This post is going to be “controversial”:

I’ve always found it interesting that “we, as a society” invest so much time and effort  into what can only ratonally be described as SYSTEMATICALLY LYING to children.

The archtypical example of this is, of course, “Santa Claus”.

This particular line of bullshit is perpetrated on every generation of children, typically, with the following “justifications”:

  1. The “magic of Christmas”
  2. “The power of BELIEVING!”
  3. “But, it’s tradition!”
  4. “Where’s the harm in it?”

Several problems with all of the above:

First, I’ve never understood exactly how the notion of a fat guy delivering presents (and coal!) to billions of children in a single 24 hour period makes the “holiday season” any more “magical” than the mere fact of a specific time of year set aside for family togetherness/the exchanging of gifts.

If anything, the “Santa” gimmick neccesarily detracts from recognizing the reality that REAL INDIVIDUALS EXCHANGE GIFTS WITH ONE ANOTHER. 

As for the power of “believing”: we shold be teaching children (AND ADULTS) that seeking knowledge/cultivating a love for truth/honesty is INFINITELY superior to wallowing in unfounded dogmas (however cherished they might be).

The fundamental distinction between sanity and psychosis consists in recognizing that “Believing” something has NO relation whatsoever to whether that specific “belief” is true.   “Believing” does not — and CANNOT — affect the truth (or falsehood), of whatever that “belief” concerns.

For example: during the middle ages, it was common to “believe” that Jews abducted Christian infants to use their blood to make matzoh.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_libel

Now, here’s the thing: either that DOES/DID HAPPEN — or it didn’t.

Your “belief” — or “disbelief” — has no effect whatsoever — EXCEPT inasmuch as “beliefs” can lead to ACTIONS.

For example: Buford Furrow had a great many “beliefs” about Jews.  Eventually he decided to act on them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Jewish_Community_Center_shooting

So, no: there’s nothing particularly “magical” about the mere act of “believing” something-or-other.  David Berkowitz “believed” some rather….interesting…things regarding his neighbor’s dog:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Berkowitz

(I guess what I’m getting at here is: the only thing you get if you “clap your hands if you believe in fairies”, will be the equivalent of a “show of hands”, as to who “believes in” fairies.  IF Tiinkerbell exists, then her existence CANNOT be contingent on the fact that you “believe” in her.

Again, Ayn Rand (in one of her lucid moments), pinpointed this issue in a very accurate way:

The basic metaphysical issue that lies at the root of any system of philosophy [is] the primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.

The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists—and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness—the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both). The epistemological corollary is the notion that man gains knowledge of reality by looking inward (either at his own consciousness or at the revelations it receives from another, superior consciousness).

The source of this reversal is the inability or unwillingness fully to grasp the difference between one’s inner state and the outer world, i.e., between the perceiver and the perceived (thus blending consciousness and existence into one indeterminate package-deal). This crucial distinction is not given to man automatically; it has to be learned. It is implicit in any awareness, but it has to be grasped conceptually and held as an absolut

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/primacy_of_existence_vs_primacy_of_consciousness.html

So, no:  the quesiton isn’t whether you “believe in fairies”.  The only legitimate question is: do fairies (or Bigfoot, or David Icke’s Transdimensional Reptoids, or the Illuminati, etc.) actually exist?  If so, then what is their ontological status?  To which “category” should they be assigned?

(For example: I have absolutely no dougt that “Sherlock Holmes” exists.   I contend that Sherlock holmes is a fictional character.  My point is, that specific fictional character ALREADY “existed” before I knew anything about the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle.  I don’t have to “believe in” Sherlock Holmes.

My failure to “believe in” Sherlock Holmes will not magically wipe out the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote those books.

As for the argument from ‘tradition”: in many areas of the world, FGM (female genital mutilation) is “traditional”, too.

As to the fourth:  “Where’s the harm in it?”

Quite simply, in the other 3:

The “Santa Claus” scam consists of parents systematically lying to their own children about how a magical fat guy will come down your chimney, (partially) eat the cookies you leave out for him, and leave a (counterfeit) Nintendo game system under your Christmas tree.

There’s nothing particularly “magical” about the notion that some fat-ass is committing trademark infringement on every toy/videogame manufacturer on the planet.

Worse yet, the “Santa Claus” scam systematically trains children to distrust their own “critical thinking” capabilities, by explicitly placing the notion of “believing” something at the center — WHEN THE REAL ISSUE IS WHETHER OR NOT WHAT YOU “BELIEVE” IS TRUE, OR NOT.

Buford Furrow’s “beliefs” about jews did not magically cause ZOG (the “Zionist Occupation Government”) to come into being:  either they existed — or they didn’t.)

