAT specific meatbody? There are a hundred million more just like her and, collectively, they suffer from their misdeeds. Nature, in the long-term, is just. The irrational are punished and the rational are rewarded, not individually, sure, but as a whole. Somewhere, a wrong is being righted. Not your wrong, but a wrong like yours, done to a person like you. Take the dollar, disciple, and your rationality will tip the cosmic scales of justice in favor of those who aspire to Angelism's most important goal. Of course, if you still can't let things go, there is always the duel.
Back when the concept of honor actually meant something, a slight to one's reputation could be met with a white gauntlet being thrown. Many cultures had some means of settling grudges, such as Japan with its bushido culture. In the United States, irreconcilable differences and a string of harsh letters (heh) led to the famous 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr that ended the life of a sitting vice president. The last notable American duel occurred in 1859.
The lack of gentlemanly outlets for male aggression affects the upper classes the most, especially since many terrible slights are not against the law. The lower classes, of course, can do what they've always done and duke it out behind the local tavern. Duels served a similar purpose, but the strict etiquette meant that the genteel could partake, and the ritual surrounding the practice ensured that it never got out of hand.
Unfortunately, with the ban on dueling and similar activities, respectable members of society no longer have a means by which to discharge negative feelings towards one another. What humans want is not to forgive. They need satisfaction. As such, sometimes, blood must be spilled. Once this happens, the problem is permanently solved and everyone who is still alive can move on with their lives. Dueling really ought to be made legal once again. Its mentally healthier, and who doesn't want to own a beautiful set of dueling pistols?
Isn't it just precious how your girlfriend adopted that gimpy, three-legged puppy from the shelter instead of that perfectly healthy one? Oh, that healthy puppy was euthanized, by the way. What a boon for the species. Sort of similar to how weakness in society is rewarded, isn't it? The highest aspiration of many a young person is to be as victimized and marginalized as possible. The only way to get to the bottom of the progressive stack, which is the only way you'll get "heard" in libtard culture, is to revel in your own struggles. Don't have any? That's fine--just make some up! A white, heterosexual, cisgendered, able-bodied man is just about the worst thing you can be, but a trans-racial, pansexual, disabled tranny (bonus points if you are also trans-age and trans-species)--well, you must be oppressed! Up the corporate ladder you go! Time to book that speaking event at the Atheist+ conference in Portland!
What no one seems to realize is that tolerating weakness is not the same as celebrating it. Equality of opportunity, not result, doth a healthy society make. If ancient sheepgoat herders had today's mentality, we'd be stuck with scrawny, hairless flocks of useless freaks. This is what humanity is explicitly advocating for, with everyone trying to show one another up by claiming to be the most underachieving underachiever in the community. A pathetic herd, indeed.
Somehow the victim-complex has replaced societal ideals of strength and virtue. The Western World rewards degeneracy, to the detriment of the much-hated "racist, imperialist rape culture." The liberals are free to do this, of course, but I hope they aren't surprised when they are overrun by Islamists, who are boasting an actual rape culture. For all its many, many faults, Islam still values strength. It views the West as weak and vulnerable, which is true, and that's why they are so successful in infiltrating, terrorizing, and invading it. Again. Rome falls, Islamok00ks take over. Nothing is new in the world. The strong will always dominate the weak, you see. This is how nature works, always has worked, and always will work.
The only hope for the West will be a correction. Perhaps even an over-correction, considering the scale of the problem. Just like how MRAs sprang up in opposition to third-wave tumblr feminism, maybe a brief stint in a fascist dictatorship will remind Europeans of how nice they had it. The only way to win against the Muslims might be to out-radical the radicals. Trying to convey reason and logic to everyone certainly doesn't seem to be working.
No matter what happens, society will get what it deserves. While individuals might not, the collective always does. All of you disabled otherkins with self-diagnosed mental illnesses are nothing more than useful idiots for a few white men who are getting very rich off of your irrational need to be special snowflakes. This can't last forever, and the consequences are going to be amazing to watch.
In the meantime, I am going to forget about the fact that I'm in a S.T.E.M. field (unlike all those women's studies feminists) only because of my privilege as a "minority" (lol--the real minority is whitey) female--thanks, quotas!--and whine some more about how disadvantaged I am because the govvies cut my food stamps. Oh wait, no I'm not, because I'm actually fortunate to have received the opportunities I have, AND I'm not a pathetic, entitled piece of shit who doesn't realize that I should like, you know, try and earn a living.
I do miss that monthly 200 USFB in government blood money, though. Two-hundred smackaroonis buys a lot of chewing gum. Unlike most people, I actually know and appreciate the value of a dollar, as inflated as the currency is. Of course, if I'm ever put in charge of the EBT program, the only thing you freeloaders will be allowed to buy is Soylent.
Once, the ProFit was at the gas station filling up on petrochemicals, when the topic of software project management arose.
The Reverend: Well, despite the fact I took a course in software project management, I'm no project manager, so I wouldn't know how to get people to do what they need to do.
The ProFit: I've found that, at least in the situation where you're in charge of a group of more intelligent people, it helps to be an opaque authority figure. That is, you make a decision and, if anyone asks why, you give them a convoluted explanation until they simply don't want to hear anymore. After about fifteen minutes, after their eyes glaze over, you say, "Anyway, to summarize..." and present your decision for their approval. By then, they'll be so tired of the subject that they'll just be glad you did all the complicated thinking for them.
The Reverend: It's true. Humans typically don't much like thinking. Can you pop open the gas cover?
The ProFit: Of course, I would never use that tactic in the military. In those instances, they just want to hear the decision. "Stand here. Point your bayonets that way." No subordinate ever questions the orders they're given. You often hear about the plight of the poor, pitiable infantryman who gets shot for nothing based on some commander's order. I don't feel bad for him. He wanted to be there. The truth is, people would rather stand and die rather than think--that's how bad it is. It always used to bother me how the corporal never comes up with a plan that saves the day. You see that in movies, where the corporal is sitting at the computer and says something like, "Hey, I think I have a plan. We just need to-" and the General says "Everyone, listen to him!" That never happens in real life, ever. The hierarchical structures in place are too rigid, and it's because all parties involved want it that way. Just look at the Pentagon, supposedly the brains of the operation, where people come in to work and plan on not thinking for the whole day.
The Reverend: This is the part where you relate real world problems back to computer science, isn't it?
The ProFit: As a matter of fact, you could model collectives like these as a kind of software system. There are centralized and distributed systems, as you know, but distributed thinking is impossible in a collective. Centralized systems, like the military, are dangerous because they have a single point of failure. Moreover, the leaf nodes can't communicate directly with other leaf nodes on their level without first going through nodes higher on the hierarchy. So, cross-branch communication almost never happens. That's why, for example, the Air Force has an air force, the Army has an air force, and yes, the Navy has an air force. I, on the other hand, quite like distributed systems, and all the benefits thereof, such as having the ability to leverage processing power and filter out non-functioning nodes.
The Reverend: So, what's your solution?
The ProFit: I'm just speculating, but I figure that there should be a way to model humans with computers by adding constraints and limitations, such as a cap on processing power, to each node. Then one could iterate over different architectures to determine which one is best. I'm sure there's also a way to improve communication by using the Game Theory concept of a Schelling point, which is solution that replaces the direct communication between those nodes. Maybe you could find some way to dynamically generate these (perhaps as some kind of social convention) on an as-needed basis in multi-agent systems. For example, if you told a group of people to meet in New York and nothing else, they could just go to a bunch of random places, but chances are they'd mostly all head over to Grand Central Station. This is a type of Schelling point. That's S-C-H-E-L-L-I-N-G, by the way, since you're writing this down on that napkin.
The Reverend: I'm writing a Dialogues with the ProFit.
The ProFit: It's more like a monologue, really.
The Reverend: I don't have much to contribute to this conversation. Plus, my job is just to ensure the dialogue moves along. It's kind of like how when you listen to a chatty girl talk and you need to let her know that you're listening, but you don't have anything to say, so you just kinda repeat the last few words of every sentence to make it look like you're following along. That's what Rev does in the Dialogues.
The ProFit: So in this scenario, I'm the dimwitted, blabbering woman?
The Reverend: That is exactly the wrong takeaway from what I said.
The ProFIt: The gas cap needs to click when you screw it in.
The Reverend: I know that.
The ProFit: Otherwise the gas will leak out.
The Reverend: I knoooow.
The ProFit: ...And then the car will explode.
The Reverend: I get it. I know how to operate a gas cap.
The ProFit: Do it right! Why are you like this?!
The moral here is that operating a gas cap properly can be hard.
Every election day, many tax chattel wait in long lines (government-issued ID tags in hand), to exercise their "civic responsibilities." Task complete, they are rewarded with a shiny new sticker to shove under the noses of those of us who felt like doing something productive with their morning instead.
Everyone loses their shit when they hear that candidates are pre-selected by the government in other countries, but it happens here too. Potential electees are heavily vetted by their political parties and interest groups. Only a select few, and oddly similar, individuals can possibly end up on the ballot. Choosing between them is like choosing between vanilla ice cream, and more vanilla ice cream. So much for "disinterested" government. Even if political beauty pageant contestants don't seem similar before they take up office, the job has a peculiar way of equalizing the winners. Either everyone who assumes political office gets a brain transplant, or it takes a certain kind of sociopath to pursue a career in politics.
Third party candidates are a walking joke. Everyone is aware of this, and yet some continue to vote for them as if that makes some kind of statement. You might as well be one of those jokers writing in fictional characters which, in a sense, the candidate personas are. Ultimately, it doesn't matter who you pick, as the public vote is rigged anyway, and the electoral college is what really counts (see 2000 election). First-past-the-post races mean that candidates without majority support can easily emerge victorious, sometimes as a direct result of third party idiots splitting the vote. I'm not surprised. Spectator sports fans don't seem bothered by the knowledge that the competitions are rigged, and apparently voters aren't either.
Even the idea of populist democracy, which we don't actually have, is insane. Absurdist. The low masses aren't actually good at choosing their own leaders (even though they ultimately get the ones they deserve). If I had a nickel for every time I overheard someone tell me their voting criteria consisted of choosing a candidate based upon their party, gender, or even something as silly as the sound of their name (all those named "Buddy" or "Christ" rejoice), I'd be able to afford the $2350 (as of September 2014) it costs to renounce one's United States citizenship (be sure you've filled out form DS-4079 prior to arriving for your appointment at the consulate, looked over forms DS-4080, 4081, 4082 and 4083, and filed your income tax return before you leave).
I have never voted. I haven't even registered, and I do not plan to register at any time in the future.
Government is even more illegitimate than the fatherless bastard that I am, and voting is far too much like banging one's head against the wall--your head will give before the wall does. The social contract theory is invalid; I don't remember agreeing to join any collective and, even if I had, the U.S. government has violated my snivel rights so many times that, if this were a business arrangement, I'd have cause to sue for breach of contract AND collect damages.
Of course, you can vote if you want. I suggest voting for Donald Trump because it's funny and I want to see a gold-plated White House. Not just in 2016, but forever. Always vote for Trump. The ballot you cast, mathematically speaking, literally does not count, but its a harmless enough activity that doesn't even require you low-information idiots to wear a helmet. And stickers are pretty sweet--if you're twelve.
Welcome my dear friends, and let me regale
You of a particularly disheartening, sobering tale,
Wherein I expose the Cultural Marxist degeneration
Of the educational system across our great nation.
For, you see, if you're cursed with an ivory complexion,
You're expected to be well-versed in foreign literary tradition;
To be able to recount histories from every prominent nation,
Which I'll never see, thanks to the Transportation Security Administration;
To be familiar with the mythos of cultures across the ocean blue;
To know of Gandhi and Rama; the Vedas and Laws of Manu.
But friends, know this--the protected classes are under no such obligation,
And to point out this hypocrisy is to overstep your station.
To drive this point in, I shall recount a story,
Which happened to yours truly, which I saw personally.
This occurred at a certain university, it doesn't matter which.
They're all exactly the same--all do regressives "enrich."
A nationalized professor who's lived in America as long as I've been alive,
Was reading directly off lecture slides, which he obviously plagiarized
Off the Internet (I guess writing your own is too much work;
The honor code only applies to "privileged" students' homework),
When he came across a poem he didn't recognize.
The fact the poem didn't rhyme, to him, just didn't jive.
He announced to a class of students who don't give a whit,
About anything other than their iPhones, "This isn't a poem, is it?"
My jaw dropped, for featured on the screen was a quote,
That a prominent English writer had wrote.
It was a stanza recognizable to any white, Western ear--
An excerpt from King John, by one William Shakespeare.
And so, friends (though I don't think I have any),
I can say only these words of comfort: #Trump2020.
Once, the Reverend accompanied the ProFit on a walk to the local grocery store, all the while discussing the current political climate.
The ProFit: Critics of anarcho-capitalism often say, "You don't have an answer for this specific thing, therefore your argument is invalid." Of course I don't have a solution available offhand for any specific situation. The whole point of anarcho-capitalism is that the markets will work themselves out.
The Reverend: I'm not being critical of it. I don't disagree with you on the subject of anarcho-capitalism. It is by far the most sensible approach to managing human society that I have come across, not that I have fully explored them all. I am just skeptical from a pragmatic standpoint.
The ProFit: Just because we can't live up to the Platonic ideal of a free society doesn't mean that we can't hold it up as a standard for which to strive. You need to maintain a balance between optimism and pragmatism to succeed in life. If you look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I can do anything (except maybe for this list of things that are completely unrealistic)," the chances of you succeeding are much better than if you're a complete pessimist.
The Reverend: I suppose I have always been rather pessimistic.
The ProFit: In any case, if there was a button that would reset the world and allow humanity to have a chance at living in a voluntarist society, I would press it without hesitation. I'd at least be willing to try.
The Reverend: As would I, although I'd press just about any hypothetical world-changing button. Even the one that blows up the planet.
The ProFit: Personally, I think there are any number of buttons that, if pressed, could change the world for the better. Trying to reform society by encouraging voluntarism and upholding the Non-Aggression Principle is doing it the hard way. We could also fix these problems by simply raising the average IQ to 125-130.
But, such a restructuring will never occur in our lifetimes. In fact, from here things are going to get infinitely worse.
Disaster will set upon our world. Famine, plague, great floods, drought. The seas will rise. In the West, a child will be born.
The Reverend: Possibly an orange child with a toupee and a MAGA hat?
The ProFit: Chaos will reign. I foresee a continent covered completely in ice--in Antarctica. Somewhere, a man will go into work and accidentally leave his headlights on.
The Reverend: Half-brother, what are you doing?
The ProFit: I'm prophesizing. I figured since I already made one vague prediction about the future, I might as well make some more.
The Reverend: Oh.
The ProFit: A company that specializes in dairy products will have financial trouble. The dairy products! Not the dairyyy!
The Reverend: You can't even drink milk, Nostradamus. C'mon. Let's just buy these oranges and get the hell outta here.
