from Kapingamarangi

The story behind the Magnum-book 'The Book of Veles' is unbelievable. It's a stark warning not to believe everything you see.

Photographer Jonas Bendiksen explains in an article the different bits of misinformation that he incorporated in his book. The city of Veles exists. The disinformation farms existed too. And there was once a Book of Veles written. But all this existing information is mixed with non-existent information for an art project critical about contemporary media.

In the interview, Bendiksen unravel the different layers of misinformation: * The photos are real, but the people in the photos are digitally designed avatars, * The original Book of Veles exists, but it's a fantasy of two writers, * The texts in the book are written by text robots fed with articles on the fake news industry in Veles, quotes from interviews and the ancient Book of Veles, * The person acting against the book was a fake Facebook and Twitter-account.

In sum, it became a fake news story about fake news producers. The story of Veles being a fake news hub is real. The story of the Book of Veles’ discovery and forgery is real. But all the actual content is fake.

It's an interesting read. A read that makes you think “What is real, and what is not?”.

Book of Veles - (c) Jonas Bendiksen

 
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from The Ansible

A few months ago I finished reading Dune, by Frank Herbert. I’d attempted it as a kid, probably around age 9 or 10, and even though the world immediately had an impression on me, I was turned back by a story that’s dense with internal references and a violent plot (I have put down more than one book without returning for months if a character I loved is about to be extinguished; in fact, I still have not finished one of my favorite series of all time — His Dark Materials — because of this problem).

I came back to Dune because for years it has been pushing my peripheral imagination; the desert world of Arrakis and its titanic worms echo in so much of the science fiction I love, and I’ve had more than a few dreams in worlds that were, one way or another, derivative of Herbert’s creation. I also absolutely hate reading books “after the movie,” and now a very promising cinematic version of Dune is set for this year — with a cast that I really can’t resist. So I had to finish the book.

And I did. But I had hoped coming back to Dune would be a great reunion, a place I would add to my mental collection of fictitious homes — but Herbert’s world, plot and style were only intermittently captivating for me. The characters I thought I had loved as a kid, I didn’t really love as much this time. The wise observations Herbert makes often feel misplaced in a world of selfish and violent ethics, where it is hard to pinpoint true reflection or irony in a narrative that only partly attempts to subvert gender norms or stereotypes of indigenous people; and of course, everything is intensely heterosexual except the villains (Herbert was an angry, boorish homophobe). And actually, all of that might be too gentle, granting Herbert the benefit of having the “common views of his time,” because the alt-right loves Dune, like a lot. I mean, you’ve got eugenics, white-savior complex in spades, drugs that enable magical hyper-logic, what appears to justifications for mass-genocide, and good old fashioned imperialism.

There is, of course, a more transcendent ecological message in Dune — something Herbert can probably be lauded and thanked for. Dune treats the environment of its world as a living and complex thing, its care as essential for life. Herbert gave hundreds of lectures on environmental and ecological sustainability, and Dune was, perhaps more than anything else, a garden for those ideas. But there are plenty of fowl things growing there, too.

Or perhaps the opposite is true; perhaps the lesson from Dune is that an author might create a world full of his own malignant ideas, which fosters later generations to be hateful and cruel — yet even there, in that harsh desert of imagination, there are some good things that grow.

Anyway, this book is a potent cultural touchstone, something like a piece of scripture for sci-fi culture; and sci-fi culture is just culture these days, when the dazzling future everyone was promised in the 50’s is mostly just granted to us via streaming services (as the Dune release will be). Like it or hate it, Dune matters. With a blockbuster film coming, it will matter even more.

So here are some clippings I found interesting from Dune (I’m not bothering with the parts I hated, this isn’t a thesis). I hope Dune’s new cinematic future leans into these elements, or even rips the whole thing right out of Herbert’s ugly grasp; remix and revision would be good.

Lines from Dune:

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.”

I don’t suppose its necessary to despise anything, but I think I would be suspicious of someone who claims they don’t on principle, and I would suspect tendencies of moral relativism.

“Hope clouds observation.”

And the more-famous converse:

“Fear is the mind-killer.”

Both I think are good. Hope is a positive force, but it is not necessary for everyone, and frankly, a bit rude to force it, or demand it of others who simply want clarity. Also, an absence of hope does not have to be filled by fear.

“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.”

This, in a nutshell, is what a lot of idealist thinking gets wrong when dreaming up solutions. Arguably the real challenge is knowing how far back in the process, and how far forward, one has to watch to understand enough. Certainly true of social science.

“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it.”

I actually don’t think this is true, but it is often true.

-e

 
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from mistermachismo

This is something of a personal ethos of mine that has naturally developed over the course of the last few years.

The characteristics I’ve come to admire most in other men, and therefore those I’ve sought to develop more within myself, can be summarised as:

  • Strength, in all things,
  • Self-reliance wherever possible,
  • Individual sovereignty.

When combined, these characteristics make for powerful and influential men that create freedom and value for their families and their local communities.

If this could be reduced to a single characteristic, it would be strength.

Strength could be used by all men as a guiding principle for improving their lives.

Being physically, mentally and spiritually strong is a hallmark attribute of successful men. Seeking to maximise strength in all the critical domains of your life, as a man, is a worthwhile and useful pursuit.

This might seem a little one dimensional, but there are really a multitude of aspects to strength that make it the most important attribute to develop as a man.

Consider that you can be strong in the following ways:

  • The most obvious, physically strong and robust, you are healthy and capable of difficult challenges, resilient to ailments and injuries,
  • Mentally strong and resilient, capable of withstanding moments or periods of high stress and difficulty without succumbing to pressure, assertive with positive intent, won’t quit,
  • Financially strong, able to provide for yourself and your wife and children, cushioned from the unexpected events that life inevitably presents to you, building a future and a legacy for your heirs and local communities,
  • Spiritually strong, the spirit is your life force that is immutably strong at its core, capable of driving you forward infinitely, driven by a strong resolve to achieve a mission,
  • Sexually strong, virile and capable of strong sexual connection and expressing physical love is essential to male fulfilment.

Many modern men are not strong in the ways or domains I’ve listed above. And it is little wonder that most modern men are depressed, out of shape, purposeless, broke and lonely.

You can see how being strong in all of those domains would create men of worth and value in the world. It is also easy to see how being strong across those domains effectively gives rise to the other two key characteristics I called out earlier – self-reliance and sovereignty.

In fact, being strong is a pre-requisite for admission into the territory of self-reliance and sovereignty.

To my mind, the person I want to be and the life I want to live, is embedded within the pursuit of strength, self-reliance and sovereignty.

If you’re a man, I posit you could pursue strength in your life across all domains and it would not steer you wrong.

 
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from mistermachismo

The world is a strange place these days.

Since becoming a father, my interest (and concern) about the future of our world has increased substantially.

