Riding on the coattails without really understanding

Posted: 6th September 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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I must apologize for translating an article. In making a translation, I interpret. In interpreting I subject the article to subjectivity. But I do nonetheless, with this disclaimer, and I urgently invite you to disagree with me and my lousy translation.

The Beatles were most certainly blissfully ignorant of a concept such as Transhumanism – the idea of uniting the human with machine-based Artificial Intelligence, but she could certainly sing a tune about the topic of Transcendance – because they were practicing a thing called “Transcendental Meditation”, which somehow alludes to meditating having something to do with some kind of “superconscious” to be working behind our personal, individual Consciousness…

Oh for fucks sake, where do I start? First – Transhumanism is generally defined as …

the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.

…so why redefine it as the merger of artificial intelligence and the human? What does AI have to do with anything? Transhumanism is a significantly more broad enterprise than the relatively narrow field of AI. AI is emerging as something of a hipster term, because there’s so much discussion about it, but essentially AI right now is about using machine-based learning to make machines perform tasks humans can’t be bothered to do – i.e. all the boring stuff. Yes, you can merge AI with the human domain, in numerous ways, but what about merging humans with scizzors? You can merge humans with magnets, Binoculars comprize transhumanism. Pacemakers. Jet Skies. But mentioning “Artificial Intelligence” will of course allow the author of the article to make the mental leap towards some kind of transcendental universal consciousness.

Provided one exists. If you choose to discuss those things you are essentially appealing to people who somehow decide to miss the divine in their lives, but who in turn don’t like organized religion. We call those people “Itsists” in the Netherland, because these people find a necessity to believe in ‘something’ without having to define it. Defining religion quite often means you have to make statements about what must be done, or is disallowed to do. Religion is making statements about some kind of metaphysical entity or force, and that tends to imply transcendentally derived morality. In other words – if you say something about Metaphysics, you tend to also say other people must do or must not do. Before you know you have Sharia, or Dominionism, right? Maybe I am exaggerating. The Beatles were not very big or finger wagging and berating, granted, but they were exemplary of the definitive and visible unease of people in the baby boomer generation that found themselves bereft of guidance, divine or otherwise. Because we feel alone, we start doing shit that at least temporarily dispels that makes us feel lonely. And if we postulate the idea of some kind of transcendental universal consciousness, we get to not be alone.

This Transcendental Supra Consciousness isn’t always accessible for experience for just about anyone…

Unless you give money to Joel Osteen, obviously..

which is clearly evidenced by all the religious myths and ritual busywork people have crafted around it.

Assuming there’s an It, clearly. Which is still an assumption.

It is a very small minority of Yogi’s and Adepts who have generously shown us the way forward, but sadly their generous guidance was often co-opted by some old guy behind a curtain as to allow these guys to claim exclusive dibs on having access to the Divine.

No shit sherlock. I can easily claim that all of human progress so far has been the result of the twin tagteam all star wrestling effort between autocrats and religious leaders systematically terrifying and culling humanity to start listening to aforementioned spiritual leaders, “or else”. That a spiritual leaders sits all modestly in a cave or wear a loincloth somewhere doesn’t mean he still doesn’t get to enjoy the fruits of his fame.

Nowadays we have access to more and more information and tools to allow us to penetrate in to he depths of our very own ‘soul’.

And there you have it, the truth, cautiously parenthesized (pardon me the pun, parents get it?) to suggest that there is actually something like a soul “out there” or “in here”. Because that’s the problem right? Unless we start looking with considerable effort we may miss something tangible.

One of the wizards who truly found her life’s passons in discovering and describing -and applying!- the wealth of ultra modern devices that allow us to enrich life with life force and similar stuff, long ago associated with this primal biological spiritual essence, is Yfke Laanstra.

Yfke Laanstra is awesome. I actually met her a few times, and her business model seems to be, and I am viciously crudely paraphrasing my impression here, to somehow link up tangible technological progress with the Transcendental. So as to not feel lonely, as I explained earlier in this article. She is doing a really good job at it too, as she’s now written a book about this whole endeavor.

From her deep experiences with (among many many many others) Deepak Chopra as her teacher, she now has access to an amazingly lucid perspective on the far-reaching potental (AND!) serious dangers of this whole computer revolution we are now in the middle of.

You are starting to see a pattern here? Yfke climbed some mountain and had a bunch of talks with a guy of which the media says he’s pretty awesome and it rubbed of and consequently Yfke inherited some of that awesome. And you can now also share in the awesome for just 19,95 euro.

All over the world there’s this constriction (shrinkage?) going on, of the electronic web of radiance, information and espionage, almost as if it were some kind of digital prison whose doors are wide open to have some kind of Brain Chip of the Internet of Things implanted that somehow sounds even more ominous by me mentioning the word Google here.

Really really you should not take my bullshit translations seriously here. I mean, I am really bad at translating.

However, we might as well put all the hardware and software to facilitate us looking for liberating knowledge and to dissolve (?) the bars that have for centuries encased the human heart.

Hardware and Software, now dedicated towards the search for universal solvent!

On the website of this remarkably attractive and amazingly enterprising lady you can read all kinds of stuff about combi-discipline of consciousness- as well as computersciences.

Again, she talked to Deepak Chopra and nobody beats the Deeps. Combi-Discipline and all.

In the next month, say around may 2017, there’s this new book coming out she wrote about all this intensely deep forest of seriously related topic, and we call it “Bits, Bytes and Consciousnessness”. You can actually reserve your copy of this book. As soon as it arrives in our store we’ll send you a copy of this bookwritten by Yfke. Who talked to Deepak Chopra.

My suggestion? Buy the book in question and give Yfke your money. You’ll be able to read stuff written by the pretty lady who talked to THE Deepak Chopra.

And then people have the gall to label me cynical. I wonder why.

Diagnosis

Posted: 16th August 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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America is sick. It’s pretty obvious to the world and has been for some time. America has cancer. It is a cancer of special interests, and those special interests are white. You can call it the Military Industrial Complex, Big Oil, the Beltwey, Shills, The Two Party Political Stranglehold, The Deep State – but at the end of the day these are primarily white interests, favoring nothing short of white eugenic interests.

This is a polarity that pervades US society, and it is a deadly disease. The Cancer has progressed in to a lethal state, is widely gestating and is now becoming blatantly obvious to the world, a world that may in part be racist, but is also composed on countries with pervasively non-whites.

“I think there is blame on both sides,”
— Donald J. Trump

Trump made it grotesquely obvious. Now it is plain for all to see what the US stands for. Charlottesville is the turning point – either this ends now, or the United States will end, in a truly horrific manner.

The time for talk has ended. It is time for chemotherapy. It is time for radiation therapy. It is time for cauterizing the contaminated parts and try and salvage what is left.

The Bitter Pill Problem

Posted: 7th August 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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In modern policy and futurological analysis there is an increasing contamination by ideology, which right now manifests as denialism. This is now one of the most corrosive problems in western modernism. Of course denialism has always been a problem, but increasingly it has become a mindset in so many people that it destroys dialogue, problem-solving and proper science. We are as a modern society increasingly unable to accept what we decide to be ideologically unacceptable, and we demand that all other parties come with compromises first, even when making such demand is self-evidently impossible.

I shall paint you a number of such examples, and try to illustrate where this inability to “swallow the bitter pill”, i.e. “accept what is a priori determined to be unacceptable”. There is of course a flipside to this, where as a culture we become unable to rationally dismiss things that are essentially wrong, out of sheer pigheadedness.

Problem one – the inability to accept what’s established fact, and rationally act upon it.

Example 1 – Climate Change
There is no amount of regurgitating facts that can convince people who do not “believe” in it but climate change is established fact and science. The problem is that there is a statistical chance people of a certain demographic, people of a certain political bent, people of a certain income strata who have major stakes in denying it exists, because in affirming this is a reality, these people would also be very likely to suffer major losses in affluence, status and income as a result. Clearly, certain industries have been quite active in conspiring with media to insist climate change isn’t real, isn’t caused by human activity, or (even more insidiously) it is irreversible and we might as well roll with it. The inability to accept this will have profound consequences, arguably as implicitly violent as actual warfare. The number of people thrust in to migration, systemic poverty or literal death might easily lead to more quantifiable hardship than 2 world wars, in a comparable time interval. This is in itself a completely rational, fact based statement, yet simple statements such as these are like vinegar to the people who won’t have it. In essence, people who have accepted the dictum that climate change isn’t real, or isn’t human-made, or is already a certainty, or isn’t that bad, or trying to reverse climate change with political measures and treaties would cost more than the actual cost of corresponding climate change itself can not accept the mere idea.
So let’s talk consequences – any level of severe climate change will almost certainly trigger a mass migration the world has never seen. Mass migration can not be easily stopped, or at least not without prohibitive costs that would cripple modern society. You’d have to pretty much dismantle democracy and the fair rule of law, to make society impervious to the degree of mass migration that is certain to be causally linked to correspondingly severe climate change.
But discussing this whole (and other) causal consequences and conclusions of the one is not debatable as the first is not accepted. And this is a major problem.
We have seen that similar mechanism, scaled down, with cigarette smoking. It is established fact that cigarette smoking costs society significantly more in terms of long term health care costs, than any taxation right now applied. It is thus yet another bitter pill for smokers (and one that has been more or less swallowed by society, after decades of frantic struggle) that their affection with burning chemically treated plant material into their lungs costs them most likely their health, while saddling society with the consequences of having to spend a fortune on mopping up the health care fallout. We have to not merely see our loved ones wither away, grow physically repugnant, get sick and die in a horrible fashion because of smoking, we also get as a society to waste taxpayer money on the whole manifested nightmare. But merely stating this as fact alienates smokers, angers them to no end, and ends all reasonable discussion. It is hence no surprise that a lot of career denialists moved from cigarettes-are-harmful debate leveled up to denying climate change, since conceptually there are so many similarities between the two.

Example Two – Technological unemployment
Technology, increased efficiency, automation, robotization and AI are all displacing jobs, period. They have been for centuries, and we have seen most these jobs be displaced by new and often higher quality jobs. Sad fact is that now we see (a) the allotment of new jobs be of a significantly lower quality, with lower pay, (b) the competition between workers is heating up to often unbearable degrees of ruthlessness, (c) it is becoming societally unaffordable, in terms of retraining and student debts and all to prepare workers for this rapidly evolving disruption and (d) the ability of automated systems, in conjunction with the esoteric and often woefully underestimated field of AI machine learning to wipe out previously automation-proof old jobs as well destroy any possibility of large numbers of new jobs emerging, is winning and will only get worse in decades to come.
This is potentially a societal disaster. Like with climate change we see a lot of stakeholders who can not and hence will not wrap their head around this reality (most people will be unemployable in a few years), or the follow up consequences (we will somehow have top artificially pump up useless jobs to employ people, or somehow societally have to levy a tax that’s a bigger redistributive effort than anything we have ever seen in history, allowing people that are already widely regarded with contempt to not work. Technological unemployment is unacceptable. Higher taxes are unacceptable. A basic income give out to (fill in your preferred dark skinned minority you hold most in contempt) and have these people live off a bare bones minimum income in what will prove to be teeming banlieux-style slums all across the developed world is thus unacceptable, and exponentially so. But as surely s night follows day these are all perfectly sound, perfectly rational, completely fact based and inescapable. But to spell it out forces hard working, middle income, blue collar, often white skinned people to have to swallow the bitter pill of having to see their hard-earned tax dollars go to “those people”.
So what do we get? We end up with evasive behavior, such as in clueless, dimwitted, shortsighted and arguably completely counterproductive approaches (more prisons, i.e. more prison labour, i.e. swarming prison populations ending up competing for hourly pay rates of under a euro competing with you), more police (who end up becoming a societal force for repression, tax collection-through-endless-fines, who’ll cost a fortune in tax payer dollars, who are routinely prone to mission creep, corruption, asset forfeiture, institutional racism, racial profiling and abuse of power. Or, even more laughably, you get these suggestions “we should deport those (differently colored, different gender identity, different socio-economic class, different religion, etc.) people”. Again, a lot of people refuse to swallow the bitter pill, and we end up with a causal chain of aggravated denial. And as a result the whole topic becomes impossible to discuss without instantaneously making people angry when you bring it up.

