Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Twitter cuts (#85)

Providential, even.

September 5, 2016admin 59 Comments »
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The Global Faith

There’s not much room for controversy:

When the United States was many separate states with a common defense and a common foreign policy, back when people said “The United States are” rather than “The United States is” there was absolutely no separation of Church and State, for each state had its own state religion, and the seminary of the state religion of Massachusetts, charged with promoting and enforcing the state religion, was Harvard.

After two centuries of ascent to hegemony, this world religion has unmistakably peaked. The fact everyone is now noticing it, as a definite, peculiar system of belief, attests to that. Accelerating catabolic process now ensues. Fragmentation won’t be pretty, but it also won’t be stopped.

July 13, 2016admin 103 Comments »
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Sentences (#64)

We are in over our heads in racism here.

So many fronts, so little time.

Some context:

“The Amazing Atheist” … is a disease, and if left untreated, he and his fans may kill any hope that atheism can make the world a better place.

(Kek.)

July 8, 2016admin 37 Comments »
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Cybergothic

The latest dark gem from Fernandez opens:

When Richard Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, described his experiences treating patients with demonic possession in the Washington Post claiming such incidents are on the rise, it was met with derision by many newspapers’ commenters. Typical was “this man is as nutty as his patients. His license should be revoked.” […] Less likely to have his intellectual credentials questioned by the sophisticates of the Washington Post is Elon Musk who warned an audience that building artificial intelligence was like “summoning the demon”. …

The point, of course, is that you don’t get the second eventuality without conceding to the virtual reality of the first. The things ‘Gothic superstition’ have long spoken about are, in themselves, exactly the same as those extreme technological potentials are excavating from the crypt of the unimaginable. ‘Progress’ is a tacit formula for dispelling demons — from consciousness, if not existence — yet it is itself ever more credibly exposed as the most complacent superstition in human history, one that is still scarcely reckoned as a belief in need of defending at all.

How does the press warn the public about demons arising from a “master algorithm” without making it sound like a magic spell? With great difficulty because the actual bedrock of reality may not only be stranger than the Narrative supposes, but stranger than it can suppose.

The faith in progress has an affinity with interiority, because it consolidates itself as the subject of its own narrative. (There’s an off-ramp into Hegel at this point, for anyone who wants to get into Byzantine story-telling about it.) As our improvement becomes the tale, the Outside seems to haze out even beyond the bounds of its intrinsic obscurity — until it crashes back in.

… where there are networks there is malware. Sue Blackmore a writer in the Guardian*, argues that memes travel not just across similar systems, but through hierarchies of systems to kill rival processes all the time. She writes, “AI rests on the principle of universal Darwinism – the idea that whenever information (a replicator) is copied, with variation and selection, a new evolutionary process begins. The first successful replicator on earth was genes.” […] In such a Darwinian context the advent of an AI demon is equivalent to the arrival of a superior extraterrestrial civilization on Earth.

Between an incursion from the Outside, and a process of emergence, there is no real difference. If two quite distinct interpretative frames are invoked, that results from the inadequacies of our apprehension, rather than any qualitative characteristics of the thing. (Capitalism is — beyond all serious question — an alien invasion, but then you knew I was going to say that.)

… we ought to be careful about being certain what forms information can, and cannot take.

If we had the competence to be careful, none of this would be happening.

(Thanks to VXXC2014 for the prompt.)

* That description is perhaps a little cruel, she’s a serious, pioneering meme theorist.