For a long time, I'd subscribed to the ethos that I could largely just do my own thing and not worry about the machinations of politicians, governments and vested interest.

It's now apparent to me that to ignore all this is to enable the festering of evil. To remain silent is to be complicit.

Society is best served, and seems most robust, when the composition of it's members are strong, self-reliant and sovereign.

In my humble opinion, the average citizen is a long way from being any of those things in modern society.

I'm on a personal journey, perhaps even a crusade, to maximise my own strength, self-reliance and individual sovereignty in order to be capable of providing a sound future for my wife and children.

Becoming strong, self-reliant and sovereign are all things within my own locus of control, and can therefore be influenced by my own direct actions.

My writing is intended to document the journey of improvement.

My hope is that it helps and inspires others to embark upon their own journey of self-improvement towards strength, self-reliance and sovereignty.

Thanks for reading and best of luck.

 
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from Juan Mirieth Auriel

The Good Fruit

To Be Fruitful and Multiply

Genesis 9:7 – “But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out across the earth and multiply upon it.”

Be fruitful and multiply. Yet, what does this mean, ladies and gentlemen?

To be fruitful is to bear good fruit. To be fruitful is to be a good tree. The tree is man itself. The Hebrew word for tree is Otz (עץ). One tree that goes in thought is the Tree of Life, or Otz Chai (עץ חי). The fruit is the action of a man. As Matthew 7:16-20 reads:

By their fruit (actions) you will recognize them (humans and humanoids). Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree (man of goodness) bears good fruit (right actions), but a bad tree (man of impurity) bears bad fruit (impure actions). A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree (man of impurity) that does not bear good fruit (performs rightful actions) is cut down (death) and thrown into the fire (Abyss). So then, by their fruit, you will recognize them.

There is only one way to be fruitful: you must perform chastity and practice sexual magic with your spouse. He who does chastity and sexual magic is a tree of goodness, or Otz Tob (עץ טוב). There is a fatal way that never results in being fruitful: it is fornication. It is fornication which breeds the tree of impurity, or Otz Ra (עץ רע). He who fornicates will always result in producing impure fruits. Behold, this is the language of Da'ath or knowledge in Hebrew.

Please see also:

https://juanmiriethauriel.writeas.com/daath

To multiply is to reproduce. There are only two ways of reproducing. As mentioned in one of my last posts, “Childbirth”, One is the forgiving path of reproduction, and there is an unforgiving path of reproduction. The forgiving path is to reproduce by means of sexual alchemy with the guidance of the Elohim. He who breeds children by means of sexual alchemy is creating a race of the Elohim. There is an unforgiving path of reproducing, and this sexual behavior is very common among intellectual animals, which they will defend with their very lives. It is called reproduction by means of fornication. As we have told you many times, fornication is the act of spilling divine energy through orgasm. Fornication itself is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and also against the Sixth Commandment. He who raises children through the terrible crime of fornication creates a race of demons. He who multiplies by means of fornication goes against the balance of nature and the will of the Innermost. There is also poisonous sexual magic, which also recommends fornication. This poisonous sexual magic itself is infrasexual magic. Infrasexual magic itself is black tantra. Black tantra always breeds demons and literally turns a human being into a demonic beast.

Please see also:

https://juanmiriethauriel.writeas.com/childbirth

https://juanmiriethauriel.writeas.com/whenever-a-divine-child-is-born-in-the-3rd-dimension

Yet there is another hidden meaning of the word multiply. In Hebrew, multiply is Rabu (רבו). Another word that comes to mind is Rabbi (רבי). Rabbi is a Judaic term for master or teacher. Even Christ is the master of masters.

So, therefore, anyone who says “to be fruitful and multiply” with the recommendation of spilling the divine energy through orgasm is a sincere liar. You must avoid this sincere liar, for he himself is a black magician. Feel free to say these words unto the black magician and watch his reaction: “Hail to Christ! Down with Yahweh!” The black magician is the false prophet who approaches you in sheep's clothing, yet inside he is a ravenous wolf. See Matthew 7:15.

Verily I, Juan Mirieth Auriel, will say unto you: To be fruitful and be a Rabbi only means to be fruitful by means of chastity and the sacred (and alchemical) sexual magic and to become a Rabbi through sexual alchemy according to the will of the Innermost.

 
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from Vagabondin'

Far be it from me to tell you you’re living the wrong way. Maybe your way is the one true way, but I doubt that. I make no claim that there is one proper way to live, only that there are ways that are imbued with connectedness, meaningful struggle, simplicity, and ethics. I won’t tell you to drop out of society, nor should I think to throw away those things that humanity has built. Instead, in this country of pioneers and open beautiful land and near-miraculous technologies, I offer another way. Really, isn’t that what America is supposed to be, a land of opportunity where citizens can live their lives the way they see fit within reason, within the law?

That is not the way of it currently. Most Americans are living what Thoreau called “lives of quiet desperation.” We cling for things we don’t need, things that we have been tricked to want. We have been force fed marketing campaigns and inundated with ads, from billboards to the TV to social media and the internet.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

We are free as children, though without intellectual merit it should be noted, and enjoy simple being. We age and are filled to the brim with ideas of society, expectations, the rudiments of discontent, disquiet, the need to constantly do something, and are given the leaden bucket to draw from the never ending well of desire.

“...for my greatest skill has been to want but little.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

We work out what our purpose should be, namely our careers, as if that’s to define us, as we rage against narrowing ourselves to such a degree. We go to college, work a part-time to spend most of the income on a car, never questioning what it would be like to forgo a car altogether when your legs will do. We pick up our degree and mass debt on the way off the stage, get the well-paying 9-5, buy a house, have the 2.5 kids, get the dog you didn’t really want but your partner had to have. The cycle continues until the grief of not asking the important questions pours forth and you fill the vacuum with alcohol or drugs or more stuff. Maybe a divorce.

The necessary caveat needs be stated: Labor is not in question. The sweat of a man’s brow is his, and this view I lay out supports that idea arguably more than our current hyper industrial-capitalist system. Working for something bigger than you isn’t either. There are times to think for oneself and times to subsume into the group for the welfare of the collective. I would never tell you not to practice medicine or law or engineering. This is creation, and creation can lead to a destruction of noble elements or it can uplift the human. What we are questioning is the mode of modern life: are we sucking the marrow out of life, or simply eating the scraps thrown to us?

One more Thoreau quote:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” ― Henry David Thoreau

I say there’s a better way. And so I’m starting a commune. This idea is not new; it is the Kibbutz, the military platoon, the hunter-gatherer tribe. It is how we have lived for the vast majority of human history.

I could continue to philosophize, but grand writers have done so better and so, one more quote before I jump into the practical.

“Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It's time for that to end.” ― Sebastian Junger, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

Strongly Recommended Reading

I can't force anyone to read these before moving to the community but I can strongly recommend these life-changing books.