Worse yet, the “Santa Claus” scam explicitly trains both children and adults to believe that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PARENTS SYSTEMATICALLY LYING TO THEIR OWN CHILDREN. 

Then, when those parents have to “break the news” — by admitting that the  whole “whimsical tradition” is nothing but a systematic — and extremely elaborate — scam perpetrated on impressionable children who lack the capacity to see through it THAT’S when the true rat-fuckery kicks in:

“Oh, yeah — of course we lied to you.  But — we did it “for your own good — to make your childhood “magical!!!”

Riiiiiight.

Quite frankly, our whole societal attitude toward “Santa Claus” (and other “magical” aspects of childhood) strikes me as illustrative of the central cultural pathology: the notion that it is permissible for those purporting to represent “authority” (for example — our own parents) to systematically lie to us, coupled with the equally vicious notion that your “belief” or “disbelief” (as opposed to Reality) are what counts.

Now, what’s fascinating is: the same children who uncritically “swallow” the Santa SCAM will most likely be systematically indoctrinated into a specific (ethno)religious subculture or “belief”-system, which can be reliably predicted based on MERE GEOGRAPHY.

The tragedy is: while most “grown-ups” eventually manage to see through the Santa con-game, most of those same persons will NEVER examine (question/change) whichever “belief”-system was perpetrated on them during childhood by Mommy and Daddy.

Worse yet, they will (most probably mistreat other ‘adults’ MERELY because a different “belief”-system/subcultural “identity” happens to have been perpetrated on THEM, during childhood.

gullibility + GEOGRAPHICALLY-PREDICTABLE INDOCTRINATION = ?

Remember, folks: The Nazis “believed” a great many things about Jews:

THE MOST DANGEROUS THING ABOUT “BELIEFS” IS: SOMETIMES PEOPLE ACT ON THEM.

 

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Bwahahahahahaha!:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an organization labeled an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was left homeless by the destructive flooding that has ravaged southern Louisiana this week, killing 11 people and destroying an estimated 40,000 homes.

Perkins, who has claimed that God uses natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding to punish people for sinning (in particular homosexuals and their supporters), had his own home destroyed by the Lord Almighty. The hate group leader says he was forced to escape his destroyed home by canoe, reports JMG.

Perkins called into his own radio show to talk about the disaster of “biblical proportions” that, according to Perkins, will force his family to live in a camper for the six months it will take to rebuild his home.

Flood Destroys Home Of Hate Group Leader Who Claims God Sends Natural Disasters To Punish Gays

tee-hee-hee-hee-hee 🙂

 

Barbara Branden was smart:

The following “thought-experiment” accurately encapsulates how evil/grotesque/indefensible the whole “geography of religion” thing really is:

Imagine an Arab boy of twelve, born in a remote village in Saudi Arabia. He cannot read or write and he has no knowledge of the outside world. From the time he is five years old, he and the other boys are read to from the Koran by the village elders, the only role models he has. He is told that the Koran is the word of Allah. He is told that Allah demands that his servants kill all unbelievers, because their purpose in life is to destroy the Muslim world, to slaughter his parents, his sisters, his friends. The boy sees the men of his village go off to immolate themselves, cheered by the villagers, their victories and their deaths celebrated as heroic, as a valiant martyrdom to be rewarded by their acceptance in heaven. And he longs for the day when he can join these heroes.

http://atlassociety.org/about-us/about-us-archive/4246-rage-and-objectivism

The same basic pattern is endemic to (say) anyone “raised’ Amish, or Hutterite, or in a Hasidic Jewish community — or, more broadly, in any setting which is:

  1. Homogenous
  2. Isolated
  3. Insular

This is one reason why every such “community” should relentlessly be hammered with “foreign” ideas/viewpoints etc. — until it can no longer function as an organized “community” (IE: it is no longer capable of generating “groupthink” among those unfortunate enough to be subsumed/burdened by  that “identity”).

Quite frankly, the only thing which can stop civilization from descending into the next (self-inflicted) Dark Age is: militant cosmopolitanism — the willingness to SHOVE dissenting viewpoints down everyone’s throats, until it becomes impossible to use mere “geography” as “predictor” of religious/ideological “identity”.

That probably won’t happen, because the “political correctness” bullshit has brainwashed a large subset of the population into believing that being “offensive” is inherently vicious.

This allows — even encourages — the ignorant and gullible to huddle in their insular little “safe spaces”, assured that they won’t be “offended” (by being challenged by anyone reality-based enough to even consider doing so.)