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July 3, 2016admin 43 Comments »
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Quote note (#259)

Western Civilization, rotting from the head:

There’s a new religion exploding on the campuses of American universities and colleges, says Thomas Cooley professor of ethical leadership at New York University, Jonathan Haidt. And if it isn’t stopped, it might just be better to shut them all down in the next 10 or 20 years. […] The religion of fundamental social justice sweeping across college campuses is so alarming, intense, and dripping with such extreme liberal fundamentalism, says Haidt, it has created an existential crisis for American academia while punishing heretics with public shame. […] “There is an extremely intense, fundamental social justice religion that’s taking over, not all students, but a very strong [space] of it, at all our colleges and universities. They are prosecuting blasphemy and this is where we are,” Haidt warned an audience about the religion at a lecture billed “The American University’s New Assault on Free Speech,” organized by the Manhattan Institute in New York City this week. …

[…]

“This, I believe, is an existential crisis for our universities. Our universities simply cannot function if this keeps going, and the reason why is pretty obvious,” Haidt explained. […]
“Human beings are incredibly irrational, biased, imperfect creatures. We are really, really bad at following the truth wherever it leads. The brilliance of some of our classical liberal institutions, especially science at the university, is that it institutionalized disconfirmation. […] “We in science, we don’t really see the truth unbiasedly. We each put out our models, our theories, we try our hardest to prove we are right. And other scientists say ‘no, you didn’t see, this is wrong’ and then we have to defend it. That’s the way it works, institutionalized disconfirmation. It has made us as a species as a culture vastly smarter than we could be if we were just individuals deciding things for ourselves,” he continued. […] “So science, this is very precious, universities are very precious. They only work if you have enormous protections for institutionalized disconfirmation. If I say something, if I publish something, I have to know I’m accountable for it because somebody, if I say something stupid or wrong, someone will challenge me and that is gone,” he said.

(Via.)

June 15, 2016admin 43 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#70)

This is — of course — completely appalling:

(After lying on the sofa with a wet towel over your face, composure slowly returns.)

June 10, 2016admin 25 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor
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Quote note (#248)

At the risk of falling into a temporary ‘all-gone, all the time’ rut here, there’s this:

… Ishmael Bey, a former assistant Nation [of Islam] minister, told me that years ago he’d heard from a top official that headquarters was flirting with “a white church in L.A.” Initially, Farrakhan never mentioned Scientology in public. Instead, he cryptically alluded to the “study” of “a technology” that would help his people. His caution made sense: after all, the Nation was explicitly conceived as a black separatist organization and a repudiation of Christianity, which Nation leader and prophet Elijah Muhammad derided as “the slave master’s religion.” Farrakhan himself has called white people “a race of devils” and the Nation teaches that the apocalypse will involve a UFO, or “mother plane,” that will eradicate all Caucasians. […] However, there are some striking theological overlaps that might help explain how Farrakhan came to adopt a religion invented by a white man. There is, of course, the attachment to science fiction: Scientologists believe in an alien dictator, Xenu; the Nation holds that the white race was created by a mad scientist named Yakub. More significantly, though, at the core of both religions is a never-ending pursuit of a better self. In the case of Scientology, that best self is “clear” of residual traumas buried in the subconscious. In the Nation, that self is free of the hang-ups of white culture that black people have internalized to their detriment. Scientology, Farrakhan seems to believe, provides a new path toward black empowerment. “I’ve found something in the teaching of Dianetics, of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, that I saw could bring up from the depth of our subconscious mind things that we would prefer to lie dormant,” he said to his Chicago congregation in early summer. “How could I see something that valuable and know the hurt and sickness of my people and not offer it to them?” …

(Via.)

May 12, 2016admin 5 Comments »
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Quote note (#245)

Nydwracu on Great Awakenings:

La Wik:

First Great Awakening: 1730-1755
Second Great Awakening: 1790-1840
Third Great Awakening: 1850-1900
Fourth Great Awakening: 1960-1980
From 1730 to 1790 is 60 years. From 1790 to 1850 is 60 years. From 1850 to 1960 is 110 years. 110 / 2 = 55. Close enough. 1960 + 60 = 2020.

As we all know, the Fourth Great Awakening had secular and folk-religious components. We should expect the fifth one to as well. The obvious candidates for the secular component are the already-existing revivals of Communism, Fascism, and flat-earthism, and the obvious candidates for the folk-religious component are Tumblrism, fad diets, and singularitarianism. There are probably more.