  • Tribe by Sebastian Junger
  • The Art of Happiness by Epicurus
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Waking Up by Sam Harris
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
  • The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  • Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
  • The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology by Mark Boyle
  • Essential Zen Habits by Leo Babauta

Important Notes

This is a place for healing and living, but do not mistake this place to be one for weakness. People through the ages and modern psychologists have talked much of grit, the ability to be resilient in the face of hardship. Have thick skin. Do not come here with strong political woke ideology. People are not all racist, homophobic, or sexist. If you plan to come here and spout that sort of rhetoric, your place is not here.

At the same time, we welcome vigorous intellectual conversation. We are an educated lot, or at the very least we aspire to be. We read books. We are willing to have the difficult conversations. We want to be strong and do not want to be victims. In fact, some of us dismiss victimhood outright.

We take inspiration from a few camps. If I were to use a few descriptors to try and convey what this place ought to be like, I would use the words...

  • Epicurus' Garden
  • Stoicism / The military platoon
  • Tribe
  • Simple living

The community will obviously appear to be what some may call a “hippy commune.” Though I have my own views on these matters, I do not enforce rules on polygamy vs monogamy, heterosexual vs homosexual, nudity vs clothing, capitalist vs communist, stoic vs sensitive, etc.

You should aspire to be healthy and physically fit. If you come here you are part of a tribe, and the tribe suffers when it has to carry one of its own. It's worse when the tribe has to carry one of its own because a member can't stop eating junk food or can't be bothered to use their legs to embrace the ground beneath them and go for walks.

No one expects you to be a bodybuilder, and in fact, that goes against the sort of natural body that is homeostatic and doesn't require a tremendous amount of resources to maintain. Some would argue that such a body type often brings with it a toxic personality or culture, and that is not something we want here.

I am not anti-technology. I have long felt cognitive dissonance about my relationship with technology. Could I e

Laws of the Land

This is a work in progress and subject to change. Every place needs rules.

Substance Use: There is no drinking, cigarettes, or drug use allowed. We can discuss bending that occasionally but it needs to be agreed upon by the community. It will probably be kept for certain holidays only.

Privacy, Ethics: Google products are not allowed in this community, either physically or by use. That means no Gmail, no Google Drive, no YouTube (while logged into a Google account), no Google Maps, no Google Chrome, no Chromebooks or Android phones, etc. I recommend Firefox for web browsing, ProtonMail for email, pCloud for cloud storage, and Signal for messaging, voice, and video calls. Also take a look at privacytools.io for more recommendations. I am currently looking at whether or not Windows products should be banned.

Social Media: Social media use is not allowed in this community. That means no Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, etc. You are here to be with other human beings. Social media is often anti-social and is arguably the reason for society’s increasing isolation. Social media companies could not care less about your privacy rights and because these services are free, you are the product. For the sake of my privacy and of the privacy of this community, photos should not be taken of this land or the people in it and shared online. You are here to present, to be mindful, to be alive. Social media is bad for your mental health, your social life, and your physical health.

I maintain the right to ask any individual to leave. Though it wouldn't come to that for an unfair reason, I expect that this land and community will be respected. Violations of rules will have consequences determined on a case by case basis, up to banishment from the community.

Structures / Utilities

Sleep:

We will have a communal sleeping space but no one is required to use it.

Fun:

We will have soccer balls, footballs, frisbies, and maybe some other items that promote physical activity, bonding, and fun!

Health:

In terms of fitness, we will not have workout equipment and we do not want people bringing it here. We can always discuss that. Use the miracle that is your body and do bodyweight exercises! You can do push-ups or sprint on the green grass, pull-ups on a sturdy tree branch. Most of your body composition comes from diet anyway.

We expect that people will not store or eat junk food. By doing so you are financing the corporations that couldn’t care less about the growing obesity epidemic in this country for fear of losing profits. We are warriors and people of the land aspiring live lives of simplicity. Part of that simplicity is avoiding the inevitable healthcare costs of an unhealthy lifestyle.

No one is saying that a person can never cheat on their diet, and I’m sure holidays and events will bring about some junk food, but this should absolutely never be the norm.

Hygiene

We will have outdoor showers. I'm working on figuring out how to get running water.

We will have rudimentary outhouses. They will occasionally move and new ones will be dug out.

We will have a couple washing machines. Clothes will be air dried. I recommend using 550 cord. Dryers are bad for the planet and costly. We may build a community wash basin.

Food

We will have a kitchen space. There should be no dishes in the sink; clean as you go. You are welcome and encouraged to primarily eat a raw food diet as it is healthy and doesn't require a lot of energy use but you are not required to do so.

I wish the land was not conditioned to the extent that we couldn't acquire our food from hunting and gathering. It may be the case in the future but for now we will work out rules on hunting and gathering in the immediate area.

We will have a large space dedicated to growing food, flowers, etc. I am working out if we should place garden boxes around the community so that anyone can plant in them.

We will have chickens. They will provide eggs and get rid of certain pests.

Lighting

There will be no outdoor night lighting. Embrace the stars and night sky!

Shelter

I will have a simple shipping container to house my bed, computer for remote work, and desk. You are free to buy and place your own shipping container but I need to agree on where it's placed. You should not come here with a lot of material possessions or plan on acquiring them after coming here. That is not what this place is for.

Power

I'm working on figuring out energy sources and how to get electrical power running.

Village Board: We will have a village board where people can post if they need something done or need an item or want to host a gathering or class. Anyone can respond. We will also have a fire pit in the center of the land. You’re encouraged to gather here.

Defense:

We will probably have a couple rifles for defense. I am working out whether or not we will have guard shifts to protect the community against intruders and wild animals. This community in no way condones violence but defense is defense.

Mail:

We will hopefully have a mailing address for receiving letters, food, and other necessities. Again, please do not order a lot of stuff to be sent here. That is not what this place is for.

Decorating:

I am working out my thinking on aesthetics. I welcome artists, architects, carpenters, and the like who can beautify a place with minimal material and in an eco-friendly way.

Vehicles:

We may have an emergency vehicle like a quad or truck for transporting injured or sick individuals to the hospital. These vehicles should never be used for any other reason. Embrace the miracle that is your body and use your feet to move!

This is a living document and is subject to change.


#commune #simpleliving #thoreau

 
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from Vagabondin'

Among the many things that I’ve been thinking about lately, one of them has been what I should do with all the information I’ve been presented with and how to crystallize my life experiences over the past ten years. In other words, what shape is my life trajectory taking and what should I actively do to make it happen, to take hold of the reins?

If I wanted to live passively, I could work my current part-time job and play my online games and pay my once-a-year phone bill and just be. For some, maybe that’s fine. I want to live a simple life, but I also want to actively shape my life, to be ethical, joyful, educational, and ultimately, helpful.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying to organize and properly articulate my thoughts around the quake books I’ve read over the past few years and some thinkers I’ve listened to. Soon I’ll be posting a small, changing manifesto on what I’d like to create as a community.