 

 

I’ll admit it: I’m probably a misanthrope:

Thinking back on what it used to be like in PA (in other words, my pre-2010 “life”), I can’t help but center on the following facts:

My “best friends” were:

  1. A compulsive E-waste hoarder (Karl, KA3RCS) who only bothered to associate with me because psychologically abusing/maniulating me was “funny”.
  2. John (A blind guy with the “developmental milestones” of a toddler, who had managed to flunk out of more colleges than most people will attend in a lifetime (6) — before finally managing to just barely eek out a passing grade, by majoring in the Kalevala — the Finnish national epic.  (Hint: his “comparative religion” degree has gone unused — because nobody would ever bother to take advice from a morbidly-obese, chainsmoking drunk whose girlfriend has to cut up his food when they go to restaurants.)
  3. The other members of my music-group (who all thought I was gay — and were genuinely “shocked” by the fact that my wife and I got engaged.)
  4. Ray (a child-molester, who was most likely attempting to “groom” me into allowing him to rape me.)

That depresses the shit out of me, because it all amounts to one incontrovertible fact: I didn’t actually have “friends”.  At most, I had “long-term acquaintences”, some of whom happened to share a common interes — but NONE of whom actually “knew” me in any genuine sense of the term.  Moreover, at least 3 of them were afflicted with serious psychosocial pathologies/dysfunctions — obeseity/chainsmoking/malingering/compulsive e-hoarding/pedophilia, etc.

Quite frankly, I’m not surprised that I genuinely dislike the vast majority of “people” I meet.

 

I think I finally make sense — to myself:

I think I’ve finally figured out at last part of why I don’t seem to be able to ‘connect” with most people.   Quite frankly, it has a lot to do with the fact that I wasn’t actually “raised” — at least not in the conventional sense of the term.

What I mean by that:

Most people (at least in principle) have access to various “role-models” (parents/grandparents/teachers, clergy, etc.) — at least some of whom attempt to actively participate in “guiding” the child/teen, in some manner.

Admittedly, this “guidance” typically takes the form of attempting to “enforce” some kind of (fairly) specific demographic “role” on the individual — one which (it is hoped) the nascent individual will eventually embrace, and regard as their “personal identity”.

For various (interrelated) reasons, my childhood/teens was almost totally “free” of the above.

Several reasons:

First, (as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts), I had no credible “role-models”:

My “parents” were simply too “dysfunctional” themselves, to be able to offer me any kind of (credible) “role-modeling”:  a burn-out drunk who was either off fucking whatever he could scrounge up (other than my “mom”, of course), vs. an anxiety-ridden shrew whose own (unresolved) “Daddy” issues had most likely led her to enable, mollycoddle, and cover up for my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother — irrespective of the nature of his antics at any given time  (chronic truancy -> school bully -> school dropout -> drugs -> shoplifting -> “White power” ideology, etc.).

Add to that the fact that most of my other relatives subcribed to the notion that “children should be seen and not heard” (in other words: we were all expected to just STFU, and actively participate in coverups of all sortsbecause actually talking to anyone who wasn’t a “relative” would have constituted “airing others dirty laundry”, or some bullshit excuse of the kind.).

A great example of the kind of “secrets” I had to attempt to explain things to my cousin, when she inadvertently stumbled across her dad’s “secret” stash of hardcore gay porn videotapes.    Steve (her dad) was a truly pathetic and horrible person:  The best way I can describe him: think of Jim J. Bullock (same speech patters/mannerisms), if he was  profoundly “closeted”, coked-up, and tended to beat his wife on a daily basis.

The thing is: everybody in the family seemed to know about this, and be frantically attempting to pretend to NOT know about it.  This is why nobody was particularly surprised when Steve  ended up using my cousin Tina’s car to buy cocaine from an undercover cop — with Jennifer (his infant daughter) in the car, with him.

Predictably: Tina lost the car, both she and Steve ended up losing their respective teaching certifications/becoming unemployable in that field, and Jen was (nearly) taken away from them for “unfit” parenting.

I ended up having to “explain” about the gay videotapes nearly a decade later — when Jen was around 11 or 12 years old.

(Now, admittedly, I was probably around 20 years old at the time — but the fact remains, I was the only one not actively participating in the shitty “coverup” by that point.

Needless to say: my “relatives” were useless to me.  for years, they tended to claim that I should feel “lucky”, because they were (seldom) physically violent toward me, etc.   In other words, my upbringing was (slightly) better than what Dave Pelzer talks about — primarly due to the fact that psychological abuse and (physical) neglect is “better” tthan outright physical brutality.

I couldn’t really  “hide from” my family by subsuming myself into a “peer”-group or “religious” affiliation, either:

My “peers” typically either bullied me, or “ignored” me because I was “weird”.  (Think: a “White” version of Steve Urkel).