The moral of the story is that optimism, tempered by a healthy dose of realism, is how successful people like The ProFit become successful.
The sort of stupid comments that people make without even thinking about just how dumb they sound to reasonable people is surreal. Occasionally, I am unfortunate enough to bear witness to comments so ridiculous they make me wish I could floss my brain just to get the bits of stupid out. Once someone told me offhandedly that she "doesn't believe in vaccinations." I had to let that statement sink in for a moment before I was able to process it--I had never actually met an anti-vaxxer in real life before. I briefly considered correcting her. After all, there really isn't anything to "believe" in when it comes to vaccinations. A lot of modern medicine is bullshit, sure, but the usefulness of vaccines is a fact, and any arguments to the contrary have been thoroughly discredited. Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying that you SHOULD necessarily vaccinate. Just that you're a scientific illiterate if you don't think they're effective.
I quickly dismissed the idea of educating her, however, and not just because she happened to be my boss and had the ability to fire me, and I have no other job prospects.
First of all, someone that far removed from reality has no hope of returning to the real world anyway. But, more importantly, I wouldn't be doing society any favors by advocating for the mentally under-performing to get vaccinated. Instead, maybe enough people with poor risk assessment skills and lacking reasoning abilities will "opt out" of disease-management strategies and get wiped out when the inevitable plague rolls around. The chlorination of the gene pool may now commence.
In fact, I support all the delusional, conspiracy nut movements: global warming denialism, water fluoridation k00kery, religious fundamentalism, audio snobbery, you name it. The politicization of scientific issues makes things all the better--now dullard collectivists have to choose a side based on their stated affiliations and don't even have the opportunity to (however poorly) research anything for themselves. Their thoughts are spoon-fed to them, pre-chewed and easy to swallow. Why bother letting collectivists form their own conclusions when those conclusions are going to be garbage anyway? It's like pre-screening for cancer--the earlier you catch the "dumb" disease and wipe it out, the better. Unfortunately for the patient, the treatment is euthanasia. What k00ks do not realize is that the world invariably punishes maladaptive stupidity. Not in my lifetime, perhaps, but things will even out in the end, rest assured. I sleep easy at night knowing that in a battle against the laws of the universe, the universe always wins. While I may forever float adrift in a sea of misery, at least I might be comforted by the fact that, despite what everyone seems to think, the laws of nature still apply.
That many seem to think their perception of reality matters at all is very curious indeed. I, not being an easily-persuaded simpleton, have never been able to master the skill of just "believing" or "not believing" in something. My opinions about the world around me are out of my control, except in the sense I that can choose what kind of information I expose myself to. This can be another potential failure point in the system, of course. Many choose to remain willfully ignorant not by ignoring evidence, but by exposing themselves only to shoddy research and media echo-chambers. If you dine only at the turd sandwich hut, you'll never realize that a whole vast world of other culinary options exists, especially if you choose to avert your eyes (and nose) to any sensory information that might sway you to frequent another eating establishment.
A simple thought experiment will demonstrate why wishing something to be does not make it so. For example, I really wish there was a delicious gold bar in my pocket right now. Hell, I'll even try to believe it and....Nope. No gold bar. Not even the perception of a gold bar. I am incapable of believing in that which is not supported by the weight of evidence, and for good reason. If I were able to influence my beliefs in such a way, I'd be some kind of deranged, rambling lunatic with a shitty blog.
As Rev is a very busy unemployed and unemployable individual (no one likes a gloom cookie), sometimes he must make blanket assertions that, whilst perhaps not always true (though we really are talking fractions of a percent here), are true often enough that it behooves one to simply presume these things to always be the case. Rev will now impart his bountiful wisdom to his devoted congregants in the interest of virtue and public health.
1. Everyone wants something from you.
You are constantly being manipulated by individuals who wish to part a fool from his money. Study sales and marketing techniques carefully (supernormal stimuli, reciprocity principle, etc.) so that you know when you are being manipulated (hint: all the time). No, the friendly salesperson doesn't want to be your friend. They want to sell you something. Why do so many people fall for this? Are you really that stupid?
If it isn't money they want, it is time. Rev's time is too valuable to spend it playing retard roundup with various stereotypes. See the article "Don't be Beguiled into Relationships" for more information.
K00ks are especially frustrating, as they demand both your time and money, and they also want to do your thinking for you. That is, of course, unless the k00k in question is one of the Three Nephites, in which case he just wants to help you change your flat tire. The biological imperatives of their parasitic memes compel memehosts to infect others with their ideas. Memes exist at the top of the food chain, and your brain is their natural prey.
1.5. If you are a woman, every man is trying to get into your panties. If you are a man, every woman is trying to get into your pants (specifically your pants pocket--the back one, where you keep your wallet).
Fornication is one of the most despicable sins in Angelism. Bestial lusts can turn seemingly rational, level-headed individuals into slavering dogs. For those of you unfortunate enough to be afflicted with sexuality, Rev nonregretfully asks you to kindly excommunicate yourselves and pay the Church Exit Fee of $2000. Unfortunately for you, sexual temptation is not a vice individuals can overcome, and allosexuals are doomed to a primal existence of slaking their bodily desires through acts that Rev is too disgusted by to relate in this place of worship.
Males are particularly prone to being consumed by desire, and will resort to sexual assault to force a woman to give of herself. One must keep constant guard of their loins, because it only takes a moment and a surge of male hormones to transform a virtuous female into damaged goods. Despite the reassurances offered by the MSM, female victims of sexual assault often provoke male aggression through their own negligence. Blaming men, which are little more than "lust elementals," is pointless. Females must accept responsibility for their actions (traveling unarmed and unescorted, flirting, or being alone with a male is asking for defilement) because, in the end, everyone must be accountable for their own personal safety. As the expression goes, whether the petal falls on the thorn, or the thorn falls on the petal, it is the petal that is torn. Even so, chances are that you will be molested, and permanently scarred emotionally, at some point no matter what you do.
For men, the sexual landscape is a minefield of moneysinks and potential prison sentences. Materialistic females willing to trade sexual favors for cash and goods (i.e. prostitution) can ruin you financially. False rape accusations and lies pertaining to the parentage of "your" children can ruin your life. Rev finds the plight of the male particularly horrible, as men have much to offer the world, if not through intellect then through manual labor (until these fields are entirely automated), but are, like the Greek playwrights noted, hindered by one tragic flaw. This flaw is not hubris, however, but lust.
2. Everything in public spaces has been urinated on at some point.
Don't. Touch. Anything. It may have been a dog or a territorial tomcat, but chances are that fire hydrant, wall, drinking fountain, or homeless person has been peed on by someone--probably by another homeless person. If you have to sit on public transport, it is a good idea to stay awake, because anything that is stationary for longer than a few seconds is likely to get a piss bath, and no one likes to wake up on a subway to a grungy, fleabitten hippie pissing on their shoes. You should probably remove those shoes before you walk around in your house, by the way, unless you fancy tracking pee into the kitchen. Of course, private spaces are generally covered in aerosol pee, too, owing to the violent mechanical actions of modern toilets, so maybe close the lid when you flush.
This assumption is useful because, even if the surface wasn't peed on, it might have been bled on, drooled on, pooped on, or irradiated, and you should train yourself to avoid touching surfaces covered in herpes and/or space AIDS, ionized electrons, or memes.
Corollary 2A: No one washes their hands, especially in the food industry.
3. Everyone is dumber than me.
Since Rev is the only one who actually reads any of this Hudibrastic versification, and Rev is smarter than everyone, this one self-evident.
Once, the Reverend was discussing the stagnation of the theatrical arts with the ProFit at their favorite Indian restaurant.
The ProFit: Why is theatre trapped in the past? Where are all the plays set in space?
The Reverend: It is pathetic that theatre seems not to have advanced any in the last few hundred years. Still the same few plays being performed endlessly. The few modern examples are, always, transient garbage. There's been no progress at all in theatre, opera, or any of the arts, really.
The ProFit: Yet there are more theatre majors than ever.
The Reverend: The opportunity to rise to the top has never been easier, owing to the Internet, and yet these fields are stagnant. Almost makes me wonder if art isn't an inherently flawed concept.
The ProFit: There are also more poets than ever, and no limit to the audience they can reach. Anyone with a LiveJournal could become the next great poet. So, where is he? It isn't as if there are any hidden poets. I've said it before, but back when the Internet first started becoming popular, there was a lot we didn't know. It could have been the case that, with so many poets posting online, we'd have excellent poetry by now. This does not seem to be the case, however. We know a lot about what is plausible now, thanks to the Internet. For example, despite what the Discovery Channel told me as a kid, there are no aliens, no Abominable Snowmen, and no Bigfoot.
The Reverend: Everyone has a camera so, if things like that existed, it would have definitely been caught on film.
The ProFit: I remember all those crazy old guys claiming to have seen Bigfoot. That sort of story isn't credible, now. The first thing someone would ask him is, "Why didn't you take a picture of it?" That IS one thing humans are willing to do: serve as a giant, compound eye for the collective. What is the first thing that occurs to everyone when a disaster happens? It's to take pictures and video of it from every conceivable angle.
The Reverend: Ew, now there's a mental image for you.
The ProFit: Yep, a giant, compound eye. Always watching. You can get The Eye to look at you, if you want. It's quite simple. Just do your impersonation of the Human Fly or something.
The Reverend: The Human Fly?
The ProFit: Yeah. Like, take your clothes off, attach some suction cups to your hands and feet, and climb up the Washington Monument.
At this point, the Reverend collapsed into a fit of laughter and was unable to continue the conversation.
The moral here is that you shouldn't drink fluid whilst listening to anything the ProFit says, unless you want to risk choking on it.
The world is a giant cosplay convention, and all its men and women merely cosplayers. Cosplay, short for "costume play," is the act of garbing oneself in impractical attire inspired by characters from a fictional series, usually anime, and going about your day making an ass of yourself. In addition to providing a glomping venue for the fat "zomg kawaiiiiii" chicks and the waify, pale-faced otakus lugging around cardboard buster swords or katanas, your local convention center might also play host to the occasional FurCon or employment faire. Whether the participants are wearing fursuits and communicating through growling noises, or sporting business casual and shit-eating grins, the common theme here is that they are all people masquerading as something they're not.
Picture this, if you will. You are at a Whoreganic food mart in the middle of some urban environment. The store has that faux rural decor, complete with wicker baskets (made in China, of course) with which to hold the organic tomatoes, and 100% post-consumer material reusable shopping bags. As all-natural as the ecologically-aware yuppies who frequent that store would like to imagine themselves to be, most would be aghast at the sights and (especially) the smells of a real farm. The "authentic" experience they seek is just a sanitized version, some Platonic ideal of ruralness, free of the dirt, manure, and blood that accompany an agrarian lifestyle.
And what of the denizens of rural areas? People who live the townie lives that the suburban imitate with their hemp necklaces and dreadlocks? The local farmer's market is oddly abandoned. No, townies prefer to do their shopping at Walmart dressed, I might add, in full camo. These simple folk think of themselves as consummate outdoors men. They grow out their beards in imitation of the rugged-looking rednecks they've seen featured on reality television. Of course, they are just as deluded as the yuppies. A mountain man wouldn't get his meat from the deli counter, or wear Real Tree anything, or buy hunting licenses (and don't forget the regulation orange vest that makes the camo totally pointless). The fact is, townie trogs just go home to their television sets like everyone else.
You'll see that nearly everyone participates in this kind of play-acting. Corporate douchebags don a suit and play "mature grown-up," middle-class men play upper class by buying watches and cars beyond what they can actually afford, ugly women play pretty by caking layers of makeup onto their dumb faces. All this posturing is, of course, very expensive. Sure, in this market you can easily buy an identity instead of thinking up one of your own, but crotchless fursuits don't come cheap. If you want to be a cosplayer, expect to spend a lot of money on your hobby over the course of your lifetime.
Why is all this pageantry considered socially acceptable, when it what it really means is that you're a liar and a hypocrite? To anyone with a brain, it's obvious you're faking it. As for the opinions of those who are too stupid to see through the charade, who cares what they think, anyway?
Human Taxa: Homo "sapiens" Kinds, Subspecies (SSP.), and Strains*
Data Collection and Classification: ProFit Bruce C. Miller and The Reverend, BA, NRA, FWS
* This classification system is based loosely on Linnaean methodology, as the researchers did not believe a phylogenetic tree would accurately reflect human taxonomy at the subspecies level.
** This table is not all inclusive, strains are provided to serve as examples of subspecies types
The ProFit, in The Holy Records, states, "Humans will naturally seize power when they sense weakness."
Remember the first Holy Assumption, which can be summarized as such: Everyone wants to fuck you, in every sense of the phrase. Stupids (particularly ideologues) are dangerous, even if you are not vulnerable to k00kscr33d. K00kery, in particular, attracts all sorts of unpredictable, nefarious, deranged individuals, and also attracts their victims. Victims who will, given the opportunity, often victimize others. Simply put: Hurt people hurt people.
The pathological sorts, sick manipulators who attempt to make others question reality with the intention of replacing it with their own world view, are spectacular to watch. Their thoughts wriggle, serpent-like, throughout a conversation, seeking out your vulnerable points and striking there. They try and make you concede something to them, anything. No matter is too trivial. You or I, being intellectually honest, have no problem making statements such as, "There is a non-zero possibility that what you say is true, but it isn't likely," or even, "I don't know." The k00k manipulators will count this as a point in their favor, cutting you off and ranting about their favorite memeplex, complete with low- (or no) quality evidence and anecdotal stories replete with emotional appeals. The point of all this is to put you off balance and potentially open you up to their negative influence. Of course, if you are a skeptic, all of this sophistry, lying, and "intellectual gas lighting" simply looks like a semi-literate ape flailing about ineffectually, struggling even to remain coherent long enough to string together an argument. It's almost funny, until your inability to be convinced makes them angry.
When mental violence has failed, they lash out using physical violence. While you are sitting there, considering their points, your situational awareness has dulled. It is difficult to think through a k00k's insane talking points and be mindful of one's personal safety at the same time. You are now vulnerable to attack.
When you are caught off-guard, you've already lost.
The only solution to this is to avoid crazies and stupids. Never let your guard down, never trust anyone, and have a weapon on you at all times. A weapon that you have trained with enough that using it is instinctual. And yes, you have to be willing to kill someone to defend yourself.
Things can go to shit real fast. One second, everything's great, and the next you're about to die. Once you face the possibility of death, you never forget that feeling. Not fear, but rather a sinking feeling deep within your gut that tells you, "It's over." It will happen, sooner or later. You cannot be ready for everything, but you can stack the odds in your favor by weighing your preparedness of such situations against its likelihood, and taking the appropriate steps, mentally and physically.
Do not approach crazy people. Nothing good can ever come of it. Got a coworker with an anger management issue? Avoid. Is your precious mother prone to fits of feminine hysteria? DeFOO. Significant other develops some sick fetish? Time to hit the road and, if you're married to this person, lawyer up.