#commune #news

 
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from Vagabondin'

It’s been a while since I’ve written… anything, so I thought I’d write about some of my recent experiences, my current plans, and the trajectory my life appears to be heading in through a series of posts.

Before my last relationship fell apart, we wanted to start a family but didn’t have the money. She wanted the ring but I didn’t have the money. We wanted a more permanent place of living but… you can guess. Money had become a central issue in our relationship, for good and ill. I decided that without a truckload of job skills I should go back to what I know, so I got an overnight security job at a courthouse and later a college while talking to Army recruiters to go back into the service.

My service record was very mixed. I was a problem soldier who had deployed to Iraq and could soldier well, but I wasn’t particularly great with handling authority and I had become politically active and ideological. I’ll save you the details here, but I needed to jump through two years of hoops to get back in. The DOD had decided not long before that if you’d been out of the military for too long that you needed to go back to basic combat training, and that’s how I find myself sitting in the barber’s chair at Fort Jackson, no sleep for three days, and as a 32 year old Private (E1).

A lot has changed. I first went in 2007 at 18, serving till 2011 and deploying to Iraq once for 12 months. We fired numerous weapon systems including a grenade launcher and .50 caliber machine gun, and honestly, were taught so much at such a pace that I forgot a good portion of it shortly after leaving. We would train at our units anyway.

The training was rougher the first time ‘round. We once were instructed to fill canteens with hydration salts and water and to chug two or three of them while doing jumping jacks. Plenty of us threw up into the kill zone (center of the bay floor). We were then instructed to do chain sit-ups… on the same floor. I could go on, but suffice it to say, I had a feeling that this wasn’t particularly helping us become better soldiers.

This time, there was a lot more sitting and standing around. This time, we only fired the M4, through iron sights and through close combat optics. This training iteration was during COVID, and during the previous iteration in another battalion, there had been a scandal with drill sergeants checking females breasts to “make sure their plates fit properly” and making soldiers do bear crawls naked. A lot of leadership was kicked out of the Army and this time around the Army was playing it safe.

Of course, there are some training items that have to be done the same way to ensure that new soldiers can handle their job responsibilities. One of those items is The Forge, a three day training exercise involving tens of miles of foot travel, oftentimes in gear or with weighted rucksacks. You sleep outside, you do battle drills, you don’t get to shower, you eat mostly MREs, and you bond. And it sucks, but you bond, and you appreciate what the Army is trying to do because your body comes to understand.

Soldiering is very much an intuitive and bodily experience. At some point it clicks into place, and you understand “it” once you experience it. I pity those who never get to.

Our Forge had a little less movement because of the sheer heat of June and because of the aforementioned circumstances. We still moved, we still did drills, and we still marched. We wound up covering 30+ miles in the span of two days, a Forge that was cut short due to tropical thunderstorms. We marched around 12 miles in with around 30 lbs packs, marched a few miles the next night to complete the obstacles and night infiltration courses, and we marched around 12 back the night after that to the graduation field where our berets were donned. When we stopped moving and formed up to listen to the Sergeant Major speak, more than a few of us passed out in formation; a friend of mine five feet adjacent to my left fell flat on his face and had to be moved to the rear of the formation. When he came to he kept apologizing because he had no idea what happened.

And yet, with the pain and suffering inherent to what we went through, it was an inspiring moment, one you don’t forget. Some cried… I almost cracked when one of our drill sergeants shook my hand and asked if I would be seeing my daughter soon. It was a great moment.

So, what are the major differences between 2007 and 2021? Let’s break it down.

Instead of firing the M16 with iron sights, M249 SAW, M240B, .50 cal machine gun, M203 grenade launcher, and grenade throw, we only fired the M4, at first with iron sights and later with a CCO (close combat optic) and did a grenade throw. If people tell you firing a weapon isn’t like Call of Duty, try using a CCO before agreeing. My first contract I never used a scope, but I qual’d expert with the M4 with CCO and was amazed at how simple it was to hit targets.

I went to Fort Benning my first time around, which is notoriously an infantry-based and hard basic training, and trust me, it was. But if I compare the last field training exercise (FTX 3) to The Forge at Fort Jackson, I think the latter was more difficult. Not because of my age, but because it was almost as if Fort Jackson had something to prove. Because of all the recent developments and consequence restrictions, we simply didn’t get physically prepared enough for the last FTX, and it showed. People broke ankles or busted their feet or fell out of required marches; a male comrade in our platoon finished all of the training with a fractured foot and was called a pussy for it as you might expect for complaining about the pain. They later called him a trooper after the x-rays came in. A female platoon member had a busted ankle and she too finished up the training.

When I thought about that standing in formation, everyone in our platoon making it through despite injuries, I got a little choked up.

PT changed significantly too. The new PT still has the weird stretches that make you wonder if they actually do anything, but there are more of them. It seems as though the Army has learned that breaking people is counter-productive, and it seems more care has been put into what we do and how much. The Army, much to my surprise, is slowly phasing out running. Their reasoning is that running once or twice a week isn’t helping your run time and the number of stress injuries like shin splints is significant and worthy of attention.

The PT test is completely different. Gone are the days of 2 minute push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2 mile run. There are now six events, all of them simulating (or so they claim) some form of physical action performed in combat situations. Thus, the old is called the Army Physical Fitness Test and the new the Army Combat Fitness Test. The events are as follows: a deadlift, a medicine ball toss, hand-release push-ups, the sprint-drag-carry, leg tucks, and a 2 mile run. I feel as though this may be too many events; many are failing the new test while few others are maxing it out.

The new rifle marksmanship range is fantastic. It used to be that you’d go prone supported (rifle resting on a sand bag) for 20 targets, then prone unsupported for 10, and kneeling for 10. At least, that’s how I remember it.

Now, you fire at your first target standing, then quickly drop to the prone unsupported for nine, then reload and go supported for 10, reload and go kneeling supported against a barrier for 10, and finally reload and go standing supported against a barrier for 10. It keeps you on your toes and it’s a much better representation of a combat situation.

All in all I feel that the experience has improved, even if I complained that it had gone a little soft. A lot of the training that I felt was superfluous the first time through has been cut, and honestly, if you really need to know it for your job, you’re going to learn it at AIT or at your unit. Why waste tax dollars having everyone shoot the M240B when they’re in cyber warfare and (probably) never going to fire one? Every soldier should be trained with the M4, which is simply a better weapon than the M16, and the Army is now doing that.

Want to know more? Feel free to ask.