As for “religion”: I had realized early on (being the voracious reader that I’ve always been) that the greatest single “predictor” of religions “belief” is MERE GEOGRAPHY: if you’re “raised” Muslim, you tend to at least claim to “believe” in”/”practice” Islam — for example).

This is why Hinduism is predominate on the Indian Subcontinent.

Quite frankly,  “choosing” a religious “identity” other than whateve rhappens to have been perpetrated on you during childhood requires a level of consciousness and effort which the vast majority of humankind are simply unable/unwilling to exert.

My problem has always boiled down to one simple fact: I am incapable of uncritically “swallowing” something without first attempting to KNOW (at least in some terms) what I’m being asked to “swallow”.

(This is why I — inadvertently — ended up destroying a Jehovah’s Witness woman’s “faith”, when she attempted to “recruit” me (at age 12).

But that’s another story.

So, NONE of the conventional “cop-outs” were available to me:   As a result, I literally had no choice but to consciously CHOOSE my “identity”.

In many ways, I am the real-life equivalent of what would you’d get if someone grew up alone in one of those “cold-war” era civil defense bunkers — if the bunker in question happened to contain a library of books, record albums/tapes, and musical instruments.

That individual would most likely end up being “individual” to a greater extent than someone who had been “raised” to uncritically ape/parrot whatever happened to be most prevalent in his tribe.

The weird thing is: I may have been “lonely” back in the day, but I *NEVER* had the desire to “fit in”.   If anything, I was “lonely” because there wasn’t a whole gaggle of other people who happened to share my specific interests — if that makes any sense.

I realized early on that it was impossible for any of “them” to actually “like me” — especially if such “affinity” came at the price of me attempting to “become” THEM.

 

 

 

No, it is *not* about my “temper”:

So: for the last several weeks (intermittently), our “landline” telephones have been doing this really strange thing, where instead of fully ringing, they “chirp”, but the cordless handsets won’t find connection with the base-unit.  OR, if htey do, there’s just this weir “crackling”, low-res quality to the call.

At first I thought it was a VOIP issue with the cable-modem (which seemed unlikely, but you never know).   NOW it appears to an issue with the (shitty/decayed) phone-wiring inside the walls, between the various jacks.

So, the “solution” (at least according the the tech-support drone from what whatever the hell our cable/phone/internet provider calls itself nowaays) is to:

  1. Reset the cable-modem.
  2. Plug the base-unit directly into the cable-modem (bypassing the house wiring/phone jacks, entirely.)

Oh, goody gumdrops — I get to rummage around, in cramped/poorly-lighted spaces!

First problem:  my wife has the phone-base plugged into the same power outlet as the refrigerator – which is BEHIND the refrigerator, approximately waist-high.

Cute.

As usual (since my wife is one of those people who INSISTS on making poweer-outlets/phone jacks etc. inaccessible (by putting shelves/tables etc. in front of them — such that you need to basically MOVE HALF THE DAMN FURNITURE to even GET TO the jack) — well,  you get the idea. 😦

So then, I have to reach behind the refrigerator, and unplug *both* the connections — the phone jack, AND the power — which are (of course) both behind the refrigerator, at the stupidest/most counterintuive location imaginable.

So, my wife gets on this kick about how she sould do it, because her “hands are smaller”.  (Never mind the fact that — in many cases — her vision is worse than mine, or the fact that she would end up having attempt to GROPE AROUND BLINDLY with one hand — while holding the cellphone she was using to talk to the tech-support guy, with the other.

When I mention that, she does her typical “don’t treat me like an idiot!”, bullshit.  (Funny how literally anything I say — if I’m attempting to be helpful — is “condescending”, but….yeah well, I’m used to it by now.)

Anyway, I (finally) get the damn thing unplugged/disconnected (which is harder than it would appear — because the power-cord/phone cable were tangled.  So now (goody gumdrops), I’m finally at “step 1” of diagnosing the problem.

So I bring the base unit into the room here, connect the phone-cable into “line #1” on the cable modem (as per instructions from the tech-support guy), plug the base unit’s “wall wart” adapter into my power-strip, and — no power.  

Now, this is incomprehensible, because I had literally just unplugged the handset-charging base from exactly that outlet.

So, I end up having to crawl around under my desk (with — as usual — insufficient lighting or space to actually accomplish event eh most mind-bogglingly simple tasks) — all the while having my wife (in the other room), continuing to chit-chat with the tech-support guy/periodically inquire as to whether I “had it connected yet”.