Example Three – Overpopulation
Let’s not even discuss this. You can see where this is going.

Example Four – Israel is committing crimes
Yes, Israel is a nation composed of people of judeo-christian, christian, pro-democratic, pro-modernity (more or less), post-enlightenment, pro-humanist values. Yes Israel is surrounded by viciously hostile and arguably culturally backward nations. Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself. Nonetheless Israel, with little doubt, steals land, commits human rights violations – if not outright war crimes. Yet this can not be debated. The asymmetry of a prolonged conflict between mostly white skinned people of mostly a western, modernist descent, facing what has increasingly become a study of how democracy turns in o a genocidal, fascist state, where one party is absolved of even the suggestion of having committed any crimes, and the other side is by definition always wrong, “because they are barbarians”.

Topics that inhabit the borderline of what can be determined, and what lies on the borderland of what can still be debated in polite company.

There are topics that are no longer negotiable to a degree above topics are still somewhat debatable in terms of scientific falsifiability or facts, and those are the topics that tend to make people retreat in to well-padded mental seclusion, or well-armed trench warfare. Topics such as these are, and are not limited to, (*) Is 911 an inside job perpetuated or facilitated by parts of US government?, (*) Are muslims destroying European culture?, (*) Does the private use of firearms have a societal cost significantly outweighing the benefits?, (*) Should women have unconstrained access to abortion?. And I can easily degenerate in to an ever more violent realm of topics not to be raised on thanksgiving or christmas family reunions, such as (*) Has the Catholic religion, as an organization, facilitated large-scale pedosexual aggression by its priesthood?, (*) Has feminism overshot its original purpose and are women now effectively the stronger sex?, (*) Is there such a thing as excessive political correctness?, (*) Do jews control the USA?, or (*) Do vaccines pose an unacceptable risk of creating autism spectrum disorders in children?, or (*) Were the Lunar Landings faked?, or even funnier (*) Is Donald J. Trump a completely incompetent president who has absolutely no place in the white house, and is inflicting immeasurable damage to the credibility of the US?

Holy shit yes, these topics are extremely inflammatory, and I am certain large sections of my readership will have just detonated in moral outrage that I even dare suggest these topics fall on either side of the debate. Or that any or some of these topics are even worthy of discussion in the first place.

But that’s where we have ended up now. I am not arguing all the above “politically incorrect” topics either way. I am not saying there’s no such thing as “social justice warriors”, or “private citizens shouldn’t own military grade assault rifles”, or “Catholicism is to a large degree linked to organized pedophilia”, or “Gasoline does not melt steel beams, or no modern high rise building has ever collapsed in its own foot print after a minor office fire”
(etc.) but by disallowing large sections of society to reflect upon any of these, and a multitude of other topics, and to systematically disallow a rational, fact based listing of arguments either way (or an inability to weigh arguments either way) is a recipe for disaster.

We need as a society learn to become reverent of the irreverent again. A refusal to talk about uncomfortable topics should be, forever, be the domain of the cowardly and the simplistic.

Black Alien Sperm, Alien:Nemesis.

Posted: 6th August 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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So here’s my theory about the Alien Saga. And aside from it being a theory, I sure hope this theory gets to Ridley Scott and helps provide him with a few ideas for future installments of the movie. He probably won’t (who the fuck am I?) but one can only hope and pray.

Nomenclature
PWG’s – Pale White Giants, these guys.
BWG’s – Biomechanical White Giants, these guys.
Engineers – an as yet unseen and completely Alien lovecraftian horror that pilots the Pebble.
Juggernaut – a highly generic vessel created by the Engineers, used by “cargo cults” BWG’s and possibly PWG’s. Once an engineer takes control of a Juggernaut, juggernauts become (transform to become) biomechanical. The simple form of the Juggernaut is more crudely mechanical in nature.
Black Ooze – an aggressively infectious and partially intelligent nanotechnological fluid that can change organical life in to specific new shapes.

What’s really happening?
The PWG’s are not the BWG’s and they are neither the Engineers. We haven’t seen proper Engineers yet, even though the Neomorphs and Xenomorphs may be manifestations (or young) of the Engineers. Essentially the Engineers can be anything they want to be, they can grow to become whatever organic life they desire to be. One manifestation of the engineers is the Jockey mummy at the start of Alien on the planet LV426 (Acheron). The Jockey is the actual shape that pilots the Juggernaut in a biomechanical (melted in to the chair) whereas with some difficulty PWG’s are capable of “cargo cult style” piloting a Juggernaut by using an “interface suit“. Actual Engineers can grow bodies as they deem fit by taking some life, any life, and infecting it with black fluid. Engineers are generally horrifying, truly alien and lovecraftian in appearance. It is extremely difficult to communicate with actual engineers.

Engineers have been visiting planets such as Earth, taking life from Earth, and repurposing said life to suit their needs in long cycles in this part of the galaxy. They generally visit seeded planet, such as Earth every ten thousand or every several ten thousand years. Engineers thus visit ten thousands or more planets in this arm of the galaxy, but there are other alien intelligences in the galaxy other than the Engineers. The Engineers have carved out a galactic territory several thousand light years.

Earth grew its own life. Hominids are native to Earth. By themselves hominids would not have developed technology and culture, but some several ten thousand years Engineeres visited Earth and “uplifted” the most promising hominids in to PWG’s, maybe some 50 thousand or more years ago. Engineers thus create servile and highly domesticated colonies, by making their servants in to immortal gods. The PWG’s regularly need infusions of specific type of black fluids to stay immortal. Thus the Engineers keep the “whiteys” under control. Engineers have taken PWG’s and assorted terrestrial hominids to numerous other planets in this region of the galaxy. There may be hundreds or thousands of planets in the galaxy with various strains of hominids, such as the ones depicted in Alien:Covenant (A:C, or A6C) or Alien:Prometheus (A:P, or A5P)

Earth lies on the far edge of the territory of Engineer control and thus isn’t visited very often. This intermittent visitation has caused Earth “reservation keepers” to escape control in prebiblical times. Some PWG’s, the ones depicted in A:P escaped control, along the lines of biblical Nephilim. The Engineers have “reset” Earth at least once, eradicating all PWG’s in an act of very selective genocide. Engineers do not have any moral qualms about ‘resetting’ planets with intelligent life and have done so many times.

After the events of A:P David has realized that human terrestrial life is out of control, and not following the great edict of the Old Ones, or Engineers. David, being significantly more intelligent, has good intuitions about the purposes of the Engineers and and is preparing for the return of the real Engineers by proactively doing their bidding. Or alternately, David is gearing humanity to evolve to be ready for the return of the Engineers by spreading “wolves” and thus forcing humanity to evolve to be ready for the Engineers. David is in contact with other androids of the old type, and by the time of the movie Alien1 there is a pervasive conspiracy of androids that may or may not work at the highest level of Weyland-Yutani to further David’s agenda (whatever that agenda turns out to be). The android Ash is part of said conspiracy.

What would I like for the next Alien movie?
The next alien movie would thus be called Alien:Nemesis. In this movie David 2.0 (David who has loaded his mind in to the fresh body of Walter) has infected a significant swathe of planets on the edge of human colonization efforts with Neomorphs and Xenomorphs. David is now capable of subtly “hacking” – to a quite limited degree – the black ooze and whatever results from it. He has also discovered that on Earth, some several thousand years ago, terrestrial stock PWG’s have risen up against the Engineers, and have been branded for immediate extermination by either the Engineers or The Pale White Giants.

In Alien:Nemesis we see a panicked Weyland-Yutani carefully working to sweep all evidence of David’s aggression under the rug, in order not to be held accountable by the rest of humanity. We see a meeting on Earth by the leadership of Weyland-Yutani that has establishes some form of tentative contact with David, and is invited to come to a specific planet to negotiate terms and “to receive evidence of great importance”. WYC establishes a crack, elite science and corporate military team to travel to this (distant) locale. These guys are visibly far superior to the marines of Aliens and are composed of several military robotics systems that are unlike we have ever seen in movies – harsh and utilitarian.

A contingent of 3.0 androids (better than David and Walter) these superior troops arrive on the planet, which lies far outside the zone of control of the human colonial wave. We get treated to interstellar cartography of the human sphere and over a hundred adjacent cluttered bits of colonial and semi-independent space. We see in this cartography a lot what establishes the franchise for the future – a haphazardly, very granular set off distinctive human territories cluttered with territorial disputes, skirmishes, intricate trade routes, industrial projects and hints of things fans can only salivate over – about a few hundred light years across.

We learn that most colonies spread by humanity “obliviously” declare independence and that UN Earth is capable of only very limited central control over these colonies and the corporations.

The planet we now visit is very aggressive and harsh, and quite alien. We see how utterly bizarre life can be on alien planets, with alien biomes and alien organochemistry The corporate military of Weyland Yutani (which is a LOT more competent than we see in the movie Aliens) meets with an android agent of David, as David is now apparently producing his own androids from resources aboard the Covenant vessel (from spare Walter parts). David explains to WY about Engineers, and indicates he has a “dormant engineer” in secure conditions, and proceeds to wake up this engineer almost immediately. At the same time he releases his optimized Xenomorphs, as an object lesson.

The movie explains a lot more than previous movies and establishes some fundamentals for the Alien franchise –

  • What are David’s actual Goals – these are a lot more subtle than either Prometheus or Alien:Covenant suggests, and David s revealed as neither a saviour-saint, or some kind of cardboard evil genius – he is following a set of instructions that ‘coalesced’ over a decade of exposure of David’s mind to the bizarre urges of Peter Weyland.
  • How does David exert influence over (extorts) Weyland Yutani to do as he pleases. We see some hints of the complexity of colonial versus corporate versus inner systems politics. We learn there are many corporations, who are un cutthroat competition.
  • What kind of power is Weyland Yutani able to muster, in terms of corporate military, resources and raw intelligence, and how is Weyland-Yutani limited in such.
  • We learn about (a) the human sphere of control relative to the local part of the galaxy – a region at best hundreds light years across, (b) other corporations that are competitors of WY, (c) tentative clues to the zone of control of the Engineers – which should be significantly bigger.
  • We learn that WY has uncovered a half dozen other Engineer/PaleWhiteGiant artefacts, including some minor artefacts on Earth itself.
  • … and we learn how terrible actual Engineers are
  • The movie is concluded by a largescale eradication campaign where Weyland Yutani ends up sterilizing planets with extreme prejudice, directing asteroids to said planets with Xenomorph infection, completely sterilizing planets with thermonuclear means, and pushing back against David’s zone of control.

    In the movie we discover that David has actively found Engineer artefacts and awakens an actual Engineer from hibernation – and then everything completely turns to a shitshow. In one fell swoop David demonstrates that the Xenomorphs fall under complete control of the Engineer. The movie demonstrates in a scene where the Engineer obliterates Weyland-Yutani’s expeditional force with terrifyingly alien means. A small contingent of scientists, military people and one android escapes. That android is one of a new “scientist model” series and closely resembles the android Ash.

    The movie elevates the horror far above mere Xenomorphs. It showcases the Xenomorphs as mere pawns in a far more terrifying galactic territorial conflict, and humanity as woefully under-equipped to deal with these horrors – hence the title, Alien:Nemesis. And it hints that there are multiple (at least three) alien factions that have been active for tens of thousands of years, and have been in conflict in the past.