#military #army #basictraining #personal #soldiering

 
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from Vagabondin'

Outside the halls of knowledge, far from the ivory tower, Psychology actually matters. Within academia, you’d be hard-pressed to convince anyone that any field of inquiry is not worth the time, but outside of it, it doesn’t take long to find people who think it serves little purpose in their daily lives or that it’s in some way spooky. This post aims to do three things:

  1. Tell laypeople what Psychology actually is

  2. Dispel some significant misunderstandings surrounding Psychology

  3. Hopefully, to get you to like Psych (ha), or even fall in love with the field (look at our motto)

Before we do anything, I should quickly lay out a general definition of what Psychology is:

Psychology is -drum roll- … the science of mind and behavior.1

Were you expecting something more eery or complex? Once we move past this definition it immediately becomes more complex, as with anything else, and yes, there are plenty of concepts we can talk about that could be described as eery, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I am of the opinion that a lot of confusion comes from rushing ahead into the weeds.

Let’s quickly dispel some nonsense that turns people off toward the field.

Dispelling some nonsense

Mindreading

Psychologists cannot read minds. Most subfields in Psychology don’t even deal with treating patients or understanding personality and mood disorders. Much of it is science in the strict meaning of the term: Coming up with a hypothesis, observation and collection of data, and interpreting results to come up with conclusions. Then this is done again to see if the conclusions made can be replicated. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

Mental Health Counselors, Clinical Psychologists, and Psychiatrists study “the science of mind and behavior” with the aim of treating patients and/or clients. Counselors and Clinical Psychologists study personality and mood disorders, the latter most deeply, while Psychiatrists focus on the biological causes of mental illness and modern medicinal treatment. They all study psychoanalysis to some extent, and it’s unsurprising that some would believe that this lends an eery psychic ability to read minds, but this is untrue. A highly skilled mechanic can sometimes look at a car and diagnose the problem, so why can’t some professionals do this with the mind?

For one, the mind is invisible to the naked eye. Many mood disorders take (if treated appropriately) months of therapy to properly diagnose. In short, it’s really hard if not impossible for a clinical psychologist to know what’s going on in a stranger’s head simply by sitting next to them. That means, be nice and don’t move your seat so readily. There is some evidence to suggest that a psychologist’s ability to read subconscious cues improves as they spend time with a client, but this is far from what most people think of as mindreading.2 Mental health professionals need inputs provided by the client to collect data and make inferences.

Mind Control

Mind control is not a thing… at least not in the classical sense of what we see in movies. Instead, we have methods that can help “change hearts and minds”: Persuasion, influence, manipulation, propaganda. You might look at persuasion and influence as neutral or positive terms and manipulation and propaganda as negative. This often comes down to perception: if the federal government runs a campaign to reduce cigarette smoking through the use of commercials, posters, and internet ads, is it unethical if the government does not disclose that this is an attempt at manipulation? Does it matter, given that improved health outcomes are likely (in this case, they were)?

These are matters of debate. In U.S. Army Psychological Operations, soldiers are tasked with persuading individuals through the use of posters, pamphlets, radio broadcasts, social media, and good ol’ fashioned talking. In the field, you need to understand the culture you’re working in, what people love and hate, what they fear, what influences their behavior, whether it be religion, education, the socioeconomic class they belong to, etc. The military utilizes what they categorize as white, grey, and black PSYOP. White PSYOP uses factual information to persuade and the source of that information is known by all parties involved. Grey PSYOP is information from a source that is purposely ambiguous because the effect of the information may be increased if the source is not known. Black PSYOP is deception, cut and dry. The target(s) are kept from knowing the source of the information; sometimes even classified information is released if the outcome offers a greater advantage than not releasing it.3

All of this being said, human behavior is vast and persuasion techniques are not failproof. Influencing people to behave differently in a short period of time inside their own community is bound to fail occasionally, even if the influencers are skilled professionals and the audience is poor, uneducated, or has some other disadvantage. Perish the thought of the hypnotist who controls his target through eye contact and the wave of a hand.

Where the Effectiveness Lies

Okay, so you can’t learn how to get people to eat food out of your hand. Once you’ve collected yourself, imagine if we didn’t have a field of Psychology. No psychotherapy, no understanding of human behavior outside of our historical intuitions. Many more people would be less effective in their careers (career counseling) and many organizations would be less efficient (organizational psychology). Many more victims of mental illness would be dead for there would be no treatment options for them (clinical psychology, psychiatry). Many would continue to suffer in dead marriages, deal with abuse, never find relief from their addictions, or fall apart from the difficulties of life (counseling).

We need Psychology. Without it, we can see the corrupt elements in government, but we can’t understand the human behavior behind it. Much of what we do now in the aim of maintaining and improving civilization relies on some form of psychological knowledge. Rather than shirk what we don’t understand out of fear, let’s educate ourselves on the basic concepts in Psychology so we can use it to be better at work, in school, and in our private lives.

Well, then

Human beings are complex and Psychology is an inexact science. Psychotherapy and persuasion techniques have definitely improved since the inception of the field but the variables of behavior are too numerous to have a failsafe measure at modification. Most of the spookiness that laypeople perceive of Psychology is explainable by anyone who has a keen understanding of the field.

What other misconceptions are you aware of? Let us know so we can discuss them.

References

  1. Definition of PSYCHOLOGY. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychology. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

  2. Gregory, Mary. “Can a Psychologist Read Your Mind?” PsychHelp, 21 Jan. 2019, https://psychhelp.com.au/can-a-psychologist-read-your-mind/.

  3. FM 3-05.30 Psychological Operations. https://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-05-30.pdf. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.


#psychology #psyop #clinicalpsychology #evopsych #humanbehavior

 
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from 烏鴉的把戲

關於地雷區的遙遠回憶,找賣廢鐵有段時期是流浪棄孩們的一筆好生意,無處可去的孩童們為了躲避荒野披覆毛皮的猛獸或城裡衣冠楚楚的禽獸,他們尋覓了一個絕佳的秘密之所,那正是地雷區。他們將城裡乞討或搶來的糧食埋藏於地窟之下,各個身手矯健地翻閱鐵絲柵欄,熟知每塊土地下的陷阱與殺機,穿梭地雷區就如在自家庭園般自在,在日子好過些時——通常是有肉吃的時候,又或是哪個人生日了,他還能聽見他們在地雷區無所顧忌的放聲高歌。

他時常感到羨慕,因為他從不屬於他們,那時他身邊既沒有Brandy,也無從理解和他人相處的方式,只能亦步亦趨,依樣畫葫蘆地在角落窺視同齡少年的生存之法,身上穿著的就是現在的雪白大衣、和他們破舊的爛衣相比是多麼格格不入——而且對於尚未發育完全的少年,仍是太寬大了。

這世道人要不是在成年前就死了,他們總會長大的(同如每一分鐘過去就有60秒消逝的簡單道理),Witbier真想對那時的少年給個忠實不過的建議。

——無須畏首畏尾,你只是缺輛好車,孩子,他會帶你翻躍所有困境,展翅高飛,就像現在一樣。

那枚信號彈是遊戲開始的號誌,他確信他的夥伴知曉他的意思,而收貨人肯定也見到了,他把棘手的貨物拋諸於後任由後頭的獵犬們去撕咬爭奪,車頭反手一轉,在崎嶇不平的小路烙下甩尾後深深的痕跡,飛揚的泥土和沙塵則為他劃開一條出路。