THEN, when I finally get it all connected/powered — I decide to talk to the tech-support guy directly (rather than playing “message-relay” with the guy, and having my wife accuse me of “yelling at her”.)

(Quite frankly, that’s been her “go-to” schtick for the past ten years or more:  if I show the slightest bit of annoyance at ANYTHING, or fail to approach even the most infuriating task with exactly the sort of vaccuous, dead-eyed, grinning “cheerfulness” — she starts yip-yapping about how I’m supposedly ‘bad-tempered”.

Riiiiiiiight.   I don’t see YOU crawling around under the desk.

Fuck it.  I’m used to it.  I’ve come to realize that there is a double-standard  (me vs. everyone else).  For example: if my wife is “frustrated” (because — even thought she’s been visually-impaired for approximately 10 years, she still uses that as her go-to rationalization for — everything) — I’m supposed to simply allow her to shriek at me incessantly.   It’s gotten to where I just nod and smile and pretend that I actually give a shit.

Quite frankly, I think I do a damned good job of keeping my “temper” in check:

I don’t flip out at break stuff.  Nor am I physically violent.   Moreover, I actually tolerate her incessant demands that I “make a decision” (in regards to topics about which I literally don’t give a shit either way .)

For instance: in most cases, I literally have no specific desire one way or another as to the content of our evening meal.  I know she’s going to inflict some sort of pasta dish on me periodically (even though she KNOWS that I don’t really like pasta very much — which probably has something to do with the fact that my “family” subsisted on borderline-rancid pasta for OVER A DECADE, at (virtually) every meal, because actually buying other food on a consistent basis would have cut into my mom’s cigarrette-money.

I’m done “arguing”.  If people want to (mistakenly) think that I have a “bad temper” — merely because I don’t particularly relish crawling around under desks, etc., in a rats-nest of cabling, while being hectored incessantly about how I “don’t need to be tempermental” — fuck it.  I can’t even begin to give a fuck, anymore.

My response to everyone/anyone else is: Think/believe/do whatever the hell you want.  You will, anyway.  Feel free to believe whatever lies you want to fabricate about me, if doing so makes you believe that you actually “understand” me better, as a result.

I don’t give a shit, anymore.

 

 

 

Csound: (supposedly) extremely versatile and powerful “audio rendering” application/language — *IF* you can ever wrap your mind around how the damn thing works!

I consider myself to be at least fairly intelligent.  I am also a “multi-instrumentalist” (to a imited extent — guitar/banjo/mandolin/bass/keyboards, etc.).   Having said that, I’m not entirely sure why I’m interested in Csound.

Supposedly, it’s am amazingly versatiile application/language.  (Several of hte Csound references I’ve consulted describe it as an “audio renderer”.)   The “core” Csound application is a command-line (non-GUI), and is essentially an “audio compiler” (in that you can “program” Csound via specially-structured text files.

Now, here’s the thing:

Csound has to be just about the most blatantly obscure (to the point of being almost-totally incomrehensible)  thing I’ve ever encoungered.

Oh, sure: I managed to download, install and run the thing.  I also managed to download and install several of the “front-end” applications (which claim to make using csound more “user friendly”).   So far — WinXound (a specialized text-editor for the 3 types of Csound files), Blue, and cabbage.

So, yeah: I managed to get stuff installed.  THEN I attempt to consult the various “manuals” or “tutorials” — and end up completely and utterly mind-boggled.

The “Canonical Csound Manual”.  The “FLOSS” (Free, Libre, Open-Source Software) Csound manual.   The “Alternative” Canonical Csound manual.  Boulanger’s “Csound Audio Design TOOTorials” — even the “manual” from the (ill-fated) OLPC project  (They subjected SMALL CHILDREN to this thing, seriously???????)

So I (mistakenly) think that getting the “Csound BOok”  (which is supposedly the “definitive reference and instructional work” for Csound would be helpful.  Unfortunately for me, “new” copies appear to cost anywhere from $75-$100.  “Used” copies are somewhat more reasonable.

So I luck into what I mistakenly see as a gold-mine opportuny: a (heavily) used copy of the Csound book, for less than $5, including shipping!

Cool part is: it even includes the CD-rom.

Problem is: The book itself is confusing to the point of being nearly incomprehensible.

Really: I cannot be this stupid.  It has to be (at least partially)  the fact that everything related to Csound appears to have a horrifyingly steep learning-curve.  (The “first” tutorial — which, when rendered, merely genereates a 440-hz sine wave for a few seconds — is almost too syntactically obscure for me to comprehend.

I am — exceedingly — perplexed, and more than a bit annoyed, at this point.

I am NOT this stupid!  I simply CANNOT be this stupid!