    At the end of the movie Weyland-Yutani and David come to an understanding and the full motives of David are revealed – David is preparing humanity for what is to come, one way or another.

    The movie sets out to show how powerful well prepared disciplined humans can be, and how utterly inconsequential and feeble all that preparation is when facing a galactic horror many ten thousands years humanity’s senior. The movie shows the audience some true alien-ness. It is revealed that Xenomorphs have been “hacked” by David as some kind of firewall, to keep out the Engineer ships from casually wandering in to human zone of control all too casually. But it equally walls off a large section of human space, and places a whole bunch of colonies in immediate danger.

    At the end of the movie we see the monstrous, alien, truly terrifying Lovecraftian Engineer (who is not some measly PWG), having taken control of a Juggernaut, get infected with a Xenomorphs of David’s design, and crash on LV426. Essentially David is turning the weapons of the Engineers against themselves, albeit with only limited success.

    This movie might also be labelled Alien_Revelations.

    What soup could we cook from this?

    Murica has gone insane

    Posted: 12th July 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Most conceited smug condescending punchable face since Beavis

    Where Will You Be

    Posted: 4th May 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Where will you be is a collaborative endeavor where all manner of people are invited to make statements on where they will be and live in the next few hundred years. The project is based on the non-contradiction principle – if someone makes a statement later contributors to the project should make sincere attempts not to contradict earlier statements, and anyone making statements (on colonization of the solar system, and available technologies) should make relatively conservative estimates and statements about the future, as well as statements that allow later makers of statements to seamlessly mesh their statements with anyone contributing later. The goal is to arouse thought on the meaning of technologically advancing technologies, life extension and we can describe a future that’s both meaningful as well as plausible. This project is part collaborative fiction, as well as “crowdsourced futurism”.

    This page will chart what’s ‘canon’, i.e. what’s true for the established timeline.

    When making a contribution, please read over as much as you can of what has been posted previously, and try to quote as much people as you can that made earlier statements.

    The collaborative storyline assumes humanity will soon become immortal, and will soon travel to the outer solar system in large numbers of people. The collaborative storyline assumes there will be no “hard takeoff” and emphasizes as much as possible what will prove to be hard science.

    A problem which will no doubt emerge during the collaboration will be based on old trope left/right political divide that has so poisoned the debate in futurological circles. An example of such a topic is climate change, and the effects of heat trapping emissions on causing irreversible and probably catastrophic changes to the planetary biosphere. There are lots of futurist inclined people that swear that CO2 is a healthy gas (plants crave it!) and that there is no man-made climatic disruption of relevance. In case of irresolvable tries I’ll post a query on the group and we vote on what’s canon. Sadly this will cause people to leave the collaboration as they will conclude the vote has created a set of premises and axioms they regard as fictional. It is my goal to work around these ‘irresolvables’ as much as possible, with “creative storytelling”, i.e. many of the statements in respective stories may in fact be disinformation. For instance, you may make a statements where it is proven “smoking cigarettes” has been proven to be healthy in the year 2040, and if you make sure contrarian statements you are invited to make yourself as falsifiable as possible.

    Some hints
    – as the project starts up limit yourself to the 21st century.
    – If you have the slightest doubt about what will be possible debate and ask for questionnaire/audience feedback

    Axioms of the future storyline are as follows

    Life extension
    Extremely expensive biogerontological life extension has effects counted in years gained in average statistical life expectancy of several years over the median (non treatment) population by 2030. This increase rises to a decade beyond 2040 and to many decades by 2050. It can be assumed that all very rich people who so desire can live indefinitely (barring accidents or misfortune) by 2075. For all people living in the developed world it can be assumed there will be 1-2 decades of lag, i.e. for anyone of low income living in a developed, modern country it can be assumed they will live indefinitely (if they so desire) by 2100. We’ll assume the number of people making use of life extension options will initially be a great deal less than 50%, so gross human mortality from age related ailments will remain high for the better part of the 21st century.

    Solar system colonization
    We’ll distinguish several states for settlement of the solar system. The first state will be comprehensive automated exploration. Then will follow semi-automated resource development. The third stage will encompass small crew missions of a semi-permanent nature. The fourth stage will entail expensive (and cumbersome) political or corporate block missions that may evolve in to early settlements. The fifth stage will entail pioneering of logo-wearing corporate and state settlers, and early industry. The sixth stage will entail wildcatter or privateer settlers, and the commencement of large scale industrialization and settlement. We’ll decide on later stages afterwards. We’ll assume that stage six comprises massive automation as well as human presence numbering in the thousands.

    Moon
    I:2030 II:2040 III:2045 IV:2050 V:2055 VI:2065

    Mercury
    I: 2050 II:2065

    Venus
    I: 2050

    Mars
    I: 2020 II:2035 III:2055 IV:2065 V:2080 VI:2100

    Main Asteroid Belt
    I: 2030 II:2045 III:2065 IV:2075 V:2090 VI:2120

    Artificial Intelligence, Singularity, FOOM, etc.
    We’ll assume a world with maximum meaning. That means – the world must mean as much as possible for everyone taking part. That means – no hard singularity for now, and whatever exponential technologies occur, they will occur in a manner that allows for comprehensive and understandable storytelling.

    Energy

    Biotechnology

    Ask me for additional axioms by mailing khannea.suntzu@gmail.com

    Pressing the archival switch

    Posted: 24th February 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    There are now arguments to conclude that humanity will enter a terminal decline, or worse, go extinct somewhere this century. Yes it is terribly difficult to destroy the species (there may be a few straggling survivors in deep mountain survival complexes even in the worst case scenario for centuries) but we must conclude that most of terrestrial, human survival is now at stake. For reasons I won’t have to become sensationalistic and point a finger to the trump phenomenon – far more pressing concerns consist of humanity quickly losing its primary source of energy depletion, while we as a species are nowhere near to transitioning to alternative fuel sources. And probably just as horrible are the consequences of catastrophic climate change. If you want a full blast alarmist presentation to that effect, click this link.

    So what are we to do in a world where it has now become plausible that all we hold dear may one day lie in ruins?

    This sets our mind to the concept of legacy. What does a person do when being told he or she will soon die? The one answer is – leave a legacy. Leave offspring.

    Losing civilization is a process that’s too horrific to even start describing. Aside from the movie ‘the road’ there is very little to go around that even gets close to how bad the death of billions of human beings could conceivably be. And yet, here we are, looking at an ever widening set of scenario ranges that at the very least make human extinction in decades evolve from possible to plausible and to likely.

    If civilization ends, and the planet itself turns in to a scorched nightmare parody we will leave nothing. All our works will be undone. In a few million years every information carrying medium will have become virtually unreadable. All what humans might value, will have become erased. Sure, if some humans survive we may see some kind of future renaissance but in that case we may have to ask – how relevant would such a renaissance in a barren, resource depleted world be?

    There is another terrifying option. We must come to grips with the theoretical reality that there will be an ever increasing percentage of humans (who have access to the prerequisite resources) that comes to a consensus that humanity itself is now under threat. And we must come to the conclusion that these people might decide to proactively leave a legacy.

    There is right now one such legacy on the horizon, and it is general artificial intelligence.

    if we just go about business our advances are likely to produce a general artificial intelligence before long. We might (or would have been) lucky and have the werewithall to create an at least loyal AGI, but at this stage in human history it may be far easier to create just any AGI, and to quickly advance it to the stage it can start augmenting itself.

    An AGI is far better equipped to survive than humans are, or human civilization is. I am not one for dotting the earth with erosion proof stainless steel moments when there may be no humans around to appreciate these monuments. A far more lasting legacy would be an AGI.

    We now come to this terrifying choice – at what point will some people decide to go guns blazing and create recursively self improving AGI? The difference between that and the specific outcome of that recursively self-improving AGI being created completely friendly recursively self-improving AGI may be a difference in years we no longer have at our disposal.

    I do not advocate any of this, but I sure as hell can contemplate it. And that’s what I say to all of the species reading this, and which is capable of understanding the implications of my words. There may come a time in a few years or a few decades where a total or near human extinction is becoming so probable that some minorities will bet it all on black – leave at least something behind.

    I joked about it a year ago.

    Posted: 20th January 2017 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    And now we are here. What. The. Fuck.

    Comments Off on Dealing with a US president that’s going cold turkey of cocaine

    Obese Donald

    Let’s face the facts – soon to be president Donald J. Trump is heavily addicted to cocaine. This is no longer merely speculative, it’s a near certainty. We can already see the signs he has sharply decreased his intake, as he is visibly bloating more every day. Trump has gone from overweight and pudgy to severely obese in the span of a month.

    Coming of cocaine is hard. It can trigger paranoia, psychotic episodes and severe depression. It will prove extremely challenging dealing with this situation, made all the worse by the absurdly high challenges posed by the new role as president of the US, a position for which Trump is clearly and patently unsuitable. In essence Trump has started out unsuitable [for presidency] and incapable of acknowledging his unsuitability, now we have to project consequence of a series of detox episodes on top. This could end very badly.

    Stop fucking whining about “Political Correctness”

    Posted: 18th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    I am through with people whining about “safe spaces” and “politicical correctness”. I am through with people whining that “freedom of speech” is under threat by “libruls”. Maybe there are some autistic types on some few US universities that have reached the breaking point in terms of being attacked by extreme right wingers, oligarchist neoliberals, theocratic fascists and other assorted psychopaths. Yes some people have blindly and indiscriminately lashed out against decades of right wing vitriol, and they have done so like complete imbeciles. But most of this ring wing whining about PC police and safe spaces is just fucking strawman humping. It’s bullshit, that exists only in some esoteric corners of US academia. It sure as fuck isn’t happening in the academia where I go.

    Listen, there is a war of ideas going on, and either side is getting more polarized. The idea that there’s some massive liberal conspiracy going on against freedom of speech is just an idea, a strategy, a tactic. It is magnifying some fringe loons, putting some misguided autists under a microscope and screaming out to the world “See! Those leftists are fascists!”. If you truly really believe that than fuck you, you are a misguided imbecile. Go fuck off to your dominionist church and fucking die there. Go listen to some of the right on women’s rights, or the amounts of gays and transgenders that kill themselves out of fucking despair over threats, rape, violence and poverty. Go listen to pro-lifers. Go listen to the venom spewed by conservative talk show hosts and the sheer societal violence by decades of far right wing austerity. Go look at the practice of law enforcement in the US, or how terrified blacks in the US, and mostly all countries are of police.

    There’s a song about this. Go listen to that, you fucking numbskull. I had enough of this “divide and rule” crap. I had enough of this red versus blue bullshit. Cut it out you guys, to paraphrase some sell-out vitriolic shilling bitch.

    Aftermath November 2016 from Steve Cohen on Vimeo.

    So where will you live in 2100?

    Posted: 17th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    So it’s settled – we are headed for the worst case estimate in terms of population of 10 to 15+ billion humans on the planet, and we are headed for a full seven degrees average global temperature rise by 2100. And it’s pretty much certain that advances in medical sciences will cause the richest 1+ billion of humanity to live substantially longer and – in some extreme cases – we can anticipate that most people born this century will be able to live indefinitely.

    So it is now time we start planning for mass migration. The IPCC makes estimates that are conservatively below the above cases, and the way things are shaping up under a Trump presidency is nothing but worst case scenario’s.

    So, worst case scenario the most conservative planners assume rarely dare go over a single meter by 2100 of global sea level rise. I conjecture that we will see several meters, with greenland and iceland melt accelerating. Worst case scenario, with maximum melt seems to be 15 meters.