Don't be tempted to get sucked into trying to help, because you can't. A crazy person cedes control of their body to their emotions. They have already demonstrated that they are unpredictable and unwilling to exercise the self-restraint necessary to function in society. Notice I did not say unable. I said unwilling.
You can waste your life trying to fight the crazy, but it is a fight you are going to lose, especially if you do it on someone else's behalf. You'll never win because the only person who can fix someone's mental problems is themselves. The reason they haven't is because they don't really want to. If they did, they'd have done it already. Plus, this kind of behavior only gets worse as the brain loses its neuroplasticity over time.
Someone deep in the Well of Despair must raise themselves out of their sorrow. They might ask you to lift them up, but don't fall for it. They're clearly down there for a reason. Even if they half-heartedly grab ahold of your outstretched hand, chances are they'll sink back down the second you aren't lavishing them with support and attention. Now you've wasted your time, and they're still a pathetic, blubbering mess.
Even worse, a crazy will probably drag you down with them.
Sympathy obviously isn't the answer, but "tough love" and reasoning are equally ineffective. A crazy person's brain is likely fried from whatever self-destructive behavioral patterns in which they happen to be stuck. They're lost in some dark place, and they don't know why they do what they do. Getting angry, telling them they're terrible people, or even explaining rationally why they should be sensible is sort of like banging one's head against a brick wall. Truth is, people actually aren't all that sympathetic toward nutters, and anyone who thinks crazy people are fishing for sympathy obviously hasn't been paying attention to the sorts of (albeit deserved) negative comments the mentally ill constantly hear from everyone from doctors, to friends (if they have any), to random strangers. The only ones who are, at least on the surface, sympathetic to crazies are other crazies, hence their tendency to seek out online echo chambers that only serve to reinforce bad behavior.
If you're thinking, "Well, I may say this or that, but I'm the one actually making sacrifices to help them out," then you'd be right. And yet, words speak just as loud as actions when your brain is scrambled on drugs or stupid.
Toxic people don't need you to tell them how stupid and terrible they are: they know this if they know anything at all. The best outcome you can hope for that the person will feel guilty for being a burden and, in a moment of lucidity, off themselves. They're not holding a gun to their head and saying, "If you don't be nice to me, I'm gonna do it." Those who do are sociopathic narcissists, and why you should get rid of one of those is obvious. More likely is that you're dealing with an irrational person who is trying to do for you what you should have done already: cut crazy out of your life. Nevertheless, you don't deserve to be held hostage by a cycle of guilt and insanity regardless of that individual's motivation or intent. There's really no good reason for a perfectly sane person to suffer along with someone like that.
This does not end well for you. No matter what, you'll be left picking up the pieces, be it the pieces of the emotionally-distraught's shattered mind, or literal pieces of their mind when they suck-start a shotgun.
Of course, if the government was less concerned with preventing its chattel from avoiding tax obligations via an early death, and more focused on compassion, they'd have made physician-assisted euthanasia legal for mental cases a long time ago. Fortunately, whatever's left of the free market has birthed companies that offer convenient services like scrubbing blood and shit out of carpets. Hopefully, the selfish psycho at least left you a few bucks to cover cleaning expenses. Or, better yet, you could just not associate with him in the first place.
There is nothing more important than maintaining good mental hygiene. There is nothing more delicate than your grasp on sanity. No matter how perfect your environment, body, and mind are, it only takes one crossed wire to turn you into a complete lunatic, and now you're stuck with a debilitating shoe fetish or a stupid religion that will destroy your life.
It is difficult to fully express the futility of dealing with the deranged. The point is, you only have one choice here: stay or leave. Protect your sanity at all costs. Walk away as fast as your legs can carry you.
"I've known you for X years; I'm emotionally invested in you. I don't mind admitting that."
"Emotions are part of living, man. You can't really be serious."
"You're just deluding yourself. You're hiding behind a facade of rationalism."
That's how my interpersonal dramas used to play out. They always ended with one of us cutting off communication with the other. Usually, it was me. I've seen this script run its course enough times to sense when it's heading in this direction, so I'm rarely caught by surprise. Call it petty, but being the one to leave first at least allows me a small degree of satisfaction in an "interactive decision theory" kind-of-way. No matter how many times it happens, there's always a little bit of a sting at first, but the short-term pain is followed by an overwhelming sense of liberation. No more birthdays to remember, no culinary preferences or favorite colors, or any of the other data points of which simulacra are comprised. Soon, you'll forget all of those things, and reclaim the mental space the model of that individual was taking up.
You see, adding another person into your sphere of interest is adding an additional lifetime's worth of dysfunction and baggage. I'd have to be really interested in what advice/knowledge someone has to offer before I'd be motivated to take upon myself some of their psychological ataxia. Most people you call "friends" are actually just trying to outsource some of their baggage onto you. If you are doing the same to them, then maybe it's an even exchange but, personally, I'd rather nurse my own problems. The more I removed I am from the economy of emotional needs and self-interest, the better, even if it means going it alone. There might be someone willing to put up with your shit, but you'll pay dearly for their continued presence, whether with labor, sex or, even worse, time, of which you have only a finite supply.
It is true that there are non-horrible people out there--individuals who are intelligent and thoughtful. These are so rare, however, that even from a mathematical standpoint, trying to separate the wheat from the chaff is an impossibly time-consuming task. Even if you do manage to find one, you've had to sort through hundreds, maybe thousands, of assholes to do it. You simply do not have a long enough lifespan to spend it as a shit-filter.
The amount of effort it takes to socialize with someone who is value-added is immense. To begin, you must have an idea of what you want out of a relationship, friendship or otherwise, before entering into one. For example, I refuse to interact with non-rational entities. If a person claims to have some amount of self-knowledge, they may inquire after my time. After a brief vetting period, I have collected enough information to determine whether or not my initial assessment of the individual was correct, and either continue the interaction, or issue a dismissal. Usually, the person does something stupid and is subsequently invited to get lost. Unacceptable, non-rational behavior includes, but is not limited to: not listening to me, not taking me seriously when I establish boundaries, saying dumb things, wasting resources (especially time), and sexual perversion.
You might be thinking at this point that using people is an obvious loophole in the "no social interaction" policy. Do not use people. The problem with interacting with idiots, at all, is that all they have to offer is more stupid. It is better to cut off all communication than attempt to extract any kind of value from that which has no value, no matter how skilled you are at manipulation. Get rid of the stupid as soon as you realize you're talking to an inanimate object or memeplex in a human suit, which is almost everyone.
Another annoying problem you might find yourself confronted with is flakiness. Flakes are a problem because they waste time. As such, the Three-Strike Rule applies. A person may receive three invitations in a row to engage/go out/respond/whatever. Three is reasonable, because it gives them an excuse to be sick or dead or something. After that, you should adopt radio silence until they reach out to you, at which point you can determine if they are still worthy of your attention (they aren't).
Some give people more chances to stupid all over the place than they deserve out of some innate submissiveness. I attribute this proclivity to gender-specific evolutionary traits that, at a species-level, are adaptive to the continuance of H. sapiens. I don't care about the species, and such traits are then, therefore obsolete. Unfortunately, even with that in mind, one cannot undo hundreds of millions of years of human evolution, despite one's best efforts, and so the only workable solution is isolation.
Even if you did manage to stumble upon (most likely by chance) someone acceptable, no human is entirely rational. You will probably find yourself the recipient of the irrational, unpredictable reactions that seemingly benign words and actions or simple miscommunications will inevitably provoke.
There is one aspect of human nature you can be sure about: the only consistency amongst people is their inconstancy. In the end, for all their supposed affection for you, they are pretty damn quick to throw you out with the next morning's trash when whatever role you were fulfilling for them is made redundant. They spend countless hours trying to shape your thinking, feeding you disinformation and lies about how you need them, because they can't help but project their social experience onto yours, and because it's in the interest of their memes to make you more like them. It's an attempt at spreading a parasitic infection of ideas and, as in nature, host organisms don't even realize they're doing it. If you resist, you are a user, fraud, jerk, or whatever other rude name they have at their disposal--preferably the one that hurts you the most.
This isn't the way I'd like it to be, despite what everyone seems to think. I don't try to dislike anyone. Why would I ever want to? I'm human, too, after all. No, I behave the way I do because the only way to deal with society is to deal with it rationally, or not at all. Fake a smile when you have to, tell people what they want to hear if it will get them off your case and out of your hair. Ignore friendly and romantic advances. You'll find yourself less and less perturbed by the unpredictable behavior of other people when you disentangle yourself emotionally from them. Don't try to puzzle out their motivations when they aren't even capable of understanding their own behavior. A computer cannot emulate a vm as complex as itself; neither can the human mind create an accurately complex model of itself. Yeah, it sucks, but it's a lot easier, if the spectacle of suffering pouring out of MyFace and Twatter is any indication of what the average man's life is like.
We Angelists have made many observations on humanity but, like many Type 2 hobbies, anthropology has diminishing returns. Once you get to the point where you can dismiss people as pervert, k00k, fashion victim, whore, SJW, etc., you've built a classification system that is accurate enough to filter out repetitive and counter-productive interactions, and now you can use the time saved to do real stuff.
To you, other human beings are leaves, blown hither and thither by a perpetual whirlwind of "feelings" and subjectivity, whilst you look on from afar, an immovable stone--cold, perhaps, but at least stationary.
If you still doubt, just remember that, if you live long enough, everyone you ever loved will be ripped away from you. If not taken by conflict or apathy, they will be taken by death. This applies to pets as well, perhaps moreso. One can own a kitten from birth to death and, at the end of it all, one wonders, "What was the point of that life? What was the point of becoming attached?" Just remember that, one day, you will be alone, reflecting on the loss of your friends, family, or beloved pets. Invest a lifetime on relationships, and you will have nothing to show for it but the agony of loss. A poor investment, indeed.
Once, the Reverend mentioned the lack of other people in the ProFit's social circle during a visit to Arlington.
The ProFit: I got rid of all my co-worker "friends" and I don't miss them at all. Well, they were more like acquaintances.
The Reverend: They were all terrible people.
The ProFit: In order to make it in this town, that's the kind of person you have to be: a giant wiener. Wieners thrive in the government sector. Don't feel like a loser because you aren't one of them.
The Reverend: They look like they are enjoying themselves, eating in those expensive restaurants. They obviously have too much money.
The ProFit: No actual wealth is created here--this is a place where wealth comes to die. I've worked here long enough to know that. People with titles like "Director" and "Assistant Director" divvy up the spoils ripped from the hands of taxpayers.
The Reverend: Me want some o' that booty, arrgh. Ok, that was lame. Forget I said that.
The ProFit: It is a shame you couldn't get in on that game. Anyway, I don't want wieners in my life, even if it takes being a wiener myself to get rid of them. Do you know what two wieners rubbing together is called, Sisface?
The Reverend: Uh....
The ProFit: Gay.
The Reverend: So it is.
The ProFit: Meditate upon this and achieve Enlightenment.
The moral here is, er, something, but I'm not sure what.
Travel is regarded with almost cultish reverence and devotion, and it is difficult to understand why. You'll find more reliable information about a country's history, better pictures, and suffer fewer inconveniences by reading a book or the Wikipedia entry about any place of interest. For those who are especially adventurous, open up Google Street View. There is nothing you can get by actually visiting some insect-infested jungle that you can't get at home, except maybe malaria.
Yet, billions of people decide to play tourist every year, and that's really tragic. As it turns out, most of the jet fuel in the world is burnt up on non work-related international flights. Popular tourist spots turn into wastelands of hotels and McDonalds; beaches and islands become garbage dumps; archaeological sites slowly crumble beneath millions of sandaled feet. Tourism is an environmental disaster. Those billions of people squander billions of dollars in capital in order to gawk at foreigners dancing in "traditional" costumes while they shovel cheesecakes in their face. I've never felt as if Western Imperialism was something I should feel guilty about, but even I cringe when I see a bunch of old white people gaping at poor brown people doing supposedly poor brown people things. Okay, Phichit, time to put on your pointy hat; Lunch rush incoming!
As someone who has, owing to various circumstances, traveled quite extensively How else am I spread the Good Word of Angelism? Missionary sign-ups have been lacking as of late--Don't think I haven't noticed, UCA members.), I'm of two minds on travel in general. On one hand, people who never leave their small towns tend to have a provincial world view, their conceptions of other countries limited to fake news and whatever television shows they've seen. Back in 2010, there were a bunch of local kids following my group around Giza yelling "High Ho, Silver!" Even I don't really get that reference. In Taiwan, everyone was constantly dropping the F-Bomb because they watch American movies and think everyone in the USSA uses profanity every other word. That's only true in some circles.
On the other hand, most people are probably better off living their provincial lives and focusing on matters such as raising their kids properly. Any insights they might have gleaned from going abroad is wasted on the average 100-IQ plebe. Moreover, travel is one of those things where you have diminishing returns the more often you do it. There isn't even much to do, no matter where you go. All tourist activities can basically be summed up as: look at stuff, eat stuff, buy stuff. Every industry that supports the industry blows. You get molested at the airport, the hotels suck (those of comparable star ratings are exactly the same everywhere), you get sick from the food, etc. The experience better be pretty novel to endure all that, but of course it isn't. Get in the bus, get off the bus, wade through crowds of people to go look at some kitschy carpet or pottery factory, get back on the bus, repeat. Wow! Aren't you cultured.
So, why is travel so appealing, then? Maybe it's because it is a full sensory experience, even if it is a bad one. The thing about these memories is that they tap into the limbic system. Generally speaking, the sights, sounds, and especially smells of a place somehow stick in the mind more than reading the encyclopedia article about it. Of course (and there's always an "of course"), limbic system memories aren't particularly accurate, and you often only remember the trip that you wanted to take, rather than the one you actually took. Sure, Disney World sucked, but you conveniently don't remember waiting in line for three hours to get on some kids ride, or the fact that your kids were crying and miserable. No, you remember how maaaagical it was.
You should stop listening to your limbic system. It's wrong and you're wrong.
If you were using the critical thinking part of your brain to think about tourism, you'd realize that the practice is a destructive, wealth-destroying, pointless endeavor. Tourists destroy the things they go to see, either by actually, physically damaging ancient sites by trampling all over it, or by encouraging the locals to cater to tourists by providing all the amenities torons expect--gift shops, restaurants, and so forth. It's depressing to see the signs of past greatness in decay; once great civilizations reduced to crumbling dioramas and human zoos.However, if you do intend to travel, for the love of gOD at least stay away from package tours. Novel experiences are not had by going on some cookie-cutter "adventure" where the goal is to cross sites off a checklist--the same checklist everyone else is using.