越過層層堆疊的樹影和樹枝,一片暗綠色所編織成的天羅地網朝他步步逼近,遠處傳來的不只有槍聲和咒罵聲,某種炙熱接近發狂的東西正在燃燒,若非不是野獸的氣息,那或許是他的鮮血沸騰的味道——可不要讓我們的觀眾失望了,他想,再來多點、再快一點、要再更瘋狂、比什麼都還接近萬丈深淵

巨響和火光自他身後併發,死亡與他僅差之釐米,他雙手緊握手把,只是再次的加速,時速已突破一百,汗液在他背部和兩邊腋下橫流,近似恐懼的無限狂喜震顫著他的神經,沒錯,那正是他現在所需要的。

那一瞬間他將不在是影子,一切都會是如此鮮明,生機勃勃,他能感受到他還活著

狹窄的道路間到處都是狡詐的樹根和碎石,憑著晚風的軌跡,送貨員毫無猶豫地穿梭在尖叫、怒吼、槍彈之中,他上一秒滑經左側的大樹,下一秒大樹就被無數槍擊炸個粉碎。他體內的腎上腺素隨之熊熊升起,腦子卻無比清醒,若說要如何在複雜交錯的密林迷宮找出一線生機,車前燈投射在崎嶇黑暗之路上的兩道光點便是那道鑰匙。

引擎轟鳴,他身後有一批發狂的野獸對他窮追不捨,但那又如何?他的馬達從駛進森林後便從未停止加速過,急轉彎一個接著一個,一路無所顧忌的向北疾行,槍林彈雨從他身邊擦身而過,幾名追擊者時而出現在他後視鏡中,眼中僅存癲狂和仇恨,怒火蒙蔽了他們的理智——沒注意到他們已被故意引誘至苔癬陷阱中。

機車受離心力一打滑,後方陰影迅速把跌落的可憐蟲給吞噬,而另外幾名更沒這麼幸運了,他們高速的機身撞至樹叢,火花四濺,轟隆隆的爆炸聲響徹整個漆黑的夜晚。

襯著空氣中消散不久的熱氣,通訊器那頭最忠實的觀眾立即就給了反饋。

『輕而易舉的甩掉四個,如果是電影,觀眾可能要給負評了,太沒挑戰性了。』

Witbier咧嘴一笑,面罩下的聲音是止不住的暢快:「別抱怨了,這劇本可不是我編的,我的大影評家,你對剩下的劇情有何高見?」

『剩下三頭發狂的野獸,他們距離你還有四十碼。但那些都不是最緊要的,最緊要的是——』Brandy的語氣在那剎那忽然變得有些小心翼翼,有些遙遠,有些冷,有點像回憶裡一閃而過的雪花,他根本沒聽清它到底說了什麼。

越過森林與荒野的交界處,那才是好戲即將上場的地方,又回到這了,他懷念地想著,接下來是一場與速度拚搏的遊戲。

「別擔心,它會很盛大,很熱鬧,我想你一定會喜歡的,Brandy。」

Witbier朝自己低語著,不僅如此,狂風正在他耳邊呼嘯,燃燒的樹叢正對他咆哮,地底的白骸也正竊竊私語。

有那麼多聲音,那麼多思緒,所以他根本沒聽清人工智能的那聲勸告。


「你知道嗎?想跑贏地雷你的時速至少要將近有一百二十八公里。」

深埋淤雪回憶那頭的幼童此刻正對他微笑,他看不清他的面孔,一切對他來說既陌生又熟悉,卻冷得讓他喘不過氣來,要快點過去,不然又要落單了,少年的腳步賣力地朝積雪一跨——

爆裂聲,還有隨著爆裂聲傳來一道道閃光,身後土壤炸裂的碎屑猶如瀑布般噴發,Witbier刺痛地瞇了瞇眼睛,很好,世界現在終於清晰了。

時速已達到一百三十公里,周圍一切都在迅速流逝,空氣很冷,暴露於寒風的手指尖都發白了,有時他也分不清楚飛來的究竟是子彈,還是追兵炸裂後從體內噴沫而出的肉泥還是臟器什麼。

有一次他們實在是靠太近了,他幾乎能看見對方眼底深深的驚恐,後知後覺步入地雷區的錯愕和猶豫讓死神迅捷的步伐直逕地追上了他,巨大的鐮刀朝那人冷峻一揮,他的頭顱便順著輻射熱力膨脹形成的大氣壓,像皮球般在灼熱的火球中旋轉彈飛,臉上的表情分不清是可憎、可笑還是可怕,他空洞的大嘴後彷彿在說著——

快點廢物。臉上帶有雀斑的少女聲音低沉,沒有等候他又從他身旁跑過,終點是地雷區邊際的那被長長圍起鐵絲網,距離地面足足有兩尺高,她的眼神總是很冷漠,她說,如果你不能在十秒內橫跨鐵絲網,那你就不夠資格加入我們。

畢竟他哪兒都怪,哪兒都不像他們,他的穿著就像中心城市出身的小小少爺,太乾淨了,很怪;他名字的發音很怪,他的芬蘭口音很怪,他那些荒謬無邊實際的故事很怪,他那常人難以理解的機械知識很怪,他過於敏感的五官很怪,他不擅言辭的舉止很怪,他憂鬱的藍色眼珠很怪,他總是繃緊成一直線的笑容很怪,最後在他們眼底,他看起來就像個陌生的怪物,一個異端。

她說,你不屬於我們,你早應該離開這裡。

他卻想他挺喜歡她的,因為她是唯一肯說實話的傢伙。

『右手邊。』

一道無機質平靜卻也銳利的聲音插入了他們之中,幾乎只憑本能,Witbier舉起痠痛不已的左手,頭也不回的往右後方扔了一顆閃光彈。

刺眼的閃光使另一頭失去理智的哨兵準心偏移,子彈劃過黑夜射入土壤,下一刻Witbier的後輪胎發出劇烈的震動,他的骨頭被爆炸的衝擊震的喀拉作響,燃燒的巨焰舔拭著他的後背,他微皺眉頭,緊咬門牙,必須要在更快,他不顧引擎嘶嘶發出的痛苦哀鳴,直接過載加速到時速一百五十公里。

他想他很快就能真正的抵達遊戲終點。

——你知道嗎?想跑贏地雷你的時速至少要將近有一百二十八公里。

孩童們包圍著少年,他們說,來進行場遊戲吧。

褐髮的孩子又說出了同樣的話語,帶著不一樣的笑容,一雙雙凝視他的眼珠彷如深淵,他們要他徒步翻越地雷區。

他的視野又變得模糊了,少年粗重地吸了一口氣,閉上眼睛,指甲深埋掌心,鮮血從中淌洩而出,可以的,為了他的朋友,他可以的。緊抱著懷裡的箱子,他向前邁出一步,又一步,只能亦步亦趨——