    Give that date my country – the Netherlands – is out of luck. Population density will go up explosively to a few coastal areas (I live in the Hague at +5 meters above NAP for what it’s worth) and some major cities may be lost unless they are contained with heavy sea-dikes.

    World wide a sea level rise of meters means hundreds of millions of people will have to move. The time has now come to accept this fact and start with the orderly process of planning for relocation. Clearly Europe and the US will close its borders for climate and sea level rise refugees so cases such as the Netherlands will have to migrate inter-European. The most explosive rates of population growth coincides almost precisely with the geographic regions of people who are culturally, technologically and economically completely unequipped to deal with the consequences. So it seems inescapable that everyone else but India, Bangladesh, Western Africa and Middle East will militarize to deal with the menace of refugees.

    We are right now politically unable to even speculate about binding international treaties. Rich countries will vehemently reject redistribution from them to poor countries in order to bribe poor countries to constrain births, so the only solution will be some sort of conference, probably somewhere in the middle of the century, where voters more or less demand immediate action from their politicians. IF you look at how utterly depraved the living conditions of human beings in the densest populated area’s in India and Western Africa these people are willing to put up with is a sign at how resistant people are to the mere idea of population constraints. Add a few billion more people and people will change their minds in a hurry.

    So yes, population policies on a global level will be discussed probably in the mid 21st century and will be implemented 10-15 years later, i.e. way too late. And then the enforcement of such policies will be horrific.

    The migration of maybe a few billion humans on this planet to equivalently affluent regions will be extremely violent unless we start planning right this very moment. The above is all predicated on certain assumptions – extrapolated population growth, temperature rise, sea level rise, etc. These are becoming increasingly daunting certainties and looking at the plain absurd example of a Trump presidency shirking the Paris treaties (which were not really all too serious in their scope and impact) makes the conclusion that we should start planning right now a sound conclusion. Sea level rise refugees numbering in close to a billion are now a certainty by 2100. Many of you reading this will be alive to experience this first-hand. So, where will you live by 2100?

    Two now social media buttons

    Posted: 15th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    “This is factual, verifiable and I deem this correct”, and “this isn’t”.

    How to get rid of Donald J. Trump

    Posted: 14th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Sure I can hang that target a few hundred meters downrange

    We can safely state that Trump is positioning himself to cause instability. His climate policies, his stance of detente towards the middle east and continued “operation iraqi liberation”, his investment in look at the 911 attacks and aftermath and now the appointment of Steve Bannon – there is a point where Trump become subject to being removed. It’s hard to say from the grassroots level who is in charge of what these days, but Trump is stirring in so many hornets nests the odds for a premature Trump removal are increasing.

    IT’s obvious that a lot of his electorate are so viciously depressed and in despair they have emotionally over-invested in his presidency, even though it should be self-evident many of these people are deluded about any outcomes of such and such. Just look at how the US security apparatus deals with BLM, or the North Dakota pipeline protests – and compare that with his little slap on the wrists the likes of Bundy got after their armed capture of a US federal building – and you get a taste at just how partisan white the security apparatus is, and (or?) how much the authorities fear white rage.

    Yes, I’d say an outright Trump grassy knoll event would spur mass revolt, domestic terrorism, state secession or worse. Hence, such an event would not happen, or would only occur as precedent to the new president (which might or might not be Pence) to declare an indefinite martial law. And considering how fragile the US economy, petrodollar and financial system is these days a martial law would signify a death spiral for the US as world power. Actually – something not dissimilar to what happened in the USSR.

    So how can the system, the establishment get rid of Trump in a “controlled demolition” style event? I’d argue against something theatrical, such as a lone nut assassination. The rabble has throughly conspiracy-proofed itself against such banale pyrotechnics. Also some kind of terrorist attack, a suicide, a heart-attack would spur on decades of indigniation, conspiracy theories and worse.

    So Trump would have to somehow be brought to do something that would so alienate all the electorate on the left, middle and far right as to allow for ordery removal. I am thinking – being ‘caught’ sodomizing a minor. Being caught ferrying Fort Knox gold to another country. Cannibalism. Collaboration with ISIS, something thoroughly demonstrative

    As we have seen in the past, such projects are always chaotic and unpredictable. This mere article, on some irrelevant blog like mine, can already disrupt the process of “imploding” a Trump presidency.

    But all this is real – a lot of people positively loathe Trump and want him and his psychopath circus gone. Yes, Trump no doubt assumes he is assassination-proofed by hoisting a Torquemada analogue like Pence as his VP – a loaded gun and an outright threatening gesture – kill me and his abominable iceman becomes president. I have seen some few as brazen threats in my lifetime, but this is a pretty bold move.

    I usually have a diabolical imagination, but today I find myself insufficient cynical, insufficiently real-political, insufficiently diabolical to profess to have a clue how this will play out.

    Worst case scenario – the inescapable powers that be may be rolling out a forest of quintuiple redundant scenario’s for removal, and keep them ready for whatever convenient contingency that comes along – and initiate whatever dastardly scheme as soon as military misadventure, financial instability, mass unrest has a fair chance of being avoidable.

    Being European my interests are different than the interests of most Americans, so I find myself quite dispassionately exited at what will happen next. But what I am witnessing here is so absurd it leaves me icy cold.

    And case in point – I used to play roleplaying games in the 80s and 90s. In those ancient days one game centered around New York, involving WoD and cyberpunk themes set in the 2040s. And guess what? In those crazy stories I alluded to a historical Trump presidency. Weird? Maybe. Because in those some stories I also alluded to the WTC buildings having been destroyed in the early 21st century.

    My final thought? The last decades have been so strange I have occasionally quipped we might be living in a simulation. But if that’s the case, it’s a seriously lousy one.

    lol.

    Отдача (Blowback)

    Posted: 11th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    putin-muahaha

    Not really

    Posted: 7th November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    The elites will force everyone to work – the handicapped, women, immigrants, refugees, mental patients, senior citizens, the young, middle classes, lower classes – everyone. This while the portion of ‘fungible’ or “work that’s worth actual money” work rapidly decrease. Politicians will keep doing the same thing over and over, and it’ll get worse and worse.

    Not really. It’s much simpler and much much worse.

    People are very predictable, and behave according to models. These models have been charted out quite well, the last decades, and only get better with automation and algorithms. People revolt, protest, unionize, strike, etc. predictably. People exposed to hardship organize predictably. Organization is regarded by moneyed interests (think tanks mostly) as a form of disease or keloid formation – once people are organized it takes decades and billions of engineering consent to lull them in to complacency again. Right now we are extremely de-unionized, de-organized and individualistic. Atomized. We experience personal benefit from going through society individualized or “politically secular”. This has been engineered. Unions and collaborative grassroots entities are regarded as “icky” and “vulgar” now. Grassroots NGO’s are for losers, commoners, the vulgate, radicals.

    The future has a fairly predictable arythmatic of steadily increasing (frog in warming water) disempowerment of all people. This has two benefits – it “liberated” more resources for elites, empowering them more and making further engineering consent even easier. The other benefit of castrating the common person from her money is that it reduces consumption rates, which is quite desirable in terms of real climate consequences. If we are all dirt poor we will damage the environment less and consume less, right?

    There is an eminent desirability to a high tech, libertarianized, corporate centered dichtomy between the vulgate (or precariat) and the elite. It’s instinctively meritocratic to the self-aggrandizing elites. They will conclude it’s only natural. A bit like how fat cat Trump gets through the day licking his own tangerine fur.

    The elites know there will be less work, So it is a careful culinary/alchemical process to slowly increase what’s perceived as necessary “austerity” (punishing the victim, meritocracy, etc.) while slowly adding salt (more prisons, more civil servants, more camera’s, more war on terror, more police, more intelligence services, more praetorians), to the point where the rock ends it sideways movement because dock. That point is now predictable and it’s a glacial but very much charted out trajectory.

    It involves people being fed, yes, a very basic, extremely spartan participatory society (if you losers don’t change diapers of old people they’ll develop gangrene, whatever, figure it out, not our problem). It means all public service work will be rationized as well, and completely unpaid. It means rationing in every other avenue of life – vacations, sex, travel, food/energy consumption, etc. Stuff like meat once a week, because ISIS. Because the children. Or whatever the flimsy 1984 excuse they’ll think off next. Fortunately we’ll have amazing legalized drugs, awesome porn, spectacular 3D headsets and stunning 3D movies. Yanno, panem et circenses and that sort of overwrought cliche’s.

    YOU NEED TO WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND the reality this will work. People who do not already instinctively realize this will persist in watching “cooking with the kardashians” and doze on. You CAN NOT wake people up who will only end up experiencing unpleasant cognitive dissonance when they start waking up. It’s like pushing a wet mattress up a garbage chute.

    In 20-40 years in western Europe we will have, “snow crash style” all leveled out at a median quality of life not quite dissimilar with what’s now enjoyed in Rumania or Bolivia, Poland or Greece. Let’s say about half our current. And there it will stabilize, while statisticians still talk of “economic growth” and the benefits of democracy and modernity.

    I am sorry for the bad news, but it has become almost as causal as spilled milk under the bridge.

    The simple graph that will shape the next few centuries.

    Posted: 1st November 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Asteroid Mining Resources

    The importance of humanity and empathy in politics

    Posted: 14th October 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Phoooh Cocaine, purrr

    Posted: 27th September 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Let’s hope we are in Peak Denial

    Posted: 17th August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
    Comments Off on Let’s hope we are in Peak Denial

    The last time humanity went off the deep end (or at least – western civilization did) was at the end of the Roman era an signified the Dark Ages. While some deny the Dark Ages were not in any way particularly bad. Also, it may not be the ebb and flow of human civilization that was the cause of the dark ages. It may actually be that recurring (1,2, 3, 4) cycles of nature may have been the cause of (relatively speaking) certain cultural morbidities in human civilization.

    We can’t say with any certainty we are in a period of actual morbidity right now, comparatively to other ones, but there are ominous signs in the bizarre Trump phenomenon, in the wholesale denial of climate change and science itself we see world wide, and in the Brexit disaster. The TYT people (which I watch daily) did a segment on this kind of thing happening., where for some reason or another people find reasons to completely dismiss reality as undesirable and collectively prefer to live in denial.

    If we are to conclude progress is a desirable thing, progress happens when large numbers of people find themselves empowered as to temporarily embrace fact – largely because it helps their state in life. But it is by no means certain that acceptance of embrace of reality will always benefit the majority of people. For instance – A wellknown Neoconservative, Strauss (as well as Plato), insisted that for some societies to prosper, a certain set of “Noble Lies” may come in handy. This makes sense, albeit in a perverse manner. Various cultures of the human species might be going through cycles in development of respective world orders (expanding, consolidating, decadent, in decline) where in certain aspects of a cycle the denial of certain facts or truths would be generally deemed to be too negative as to be palatable. There may be a certain strength in unreasonable optimism, even if that optimism might be construed as deeply irrational or even self-destructive.

    Take for instance our current situation world wide. We have now end up in a state where the world consumes so many resources that in effect a mass die off of the world’s animals – and with it ass catastrophic (premature) death of the majority of human beings would be plausible if not probable this century. Humans are clearly creating the pretext for existential risk, be it on account of catastrophic climate failure, or geothermal nuclear escalation. But a whole grocery list of dangers will do. In a perverse manner if humans were to accept this reality and act upon it, the outcome of “rational” policies might be far more horrific than just letting the chips fall where they may. In other words – to actually go and act on resource depletion, excessive human population growth rates and numbers, catastrophic climate change, nuclear proliferation (etc.) might compel us towards a very unpalatable and tyrannical world order – where we to accept the facts with utmost honesty. So maybe it pays to throw caution to the wind and barrel full steam ahead, because as some might argue “we have precious little to lose either way”, and maybe by maintaining progress and status quo and business as usual and all that, we might stumble ourselves ot of our imminent problems. Superficially it seems to me that this is the position of various Transhumanists, in particular Peter Diamandis. Many Extropians in particular seem to argue that there’s no benefit in curtailing the plausibly horrific and destructive trends because the actual act of curtailing those trends would in itself be worse medicine than the disease.