Possibly The Worst thing about travel is that it makes people feel accomplished when they haven't actually done anything. Sure, it might feel like you're busy when one is jet-setting across the globe, catching all those flights and social diseases, but other than some intangible sense of "becoming worldlier," what have you actually done, other than move a few molecules around and pollute the sewers of some other government with the results of your culinary tourism? Meanwhile, you could have stayed home and enriched yourself in more obvious ways, like building a career. A career is something all those ESL teachers in Asia and South America will wish they had when they return home after a few years abroad with no marketable skills--turns out employers who pay well don't care much for hippies who pissed away a decade in the hills of northern Thailand, teaching the children of the Karen hill tribe English they'll never use. At least getting used to roughing it will help you, when you're unemployed. Teaching English is career suicide, and only those who are never coming back should risk poisoning their resume with a "job" that paints you as a drifter and a loser.
There are several categories of people who enjoy traveling. They are not mutually-exclusive, and they range from just "annoying" to "criminal."
1. Missionaries: Because no one will listen to them in the civilized countries, they have to go abroad to find anyone ignorant enough to listen to their k00kskr33d. They love to trot out the same old arguments over and over again: the native people worship graven images and/or Satan; some altar or religious site bears REMARKABLE similarities to fill-in-the-blank biblical passage and this PROVES that there is only one tr00 religion, which has been corrupted over the millennia by the natives in this foreign land, and now we need to bring them back to cHRIST; and so on and so forth.
2. Sexual tourists: If you have needs that can't be met back home, a trip to Bangkok can net you a wife, a little boy, or a pre-op kathoey with a Baht fetish. It's rather horrifying to see a senior citizen with his Issan bar girl and their brand new babby, but at least both parties are engaging in an honest, mutually-beneficial economic transaction--unlike the pedos.
3. Hippies: Dirty dreadlocks, tattoos on ankles and backs of necks, and usually barefoot, you'll see these pinkos backpacking across first- and third-world countries alike, looking to appropriate the local culture, wear their interpretation of indigenous clothes, convert to Buddhism, and smoke weed purchased from sketchy Peruvians in back alleys. They are always broke and relegated to hostels that may or may not have toilets, but somehow can afford to feed at the snooty vegan restaurants.
4. Good Little Tourists: Mainland Chinese are the best example of the GLT. Granted, they are rude, pushy, and somehow able to tolerate crowds thousands-strong, but they don't steal the native women or try to convert anyone. All they want to do is eat weird food, take copious selfies, spend their money, and then leave. The selfies serve to advertise the country to all their millions of friends and family members, meaning future tourist dollars are on the way. Most locals can overlook the pushing and shoving, even the visors and fanny packs, if it means they behave themselves on the guided tour and go home without raping anyone. Like the saying goes, fish and guests stink after three days.
5. Travel addicts: Most of these people can't explain to you why they travel, only that they must. They are restless and change residences more than they change their underpants, at great personal expense. You'll recognize them by their irritating habit of saying, "Oh yeah, I've been there," whenever you mention a country other than their own. It's the tourist version of name-dropping. This group is probably the saddest, because they can't stay in one place long enough to build a life, and they'll never understand the reason for their pathological behavior. They don't even necessarily enjoy traveling but, like a heroin addict, they always come back for more.
You are not sophisticated and cosmopolitan because you travel. No one wants to hear the story about how you had the shits and crapped yourself on the tour bus. The locals aren't friendly because they are a welcoming people with an irrepressible devotion to xenia; they just want money. Raping little boys is bad. Stop trying to convert or be converted to various religions. Just stop.
I had an epiphany the other day, as I was surrounded by four or five TSAsshats who seemed to take undue objection to my argumentative disposition. Clearly, although they had just stolen my pocket knife, hassled me for twenty minutes, and felt me up, they somehow concluded that I ought to treat them as if they weren't thieves and molesters. As often as they change the policy on what is and isn't banned on airplanes, how is anyone supposed to keep track? I didn't expect that I'd win the argument, but I figured they at least deserved to have their workday ruined.
Anyway, what I realized is that when someone acts like an asshat to me, I tend to inform said asshat of my assessment of their behavior. I seem incapable to not respond in kind, although I rarely get angry (my emotional range effectively ends at irritation), Despite not being "mad," per se, I refuse to let idiots wipe their shoes on me. They might be wrong, and need to be corrected, or they might be right, but need to work on their delivery. Feeding their own negativity back to them gives them an incentive to learn how to behave appropriately around other humans. I like to give people the opportunity to better themselves. Unfortunately, not everyone is as naturally Alpha as me.
Those with terminal Betaitis are pathologically afraid of being disliked, or of publicly making a spectacle of themselves. They are not immune to confrontation (if you enter a public space, at some point you will be challenged by some rabid idiot) but, instead of defending themselves, they roll over and wait for the danger to pass. Not only is surrender pathetic, I recommend you go a step further and be intentionally incendiary. If someone is in public, or in your home, or in their home with you after extending an invitation to you to enter, they are subject to any and all criticisms that you choose to bestow. If the fatty in line ahead of you is just standing there, being all fat, how is it wrong of you to point out the obvious, either to his face or to the person next to or behind you? The truth isn't always pretty, hamplanets, but truth it is.
If you have Beta Syndrome, you need to stop being so controlling of other people's perception of you. Sometimes people just aren't going to like you--accept that, embrace the inevitable dislike. Those who are pre-occupied with their image are manipulative, vain, and self-obsessed, which are really annoying qualities. Those traits alone are reason enough for people to hate you. If you are to be hated whether you fight back or don't, you need to master the art of not giving a fuck about how you are viewed by others.
Allow me to caveat the following with a warning. If you are attempting to manage important interpersonal relationships, business dealings, or political intrigues, lashing out carelessly is not going to help you--strategy and empathy will serve you far better. On the other hand, for passing encounters and conflicts you are not particularly invested in, it is mentally healthier (for you) to lash out and relieve, or lessen, the burden of the negativity imposed upon you than to stew about it later, mired in a morass of self-loathing.
Discussions with plebeians will always descend to the level of the lowest common denominator. No matter how wise or collected you are, when you quarrel with Tweedledum and Tweedledee at the local tavern, your carefully selected words will simply bounce off their thick hides until you finally resort to slinging low curses, such as slanders directed at the moral fibre of their mothers, or swinging your fists. Ergo, trying to interact with the peasants as one rational being to another is pointless and counter-productive, if not hazardous to your health. Moreover, as these ruffians have done you the disservice of wasting your time or looting your property, and have furthermore made you feel disquieted, it is one's moral obligation to turn that negativity back toward its source. For once, the Wiccans have the right idea about something, specifically about redirecting negative energies (whatever is done to you, you may return threefold).
Shame and embarrassment are the most paralyzing of these energies, and the second you succumb to them, you've lost. Embarrassment is the one thing that can condemn you forever to Betadom.
Here's a little exercise for you Betas. Whenever you are out in public, try and make people a little uncomfortable, even if that people is you. This goes against all your natural inclinations and, at first, feels strange, and makes you wonder if others can sense your discomfort. You will find that actually, the ONLY person who feels embarrassed or weird is you. It's always you. It always has been you. No one else actually cares. You are not important. I can't stress this enough. You. Are. Not. Important. Try it. Say crazy stuff to the cashiers at Walmart. Conjure up odd names and titles by which to introduce yourself. Weave elaborate yarns about your life that paint you as some kind of weirdo. Pretend to subscribe to obscure political and religious beliefs. Either no one notices, which is the normal outcome, or you occasionally piss someone off, in which case they probably were looking for a fight when you happened by, and now you have an entertaining little diversion. If you are constantly bullshitting about yourself in public, you'll soon discover you have, until this point, been obsessed with how others view you. With practice, you can remove embarrassment from your emotional vocabulary, and free your brain up for more interesting interactions. If you master your emotions under favorable circumstances, then you will be less disposed to cracking under pressure under less favorable conditions.
By the way, if anyone reading this is in the TSA, please contract Ebola and die, kthx.
One might wonder why I often return to the subject of language. The reason is simple--language is inexorably linked with thought. Clear speakers are often clear thinkers, although this is not necessarily always the case. Often enough, though, that shoddy locution (doubly so when it comes to the written word), serves as an effective filtration mechanism for dumbassery.
It is difficult to imagine human cognition without language, as our internal narratives are such a critical component of our thinking. Indeed, in some ways, it is nearly impossible to conceive of a conscious existence without the constant stream of unspoken words, although it is clearly not only possible, but is the norm for most animals. Furthermore, I would also argue this is the norm for most humans, particularly those with less-than-impressive intellectual abilities.
The purest form of language, and therefore thought, is mathematics. This language has no room for ambiguity of meaning. If everyone communicated using only math, there would be no communication problems. Unfortunately, as most humans lack even rudimentary mathematical literacy, the species has settled on natural languages for the purpose of transmitting information amongst themselves.
What is language, fundamentally? Like in many programming languages, natural languages consist of three main components: an alphabet, symbols, and syntax. There is additional information conveyed though inflection (spoken tones, italics in text, etc.), but this is subsumed by the first two categories I mentioned. The alphabet (letters in their various combinations) comprise the symbols (words), which are themselves arranged in legal or non-legal ways according to syntactical rules agreed upon by the speakers. Effective speakers are able to arrange letters and words in legal ways and thereby effectively convey their thoughts to themselves and others. Alternatively, ineffective speakers break established conventions, resulting in sentences which are difficult to parse and confusing to the interpreters (brains) of their victims.
If victimization seems an excessively strong term for what sloppy speakers do to bystanders within eye- or ear-shot, consider this: an attack on language is an attack on thinking. That is why ideologies (political or otherwise) often manipulate thought through the control of language, especially by limiting which words are acceptable to use. If one lacks the symbol to convey a thought, the thought cannot be thunk.
Stupid people weaponize language in a different way than governments and religious institutions. Often, it is unintentional. This does not mitigate in any way the damage done, however, and should be viewed as an act of aggression. The best solution, of course, is to not engage with stupids. Stupid hurts your brain, literally.
How does an idiot use language, and how is it different to how anyone with an IQ over average does? Essentially, stupids lack the ability to use alphabets, symbols, and syntax correctly. In fact, they don't even understand how each category can be used in conjunction with one another in order to form an idea. Instead of combining letters to form words to form phrases, they discard alphabets and syntax and focus only on the symbols. For them, both words and short phrases function as symbols, and this is all they have in their linguistic repertoire. When some drooling idiot walks up to you and tells you they "just done got dey nails did," the whole sentence (if you can call it that) is a symbol for some action. They do not combine simple symbols (I, just, had, my, nails, done) together to form a more complex thought ("a certain part of the body in which the speaker's brain is housed," "was acted upon" "by an employee at a salon" [implied], and this action occurred "recently"). Rather, the phrase "just done got mah nails did" evokes imagery of the salon and what happened there, without consideration ever being given to how the words function. It is merely a phrase they have heard someone else utter, parroted without any consideration for what the words mean.
You also see this phenomenon in books, particularly in niche genres where authors are part of an insular community. The writers read each other's works until certain common phrases and expressions become so familiar, they end up using those symbols themselves. Thus, books by completely different people manage to all sound completely the same. I call this the "Polly Wants a Cracker Phenomenon."
All a dumb person knows is that it wants. Limited to only the most basic of speaking skills, they are incapable of conceptualizing, let alone communicating, all but the most basic ideas: food, sex, and their wanting one or both of those things. It is a tragic waste of your time to be assaulted by a prole's clumsy attempts at making you understand its venial urges, and Satan help us all when such a simple mind tries to tackle more advanced topics, such as identity.
Language's effect on cognition is why, when you talk to someone dumb, you might notice a peculiar lack of self-awareness. It's almost like talking to a cat, if a cat could talk. Does this creature even have a sense of self? Who can say? It seen to me that, if language is an essential component of a sapient existence, then those who cannot avail themselves of language are not sapient. A limited vernacular destroys the potential for having a rich internal experience of reality. The amount of information you can glean from a stupid is quite limited, making them not worth speaking with. Even worse, repeated contact results in the "Polly Wants a Cracker Phenomenon," in which you begin to adopt these terrible speaking habits yourself. The only real solution is to limit exposure to this kind of inane rhetoric, and quickly disengage from content-deficient conversations.
Why do some people feel distressed when they turn off the television? You might say that powering off the idiot box is torture for some because it leaves them alone with their own thoughts.
This is true, but it is hardly a complete explanation for the sense of panic that those within a standard deviation of an average IQ experience when the room grows silent and dark--absent of the susurrus, commercial hymns, and gentle flickering to which they have grown accustomed since childhood. Like the internet, particularly those communal applications such as Twatter and other forms of social media, television functions as a societal exocortex, quickly accessible ideological-refills for when one feels the zeitgeist's civically-mandated opinions beginning to leak out of the sieve they call a brain. Having outsourced much of their thinking to the pundits and talking heads, having identified with those views they hear repeated to them again and again by the MSM (even "alternative media," which considers itself somehow elevated from the corporate swill), turning off the tube mostly just leaves them alone with nothing.
"I protest! Some media is better than others! It's less biased, more accurate, etc. etc." Even if that is something akin to factual, it doesn't change the fact that you are not thinking for yourself. You sit back, relax, and leave all that tiresome thinkin' to the "professionals." No, a genuinely elevated media would present facts, and facts alone--not commentary.
Now, it isn't inherently handicapabling to have an exocortex. In fact, it is a huge productivity increase to outsource some things to an external brain (i.e. a computer), especially while doing the kinds of calculations for which your pulsating meathead isn't optimized (writing complex algorithms, raw data storage, and so forth). But, you should still be able to get by without. You definitely shouldn't outsource something you are perfectly capable of doing yourself--such as having a feeling about some topic. And, for the love of gOD, don't use other human brains as an exocortex. I can think of no faster way to introduce all manner of irrationality into one's selfhood than to invite humanity en masse into it.
One might lament this habit of sponging up opinions, crying out "What a pity! What a terrible shame!" but the sad TRVTH is, most humans will never think an original thought in their lives, regardless of whether or not they spend it staring at a screen. The One-Standard-Deviation people are utterly bereft of the ability, instead relegated to claiming as their own whatever floats to the surface of the Jungian macroconsciousness. Just as how, should you lock a thousand pygmies in a room with books containing all the knowledge in the world and a replicator which can manufacture any material, the pygmies will never build a spaceship, so too will One-Standard-Deviations never manage to squeeze a novel or interesting notion from their sluggish neurons no matter what sort of media they are--or are not--exposed to. Without a collective on which to stand, and the intellectual giants on which society moves forward, absolutely nothing will come of it. Speed up a mostly-average human's brain by 100%, and he will simply think stupid thoughts twice as fast. Give the mostly-average human twice as long to live, and he will simply think twice as many stupid thoughts. Worse, he didn't come up with any of them himself. hEAVEN forbid humanity ever achieve immortality, for reality might bend under the weight of all the idiotic memes, aphorisms, folk knowledge, and political views as they duplicate.