What will the religious component look like?

Well, things are getting weird. Really weird. …

As for that missing episode, it would be preposterous to advance this (1904) as the apex of a ‘Great Awakening’ in the sense at stake here, but perhaps not such a stretch to think it was picking up on some strange turbulence in the Aethyrs.

May 7, 2016admin 21 Comments »
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Quote note (#242)

Scott Alexander (who’s been reading Fischer) shares a glimpse at the lives of 18th century Massachusetts Puritans:

A typical Massachusetts week would begin in the church, which doubled as the town meeting hall. There were no decorations except a giant staring eye on the pulpit to remind churchgoers that God was watching them. Townspeople would stand up before their [fellows] and declare their shame and misdeeds, sometimes being forced to literally crawl before the other worshippers begging for forgiveness. T[h]en the minister would give two two-hour sermons back to back. The entire affair would take up to six hours, and the church was unheated (for some reason they stored all their gunpowder there, so no one was allowed to light a fire), and this was Massachusetts, and it was colder in those days than it is now, so that during winter some people would literally lose fingers to frostbite (Fischer: “It was a point of honor for the minister never to shorten a sermon merely because his audience was frozen”). Everyone would stand there with their guns (they were legally required to bring guns, in case Indians attacked during the sermon) and hear about how they were going to Hell, all while the giant staring eye looked at them.

(Unsoftened Calvinism was by far the best kind.)

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April 27, 2016admin 37 Comments »
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Kek

Kek00

Of which it is said (I do not pretend to grasp more than a pitiful sliver of this): “Pepe has guided humanity since time immemorial. This is Heqet, the frog-headed Ancient Egyptian goddess, symbol of life and protector on the journey to the afterlife. She guided the ancient Egyptians who transcended normie-ism to a land of poorly drawn dick-girls and the dankest of memes. A little known fact is that while normies evolved from the famously social monkeys, those destined to browse dank memes alone in dimly-lit rooms evolved from another species who also prefers dark moist habitats, namely the frog.”

The name ‘Kek’ appears to have crossed into Cyberspace by odd coincidence (and not — originally — as a name at all). Orcish, Korean, and Turkish languages were all supposedly involved. ‘Kek’ was an encryption of ‘LOL’ within certain World of Warcraft communication channels. The Turkish ‘Topkek‘ (a cupcake brand) was a secondary coincidence. No one seems to have been invoking the chaos deities of Ancient Khem at that point.

The introduction of Pepe — a manifest frog-entity avatar — is shrouded in even greater obscurity. The memetic phenomenon was (again, apparently) convergent, or coincidental — an entirely independent frog plague (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ, Exodus 7:25–8:15).

One more coincidence: Outbreak of the ‘cuck‘ meme. (Kek is Kuk.) It’s a definite ‘barbarous name of evocation‘ in retrospect, but mostly still connected around the back. Kek, Kuk, cake, cuck, might sound like consistent croaking, but tidy cultural cladistics are difficult to identify. (A sense of ethno-religious crisis on the Alt-Right is one indispensable contextual element.)

That short Wikipedia entry is worth citing in full:

Kuk (also spelled as Kek and Keku) is the deification of the primordial concept of darkness in ancient Egyptian religion. In the Ogdoad cosmogony, his name meant darkness. As a concept, Kuk was viewed as androgynous, his female form being known as Kauket (also spelled as Keket), which is simply the female form of the word Kuk. […] Like all four dualistic concepts in the Ogdoad, Kuk’s male form was depicted as a frog, or as a frog-headed man, and the female form as a snake, or a snake-headed woman. As a symbol of darkness, Kuk also represented obscurity and the unknown, and thus chaos. Also, Kuk was seen as that which occurred before light, thus was known as the bringer-in of light. The other members of the Ogdoad are Nu and Naunet, Amun and Amaunet, Huh and Hauhet.

I’m heavily reliant on the commentariat here to sort all this out.

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April 19, 2016admin 45 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Arcane
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