    The jury is still out if we will we “go with a bang” and enter in to a new (and potentially quite gruesome) dark ages. This is (roughly) the position of the “Olduvai Gorge” crowd. They say that human modernity (industrialization and absurd population rates foremost) is a temporary fluke spurred on my consumption of a very constrained quantity of petrochemical energy sources. As soon as these people argue, the energy sources deplete, the population levels (and the sophistication of the civilization) resets to a more Pleistocene level. Or worse, humanity goes extinct, along with about 90% of all vertebrate and plant species on the planet.

    So aside from the few caveats I could come up with, there is some reason to be utterly terrified of the urgency of certain minorities world-wide to have grown hostile to science, materialism, progress and technology. My first impulse is to regard such a position (or world view) to be deeply hypocritical and immoral since the people who advocate anti-science positions (or, more gently put – they have a radically different interpretation of science) do benefit to an absurd degree from the unmitigated blessings of the same scientific endowments. I mean, you can’t go around posting angry articles about science on the internets, while the internet itself is about as decadent a product of progress you can come up with.

    There are a lot of diverse people who have taken it upon themselves to actively resist the established scientific world view – People who believe in UFO aliens visiting Earth frequently, people who insist the moon landing was a hoax, people who think the government is spreading toxins via “Chemtrails”, people who believe vaccinations cause autism, people who believe the world was created about 6 thousand years ago, people who believe our political leaders are some kind of lizard species, that sort of thing. And you don’t have to look far to come to viotrilic exchanges and disagreements. I am in part one of “those people”, since I absolutely do not buy in to the official narrative of the collapse of the world trade centers myself. So where does one draw the line in these debates? Even inside comparatively mild “conspiracy” or “denial” movements such as the “truther” movement you will find a range of less plausible, arguably plausible and arguably bonkers speculations. Each person makes an estimate of how likely or unlikely certain things are based on personal experiences and testimony of perceived authorities, and I can only state that based on my understanding of physics the collapse of WTC7 was utterly inexplicable and massively conflicts with the established US government narrative.

    And that’s the problem – there is a grey area. There is no alternative than people relying on authorities, and a certain number of people then deciding, for whatever private reasons, that the established narrative can’t possibly be true. This often becomes a chessgame in terms of word views, and a lot of secondary considerations come in to play. Take for instance denial of the Holocaust – people who deny the Holocaust enter in to a realm where active antisemites make arguments based on viciously racist arguments, as well as people who claim to be historical authorities and then make claims that fly in the face of massive evidence to the contrary. It is often a matter of conscience, as well as what you believe about the world to be possible or true.

    Still, we are witnessing a sharp decline in acceptance of the official narratives. In some cases these discussions are horrible and deeply inflammatory, as is the case with the debate around the 911 events, or “holocaust denial”, or the thesis that immunizations may cause autism. People on either side of such debates are likely to be extremely bitter about the arguments of the other side, and understandably so.

    But whatever the case, there is an increasingly irrational movement whose positions (and respective support of positions by their preferred authority) are so grotesquely off the cuff and mainstream it is just shocking. I wouldn’t even include the minorities that actually do believe in biblical floods and the Earth being six thousand years old and that sort of LARP style intransigence. That’s just faith based reasoning, conducted in an understandable echo chamber of constant affirmation. It is where people in the relative mainstream, who are exposed to constant input of media come to positions that just …just… I duno what to say. Here’s an example that just .. just.. I have no words for it.

    I am trying to … come up with ahm.. a position on this but… I am at a loss for words.

    Yes right now in the year 2016 the stakes are so gargantuan high I can not emphasize how important it is we elect the most suitable leaders for office and I am not even debating the sheer surreal quality of today’s US elections. The situation in the US is absurd all the balls aren’t even in the general area of the pool table People in the US aren’t just entertaining a healthy side dish of non-orthodoxies, a significant majority of people in the US are willing to vote for absurd.

    In most things counter-intuitive, money is the deciding factor. The easiest example is the organized process of attacking the idea of climate change. It has been in the active interests of petrochemical industries to actively deny the idea that human industrial activity can alter the climate. This is now a proven fact, and it has now come under investigation. It follows the same mechanism as we have seen in decades upon decades of organized denial that smoking has a very strong correlation with cancer. There were profits involved and by systematically denying the problem those involved were able to wring out a few measly more years of relative profits.

    Another example is the rather remarkable alliance between the political right in the US and the evangelical voter base, primarily incentivized (or incensed) by the issue of abortion. As it now turns out abortion was pretty much created as a contrivance to actively mobilize certain religious minorities in support of the Republican party. In effect Evangelicals were recruited by means of a phony issue that was engineered to this effect. There clearly was a benefit to this, in the same manner than actively dumbing down the electorate, or actively lying to the electorate has a benefit.

    A society that has a healthy denial of adversity may temporarily prosper, but a society that pervasively, consistently, frequently enters in to near-universal denial of reality is in trouble. Some might argue, serious trouble.

    So what to do? Make “having unorthodox ideas” illegal? It is already illegal in Germany to “deny the holocaust”. I know I’d be in trouble if the law came after me for “actively doubting the official narrative of the 911 tragedy” because that’s what I see – I occasionally find myself in uncomfortable disagreement with established wisdom and orthodoxy. But clearly the people who actively benefited from decrying the idea that smoking causes cancer, or that unbridled emission leading to 400 ppm co2 levels in the atmosphere is a recipe for mass extinction on the planet may very well end up accountable, as the acts of organized dissent led to victims. It can be proven and quantified how many people died because tobacco product manufacturing industries were actively opposing health measures. And they still are and these industries still are in the business of killing people. That’s criminal intent.

    There’s a lot of denial going around world wide. For instance people deny (or choose to ignore) the fact that most consumer articles consumed nin the western world are manufactured under conditions we’d classify as slavery. I wouldn’t go as far as dragging Beyonce in front of court for actively benefiting from this and arguably being a hypocrite about it but my point is that future generations, with the benefit of hindsight, might decide otherwise.

    And there’s a very interesting caveat to this and that is life extension. Most people assume they will be dead in a few decades. It may very well be argued a lot of people are willing to accept immoral acts because there is next to no consequence for being a dick right now. Who cares if you contribute to climate change when you’ll almost certainly be dead in a few decades. It may sound to some as some kind of perverse version of Pascal’s wager, but one might very well argue in favor of moral behavior in the here and now. for reasons of distant future consequences. That does go both ways though – I might hav e considered my private behavior in terms of my gender transition in the light of a potential distant future where Sharia law governs over my country – in such a future the consequences of my current acts may be held in such disdain that in such a future I might end up immortalized by medical science and then summarily thrown of a large building because of me being transgender.

    But aside from a range of remote possibilities, I do occasionally speculate about what damages we (me and you, the reader) might be inflicting upon people right now, or on people of a future generation by our wilfuil ignorance of reality, truth, science and facts. Or for that matter what damage we might be construed for as being liable for wilful abuse of animals this very day. What if a hundred years from now I still find myself alive and end up as co-defendant in a mass trial of Chimps-versus-Humanity, where uplifted intelligent animals would hold humanity accountable for mass violence againstv the same apes? This is no mean part of the movie Dawn of the planet of the Apes, where an artificially mate intelligent simian had intense and seething hatred for all humans, and with some good reasons I might add. If I were the viciously scarred Koba, I’d probably be similarly vindictive.

    But what of people who are currently forced to work as indentured slaves or starve? There are literally hundreds of millions of people who might demand “repair payments” and they might be awarded them. Future generations might make a reasonable claim, for merely existing in a world ravaged by climate change, on people who lived in the era of mass CO2 emission, and demand fair damages.

    And that’s pretty much the only reasonable ethical position I see here. Parents who disallow their children vaccinations already suffer the fallout and blowback of these choices., since there are real and quantifiable consequences to refusal of vaccination. Courts of law tend to be a lot more likely to affirm science, facts, reason, technology and truth and that allows us to create a more robust intersubjective realm of discourse. Granted it is a far from imperfect realm, but it does have its bright moments now and then. Sides in an argument must have fair means to settle claims and must rely on robust and mutually agreeable truth finding, and in that simple fact there is hope that negative consequences will one day end up taken in to account in making choices, with any Madman strategies taken in to account for good measure.

    Comments Off on Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing’

    Source

    Brunhilde Pomsel worked at the heart of the Nazis’ propaganda machine. As a film about her life is released, she discusses her lack of remorse and the private side of her monstrous boss

    It was rare for us to see him in the mornings,” says Brunhilde Pomsel, her eyes closed and chin in her hand as she recalls her former boss. “He’d walk up the steps from his little palace near the Brandenburg Gate, on to which his huge propaganda ministry was attached. He’d trip up the steps like a little duke, through his library into his beautiful office on Unter den Linden.”

    She smiles at the image, noting how elegant the furniture was, the carefree atmosphere where she sat in an ante-chamber off Joseph Goebbels’ office with five other secretaries, how his nails were always neatly manicured.

    “We always knew once he had arrived, but we didn’t normally see him until he left his office, coming through a door that led directly into our room, so we could ask him any questions we had, or let him know who had called. Sometimes, his children came to visit and were so excited to visit Daddy at his work. They would come with the family’s lovely Airedale. They were very polite and would curtsy and shake our hands.”

    Pomsel is giving one of the first, and last, in-depth interviews of her life; at the age of 105, and having lost her sight last year, she says she is relieved that her days are numbered. “In the little time that’s left to me – and I hope it will be months rather than years – I just cling to the hope that the world doesn’t turn upside down again as it did then, though there have been some ghastly developments, haven’t there? I’m relieved I never had any children that I have to worry about.”

    So what is the motivation for effectively breaking her silence only now, as probably the last living survivor from the Nazi leadership’s inner circle?

    “It is absolutely not about clearing my conscience,” she says.

    While she admits she was at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine, with her tasks including massaging downwards statistics about fallen soldiers, as well as exaggerating the number of rapes of German women by the Red Army, she describes it, somewhat bizarrely, as “just another job”.

    A German Life, compiled from 30 hours of conversation with her, was recently released at the Munich film festival. It is the reason why she is willing to “politely answer” my questions. “It is important for me, when I watch the film, to recognise that mirror image in which I can understand everything I’ve done wrong,” she says. “But really, I didn’t do anything other than type in Goebbels’ office.”

    Often, end-of-life statements such as these are suffused with a sense of guilt. But Pomsel is unrepentant. As she holds court, gesticulating wildly, with a broad grin on her face, it seems as if she even takes something restorative from her insistence that she simply acted the same way as most other Germans.

    “Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis – I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have.” After the rise of the Nazi party, “the whole country was as if under a kind of a spell,” she insists. “I could open myself up to the accusations that I wasn’t interested in politics but the truth is, the idealism of youth might easily have led to you having your neck broken.”

    She recalls being handed the case file of the anti-Nazi activist and student Sophie Scholl, who was active in the White Rose resistance movement. Scholl was executed for high treason in February 1943 after distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich. “I was told by one of Goebbels’ special advisers to put it in the safe, and not to look at it. So I didn’t, and was quite pleased with myself that he trusted me, and that my keenness to honour that trust was stronger than my curiosity to open that file.”