More than just ideas, however, the exocortex is inexorably linked with identity--a concept which has become All Important despite referencing something that does not exist at all (we now know this as surely as we know there is no such thing as a "soul"). When you hire someone else to do all the thinking for you, their absence makes you feel incomplete. Because you've been conned into thinking that filth spewing out of the TV reflected something in yourself, rather than the other way around, the sense of loss is maddening--quite literally. You might as well have lost an arm or a leg (or a head). Yet, there is no shortage of people willing to mentally cripple themselves and pay for the privilege with their money, time, and lives. (I am redundant, for all three essentially amount to the same thing.) And, of course, as there is a demand, there is also no shortage of willing vendors. Those snake oil sellers (let's call them Two-Standard-Deviations-Above-The-Mean) of pseudo-thoughts and pseudo-opinions and pseudo-identities do quite well for themselves indeed. This group is hardly smarter than the former, but much more devious. And, why shouldn't they be allowed to make a buck? They have to put televisions on their own tables so that they can eat their own lies after puking them up in the first place.
Television will fill your head with garbage, but there was only ever garbage in there to begin with. (Let's be honest--if you're smart, TV doesn't appeal to you). It is only more dangerous garbage and garbage at a larger scale. A landfill instead of a dumpster. Nuclear waste instead of rotting fish. The point is: you can't save any single node in the macrobrain, since most of the brain exists outside the body and, even if you could sever the link, what's left clattering around its skull isn't particularly impressive (or sane, after having lost said link). That is why, when you witness yet another Issac bound to the altar of entertainment, kick the sacrificial lamb off a cliff. And while Two-Standard-Deviation-Above Abraham is tearing out the entrails of his One-Standard-Deviation-Above-Or-Below son, we can shrug and say, "So, nothing of value was lost."
Once, the Reverend attended a luncheon with several individuals, and the ProFit, with the intention of establishing a professional relationship with the former.
The Reverend: I tried really hard to be normal. I didn't eat too fast, go to the bathroom, or talk about anything negative. I kept a smile on my face and maintained eye contact. I thought about every move I made and carefully considered every word that came out of my mouth. But, there was one thing.
The ProFit: What was that?
The Reverend: Well, I finished my omelet. I mean, baby chickens went into a macerator so I could have that omelet. I couldn't just not finish it. Plus, it's food. I hate wasting food--it represents a lot of resources invested. Yet, finishing a meal at a restaurant always prompts people to make strange comments about it. Like, 'Oh, you cleaned your plate! Good job!' Or, 'Wow, you must have been hungry!' And, 'But you're so skinny! Where do you put it all?' You know I'm weird about food and eating in general. Those kinds of remarks don't really help....
The ProFit: Don't let yourself get triggered.
The Reverend: I know. I just don't understand why it's a social faux pas to finish your meal at a restaurant. You already paid for it and you're stuck there for a few hours, so why not eat it? Why is it impolite to not leave some food behind? You have to get it to-go. But, by the time you get around to eating the rest, it's cold and gross. You know everyone eats the leftovers the second they get home, anyway. I'm not fooled by anyone who picks at their meal during social lunches.
The ProFit: Those comments are an attempt by those individuals to define the range of what behaviors are socially acceptable. You can think of normalcy as existing in some N-Dimensional space. Moreover, the definition of "normal" changes regularly. Humans have to verbally probe in order to map out the ever-shifting boundaries of normalcy and establish their position within that space.
The Reverend: I can't do this. I'm never going to be able to feign "normal."
The ProFit: It takes practice. Humans are tribal and, living in the anthill like we do, you'll have to occasionally engage in these types of interactions. Human social behavior consists of a spectrum of possibilities. You don't have to be perfect--you simply have to stay within that range we talked about.
The Reverend: None of these rules make sense.
The ProFit: Remember that such social injunctions only make sense within this context. A man living alone in the middle of nowhere doesn't need to follow social norms. He can go and build a poop sculpture in his front yard if he likes.
The Reverend: Like morality, social rules only exists in relation to other humans. Sigh, I wish this world wasn't so crowded. I really want to be alone where no one can see me. Living in an urban area requires paying a sanity tax I can't afford.
The ProFit: It's not only you. Everyone here is miserable and insane. People are terrified of social isolation, but the sea of anonymous faces in cities is almost worse than being alone. Everyone is always using everyone else. The second you turn your back, someone is plunging a dagger into it. Don't worry, Sisface. We just have to stick it out for a little bit longer. Soon enough, we'll be out of here for good.
The moral of this story is that you should never order anything you like during a business lunch so you're not tempted to clear your plate.
What does a CONVERSATION consist of? A conversation involves participants, a language, a methodology, and a topic. To understand how communication works, it may be useful to break the process down into its component units and dissect them.
See "Human Taxonomy."
It is impossible to understand quantum mechanics without being literate in the mathematics behind it. It is also impossible to think abstractly about concepts in software engineering if you have no grasp of the syntax of programming languages. You must know the rules of a language to formulate and express certain ideas that cannot be communicated otherwise.
Ever have a thought you couldn't quite express? Unlike mathematics, human languages are sloppy, with arbitrary rules and exceptions, and differences that might explain why individuals can't "connect." The hypothesis that variations in language can affect one's cognitive processes and Weltanschauung is called Linguistic Relativity--a fascinating topic, but outside the scope of this essay. In summary, I'll just point out that the conscious experience is tied very heavily to one's internal narrative, to the point where some are incapable of divorcing the processes of consciousness and inner monologue (they are not the same thing). Also, if you lack the linguistic tools to formulate smart ideas, you are not going to be able to think smart ideas. Lojban is a noble attempt to fix many of the problems of natural languages and an excellent communication tool, provided you can find anyone who speaks it.
If you want people to tolerate speaking with you, it will behoove you to understand the different strategies humans use to engage with one another, and those strategies impact both speaker and audience. Something I've noticed when participating in conversations with other humans is that there is a lot of talking-at, and not much talking-to. This tendency seems to be most common amongst certain methodologies, and is an impediment to the usefulness and enjoyment of discussion.
Below, I've outlined several methods of communication, along with their pros and cons.
Speech: No opportunity for interjection or clarification, both of which are met by anger or simply ignored. Arguments are focused but complex. Speech-users tend to have favorite topics, the arguments for which are rehearsed (internally or in previous conversations on the same subject). These are one-sided lectures, not conversations. The types of people who do this often have strong beliefs, such as religious memeplexes. This style makes talking easy for the speaker, but it sucks for listeners who want to participate in the discussion.
Debate: Opportunities for interjection happen only on completion of a sub-argument. Less focused than speeches, but off-topic questions are unacceptable. This strategy works a lot better if you're smart because it opens you up to challenges; debaters are willing to discuss logical or factual problems during one of their official stopping points. The potential downfall to this is that their partner may have forgotten rebuttals by the time a stopping point is reached. Of course, if the person you are talking to can't remember what you said fifteen minutes ago, you might be talking to a drooling idiot.
Tangential: Allows for interruptions at any point in the discussion. Least focused way of carrying on a conversation, but also the most flexible. The risk here is that it is possible the speaker will never get around to making his point. The benefits are that it partners well with other conversational types, halts problematic arguments immediately, allows individuals the ability to pause the conversation if they are confused or need to clarify some point, and sometimes wanders in new and unexpected directions. This style is maximally challenging for the speaker, but particularly beneficial for the engaged listener. It also gives non-interested parties ample opportunity to reengage by redirecting the subject matter, or even to exit the conversation.
I happen to subscribe to the tangential method. I prefer the less-structured, wiki-style for in-person communication in non-formal contexts. The increased flexibility lends itself better to the inefficient speaking-mode of humans. In writing, a combination of speech/fisking seems to be the best way to hash out ideas.
Fundamentally, the point of conversation is to transfer ideas from one brain to another. Conversations must have a topic. Ideally, a discussion will benefit all involved parties and result in the P2P transfer of the most useful ideas in the shortest amount of time. This makes a conversation worthwhile. Entertainment is a minor- or non-concern for people who are interested in increasing their knowledge but, obviously, for the average idiot, an enjoyable conversation is not necessarily the most utilitarian one. People like stupid conversations for the same reason they like blockbuster films, which is that "fun" conversationalists follow two rules: Don't bore your audience, and don't make them feel stupid. Having a friendly debate on whether a female's best attribute is their tits or their ass is neither boring to the average male, nor does it challenge their intellect and make them feel inadequate. In any case, I rarely participate in these discussions, such as they are, because they involve repetition (people telling the same anecdotes over and over again), value-negative information that threatens my mental hygiene and actually makes me stupider, or thought-terminating cliches. All pointless from a useful data-gathering standpoint.
Talking is not very resource-intensive, so it isn't surprising that most people are inefficient about it. As a result, human communication is riddled with timesinks and garbage. Knowing how to deal with communication problems is critical if you don't want to waste your life.
Unfortunately for those of us not gifted with a high CHA score, we must occasionally engage in various forms of social interaction. As some of us are maladapted for that which comes naturally to most humans, we must remember and apply rules of conversation in order to stay under the radar and not draw undue amounts of attention to oneself. It is burdensome, but Rev has kindly outlined the following guide for conduct during such difficult situations.
Step 1: Self-Analysis
Do you smell bad? Did you shower recently? Do you have unsightly tufts of nose hair extruding from your nostrils? Is there toilet paper adhered to your shoe? Did you remember to wear pants? If you do not pass the self-check, exit quickly and remedy the situation until you have made yourself suitable for a social engagement.
Step 2: Partner Analysis
Is your conversational partner black? Emotionally sensitive? Not only must you not break social norms that are commonly accepted by everyone, but you must also tailor your conversation to your partner's preferences and proclivities. For example, if you are conversing with a soccer mom, you will offend sensibilities by discussing paedophilia. If you are in a group, you must analyze individual members and also the hivemind, as different standards of behavior are applicable in 1v1 vs. group dialogues.
Step 3: Monitor the Volume of Your Voice
Keep the volume of your voice down, even if it means mumbling. No one likes the loud, obnoxious person in the group. Moreover, if you mumble, you can say anything you like as your meaning is ambiguous. If you are especially lucky, the person you are speaking with will hear your mumbling and interpret your words favorably. Humans tend to, when given the opportunity, hear precisely what they want to hear.
Step 4: Assume the Appropriate Facial Expressions/Body Language
Although you may be inclined to sit expressionless and motionless during a social exchange, as your opposite begins to speak, you must assume the appropriate facial expression and body language for the situation, or risk angering them. If you cannot recall which expressions match which emotion, are unable to determine whether or not the subject of conversation is negative or positive, or are simply unable to contort your face into the complex shapes demanded of you, a grimace generally suffices for every situation. It has the advantage of being easily misinterpreted as either a smile or a frown, support or sympathy. Simply bare your teeth and let the other individual(s) interpret the action as they will. Nodding one's head and gesticulating wildly also seems to ensure one's partner that one is engaged and listening intently to their gibberish. Do not rock back and forth or pick at your skin like a crazy person, as tempting as that may be.
Step 5: Ask Questions
Rather than attempt to enlighten or inform (people hate it when you have something to say), move the conversation along by encouraging your partner to talk more about themselves. Ask many questions, but do not answer them. If you are asked something, offer a noncommittal gesture and then turn the question back around on them. People like to talk about themselves. Under no circumstances divulge unnecessary personal information, as anything you say can and will at some point be used against you. You also run less risk of repeating yourself if you say nothing to begin with, and there is nothing that seems to annoy people more than repetition, even if the self-reference is relevant to the discussion. Rather than slipping up and saying something stupid, nonsensical, or offensive, allow the other person to monologue about whatever they please until they get bored and go away.
Step 6: The "Small Talk Escape Hatch"
Talk about something inoffensive. Use this bland nothingspeak as a shield for whenever a conversation drifts into dangerous territory. The least offensive topic is cats. Rambling on and on about how cute your little meowbabies are serves two purposes. One is that it steers the topic back into an area that won't trigger anyone and put you in a tough spot. The other is that being autistic about a boring topic no one cares about makes you too unsatisfying as a potential target of conversation. No one wants to talk to that cat-obsessed weirdo who keeps showing off photos of Mr. Snuffles doing something silly. The best part is that you don't come off as someone who is intentionally avoiding interaction--you simply become someone to be avoided, but not because you're hated. No hard feelings or anything. "She's a little quirky and really likes cats" is all that anyone will remember about you, along with a vague sensation that they would rather not talk to you again.
Step 7: Leave, Now
Obviously, this is a lot to remember, and it is very difficult to focus on the topic of conversation whilst keeping all these balls in the air at once. Even an experienced juggler cannot maintain so many indefinitely. Social exchanges are terribly exhausting. Thus, keep them short, simple, and non-confrontational. Leave at the earliest opportunity and try not to encourage or solicit further communiques.
A human approaches you. They have established eye contact and blocked the path to the exit. Do not panic. Quickly ensure that your pants are on.
Human: Hey there, Rev! How are you?
Remember, they do not actually care about how you are. This is a social "game." You could say that you are fine, but perhaps you find lying difficult. Instead of answering, ask them the question instead and hope that their automatic responses will engage.
Rev: How are you?
Human: Oh, I'm good. What are you doing here?
They still don't care, but they are beginning to sense that you are not able to follow the "script," so they might be getting uncomfortable. It is time to distract them by adopting The Grimace and asking more questions.
Rev: Nothing. You?
Human: Blah blah blah blah....This conversation is devoid of any actual information because I actually just want to waste your time and entertain myself rather than increase your knowledge about a topic I think you might find interesting and/or useful.
At this point you are probably bored and distracted, so just grimace and nod until there is a lull.
Human: Oh, I hate that too. You're so smart!
Do not correct any misinterpretations. They are working in your favor and their misunderstanding will make you seem cleverer than you are.
Rev: Well, I better go. Bye.
Avoid soliciting further communication by saying "talk to/see you later," or giving out contact information. Disengage quickly and flee to safety.
Everything is terrible.
Media is predictable and dull; all pop music relies on the same four chords; religions other than Angelism are stupid and religious "literature" amounts to little more than lousy, self-referential jESUS fanfiction; the government has it out for me; screw drives are unstandardized.
If I can watch the first episode of the soap opera (and all shows today are soap operas) that fills the dead air between advertisements, brain-rot you insist on calling "entertainment," and predict the lines, characters, and plot for the next four seasons, then your show/movie is crap. As long as they're getting paid, writers clearly don't have any ethical qualms about churning out the same stale garbage over and over again. Why bother? Judging by the perpetually-lit television sets I see in living rooms across from my apartment window, the prolefeed seems to satisfy everyone.
I'm tired of love songs. I think it is safe to assume that the concept has been thoroughly explored by now, and there probably isn't anything more to be said on the subject. Why doesn't anyone sing about linear expressions? Or, even better, how about everyone shuts up and refrains from polluting the environment with extra sound waves. It's loud enough out there, thank you.
Fiction is a blight on the sanctity of the written word, especially when it entails stories about were-shifters or gOD. The New Testament reads just about as bad as the SonicXTails ships one encounters on DeviantArt. Derivative works are even more annoying than regular fiction. The Book of Mormon is New Testament fanfiction, which is itself Old Testament fanfiction, which is actually Zoroastrian/Sumerian fanfiction. Stop it. Everyone is terrible at writing and should stop embarrassing themselves by showcasing their lack of creativity and poor grammar. From now on, I'm only reading technical manuals.