越野摩托車飛越了荒野、飛越了鐵絲網,空中小小無人機的攝像頭閃爍了兩下,它清楚地捕捉到那白色的身影突破了地心引力的界線,一切就像是慢動作般,在空中滯留了一秒、兩秒、三秒,雖然此刻他全身又熱又累又痛,但他真的飛起來了,遠離了現實的荒原,真棒,這感覺簡直比什麼都還棒。

回憶裡的少年就像同齡的孩子般終於開懷大笑了起來。

『追兵已全數解決,等下——』

一聲槍響。

Witbier撲倒在濕冷的泥土中,仰面朝天,現實的荒原上沒有一顆繁星,世界漆黑如舊。


『我就說那狙擊手太自負了,要是我,我一早就瞄準你的後胎,只要車子在地雷區打滑,碰!誰也沒料到結局主角和反派全死了,今晚就會變成最精彩的連環煙火黑色喜劇片。——片名我甚至都想好了。』

Brandy那一如既往得意洋洋的聲音從他的懷裡發出,就在剛才無人機被精神體擊落的最後一刻,Witbier不知道它是怎麼快速轉移到他摩托車內智能系統,當通訊突然斷掉時他也憑著兩人一直以來的默契緊急跳下機車,子彈撲空,越野摩托車則是帥氣的在地上疾馳了一圈回到他身邊,雖然後車箱隱約有很多閃爍和濺射,但還沒有冒出火花,足以支撐到他們兩人回家。

於是要價不斐無人機成為他們當晚唯一的犧牲者,Brandy腦中的數據卻可是一項都沒丟掉——人工智能的全面勝利!愚蠢人類敗北的一天。Witbier已經聽出他話語下想表達的玄機了。

Witbier知道他計畫不夠周全,有太多衝動的成分,但他今晚不想再多做任何戰術探討,放蕩一整個晚上後他的聲音既沙啞又疲困,卻很滿足,他問Brandy:「所以我有獎勵嗎?」

Brandy的聲音嘎然而止,語氣變為輕挑和慵懶:『恩?為了什麼?』

這倒是難得一見,它第一次聽這個人類對它發出這樣的請求。

「電影裡每個劫後餘生的主角後都該有點獎勵,我今晚可是橫跨了整個地雷區,我還活下來了,你不覺得這值得嘉獎一下嗎?」

然而今晚Witbier的語氣比它更輕挑更肆無忌憚,低啞的聲音幾乎像是挑逗——有點像是醉了的狀態,喔,這下可有趣了不是嗎?在他懷裡的Brandy藍光像是思考般閃爍了好幾下,最後還是決定不要順著他的玩笑繼續下去。

他今晚需要的休息。人工智能偶爾也是有這麼善解人意的一面的。

『我早就訂了一箱小麥酒了,你可以回程的路途順便去取。』

「那不是還是用我的錢嗎?」看來這個人類也不是那麼昏頭。

『當然,你的就是我的。』

Witbier面罩下的眉毛挑起,沒有反駁,反而是換了下個話題:「那你玩得開心嗎,Brandy?」

深藏於幕後,Brandy這裡可是展開了如同動物頻道史詩般的精神體躲貓貓之戰(你真的很好奇的話,它可以透漏它的對手是一隻夜鷹),還必須隨時監控Witbier這邊的狀況,過程險象環生,驚險無比,但Brandy沒有太多談論這方面的興致,它回答得很乾脆。

『用於打發時間,還是挺有趣的。和你在一起總是有事情能發生。』

「光是『打發時間』還不夠,我想讓你體驗的樂趣可不只於此。」

沁涼晚風平穩地拂過兩人,但吹不散Witbier今晚面罩下的熱度,隔著他的雪白大衣,Brandy能感受男子心跳正炙熱的跳動,比什麼都還鮮活的話語極其貼近著Brandy的感測器:「我知道你肯定全程都看到了,你難道不好奇嗎?那奔馳在曠野的刺激感——我知道你肯定常在背後嘲笑我的荒唐,但你難道也不想失控一次?」

這下他真的很像草原上覓食的狩獵者,他那隱密、危險而充斥著熱度的嗓音迴盪在感測器中:「我要告訴你如果只用那邏輯數據腦袋思考每件事情,冷靜的批判所有事物,那世界絕對看起來會無趣極了。想想——」

男人輕笑著,他甚至還像是欲擒故縱般放緩了語氣:「所有的路途奔騰的震顫、相互撞擊間的火花、急駛而過的狂風,不要把它們只當作訊息——去感受它們,信號在你傳感中樞無邊蔓延,流經你每一個神經元,那麼多訊息,你的集成器就像電流過載般填滿你所有思路,然後你就會懂得了,那如同燃燒般的滋味。」

——你將會達到數據高潮。這就是送貨員的其中一段原話,其他更是糟糕到無以復加,Brandy只好選擇一路上沉默不語,並默默把這些瘋言瘋語記錄下來,它想,真不知道Witbier明天清醒後會對這系列精彩的演說有什麼感想......數據高潮?真的是人類非常新穎的用詞。

更可怕的是或許瘋狂是會傳染的,它居然真的感到空氣的流動有點...燥熱,還是這個人類實在是靠它靠太近了?傳感器忽略了周邊其他訊息,唯有脈搏、體溫、心跳、所有關於他的一切被無限放大,那名人類的面罩下語調是如此輕快而有活力,和平日絕然不同的姿態。

然而就算在此時此刻,Witbier還是沒有過於放縱到把面罩給脫下來,在狂熱背後是被刻入脊隨般的小心翼翼,他實在是在陰影中生活太久了。

它想像如果冷風吹過他那如麥穗般的金髮,狡詰對他笑著的藍眼睛此刻會是什麼模樣,它會更喜歡他那個樣子,最後它想可能只是摩托車的傳感器壞了,需要檢查一下,這些想法本身就過於荒唐而可笑,明天一切又會恢復正常的。

「...謝了,Brandy,所有的一切。」它的人類最後在它身側如此呢喃道。

他今晚真的過得很開心。

 
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from Vagabondin'

Around 6,000 tweets are sent out every second. 350,000 a minute. 500 million a day. 200 billion a year. And that's on one social media platform. For those who spend much of their waking hours on Twitter, it's no exaggeration to say that public discourse has broken down.