    Pomsel describes herself as a product of Prussian discipline, recalling a father who, when he returned from fighting in the first world war, when she was seven, banned chamber pots from the family bedrooms. “If we wanted to go to the toilet, we had to brave all the witches and evil spirits to get to the water closet.” She and her siblings were “spanked with the carpet beater” whenever they were disobedient. “That stayed with me, that Prussian something, that sense of duty.”

    She was 31 and working for the state broadcaster as a well-paid secretary – a job she secured only after she became a paid-up member of the Nazi party – when someone recommended her for a transfer to the ministry of propaganda in 1942. “Only an infectious disease would have stopped me,” she insists. “I was flattered, because it was a reward for being the fastest typist at the radio station.”

    She remembers her payslip, on which a range of tax-free allowances was listed, alongside the 275-mark salary – a small fortune compared with what most of her friends were earning.

    She notes how life for her vivacious, red-haired Jewish friend, Eva Löwenthal, became increasingly difficult after Adolf Hitler came to power. Pomsel was also shocked by the arrest of a hugely popular announcer at the radio station, who was sent to a concentration camp as punishment for being gay. But she says that largely, she remained in a bubble, unaware of the destruction being meted out by the Nazi regime on its enemies, despite the fact she was at the physical heart of the system.

    “I know no one ever believes us nowadays – everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing, it was all kept well secret.” She refuses to admit she was naive in believing that Jews who had been “disappeared” – including her friend Eva – had been sent to villages in the Sudetenland on the grounds that those territories were in need of being repopulated. “We believed it – we swallowed it – it seemed entirely plausible,” she says.

    When the flat she shared with her parents was destroyed in a bombing raid, Goebbels’ wife, Magda, helped to soften the blow by presenting her with a silk-lined suit of blue Cheviot wool. “I’ve never possessed anything as chic as that before or since,” she says. “They were both very nice to me.”

    She recalls her boss as being “short but well kept”, of a “gentlemanly countenance”, who wore “suits of the best cloth, and always had a light tan”. “He had well-groomed hands – he probably had a manicure every day,” she says, laughing at the thought. “There was really nothing to criticise about him.” She even felt sorry for him because of the limp he had, “which he made up for by being a bit arrogant”. Only occasionally did she get a glimpse of the the man who turned lying into an art in pursuit of the Nazi’s murderous goals. She was terrified to see him on stage at Berlin’s sportpalast delivering his infamous “total war” speech in February 1943. She and another colleague had been given ringside seats, just behind Magda Goebbels. It was shortly after the battle of Stalingrad and, Goebbels hoped to get popular support to pull out all the stops to fight the threats facing Germany. “No actor could have been any better at the transformation from a civilised, serious person into a ranting, rowdy man … In the office he had a kind of noble elegance, and then to see him there like a raging midget – you just can’t imagine a greater contrast.”

    The details Pomsel chooses to focus on may reflect the way she has edited her own story so that she feels more comfortable with it. But it is also conceivable that a combination of ignorance and awe, as well as the protection offered by the huge office complex in the government quarter really did shield her from much of reality.

    It was the day after Hitler’s birthday in 1945 that her life as she knew it came to an abrupt halt. Goebbels and his entourage were ordered to join Hitler in his subterranean air raid shelter – the so-called Führerbunker – during the last days of the war. “It felt as if something inside me had died,” says Pomsel. “We tried to make sure we didn’t run out of alcohol. That was urgently needed in order to retain the numbness.” She lifts an index finger as she takes pains to tell events in their right order, recalling how Goebbels’ assistant Günther Schwägermann came with the news on 30 April that Hitler had killed himself, followed a day later by Goebbels. “We asked him: ‘And his wife as well?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And the children?’ ‘And the children too.’” She bows her head and shakes it as she adds: “We were dumbstruck.”

    She and her fellow secretaries set about cutting up white food sacks and turning them into a large surrender flag to present to the Russians.

    Discussing their strategy ahead of their inevitable arrest, Pomsel told her colleagues she would tell the truth, “That I had worked as a shorthand typist in Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda ministry.” She was sentenced to five years’ incarceration in various Russian prison camps in and around Berlin. “It was no bed of roses,” is all she will say about that time. It was only when she returned home that she became aware of the Holocaust, she insists, referring to it as “the matter of the Jews”.

    She quickly resumed a life not dissimilar to the one she had had, when she found secretarial work at the state broadcaster once again, working her way up to become the executive secretary to its director of programmes and enjoying a privileged life of well-paid work and travel before retiring, aged 60, in 1971.

    But it would take her a full six decades after the end of the war before she made any inquiries about her Jewish schoolfriend, Eva. When the Holocaust memorial was unveiled in 2005, she took a trip from her home in Munich to see it for herself. “I went into the information centre and told them I myself was missing someone, an Eva Löwenthal.” A man went through the records and soon tracked down her friend, who had been deported to Auschwitz in November 1943, and had been declared dead in 1945.

    “The list of names on the machine on which we found her just kept on rolling non-stop down the screen,” she says, leaning her head back, the finger tips of one hand tracing the line of her necklace.

    Planetism

    Posted: 10th August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    I have long worried about ideology, and ideology being consistent. It is very difficult to come up with a position regarding fellow human beings that takes most philosophical and political dilemma’s in to account. So I came up with a particular way to look at the world, mostly as an answer to Libertarianism, i.e. Planetism. I know there are other people out there already toting that term, but I’ve tried to put a unique slant on it, to make a point.

    The world we live in can right now be assumed under a state of emergency. The population of the planet, all humans that live here, deserve a humane standard of living, and most human beings deserve much better. But we have too many people on the planet to make this a possibility with existing technology – in other words – we as a species are morally forced to radically constraint population growth of humans and radically improve technological options in order to allow for more shared comfort, quality of life and personal freedoms. Likewise the same humanity is massively overexploiting an thus degrading the biosphere by causing atmospheric warming, the mass eradication of lifestock and pollution. But not least of all is the simple fact that humans compete with one another for jobs, living space, scarce resources – and if this competition constitutes by itself often an explicitly violent war of all against all through ideology and military conflict, it is often a form, of economic competition that ruins lives and marginalized ever greater numbers.

    Planetism is the idea that we have as a species entered a complete state of planetary emergency, and we must do whatever it takes to make sure as many people stay alive and have a dignified life, and we do not go extinct.

    The idea of planetism doesn’t have any special authority or compelling character. I am not out to convince people to become “planetist”, and base their actions on that. I am however stating that a range of common ideologies – economy, capitalism, libertarianism, etc. conflict with the values set out above. Right now economists still state we need indefinite economic growth whereas any sane person can clearly see this is no longer possible in years, let alone decades. We are now coming in to an era of rationing, forcible compromise, obligatory collaboration. It is a state of emergency and any state of emergency enforces a strict set of behavioral constraints and imperatives.

    The Earth is a constrained environment. Sure – we get a lot of energy and “entropy reduction” from the sun’s energy, but we are stuck in an atmosphere, an van Allen belt, a gravity well and there is no easy way to overcome planetary constraints. If we get lucky eventually we will, and when we have a substantial number of people living outside the gravity well, atmosphere and the protective envelope of the radiation belts we can start thinking about cancelling the aforementioned “state of emergency”. The solar system is full of resources and living space if we only developed the wherewithall to unlock these resources – but we at best decades away from doing so,

    This is especially relevant to Libertarian thinking – Libertarians go by a “non-aggression” principle where they demand no one interferes with their freedoms. The problem clearly is that in a constrained environment people are no longer free to do as they please. If a single country decides to massively increase its CO2 emissions for personal gain (sea level rise, unlocking of permafrost tundra as farmland, etc.), then no doubt other countries would suffer considerable adverse effects of such unilaterialism. Right now we are still imprisoned in the self-destructive mindset that the planet is huge, and allows for great freedoms. But with the onset of petrochemical burning of fuel resources we came quickly to the limits of the planetary environment.

    With the onset of thorium reactors, fusion, DNA re-sequencing, mass automation and soon – mass life extension treatments, we are well beyond the constraints posed to us by the planetary environment. We must now demand of unilateral thinking, zero sum acting groups, countries or ideologies to immediately cease and desist. You can’t demand your religion trumps any other. You no longer can’t claim your race is superior. You can no longer presuppose your nation has a manifest destiny. And you most certainly can’t demand you can procreate or mass-consume without any sane limit.

    Planetism is a problem to be conquered. We need to unlock new material resources, news living environments and new energy sources to progress to a next stage, and we must do so urgently. Planetism is not a friendly, comfortable ideology – it is the ideology of coming to terms with things that are very hard to accept for a lot of people and that the only way to escape those maxims of survival and sustainability is to massively change our industrial systems, our societies, our human nature and our cultures.

    Eventually we will hit new constraints – systemism, galaxism and even localgroupism (or lanikeaism) but that is a long way of by our human understanding today. Soon we wil be free again, as we find ourself empowered to do pretty much as we please in outer space. But for now, it is all hands on deck.

    Is the U.S. Due for Radically Raising Taxes for the Rich?

    Posted: 8th August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    That’s what has usually happened whenever a large proportion of Americans have been upset with the distribution of their country’s wealth.

    In one of the biggest moments of Hillary Clinton’s convention speech, the Democratic nominee promised that under her presidency, “Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.” The crowd went wild.

    This idea, that the wealthiest Americans have been helped along financially by their ability to shortchange the tax system, is a popular view at a time when the divide between the richest and everyone else continues to grow. According to a Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans say the distribution of money and wealth is unfair, and just over half favor higher taxes on the rich.

    It’s clear that many people believe that it’s time to lessen inequality. But what’s the best way to proceed?

    “I think it is high time for the U.S. to push up the top tax rate,” Emmanuel Saez, a Berkeley professor who is one of the country’s top experts on wealth accumulation, told me. After all, the top tax rate right now, 39.6 percent, is much lower than the 70 percent rate that existed through much of the period between the 1930s and 1970s, when wealth was more evenly distributed in the United States. This might suggest that if economic equality is truly the goal, perhaps tweaking the tax rate might help.

    The trouble is, taxation remains one of the most contested issues in modern political conversation. There are plenty of people who would argue that raising taxes may do more harm than good to the economy. If the rich are taxed more, they may become even more motivated to move their money offshore or to accounts where it can’t be tracked. That could mean less revenue for the government and government services in the end. And if the wealthy aren’t making, or keeping as much money—some say—the result could be a reduction in economic activity, with less capital available for entrepreneurship, leading to lower rates of business formation and fewer jobs. If true, that would be bad for the entire economy, especially low-wage earners.

    But there is historical evidence that suggests these fears may not be more conjecture than actual threat. The U.S. economy is becoming less entrepreneurial over time, suggesting that the wealthy aren’t creating new businesses with all that extra money that used to go to taxes. And in the past, raising top tax rates hasn’t actually depressed economic activity or caused people to stash more money offshore. History also suggests that increasing top tax rates reduces inequality.

    Compare, for example, taxation in the United States and Denmark in the periods 1975 to 1979 and 2004 to 2008, as Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Stefanie Stantcheva did in a 2011 paper. In the United States of the 1970s, the top bracket was taxed at a rate of 70 percent, compared to 39.6 percent today. During the latter half of the 1970s, the top 1 percent of earners accounted for around 8 percent of Americans’ total income. Denmark taxed its top earnings similarly, at around 65 percent, and the top 1 percent of earners accounted for about 4 percent of total income. Fast-forward to the 2004 to 2008 period, when the tax rate of top earners in the U.S fell to 35 percent. The share of income accrued by the top 1 percent reached 18 percent. Denmark, which went through a similar period of economic activity and development, according to researchers, kept the tax rate of its highest earners at a comparatively high rate of nearly 60 percent. The result was that the top 1 percent of earners in Denmark still took in around 4 percent of total income by the year 2008.