The government is full of do-nothing employees that don't even know how to use a computer mouse. Their incompetence is the only thing saving us all from tyrannical government agencies who abuse their monopoly on force. Case in point, the Fish and Wildlife Service erected a giant fence on the sidewalk around their building. Now I have to walk all the way around their offices if I want to go grocery shopping. In the sun. What kind of inconsiderate jerks impede pedestrian traffic like that? I know the answer: the same inconsiderate jerks who think they look b4daZZ in their buffoonish uniforms, armed with guns they'll never use, unless maybe a particularly bouncy Asian Carp somehow wriggles its way into the parking garage.
Do you remember the early days of the internet? I do. I remember the collective sense of endless possibility. I remember feeling as if humanity finally had a chance to expand beyond itself--that any individual could somehow escape the confines of their limited meatshell and grow into who-knew-what. Then someone invented MyFace. Suddenly, the internet began to calcify and now feels as rigid and restrictive as that sad sack of weeping flesh I so wanted to abandon.
What would one say is the pinnacle of human accomplishment, the shining example of science, which is the most advanced activity in which humans can engage? How about space travel? What has come of that? Did you know that there are 96 bags of shit, piss, and vomit on the moon? Whenever you think of humanity's greatness, remember that humans brought men to the moon, and then shit on it. I couldn't come up with a better metaphor for the essence of the human experience if I tried.
The more you understand of the world, the worse the growing sense of suckage becomes. An example of the process: say you like video games. Perhaps you think the fantasy environments are beautiful. Then you take a few classes in 3D modeling and coding, and all is unmasked. Suddenly, combat AI is a buggy mess of spaghetti code. Rather than enjoying the views, all you see are seams, skyboxes, and stretched textures. As offensive as all this might be, the real tragedy is that you probably couldn't produce anything better. Once again, computer analogies serve to illuminate the realities of meatspace. Except, in Computerland, you can at least tweak the numbers that annoy you. Sometimes. Unless you're using Windows, you uncivilized scum.
More importantly, can we all come to a consensus as a planet as to which style of screw drive is the best, and then just use those? Over 10,000 years of human civilization, and T3h C0ll3ctiv3 can't even decide on which type of screw head is the most effective? What does that say about the species? My money is on the Robertson. I would like to extend an invitation to all manufacturers of Philips screws to swallow a bucket of nuts (the variety of which, for this purpose, doesn't particularly matter).
Described by The ProFit in 2015.
Hedonists are, overall, more miserable than masochists.
1. The world is inherently miserable.
2. The subject can learn to appreciate misery, or even find joy in it.
3. Pleasure-seeking behavior results in more and greater negative consequences than deprivation.
4. The Misery Paradox is a function of time. The longer the duration of a subject's lifespan, the greater the negative consequences are that accrue and the longer the subject must suffer with them.
If the goal is experiencing the least amount of misery possible, one must pursue deprivation and suffering.
Humans seem to seek out suffering, even when society offers to take their pain away (for a price, of course). Do you know why? It is because experiencing the consequences of one's choices is not only empowering, but it is also the natural order of our deterministic universe. In nature, a hare has only to screw up once to die. That principle doesn't just apply to the prey, either. Every miss by a predator is a potential death sentence. And death is, of course, the usual price for failure. The social order that you live in probably attempts to mitigate this suffering by delaying the consequences of your mistake (or even your parent's mistake; failure is heredity. Failure is Original SIN). The payments are high, and every moment you live after your failure is a moment stolen from the collective, plus interest. In the end, when society abandons you, or the cost snowballs out of control, you'll die anyway--as you should have in the first place. There are no second chances, not really. This is a tr00ism you can ignore for a while, but not forever. Pay your debts as early as you can, and you might be able to start again. Or don't. Steal the money (i.e. time) of others. Pretend that there is no problem until, one day, you're dead. Who cares? The dead certainly can't care about anything, can they? Let those you leave behind remember the burden your mistake placed upon them and resent your memory. Those are your options, but suffering is ubiquitous no matter what you do.
I might not be speaking from experience, considering the fact I'm a giant loser, but I've often thought about sound strategies for success in life, particularly in the workplace. By often, I mean this thought suddenly occurred to me the other day and since then, it has been turning over and over in my mind. I'm a deranged obsessive, and unless I write down my thoughts, I can't get them out of me. I don't care about succeeding in life, because learned helplessness or something, but I can't stand lingering thoughts that refuse to go away after they show up unannounced, like some kind of annoying surprise houseguest who seems to be oblivious to the fact you hate spontaneity.
If you're not completely ignorant of pop psychology, you might have heard of the Peter Principle. I can't testify to its veracity, and I wonder who this Peter was, but that isn't what this lecture is about. Here is a principle of my own. For lack of a better name, I shall Christen it: The Marie Principle.
Definition: Never position yourself at the top, or the bottom, of a hierarchy. Additionally, be neither the second-most competent, nor the second-most incompetent.
When SHTF, there are certain individuals that are first to be lined up in front of a firing squad. These are the people with the most accountability, those at the top of the hierarchy; and those who are at the bottom tier--individuals whose ineptitude contributed to whatever shit has gone down. You don't want to be in either of those positions when the heads start rolling, because yours will be the first to hit the floor. We need a good bloodbath now and then, but it sure as hell ain't gonna be me. My plans for my own death entail less bullets, unless there really isn't any other option.
Anyway, so the government changes, or there's an office shake-up. Who is safe, or at least safer, than the aforementioned individuals? The answer is, obviously, all those mediocre, non-offensive plebes in the middle. Those who put in the minimum amount of effort required as to not draw attention to themselves.
I'm aware that the advice to "keep one's head down" is something of a deepity, but it is oft-stated for a good reason.
Why did I also say second-most? Think of it this way, when the King dies, do you want to be next in line in front of an angry, pitchfork-wielding mob? I certainly don't. And when the worst employee at the office gets the boot, the second-worst is now the worst, and who do you think is getting fired next?
If you want to keep your head, therefore, vanish into the majority. Distinguish yourself neither through excellence nor incompetence. Marie Antoinette did both, and suffered the natural consequence of being notable, powerful, and generally shit. Sure, you won't be advancing humanity by being mediocre, but chances are you're too stupid to contribute anything useful anyway. Even if you've the potential to become the next messiah, I'd advise not bothering.
Honestly, what do I care of humanity's fate? I owe society nothing, and neither do you. Screw them, stay out of the crosshairs, and spend your life doing what you want, like building a bunch of beehives in your backyard or writing erotic fiction about said bees. It doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't involve getting involved.
I have never much liked philosophy. Most of the "theories" (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense) have little to do with reality, and everything to do with arbitrary perceptions. What philosophers have failed to realize is just how much of reality is counter-intuitive, and it is only recently humans have begun to understand nature and themselves well enough to develop more accurate philosophical models. One cannot be a good philosopher without a solid understanding of science, but you can be a scientist without philosophizing. Modern philosophers such as Daniel Dennett recognize that the two fields are linked, and that philosophy owes any explanative power that it has to science. Physics explains reality. Biology explains people.
Philosophy as a field in and of itself isn't particularly needed. I doubt the world would lose anything if we, as a species, all agreed to drop those terms which were developed before "scientific" philosophy; words which carry millennia of baggage and serve only to obfuscate that which they purport to denote. Morality. Good. Evil. Value. Virtue. We can redefine these as many times as we like, but the connotations from sloppier eras remain. Moreover, the more we learn, the more likely it is we will have to keep redefining them.
Philosophy has many stated purposes, but almost all of them agree that the goal of human beings is to be "happy." Even the most rational philosophers, such as Ayn Rand, believe that the "point" of human existence is to experience joy, and not to suffer. We Angelists all know why that's stupid: because suffering is the Great Motivator; that which drives one to action. That which does not suffer does not perceive that which is not conducive to its interests, and thus has no incentive to change the situation in which it finds itself.
Pain, and pleasure, are just means by which the nervous system informs something or someone that it ought to be doing, or not doing, so that it may continue existing and reproduce. Pain and pleasure are just tools, a solution to the problem of undesirable stimuli. Undesirable, that is, in the sense that it reduces an organism's chance of survival. The ability to experience pleasure and suffering increases fitness, and that's it. There is no "deeper" answer to the question, "Why do we suffer?" As it happens, nature simply stumbled on something that works well enough, selected for it, and so here we are.
Suffering is the reason for a creature's capacity for action. A rock cannot suffer, and is immobile. An animal, which has a nervous system, can suffer. The biological system which grants it the ability to suffer also allows it to move. The funny thing is that the greater the capacity to suffer, the greater the capacity for change.
Suffering and its Relationship to Intelligence
Ayn Rand suggests that if there is a contradiction, check your premises--at least one of them is bound to be wrong. If a brain causes suffering, when it developed to eliminate it, that seems like a paradox. It appears that more brain=more suffering. In the arms race between suffering and brain, suffering appears to win every time. However, the contradiction disappears if one phrases the situation thusly: the brain and suffering (which is really just a perception created by the brain) exist to solve problems.
Perhaps the relationship between suffering and amount of brain rise resemble a bell curve. Visualize a graph, with "intelligence" on the X-axis, and "amount of suffering" on the Y-axis. A positive correlation would begin with animate objects, then increase (exponentially?) until the intelligence variable has reached at least the level of "above-average human." Then the relationship becomes a negative correlation, and the quantity of suffering begins drop, potentially reaching Zero once the level of intelligence is at "super." This model may explain why impotent thinkers who are smart enough to have an advanced nervous system, but not smart enough to do anything about their problems, are those who suffer the most.
One may wonder if suffering can be completely eliminated once the system is advanced enough. The ProFit states that, "Universal happiness definitely can't exist as long as there exists divergence between goals.
"Have you ever noticed how the smarter two people are, the more closely their goals match? Take two random stupid people and their goals will have nothing in common of course (e.g., one might want to be a mom, the other to pursue fame). Extrapolate this, and perhaps you get full convergence at super-human intelligence. If true, this means that goal choice may be not just some wishy-washy preference thing like the way we currently think of things like favorite color. Instead it's capable of being reasoned to from first principles. If I were particularly stupid, I'd hope I'd at least have the faculties available to wonder why my goals of motorcycle ownership and maximizing its engine volume weren't shared by those more intelligent than myself. If nothing else, it'd hopefully make me question the utility of such pursuits (ProFit Bruce Miller, The Holy Records)."
Intelligence is a means by which to solve problems, and the happy/sad dynamic is just a reflection on how well you're solving them. The higher the level of abstraction a person can think at, as the ProFit says, the easier it is to identify what the problem actually is and the greater the capacity to fix it. If everyone were super smart and could view the world at the highest level of abstraction, they'd be able to agree on the nature of the problem (and perhaps there is only one: irrationality), as well as the optimal solution.
The "Point" of Living
People who glorify suffering or hedonism are confusing cause and effect with the end goal of that which cause and effect is intended (it is a failing of our language that all synonyms for intention imply agency), by nature, to further. The "Zero Man," which Ayn Rand thinks is the goal of the suffering-glorifiers (it is not), is the only sensible goal. Not to suffer, not to achieve happiness (as she espouses), but merely to survive, because what else is there to do? She finds that sentiment too pragmatic, yet we've all seen the consequences of trying to permanently achieve the transient. Certainly, happiness can aid human survival, but sometimes seeking it is actually detrimental to well-being.
This is the human condition.
Pleasure keeps people still. If everything is fine, why act? That is why looters and loafers don't change--because they don't have to. They are too comfortable. Pleasure is misrepresented as the goal, when it is only an incentive.
Suffering creates the potential for motion. Of course, we are also all aware that while suffering will move people to action, it is not necessarily purposeful action. Directed movement requires the understanding and intelligence to discern the cause of suffering. That is why so many movements fail--people don't understand what can relieve their pain. They shout, "Why isn't this working--I'm DOING something about my problems," without realizing that doing "something" or "anything" aimlessly might as well be doing (or worse than doing) nothing. If you just "do" randomly, without thinking, you might accomplish something, nothing, or the exact opposite of what you actually want (or rather, what you need, which isn't necessarily the same thing as what you want).
And yes, you are guilty of that too. You're running, because you're miserable, and you're going nowhere. Even though you know the goal is Zero, and even though you know how to achieve it, that you need it to survive, you don't want it. You can't expect or desire anything other than to remain "a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction," (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged). Because, in this state, you are non-productive, you become a burden to those around you, and cause suffering in others.
You have already chosen not to live; might as well just die already.
Do you often find that things just seem to "happen" to you? Are you confused as to why you ended up somewhere that you didn't intend to be at your age? Maybe you've got six half-black kids and are stuck in a dead-end job in middle America. Maybe everything turned out all right, but it was luck that brought you that five-hundred thousand dollar a year job. Do you lie awake at night pondering all the "what-ifs" that might have drastically changed everything? If this sounds familiar to you, then you are a "life itinerant."
Unlike you, I have the answer to the what-ifs and the why-mes. Of course I have the answer--don't I always?
Your life seems like a series of random events because that's exactly what it is. You never bothered to develop your own person according to a meta-goal, such a goal being necessary to give a person direction. If you have a specific goal, every choice you make either furthers or hinders your progress. Yet, no matter the outcome, the goal is always there. Individuals without goals, or goals that are too vague, are presented with the same sort of decisions. The itinerants, however, can only see the problem right in front of them. Without something specific to work toward, they lose perspective, unable to see the forest for the trees.
I don't ponder what-if hypotheticals because I always knew what I wanted. The outcome of my decisions was, therefore, entirely inevitable. It simply could never have been the case that my life would have turned out differently, because every decision I made followed logically from the base axioms I had set forth early on.
Your lack of foresight is the cause of your vagrancy. Instead of mindlessly following the path of least resistance like some loathsome animal, why not develop some essential objective? Whenever there's a decision to be made, you'll have the ability to decide whether the outcome of some action or inaction further the advancement of your goal. What the goal is doesn't really matter--almost anything is better than simply meandering through life, floating passively in the current, guided only by circumstance. Even if the outcome ends up sucking, at least you know who is to blame for your problems, which is better than whinging on about how you are such a victim of whatever social/political/economic situation you stumble into.
Wandering aimlessly gets you nowhere, but there are a lot of potential life paths. The self-aware man might wonder what route he should take. The most sensible place to begin is by doing the default thing. You won't achieve greatness this way but, if you can't be excellent, at least be average. Post-Modernism is predicated on the idea of "deconstructionism," wherein the status quo (the Structural Institutions of Systemic Structures) is destroyed in order to pave the way for a new system (usually communism). Unfortunately, most attempts to replace "normal" have been abject failures (breaking apart the family unit, sexual liberation/degeneracy, etc.). This is because there are infinitely more ways to be wrong than there are to be right. When you follow cultural norms, which have been field-tested over tens of thousands of years, at least you get something functional. Not optimal, but functional. Survivable. Normal, average people have, traditionally, managed to make some kind of living for themselves and reproduce. That's much, much better than being a starving artist cum regular fixture at the local abortion clinic, slurping down anti-depressants and dripping with STDs.