You may be too young to know or have forgotten a time when, a little more than a decade ago, this type of rhetoric didn't exist. Our technological progression for information transmission looks something like this:

Printing press – 1440

Wireless telegraphy (radio) – 1830s

Telephone – 1854-1876 (debated)

Trucking industry (commercial freight) – 1910

Commercial radio broadcasting – 1920

Handheld mobile phone – 1973

Public internet – 1983-1994

Smartphone – 1994*

Facebook – 2004

Twitter – 2006

We went from the printing press to Twitter in 566 years. What you quickly begin to see is the acceleration of information technology from the printing press forward. There's around a 390-year gap between the printing press and the radio. Between the telephone and handheld mobile phone, 119 years. Between early public internet and Twitter, only 23.

This acceleration comes with a lot of benefits. Each of those benefits has a shadow. The wise person realizes that when you get something, you tend to give something away. Most technology is a trade, a give and take. If we were consuming a couple of megabytes of data a day, many of us are now consuming gigabytes. We're engaging in severe rapid task switching, eating up brain glucose, and focusing less attention toward one thing at a time. Before the smartphone and internet in nearly every home, that was simply not part of reality.

Some of the greatest Greek thinkers utilized memory palaces; many memory contest champions carry the tradition today. If you're impressed by how much one can recall using this technique, juxtapose that with how badly smartphone use (or even just having it on you) damages your recall ability. Recognize that a niche group build memory palaces. Recognize that large swathes of people use smartphones in an unhealthy way. Tech gives us an immense capability to find information; that has very little to do with the quality of information you're getting or what you can or will do with it.

One way that I've found to combat the insanity of tech and the internet is I sold my smartphone and got a dumbphone. Perhaps more importantly, I changed how I use the internet. Instead of getting bored and browsing between 30 tabs, I use time blocking to give me structure and allow me to focus on single tasks. I still battle with this often.

I used to go on Twitter, look at magazine feeds I follow like National Review and The New Yorker, and open up a bunch of articles. Now, I risk polluting the planet a little more and get a weekly paper issue. This issue frames my reading: you'll be reading this content this week, enjoy. I then keep these magazines on my coffee table or give them to people. That one solution has taken me from a scattered landscape where I'm catapulted into groundlessness to a linear sense of grounded control.

Tech-use management is tricky in private life. Well, our politics isn't handling it any better. Rather than relying on the newspapers to give us weekly, or, for the more passionate, daily stories, we are inundated with updates every hour. At 8 am democracy is still alive and kickin'... wait wait! 9 am, democracy is dying! Oh, 10 am, false alarm we're ok. The emotional rollercoaster is bad for everyone involved, even highly intelligent individuals who make policy.

Whereas trends in the news would last a week, sometimes a month, trends on Twitter almost always change every few hours. It's impossible to keep up, and for those who try, it is crazy-making. The problem is that there's a ton of disinformation on these platforms, and good-hearted people are trying to combat it. It's akin to the nuclear problem: once Pandora's box had been opened and one nation-state held nukes, others felt it necessary to do the same. What happens if tons of conservative voices decide that Twitter is not worth their time, or vice versa? We don't know, but we do know that Twitter holds a fair amount of sway over public opinion, and leaving it to the savages is unthinkable to many.

I often wonder what a decent solution would be. Perhaps we need some hard limits put in place in the policy arena. What those prescriptions would be I can't say. Perhaps politicians should be barred from posting on social media. What we can't put a hard limit on is how social movements work on the ground, barring censorship. The only response we seem to have come up with is what we're doing now: ceaselessly arguing on social media.

With an ongoing pandemic and the current climate, public debates are going to happen with far less frequency if at all. A return to focus on debates in auditoriums, theatres, and public squares would cull a large number of the keyboard revolutionaries. A return to reasonable constraints on the transmission and consumption of information would be far more peaceful.


Further Reading


#publicdiscourse #communication #internet #informationtheory #news #socialmedia

 
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from Jochen Tetzlaff

Der Privatdetektiv Nestor Burma hat sich in die Herzen zahlreicher Krimifans ermittelt. Sein Schöpfer Leo Malet hat mit der Mischung aus Spannung und trockenem Humor einen internationalen Erfolg gelandet. Wenn ein Comickünstler wie der große Tardi Malets Romane in Comics überführt ist anspruchsvolles Lesevergnügen garantiert. Tardi zeichnet äußerst detailliert und reduziert die Komplexität der Fälle Nestor Burmas kaum. Bisweilen führt das zu recht viel Text. Gleichzeitig nutzt Tardi die Ausdrucksform Comic virtuos, schafft starke Charaktere und eine mitreißende Stimmung. Wer die Kombination von Krimis und Comics gerne liest kommt wohl kaum an Tardi vorbei.

malet tardi nestor burma comic cover

Die vier Tardi/Malet Bände sind seit Jahren vergriffen, doch nun hat der Verlag Edition Moderne anlässlich seines vierzigjährigen Bestehens eine schön gestaltete Gesamtausgabe herausgebracht. Ich habe sie mit großem Vergnügen gelesen, Burma ist definitiv eine Empfehlung.

#comic #krimi

 
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from The Monday Kickoff

Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Let's get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

The Pleasures of Tsundoku, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Book Piles, wherein Antoine Wilson looks at stockpiling books and sees it not as obsession or boarding, but as a source of pleasure and literary discovery.

The changing art of the subeditor: ‘You had to read the type upside down’, wherein Suzanne Warr looks back at how newspaper copy editors did their jobs in the days before it all went digital.

The Death of the All-Powerful Director, wherein we discover how the failure of Heaven's Gate, and the behaviour of its director, changed the way in which Hollywood studios green light and fund movies.

Productivity

Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t, wherein we learn why it’s so hard to make a to-do app that works, but why people often feel so distraught by their hunt for the perfect organizational system.

Use the Two-Minute Rule To Stop Procrastinating, wherein Fadeke Adegbuyi explains how knocking those little jobs that accumulate in our task lists can lead us to increased productivity.

How Productivity Tools Can Waste Your Time, wherein we learn something I've been saying for a long time: searching for that perfect app isn't going to make you more productive. Doing the work is.

Odds and Ends

Baseball and Japan, wherein we get a brief look at how America's favourite pastime became such a huge phenomenon in Japan.

How are cassettes still a thing?, wherein Radio New Zealand reporter Tony Stamp delves into why the venerable tape format has persisted even though there are more modern options for storing and sharing audio available.

The strange 19th-Century sport that was cooler than football, wherein we learn about competitive pedestrianism, a wildly popular professional sport in the 19th century, which spawned spectacles, highly-paid competitors, and rabid fans.

And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt

 
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from Asim Akhtar's Journey

19:28 PM

Starting to make store to test a new e-com brand/product

Will probably test ads in 1-2 days.

Did some stuff at other house.

Was gonna do programming but testing products for new e-com store is more important for cashflow.

 
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from Now Listening to... 🎧

Beautiful song from Honor Society.

Where are you now? Cause I'm thinking of you You showed me how How to live like I do If it wasn't for you I would never be who I am If it wasn't for you I would never be who I am If it wasn't for you I'd be nothing Where are you now? ♪ ♫ ♪

#HonorSociety

 
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