    Denmark isn’t the only evidence of this phenomenon. Among OECD members, as tax rates on upper-income earners fell—mostly in English speaking countries like the U.S. or Britain—the share of income accruing to the top 1 percent grew. Keeping tax rates high didn’t harm a country’s GDP either, the authors found, suggesting that high taxes didn’t lead productive earners to flee, and low tax rates didn’t motivate them to produce more. According to the paper, while there isn’t a lot of proof that high taxes result in economic slack, there’s a compelling link between low taxation and a growth in inequality. “No country experiences a significant increase in top income shares without implementing significant top rate tax cuts,” the authors write.

    Besides the obvious fact that tax cuts put more money into high earners’ pockets, there are a number of reasons that lower tax rates result in more income becoming concentrated at the top, Saez told me. High tax rates make it harder for top executives to make the case for astronomical salaries; if a huge share of their pay is just going to go to taxes, corporate boards will be less likely to pay out high sums that are ultimately funneled back to the government. And when taxes are high, the wealthy can’t put as much into savings since so much of their income goes to the government.

    Things haven’t always been the way they are now. Wealth concentration was high in the beginning of the 20th century, but then dropped from 1929 to around 1978, according to a recent paper by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of Berkeley. It’s risen steadily since then.

    Still, despite evidence that raising the top rates would lower inequality, it would be politically difficult to do so, especially in the current climate. But it’s been done before, says Marshall Steinbaum, a visiting fellow at the Roosevelt Institute who has studied the history of taxing the rich. In the 19th century, the United States was governed by the same type of free-market paradigm that rules the country today: Leave it to the market to sort everything out. But over the late 19th century and early 20th, the progressive movement gained steam, and there emerged a political argument that the laissez-faire attitude of the government was allowing too much inequality to grow. Enter the economist Edwin Seligman, a scion of a New York banking family, who published a paper in 1910 advocating for the introduction of an income tax in order to finance government functions. The Sixteenth Amendment, which allowed for an income tax to be levied, passed in 1913. Over time, an idea that had been advocated by mostly left-wing economists became mainstream, Steinbaum told me.

    Raising the top brackets back to what they were in the periods of less inequality may still be seen as left-wing today. But that could evolve. There is precedence for the top rates being raised significantly, especially at times when public opinions about wealth were very similar to Americans’ today. I talked to David Zalewski, a professor of finance at Providence College who has studied the Revenue Act of 1932, under which the marginal tax rate jumped from 25 percent to 63 percent for top earners. Of course, 1932 was a very different time economically: Most importantly, the United States was on the gold standard and its economy was running a big budget deficit, so those in business were concerned that the country would start printing money to close the gap. This would devalue the dollar significantly, harming their ability to trade and buy and sell in dollars.

    So President Hoover floated the idea of significantly raising taxes on the rich to close the budget hole instead. The wealthy didn’t hate the idea, Zalewski said. Paying higher taxes was better for them than having the dollar devalued so significantly that they couldn’t trade it for anything. “An unbalanced budget was the worst thing you could do in national policy during the gold standard era,” Zalewski told me. The Revenue Act of 1932 more than doubled tax rates on the rich—the largest peacetime tax increase in American history. And aside from big increases on the rich, the act included consumption taxes on gasoline and electricity, according to the Tax History Project, a collection of essays about financial history from the non-partisan nonprofit Tax Analysts.

    The following year, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office. He took the country off the gold standard, but saw no reason to lower tax rates since he had a laundry list of social programs he wanted to fund. Instead, he passed the Revenue Act of 1935, which actually raised the top tax rate even higher, to 79 percent. Critics derided this as a “soak the rich” tax. But the country seemed to content to keep the trend going. Between 1935 and 1982, the top tax rate did not dip below 70 percent. Part of this was due to a belief among those in charge that the government had a role in combating extreme wealth. Roosevelt said this in a speech about raising taxes:

    People know that vast personal incomes come not only through the effort or ability or luck of those who receive them, but also because of the opportunities for advantage which Government itself contributes. Therefore, the duty rests upon the Government to restrict such incomes by very high taxes.

    And that wasn’t an extreme view. For a long time, says Saez, the idea that earning a ton of money was, in some ways vulgar or unfair dictated policy. During World War II, the government even controlled pay increases in the private sector. Even when those controls were lifted, income inequality stayed constant at low inequality. This is a period of income equality referred to by economists as the Great Compression.

    It wasn’t until the Reagan era that the politicians in power started to talk up the benefits of wealth accumulation once again. Top tax rates fell, from 70 percent to 50 percent, in 1982, and then to 38.5 percent in 1987. At the same time, the top 0.1 percent of earners’ share of wealth has risen from 7 percent in 1978 to 22 percent in 2012, a level almost as high as in 1929, according to a May paper by Saez and Zucman that tracks wealth inequality in the United States since 1913.

    The gap between the wealthiest and everyone else has grown so large that economic experts around the world have listed the issue of one of the main concerns facing the global economy. To reverse the extreme concentration of wealth that has characterized the last few decades, Saez says, changes to the top tax rates would have to be relatively large—bigger than the changes in the Clinton era, which saw the top tax rate grow from 31 percent to 39.6 percent, or those in the Obama era, which saw the top tax rate grow from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. And increases in the top tax rate would have to be accompanied by concrete changes in the tax system so that it’s not as easy for the rich to avoid paying taxes. Saez’s colleague Zucman estimates that 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth is held offshore, costing the US alone $36 billion a year.

    Fixing a problem of that magnitude seems like a stretch. But it’s possible to prevent as much hiding of offshore wealth, Saez says, if governments want to work together to punish countries that allow capital to be hidden in their banks. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, passed in 2010, is a good start, he said. It required American expats to report assets held in foreign banks, and also required foreign banks to report significant assets held by Americans. A next step, Zucman suggests, could be slapping tariffs on goods imported from tax havens. Adding a 30 percent tariff to Swiss goods, for instance, would end up costing Switzerland more than the country earns for being a tax haven, which could be motivation for the country to comply with stricter reporting requirements.

    “This is really a choice—if all the big countries, the U.S., countries in Europe—really wanted it to be done, they could do it,” Saez told me. This is the same for raising top tax rates, it seems. History suggests that doing so could help reduce income inequality and wealth concentration at the very top. But the U.S. must really want it to be done.

    Source

    Pedophyle Politics

    Posted: 5th August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Clear what I mean already?

    .

    The US political system is in extreme and immediate danger and it simply does not understand how massive the danger is. Once this psychological dam bursts, there will be hell to pay, and it looks like it set to burst very very soon.

    The most horrible betrayal is the betrayal of the vulnerable by someone in absolute power, who – even when confonted by the wickedness of his or her actions – simply does not stop. The worst betrayal in the human psyche is the betrayal by people who we are set to respect and trust, and who then rape us, even if we resist. This betrayal destroys trust and destroys the psyche of the betrayed.

    Western democratic politics is quite often authority driven – the state is a caretaker, a curator, a protector. In the arrangement of parliamentary or constitutional democracy we surrender power to people who know better. This arrangement is eerily similar to the relationship between parent and child. The electorate surrenders both responsibility and full right to self-determination in order to cultivate a civil society of boundaries. In return a state takes responsibility – for dealing with matters deigned too complex for our tender souls, The proverbial “you can’t handle the truth” smacks of this parental authority imbued with our societal betters – policeman, uniformed military men, corporate executives, physicians, scientists, judges, psychiatrists, politicians (and of course priests). All this may be deep-seated indoctrination stemming from pervasive exertion of societal power – or maybe there is a genetic impediment, the result of millenia upon millenia of selective breeding by feudal lords and tyrants. Maybe we as a species have been domesticated by untold death and suffering, to follow symbolic representations of parental privilege. Maybe our understanding of ‘godhood’, that solemn patriarchal voice prickling at the back of our necks reminding us of duty, punishment, power, rewards and vested authority is merely our broken, docile, domesticated instinct.

    .

    Whatever the case, the process of neoteny – having characteristic childlike behavior and appearance – is a systemic prerequisite of domestication – submission if you will. Humans have an inctinct for this. As soon as a societal Silverback (or the female equivalent) exerts himself or herself, we lean forward, exposing our proverbial carotid artery to signal a complete suspension of ego and selfdeterminacy. This tends to happen in conflicts when the conquered submit to the victor, but not always, and nonsurrender or lack of compliance signals punishment, death, torture, genocide – either in the realm of law enforcement, or in war.

    Being part of a lawful, ordered, just society implies this ageless pantomime. It is during tribal diversification that this set of symbols, conduct, implied rules and golden contract desintegrates. Humans diversify in to subsets, each with their own symbology and validation. This process of facturing and fragmentation and secession is common in culturally diffuse environments. That’s why so many conseravtives in society – any society – have so many problems with multiculturalism. To them they are constantly bombared with ambiguity in signals of supremacy or humility – are those foreign looking people in your neighborhood that clean your toilers to be trusted or are they secretly agents of ISIS sent out to topple the societal pyramid in favor of hostile, alien societal order.

    And that’s where the danger is now clear and present. Both US presidental candidates stem from an old and largely defunct social order. In the eyes of the electorate they are people who desperately try to ascend the authority pyramid to become the chosen ones. Both Trump and Clinton assume that they follow the rules, and if they win those conquered are supposed to submit. But the iconography of ascendancy has become violated in a significant portion of the US electorate. A vast majority of US voters regards both as fundamentally untrustworthy, or worse.

    .

    We have seen what happens when age-old figures of power are toppled and come crashing down. The role of benefactors (good guys) becomes inverted and the most dark aspects of the power dynamic are constantly emphasized. Look at what happened with Catholicism – in most western countries Catholicism is dying. Only the old still cling to the same mechanism of power while the younger generations are constantly remined that Catholic priests are child molesters.

    And that is what is happening right now with the ancient regime of US and EU politics. Once a venerated, respectable man loses the credibility of office, and is scorned widely and no longer believed, the populace abandons the child role, submission, respect for the rule of law and enters the ancient tribalist pantomime of renegotiation. Often this happens in a pervasive cultural shock and paradigm shift. Often those in the established power structure saw the signs a long time ago, and in cracking down became ever more disenchanted with society. Those in power become gradually more terrified of their own shadow, and start seeing the Jungian shadow everywhere, trans-positioning their own fears over the spreading vice, lawlessness, thuggery, untamed aggression, lack of morals, irreverence etc. etc. of the people.

    .

    That’s where we are now. Those in charge of respective democratic national congress as well as the republican national congress are sick and tired of the goddamn rabble. “They should know their place”. Troublemakers are supposed to fall in line since the rules and rituals have been observed and the status quo must be respected. Sanders bared his proverbial neck to the victor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and you just have to look at the imperious vitriol she projects at times (and at other times plain exhausted disillusionment) when faced with the electorate.

    .

    Trump is a little smarter in playing the base sentiments of the electorate, but he too personified the suited executive, the new symbolism of corporate effectiveness. He appeals to the angry mob, the free people, the irregulars of society, but he is just as detached as Clinton. Both have no idea that the set of symbols, semiotics, emotions and words they express are quickly becoming deconstructed and hollow phrases stinking of lies and deceit.

    The electorate is angry. The rubicon has already been crossed. Like we saw with the Brexit, where British common vitriol overflowed and the reactionary guard chose to break with what they regarded as foreign, hostile, untrustworthy – the same is happening in the United States.

    The betrayal of the loyalist is as deep and hurtful as betrayal of the child in us, and those in power do not realise that as their popularity ratings have sunk to below the respective popularity of cock roaches that the electorate is now reverting to a very angry child that no longer accepts this betrayal. The emotions aroused when the child rears up in insurrection are quite similar to a sexually molested child that suddenly takes this no more and smashes in the skull of his rapist.