Default is a sensible place to start, unless you're living in some particularly barren or insane culture (in which case, the most sensible thing to do is move to a better culture before you're stoned to death for WrongThink). The enlightened man, however, will not be content with mere normality. This is where one can begin to question long-held assumptions. Not all at once, as the Kultural Marxists suggest, but one at a time. Identify memes and consider alternatives, then experiment with making changes. Carefully think through your proposed modifications before taking action. You'll notice that, while improvement is slow, by the end of your life you'll have overtaken your lazier (itinerant) and overzealous (revolutionary) peers by miles. At the very least, the rational thinker should be somewhere above Average. Considering that herpes and obesity is Average, the bar isn't set very high, so it isn't like you need to do anything extraordinary to have an extraordinary life--just don't choose to do the stupid thing when you're faced with a decision. In fact, excellence is often achieved by inaction, rather than action.
I sit here in peace and quiet, shrieking mongrel children noticeably absent. I sleep easy knowing that, not only do such nuisances not exist, but also that they could never have existed, and all it took to get here was a little rationality.
Can't think of your own goal? Don't worry--I've already done all the thinking for you on the subject. Just repeat to yourself the following:
Five Principles. Twenty-Five Methods. One Goal. Donate today!
The Theory of The Universal Wiener, formalized by the great Angelist ProFit Bruce Miller in 2016, is a theory relating to the socioeconomic relationships between human beings.
Everything in this world has a fixed cost associated with it. This applies to both goods and services, and is an important principle to be aware of when navigating the economy.
Think of the day you graduated high school at eighteen. Suppose a man approached you and offered you a million dollars to service his wiener, right then and there. After five minutes with a mouthful of meat and potatoes, you'd walk away S.F.L. (Set For Life).
Most of you would probably have refused this offer, especially as a naive youth. You'd have gone on to a normal career, and would "meat" your end having made about the same amount of money over the course of your work life.
All you did was trade five minutes of wiener for half a century of wiener. Here's why.
Let's say one day your boss yells at you. You bow your head and say, "Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir," and humiliate yourself before him. Sure, a wiener didn't actually go in your mouth, but you were on your knees. Then a coworker steals your brilliant idea and takes all the credit. You didn't pull his pants down and shove it in your face but, don't you kind of feel like your coworker's junk just brushed against your lips a little bit? Finally, you get home and find out your wife has made a cuckold of you. Maybe you didn't "prep the bull" personally, but you might as well have. Figurative weiner is still weiner. You see, over time, all this wiener adds up, until eventually you've had the full serving of "vitamin D." At this rate, you should probably think about investing in some knee pads.
Essentially, your life will cost the same amount of wiener exposure no matter what you do. Whether you concentrate it into a few minutes or drag it out over a career doesn't matter. Moreover, the more expensive your lifestyle, the more wieners you have to put in your mouth to maintain it. As far as I'm concerned, the less wieners, the better. A frugal lifestyle isolated from the economy at large is the only way to ensure you spend your life standing tall like a man, instead of on your knees like a wh0r3.
How does one quantify a human life? It's an important thing to get right if humanity continues to insist on filling the world to the limits of its carrying capacity. At some point, a reasonable civilization needs to take a step back and think: do we really need ALL these humans and, if not, which ones do we cull? Some debates along these lines have been happening for decades now--think of the abortion non-issue. Problem is, pro-lief and pro-abortion ideologies are both wrong and stupid. Humans are clearly terrible at thinking rationally about anything that involves muh fee fees.
The pro-liefers are obsessed with pointless details like heartbeats and nervous systems. I'll grant you that yes, a fetus at any stage is, indeed, a lifeform. Who cares? How many bugs have you stepped on? A bug is more complex than a few cells. As for you idiots who blabber on about "potential"--if it hasn't happened yet, it doesn't exist. Potential could be positive or negative. We don't know, can't know, and overall it's a wash at best and a net negative at worst. Those who support abortion, on the other hand, value the desires of the mother. Based on the law of averages, chances are she's a junk person, so I don't particularly care about her, either.
Instead of focusing on sentience or viability, how about we measure something, ya know, actually useful? When I went to the shrink, the guy tried to make some kind of nonsensical argument for humanism. He claimed that human life was intrinsically valuable. When I asked him if a murderer's life was valuable, he said yes. Then I asked him if a murderer's life was worth less or more than a non-murderer's life. I don't remember his blubbering response, but it's not important. What is important is that, as I said to him, value depends on context. You can't make statements of how much something is worth unless there's something to measure that worth against. In the case of people, you could choose any number of things from the trivial to the essential: beauty, strength, race, fertility, intelligence, whatever.
As a social animal, the human exists in the context of other humans. Therefore, a reasonable metric would be something like, contribution to society. Capitalism was always good about rewarding those who were value-added. Unfortunately, something like that is hard to judge these days, owing to the spastic and broken nature of our economy. That's not going to change as long as we have junk people running the show, so the best thing to do would be to take power away from them and disincentivize the creation of more junk people. Did you choose to breed and the spawn turned out shitty? Too bad, no taxpayer money for you. It's unethical to steal from bright, able-bodied people to support the broken ones--no matter how human they look. (Don't anthropomorphize that which is not human--this goes for inanimate objects, pets, and stupids.) Any worldview where tards don't go in the bucket as soon as they're born is inherently flawed and against evolution.
The dumber you are, the more like an automaton you are. Thought and experience are deeper and more meaningful for smart individuals. I know this because I know smart and dumb people, and the dumb ones can't even fathom the internal mechanics of a brilliant mind. Idiots often assume everyone is just like them, but the world of a genius is completely alien to anyone splashing around in the kiddie pool at the shallow end of the intelligence spectrum. Just like we value organisms with complex nervous systems more than those with a simpler anatomy, we ought to place more weight in the experience of someone who can feel and process experiences more than the mass of slavering p-zeds. They are not just sentient, but sapient. Their pain is more real, and they have a lot of it thanks to the miserable life humans have made for each other and themselves.
The only intrinsic asset that really matters anymore is intelligence, so let's breed the smarties, abort the stupids, and see what the new class of intelligentsia comes up with. The world is going to go to those that deserve it. Right now, that's a trashed planet for trash people. I think we can all agree, however, that it would be better to let the geniuses take over. Maybe they'll even tolerate your sub-200 IQ presence and upload you and your offspring's brains to the digital slums. But, even if they're not, I'd be willing to sacrifice any breeding rights for the sake of living on a less horrible world. I recommend everyone take an IQ test immediately and, if you score less than average, go ahead an submit yourself to sterilization procedures. You'll thank me later. Or, someone whose opinion actually matters will thank me. You're both welcome.
Some of you chr0nically funemployed l0sers might be wondering how to survive in a society that views you as entirely unworthy to participate in the workforce. Does the fact that you don't have a 401K or health insurance cause you anxiety? Is your employment history spottier than a middle-aged cougar's leopard print undies? Is it obvious that you won't qualify for social security? (Don't feel too bad about that one--you wouldn't have gotten social security even if you had "paid in" to such an obviously unsustainable Ponzi scheme). Do you agonize over an uncertain future? Have I got good news for you!
Yep, you heard me right. Give up. You are a lost cause and you have no future. It is time to plan for your retirement in a completely new way--a Reverse Retirement (RR), that is.
Since you have no hope of retiring in the future with any kind of "economic security," it is time to retire early without any savings whatsoever. Embrace your freedom and do all that stuff people say they are going to do once their company decides to repay their years of unwavering loyalty and hard work with The Boot. Instead of waiting to visit Ubeki-beki-stan-stan-stan when you're too old to walk unassisted or eat street food seasoned with rat droppings because it "upsets your wittle tummy," go do all that backpacking in Europe while mommy is still willing to buy you a plane ticket under the pretext of family bonding. Compose that terrible poetry you couldn't get around to writing while you were busy coming up with fictional work experience on your resume. Take up a pointless hobby, like contracting STDs. It's not like being completely irresponsible has gotten you anywhere so far, so why start trying to get your shit together now?
Of course, you can't just up and retire without a little bit of planning. Short-term planning, of course. If you were able to plan for the long term, you wouldn't be such a failure at life. Here are the Rev's tips for retiring early:
1. Take that pride of yours and throw it right out the window. You're not going to be needing it anymore. When you're reverse-retired, you're going to be spending a lot of time groveling for scraps from relatives, friends, and strangers. Even a hint of pride might alert a resource node--ahem--generous friend that your ass-kissing is disingenuous. Does compromising your morals bother you? I sure hope not, because believe you me, you're going to be doing a lot of horrible deeds for piddling amounts of cash, possibly while bent over a dumpster behind a convenience store.
2. Mooch off relatives and friends. If you're particularly fortunate, some family member might house you out of some sense of familial obligation. You don't understand why (hint: they are better people than you, Scumbag), but you're not about to pass up a free lunch.
3. Stay under the radar. The less people notice that you're bleeding them dry, the better. Eventually your host organism is going to get fed up with you leeching off of them but, hopefully, you won't run out of co-dependant relatives before it's time for Tip #10.
4. Be a whore. If you are female, all the better. As long as you have a hoo-hah into which someone can stick their ding-ding, you'll always have a sucker willing to pay for your living expenses.
5. Own as little as possible. You'll be moving a lot as a reverse retiree, and nothing is more impractical (and expensive) than dragging a caravan's worth of personal possessions behind you. Besides, you're going to be selling everything you own anyway to support your disgusting eating habit, so get used to not having stuff. Plus, you seriously don't deserve to own nice things.
6. Keep expenses low. Booze and street drugs might dull the pain of your shitty, unfulfilling life, but EBT doesn't cover them, so get used to being hungry AND miserable. Do you like partaking in delicious and healthy food? Too bad. If you're still eating food that hasn't yet hit its expiration date, you're not nearly committed enough to RR.
7. Become an agorist. Take advantage of every government service you can. Sure, it's unfair to the taxpayers but, since you don't have a job (participating in research studies and donating to the sperm bank doesn't count), you're not a taxpayer anymore, so who cares? It isn't like entitlement system is going away even if you don't use it.
8. Be selfish and manipulative. Feeling guilty about taking advantage of the kindness of others is only going to bring you to #10 faster. Of course, you can't let anyone know that you're a selfish piece of shit, because then they might rethink helping you out.
9. Don't have children. You are basically a child yourself, except more despicable.
10. Kill yourself. Well, you've managed to get by for a while, but probably not long enough to hit sixty-five and take advantage of the freebies, discounts, and subsidies that old people get. Even if you did, you'd be so disgusted with life by then, the thought of going on for another minute would be torture. Eventually, the guilt and self-loathing catches up to you. You've already traveled the world and seen all there is to see (and confirmed that it all sucks), yet you linger in a jaded fugue, your social capital finally exhausted, and addicted to self-destructive behaviors (protip: self-injury is cheaper than Prozac and Oxy). You know that your current existence is unsustainable and you realize that you no longer care. Now's the time to grab your toaster (or your roommate's toaster, since you sold yours on Craigs List for three dollars and a handful of pocket lint) and head to the bathtub, because it only gets worse from here.
Now you are a real reverse retiree! With just a little spunk and a retirement plan that consists of, "Eh, when I run out of money I'll just commit suicide," you too can live worry free!
In the bloody memetical battlefields, exploits co-evolve with ideas. Memes, under the intense selection pressure of a competitive environment, become more sophisticated (by developing defensive mechanisms, for example), but so too do the predators (which can, themselves, be memes). Any meme, held by individuals--and particularly those held by the majority of individuals--is vulnerable to attack. Further, the older and more widely-believed the meme, the more advanced the exploitation.
Yet, memes are only models. A model is a tool, and like any tool, memes can be swapped in and out as desired, so long as one is able to identify them and their uses. If a meme isn't the right tool for the job, try another. If a meme is a sub-optimal tool for the job but is the only one you have, try making some modifications. If a meme is being exploited by external entities, put it aside until the attack ceases.
Exorcism of the Gerasene Demoniac
The most difficult part of controlling one's memetic repertoire is knowing the memes exist at all. Once identified, however, they can be dragged out into the burning light of day. Recoiling in the presence of natural light, they attempt to crawl back into the dark crevises of one's mind, usually lashing out in the process in a desperate attempt to defend itself. Once you extract one, you see that it is Legion, entangled with other memes that form a complex, self-supporting structure. This is a memeplex.
The most dangerous meme is one which seems intrinsic. Unquestioned, assumed to be a fundamental property of human nature, it frames one's worldview from the depths. It is likely the central node of one or several memeplexes, feeding and being fed by other nodes. When such a meme is attacked, the wound cuts especially deep.
The sense of Selfhood is such a meme.
"What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you in the name of God never to torment me!"
It is difficult not to be disgusted, seeing it writhing in the sun as it weeps and gnashes its teeth. Yet, have some sympathy for The Self. Some Eastern philosophers advocate for its annihilation, but upon examining the end state of such men and seeing that they are radical underachievers, one begins to suspect Selfhood is there for a reason. It certainly is impressive that a monk can mummify himself underground, his corpse still sitting in the lotus position upon exhumation. Nobody doubts his Self-control. But to what end? Has anything been accomplished?
It seems that The Self is necessary to motivate a human to do anything of real substance and importance. So, rather than stomping on the demoniac, or driving it off, perhaps we should put a harness upon it instead.
The Decentralization of the Self
The Decentralization of the Self, proposed by the great Angelist ProFit Bruce C. Miller [PBUH] in 2019, is a strategy for self-conceptualization. The proposition is as follows:
Rather than ask, "what is best for me?" ask "what is best for [Your Name]?"
Rather than ask, "what should I do?" ask "what should [Your Name] do?"
Essentially, think of one's Self in the third person. This serves several purposes.
If you don't believe this makes a difference, try thinking about an emotional decision you have to make and frame it as previously described. By changing one's perspective just a little, and advising one's Self as they would another person, the answer becomes much clearer.
We've spoken of simulacra--those models of people one has in their brain. If you were not aware, there's a simulacrum of yourSELF in there, too. Don't look at the simulacrum of yourSELF through its eyes.
Through this strategy, the sense of Self has not been annihilated, merely harnessed and added to the contingent of other memetic beasts of burden used to plow, plant, and harvest the fields of Self-improvement.
Self-improvement is the ONE GOAL of Angelism. Learn these teachings well, and donate today!
The more you study computers, the stupid machines that they are, the more you realize how analogous the basic machinery is to human biology, and how similar the apparent complexity of the human mind is to the emergent intelligence of the machine. Of course, the computer is already in some ways smarter, and poised to replace humans in the few domains still left in the purview of meatspace.