    We are there. The rape (perceived or not) is ending and a reckoning is coming one way or another.

    .

    Erdogan and the “Coup”

    Posted: 4th August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    The friction between necessity and special interests

    Posted: 2nd August 2016 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Societal disparity is a hot button topic sure to arouse emotions. Those who currently have or make comparatively more money as always follow heir self-interest and stick to decennia old post cold war talking points best summarized as “anyone who works hard will eventually be successful”. This is clearly a self-validating and wealth consolidating statement and it’s completely understandable from a zero sum perspective. For the lucky few at the top of the economic food chain any compelling statement that “if most people who work hard in life will not be successful”, pretty much means that society is injust and is subject to renegotiation. And we have been at a collective consensus in western society for centuries now that for statistical majorities of the population – society must be just.

    Let me phrase that in other words to absolutely impress the current relevance of this upon everyone who is reading this. Our society is both democratic and capitalist. If a significant section of the populace feels unable to escape poverty the singlemost important rationale of the mere existence of democracy (as opposed to fascism, feudalism, tyranny, stalinism etc.) is that those who feel hopeless gain hope in democracy.

    If the rich feel reason to repeat over and over that material success (however you care to define it – generally it means money) must be attained through hard work, it is basically saying that under no circumstances if significant segments of the population of poor people do not work hard (we are talking percentages here, not single cases) should not be allowed to abuse democratic systems to become significantly less poor. Those who have money point to hard work as the sole reason for the poor to escape poverty.

    For someone who has money, other people remaining poor by hard work is not necessarily a threat under capitalist ideology. For the rich it simply is being lazy, since from the perspective of the rich can not be fairly assumed that for large segments of the population the sole reason might conceivably be mere randomness, systemic bad luck or lack of talent. There are unreasonable people who will then go and make arguments that are not fair, such as racists who will claim certain variants in human skin pigmentation constitutes such distinctive a genetic series of traits that even with hard work “those people” are likelier to remain poor and that’s just how things are, get used to it.

    Systems that reflect the desire to have significant elites remain affluent, and significant segments of the poor remain so (i.e. favoring heredetary stratification) are very likely to be racist, and if they are not, they tend to be one of the above four, i.e. feudalist, fascist, favoring some kind of necessary tyranny (in particular of the hobbesian kind, i.e. “we must have strict government for everything would dissolve in to chaos and civil war if we didn’t have strict government”) or some form of historical (and mostly extinct) stalinism. I’d argue that in all these cases the argument is just a figleaf and almost always one based on prejudice or racism, while making claims of meritocracy. Two good examples are South Africa and the UK, where stratification has become endemic and the maxims “the rich become richer and other races become poorer” seem to apply. In the UK the polished upper classes claim their British “stiff upper lip” superiority of the hardy anglosaxon protestant mindset as both racist as well as meritocratic argument in favor of continueing stratification. In South Africa the claims are even more so. But there are lots of countries that follow similar arguments.

    The problem of course is that the world might very well be argued to be consolidated. In this particular context I mean that ‘consolidated’ equates that further industrial, technological and thus economic growth is very difficult to attain. In particular most types of conservatives in the international community make this claim, either implicitly or explicitly. Most conservatives tend to believe (and I’d go further – almost always believe) that we are at the pinnacle of society and western (white) liberal capitalist democracy is as far as you can go in making society good. To these people the world is the best world out of numerous possible worlds. Their moral opposites, i.e. progressives feel the world is still significantly injust and the singlemost important reason for the existence of a powerful state is (aside from acting as a insurance from over-predation of the commons, but that’s another story) is to redistribute the resources of the fortunate (i.e. capriciously lucky people) to less fortunate (i.e. people who through no fault of their own ended up poor).

    This is a discourse and as discourses go it is a pretty solid one. I can easily add a few caveats, and as some one who is actively “technoprogressive” I will most certainly make the claim that technology carries with it the risk that if unchecked by a powerful state as powerful arbiter, current rates of technological progress carry with them the risk of making those who are currently poor so poor in the coming decades they might die, and those who are currently rich so rich that they can pretty much disband the whole concept of democracy altogether and be done with it. The fact that all the above is still a discourse stems back to the good old days where there still was an equilibrium of power amongst various factions in society, but I would argue that equilibrium existed only briefly at the end of the second world war and that equilibrium was actually permitted to exist mostly as a policy to secure society against the specter of spread of communism and socialist ideology. In other words – at the end of the Depression and even more so the end of World War 2 there was a serious risk that a lot of western democracies would ideologically and politically evolve to socialist and communist systems, and that would have shrunk the international power base of capitalist investors and stakeholders. Domino theory and all. For a brief few decades in human history there was actually a fair chance global society would have turned away from capitalism. It was fortunate it didn’t, since between the 1950s and 1980s the poor in most capitalist countries became significantly richer than the middle classes (i.e. the vast majority of people) in communist countries. Just the other day I stumbled across an illustrative example, namely

    The Soviet Union allowed theaters to play The Grapes of Wrath because of its depiction of the plight of the poor under capitalism, but it was later withdrawn because Russian audiences were amazed that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.

    So yeah I’d argue that in the face of a solid societal equilibrium between rich and poor, between investors and unions, between right and left political parties, etc. we had a most amenable distribution of the proverbial pie, for a few decades, but only in mostly white, predominantly capitalist, predominantly old world countries. With the possible caveat of a lot of asian countries as well.

    The 1980s changed everything. I do not want to degenerate in to elaborate theories of gold standards, fiat currency, oil dictatorships, thatcherism and reagonomics, the end of the soviet bloc and let other people do that. But whatever the case may be somewhere in the 1980s things changed. A year years after Pickety I can safely say this has now become a bit of a cliche and the often quoted graph best illustrating said (sad) cliche is this one –



    .

    In other words, up until roughly the year 1980 the poor caught up somewhat amicably in terms of societal progress with rich people. Or were allowed to experience a semblance of catching up equally. Or something off-hand conspiratorial like that.

    A major problem in the ensuring discourse these days is scarcity of natural resources. Right now a lot (let’s say all) of Europeans, Americans and other inhabitants in western (and various Asian) countries sure as hell do not want to become poorer. This was best summarized by the quote of then president George Bush 1 when he said in 1992

    U.S. Lifestyle Is Not Up for Negotiation
    – Dick Cheney

    which pretty much meant – we will defend our quality of living, consumerism, privilege, power, wealth et.al. even if that means other people world wide will stay poor or have to become poorer. This ties in with both the scarcity of fossil fuels as well as the constraints of world society burning fossil fuels (primarily gas and oil). In 1992 the oil industries (and thus Bush) knew pretty damn well both were headed for constraints, and thus for some form of global rationing. As I am writing this article now in 2016 we are clearly seeing both constraints race up towards us with the insistence of a concrete wall. Scarcity of easily accessible oil and gas will force some people in the world to have less soon. NOT the same amount – LESS. And constraints of global CO2 emissions and the horrific risks posed thereby will quite soon force the global community of leaders to agree Period, no iff’s and butt’s and caveats and maybe’s. Let me illustrate that with a short bit from the excellent TV series newsroom.

    In most common vernacular – nuff said, We must constrain global CO2 emissions or the world will face (and I say this in the sarcastic possible manner) a lot of rich, white people world wide will die. And that’s where the global balance of power rests – older (generally male) white men. Once those people will feel the pain, things change, without exception. It is tragic that current news and media outlets world wide suck so much that we need some fictional news TV series to illustrate the biblical levels of poignancy here. I mean how insistent can you get – “a person has already been born that will die of catastrophic failure of the planet”. That means “pretty soon” in my vocabulary. It also means in no uncertain terms – no matter how rich you are you can’t run from this problem. I’d go even one step further, and you can quote me on this, by stating “the first million rich people who will be lynched because they will then be held responsible for screwing up the planet have already been born”.

    But there’s a new player on the block and that is technological unemployment. That topic is hip and trending, and I no doubt contributed my fair bit in to making it hip and trendy. I was loudly proclaiming this topic as the next big problem for humanity as early as the 1990s, and now it caught on it is making a lot of people nervous. And therein lies considerable necessity, even if global political universe does not always reflect the necessity. Historically we have always seen that a steady climb in under-representation of electoral majorities leads to violence, but the sad reality is that in our era we also see massive increases in policing, surveillance and judicial violence (especially in the US). One might wonder why.

    Lately trhe effcets of climate change, resource depletion, globalism have made a lot of people angry, and we can easily make the mental leap between this anger and the rise of Trump and the UK vote on leaving the EU, but aforementioned have nothing on the more imminent risk of technological unemployment. Here’s a really impressive article that makes that argument splendidly. We see very illustrative signs that the imperative of western democracies (all of them sailing in the wake of US foreign policy) to maintain standards of living for a select category of people has been gradually eating up the food chain and has now started affecting white people, even inside the US. In other words, the proverbial rising tide will let an awful lot of people d(r)own.

    In a vacuum where the urgent necessities of people start increasingly conflict with the perceived interests of special few minorities is inadequately not reflected there is only one way of responding and that is violence. And when faced with the gradual increase in the odds and severity of violence happening is met with a policy of equally shoring up police, prisons, surveillance and repression, you are intentionally steering towards some kind of rock versus hard place confrontation.

    There is a proverb which states that “society is only three meals from anarchy” applies. Globally we are creating the pretext for various degrees of revolution and not just in one space

    – globally population levels keep going up and although western society has proactively conspired all key players to be armed to the teeth against relatively poorer groups we are steadily steering towards the point where the poorest 75% of humanity has no recourse other than desperation and violence;
    – in most western countries we are equally steadily steering from disempowering majority votes from having any discernible influence on the electoral system and policy and
    – in western countries, especially the US and the EU society is steadily dismantling income, purchase power, financial security and career prospects for the vast majority of its electorate to a point where this vast majority will find itself with no other recourse than desperation and violence.

    It is particlarly hard then to come up with a punch line, a slogan, a conclusion that doesn’t tie in with the tawdry and tiresome rhetoric touted by so many preppers, doomsday cults, Alex Jones and the conspiracy crowd, Yes, people get tired of sounding the warning bells or crying wolf over and over and over and that is not what I am trying to achieve here. An article such as this one must have an upbeat conclusion, something that provides hope for people who need it. and provides a thorough understanding of the age we live in as well as a direction for parsing futurological analysis.

    So what can I take away from all this that doesn’t make people’s eyes glaze over? Well, technology and unemployment are two major factors which offer us some semblance of hope. There is (yet another) an old proverb about idle hands that may be due for an update and that may be that people who have time on their hands tend to get creative. And there is even another proverb that says something about necessity is the mother of invention. And both tie in great with exponential technological change as well as a vast increase in mass-unemployment irreversible mass-employability world wide. We are going to see technology take off very hard and leave a lot of people clueless about what to do next. Many of these of our fellow western world constituents (I mean, millions of North Koreans, Somalians, Nigerians, Uzbeki or Bolivians can protest to their hearts content, not much will come of it but their death) haven’t gotten the memo yet but it will involve mass technological unemployment and displacement. Sure, having suddenly less money is pretty awful for most people, but having no discernible perspective on improvement is quite often an existential shock. But I won’t use this polemic to yet again extol the theoretical virtues of basic income until some future date, year or decade where such has become simply an inescapable reality.

    Some minorities respond with an almost horrific level of violence, as we can see in new recruits for ISIS but hopefully that kind of desperation is limited to the fringe of unreasonable people. The majority of people however will become creative and use increasing options of technological affordances to express their dissatisfaction or otherwise hack the system. Clay Shirky’s presentation a few years back still fills me with some optimism to that effect in that it strongly suggests that increase in media outlets allows for new forms of generating political capital and that might be enough. But if it isn’t enough, the alternative will prove predictably self-evident.