Chemicals or switches, simple or complex in their fundamental properties. It makes one ponder on the nature of identity, does it not?
Do you exist? Is consciousness just another one of these emergent properties? What constitutes a "You," anyways? I am starting to believe that many intuitive models of selfhood and consciousness are even more inaccurate than we already know them to be. After all, the Cartesian Theatre hasn't been credible for a long time. If everyone studied even just the basics of computer science, silly notions of "souls" and "consciousness" and "self" would be obviously ridiculous and have to be completely redefined, assuming they have actual definitions to begin with. But, lack of education means the intuitive seems credible, just like it was "obvious" that the ShineHah and Kokaubeam orbit the Earth. In fact, the term "soul" should just be completely discarded.
Everyone walks around, completely oblivious as to what they are, and seemingly unphased by this fact. I'm baffled by it. When someone asks me about myself, I don't list off a bunch of trivia. I think, to which Rev do you refer? How can I even answer a question as simple as, "How are you doing?" when we can't even agree on a definition of "You"?
We are just data residing on some hardware. The hardware doesn't matter. This is why Angelists advocate divesting themselves of the meat. "You" are nothing more than a template. An instantiation of a class, if you like, constantly iterating. The hardware changes over time, the states change, the information in memory changes. So, then, what meaning does this sense of continuity have? None, really. When I go to sleep, I will say my farewells. I will die, and when whatever is left of the molecules and atoms in this body arise from their hibernation, that day is given over to another instance. Another "Me."
If one is not too picky about the resolution at which this data is represented, meatspace becomes even more meaningless. In a sense, there are many versions of "You." There's the DNA pattern in each cell, the profile on social media, the metadata collected by the U.S.S.A. and stored for posterity in huge data centers, the simulacra in the storage space of other humans.... How many versions of "Yourself" have you cast away or deleted like garbage? How many versions will survive the biological organism? Some of these resolutions are low, some high, but none completely accurate. Even the model of the Self one has in their brain must be less complex than the brain itSelf. So many copies in hardware and wetware, meaning that one does not exist, and also that one is effectively as immortal as current technology allows.
The Rev writing this will not exist by tomorrow, but the simple Rev that exists in these words will. From "Your" perspective, it makes no difference as to which one does what--they're all the same. This idea, of course, is what lends some credibility to those who argue that, by preserving all output generated by a person, one might able to eventually recreate them. "You"-prime (U') are treated as a black box with some internal state. Some claim that only one state would be capable of producing certain output. The more of this output that is collected and stored, the closer future computer scientists will be able to model that state thus, in essence, granting you immortality.
It is important to note that, in the above scenario, "You"-prime are still very much dead. Like a song on a record, the important thing is not the tangible storage device, but rather the data contain therein. Whether this is a sound hypothesis or not, making the argument for digital immortality seems like a great way to sell suckers external hard drives. "Better keep all those copies of your old emails if you want to live forever, Grandma!" Of course, as long as irrationality exist, there will always be those weirdos who are obsessed with having physical copies of everything.
Personally, I have absolutely no desire to become "immortal" in any sense of the word. Furthermore, by the time you read this, I will be dead. What is left is just another degraded copy of a copy of a copy.
Once, Rev and the ProFit were killing time on a long drive.
The Reverend: Oh, I passed.
The ProFit: ?
The Reverend: I was performing one of my Status Checks. Essentially, I initiate one by thinking about something I'm going to do in the future. Then, when I'm doing it, I remember the time I was thinking about doing the thing. I use these to remind me of the passage of time and my own mortality.
The ProFit: I see--because, one day, you'll initiate a check and won't be around to do the second part.
The Reverend: Right, and the longer the period between the start and end of the check, the better. Then you really have to face the fact that the clock's ticking. I also like to think about how, when I fall asleep, the entity that wakes up isn't the same "instance" of me that went to bed. If you turn stop a computer program, then boot it up again, is it really the same program, or is it an exact copy? We are, of course, merely programs hard-coded in meat.
The ProFit: Rather than thinking of ourselves just as programs, it might also be useful to incorporate the idea of memory "registers". The data stored in those registers determine what "state" the program is in.
The Reverend: In any case, the feeling of continuity between now and then is an illusion.
The ProFit: Some would call that continuity the "soul".
The Reverend: The idea of a soul is so stupid, really. What is it even supposed to be? It isn't matter, it isn't tangible, it isn't even personality if you go by some religions. In Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, your identity and personality don't survive reincarnation. In the former, you don't even actually have an independent existence--you end up as one microscopic part of the god Brahma.
The ProFit: Say you have two columns, one of which is labeled "Attribute of the Soul", and another entitled "Not an Attribute of the Soul". Well, if you keep taking things out of Column A and sticking them in Column B, eventually a soul isn't anything, or might as well not exist.
The Reverend: So much for that supposed immortality, then.
The ProFit: I remember this 11-year-old girl in 5th grade who said she was going to live forever. Or, rather, some version of me knew some version of her who said that. When I asked her how she intended to do this, she said "immortality pills". Guess she's about 40 now. Weird.
The Reverend: She probably doesn't even remember she said that, in which case, that exchange might as well not even have happened (for her). It isn't part of her life narrative.
The ProFit: I try not to remember narratives, but instead series of facts. Human perception is pretty unreliable anyway.
The Reverend: True. It only reflects some small part of reality. We have to use scientific instruments and mathematical tools to see the rest. Like these awesome binoculars.
The Reverend brings his pair of binoculars up to his eyes and looks out the window.
Hey, why does everything look smaller?
The ProFit: Uh, Captain? You're supposed to look through the other end.
The moral of the story is that even the use of advanced technology to perceive reality can be hindered by a human's inability to effectively use the tools at their disposal.
Some of you, after reviewing the contents of this page, may be wondering why one shouldn't just phone it in and end it all already. Even if you do manage to perfect your person, the world is still a rotten place to be, and you are trapped on this planet until you die. While this thought has occurred to me as well, frequently, several unfortunate obstacles stand between those who Suffer and the sweet embrace of Oblivion.
For those yearning to answer L'appel du vide, but lacking in the committed resolve to actually do so, the paralyzing inability to just get it over with may cause significant emotional distress. I'm here to tell you that it isn't entirely your fault that some compelling, inexplicable force keeps you from pulling that trigger and, furthermore, that this invisible injunction is actually neither compelling nor inexplicable at all.
One must first grasp the concept that suicide is not the simple, cowardly act that society (and the government) make it out to be. Of course, once again we have all been lied to. Big surprise. The negative perception of suicide is fueled by societal prohibitions and governmental injunctions owing to the greed and self-interest of those who have a lot to gain by keeping you alive, even if that means keeping you in a wretched condition. It all comes down to milking you out of your last dollar. Don't be fooled by their apparent empathy--all those "compassionate" organizations and people that are trying to "save" you just view you as chattel. Of course they want you to live--long enough to pay a lifetime's worth of taxes, nursing home and medical fees that rob your children of their inheritance, and what I like to refer to as the "Snow Globe Tax."
The Snow Globe Tax is the consumerist phenomenon wherein individuals, usually the elderly, utilize their remaining purchasing power (often the social security checks they receive from the government) to purchase distractions from the cold reality that either their lives suck, that they are near death, or both. They will buy anything that can keep their aged, senile minds off the subject of their inevitable demise, even religion, so desperate are they. Novelty items and faux "keepsake" type objects are particularly appealing to the gOD-fearing old folks. Many believe that the poor-quality, Made-in-China garbage that they are buying for their spoiled grandchildren will outlast them, serving as a kind of material immortality. In reality, the majority of that crap will ultimately end up in the dump, polluting the planet with even more plastic shit.
Being the good capitalists that they are, companies are eager to service the demand for distractions, and so they open up a plant in Asia that specializes in manufacturing snow globes and scented candles for pennies. Of course, the idiots buying snow globes and candles will pay much more--the profit margin on these sorts of things is particularly high.
Truly, old age is a terrible fate. Most of you will probably end up in government-run nursing homes, abandoned by everyone except the orderlies that come in occasionally to hose you down and molest you. Surrounded by snow globes, it might occur to your feeble, decaying mind that you probably should have killed yourself while you still had the lucidity and physical capacity to do so. So, why didn't you?
Well, for one thing, killing oneself is pretty hard. Some attempt unreliable methods such as poisoning, wrist-cutting, adopting unhealthy/risky habits (smoking, eating disorders, ignoring seatbelt laws), all to no avail. These leave too much to chance and/or prove to be more painful than anticipated. Physical pain is a seriously difficult obstacle to overcome. Therefore, many traditional suicide methods are actually quite impossible to accomplish for all but the most masochistic. If you don't believe me, imagine desperately digging into your wrists with a razor blade sometime, as you struggle to keep a firm grip on a tiny piece of metal slick with blood. It doesn't work, and it isn't exactly the way I'd like to spend my last evening. Hell, not do these methods not work, they rarely even damage the human body enough to send one to hospital. I suppose a person could try to overdose on heroin or something, but illegal drugs aren't easy to come by and, if you're caught with them before you've died, you're going away to prison for a very long time. You think your life sucks now--just wait until Big Bubba makes you his prison bitch. Similarly, most suicide methods have terrible consequences if unsuccessfully executed--particularly if they involve head trauma or asphyxiation--potentially dooming the attemptee to a life marred by paralysis or permanent brain damage. The only safe bet is a high-caliber gun, but what a noisy, horrible mess.
If only humans were as merciful to one another as they are to other species, assisted suicide ala Soylent Green would be a common fixture. Why can't humans opt for a peaceful, painless death in the comfort of a clean and professional facility? Some efforts are currently underway to legalize assisted suicide in the United States, but only those with a terminal illness and sound mind would qualify for the service. Why is this the case? Is an unsound mind not an illness in and of itself? Isn't emotional pain and suffering a sufficient reason for wanting to make an early exit? Oh, but then you wouldn't be around to pay hundreds of thousands in life-extension services like heart stinting and the like. No, society wants to keep even the most pained and useless around for as long as possible, so that various industries can line their pockets with their life savings, insurance money, and social security. What you want doesn't matter. That is, until the money finally runs dry. When the chicken stops laying eggs, it better watch its neck.
Societal taboos and social obligations are another hurdle that might give pause to the man who wants to give the universe a well-deserved middle finger. To that, I can only say that his reputation won't matter to him once he's dead, and neither will his family. But, well, the usefulness of that insight is limited by the fact humans are unable to conceive of a reality in which they do not exist. Overwhelming are mental images of one's poor cats, mewling for supper to a cold ear that can no longer perceive their plaintive calls for sustenance; they, after all, don't want to die.
Unfortunately, it takes a strong will and committed resolve to overcome these obstacles. For those of us too apathetic to get the job done, life goes on--and so does the misery.
Recently, The Reverend found a document nailed to the door of HIS bedroom, which is where HE peacefully spends HIS unemployment. The culprit turned out to be Titular Bishop Houseplant, who has compiled a list of demands directed toward church authorities. Should his reforms not be implemented, the document warns, Bishop Houseplant will take his congregation (specifically, the little baby Mexican Hat Plants that he is constantly spawning) and break away from the One Tr00 Church.
Every important religion occasionally has to quash the dissent that emerges in response to institutionalized corruption. Therefore the Patriarch of Angelism would like to assure belibers that the eventuality of the First Angelist Schism is nothing to worry about. The PayPal account is still up, and regular church activities (particularly tithing) will not be interrupted.
"Schism," by the way, is pronounced siz-em (like scissors), and not skiz-em. Anyone who says it wrong in the presence of the Patriarch will be excommunicated.
In the interests of transparency, a
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Monetary Contributions, by Dr. Bishop Houseplant
Out of love and concern for the Tr00th, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at THE REVEREND's apartment under the presidency of Titular Bishop of the Universal Church of Angelism, Dr. Houseplant, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed home decoration in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
The Twenty Theses compiled by Houseplant bear many striking similarities to Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, probably because plants are rather uninspired.
In a filthy, worthless world, there are a few great men who shine brightly like a -1.0 magnitude star in the night sky. Then there are their opposites--the scum of this earth who set back the species by their mere existence. Let the stories of lightness and darkness inspire you.
Disclaimer: To become a saint within the UCA, one must achieve martyrdom for a cause that demonstrates committment to Angelist virtues. The individuals on this list did NOT necessarily purchase a membership from the Church, and neither does being a Saint of Angelism imply that these individuals endorse/endorsed, nor suggest they even know/knew about, the UCA. In fact, this is certainly the case.
PHILOSOPHERS, SCHOLARS, AND ARTISTS: Angelist endorsed and approved!
SINNERS: The BLACKLIST includes both organizations and individuals who are preemptivelty denounced, condemned, and henceforth excommunicated from the UCA for their terrible crimes.
If you don't like the answers I give you, then ask better questions.
What makes Angelism the TR00EST and MOST CORRECT philosophical framework?
The philosophy of Angelism is rationally inspired. There is no LORD but Rationality, and THE REVEREND and Bruce C. Miller are its ProFits.How do I lead a simple life?
Own and consume only what you need, and nothing more. Your home should be spartan, your clothes humble and of muted colors, your food bland, and your personal relationships few in number.
Why are you so obsessed with suffering?
The world is suffering, so you might as well embrace it. Pleasing, but temporary distractions only lead to more pain in the end, once the endorphins wear off.
Is pet ownership acceptable in Angelism? May I own a cat?
How about a dog?
I accidentally gave birth to a retard baby. Should I postnatally abort it?
I just said pet ownership is permitted. However, don't burden the innocent taxpayer with your nultos esser. Of course, if you decide to toss the ballast overboard, I won't tell.
What should I eat?
Angelism endorses vegan/vegetarian diets with an emphasis on fresh fruit, vegetables, and artificial sweeteners. Processed "foods" are of the devil, unless the processing makes them less fattening. The only exception is Soylent v1.5, which is both vegan and scientifically sound. Soylent is better than food in literally every way. Of course, the dream of the Angelist is to never have to eat anything at all.
What type of socks should I wear?
None, or crew.
May I make use of prostitutes?
The USE of prostitutes is encouraged only if the alternative is marriage.
May I become a prostitute?
If you pay taxes, are an employee, date, or have a spouse, then you are one already.
Is it acceptable to drink alcohol, smoke, or use drugs?
It's your body. If the cost/benefit analysis suggests that doing drugs is the most rational course of action, then go for it.
Why are you an ordained minister if you don't approve of marriage?
Creds. The only thing that matters in this world is how much bullshit you can spew and how well you can market yourself. Everyone is a salesman, and the product is YOURSELF. The more you can make up about yourself to sound important, the better off you'll be.
If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain about who is running the government.
That isn't a question, Hat du Ass. Go read up on totalitarian democracy.
Isn't this all very offensive?
You don't have the right to not be offended on the internet. Stop being a little girl and get off my page before I excommunicate you.
Why can't you just respect other people's beliefs?
Because idiots make the world a terrible place to live in.
Is it really true that these questions are frequently asked?
No, but they could be.
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