Republicans and the Tea Party of No

Posted: 18th May 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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Quoted from (as my ex would say) Trut-Hout. I added some pics for emphasis.


As much as they may grumble, there is a legitimate reason why the Republicans have been labeled the “Party of No.” For decades, the party’s kneejerk stance has been to oppose any legislation or policy involving social, economic or political progress.

You name it, the right has opposed it: civil rights, school desegregation, women’s rights, labor organizing, the minimum wage, social security, LGBT rights, welfare, immigrant rights, public education, reproductive rights, Medicare, Medicaid. And through the years the right invoked hysterical rhetoric in opposition, predicting that implementing any such policies would result in the end-of-family-free-enterprise-God-America on the one hand, and the imposition of atheism-socialism-Nazism on the other.

Republicans are obstructionist for one simple reason: it’s a winning strategy. Opposing progressive policies allows the right to actualize the ideals that both motivate and define their base. Rightist ideologies are not without sophistication, but right-wing politicians and media figures boil them down to a crude Manichean dualism to mobilize supporters based on group difference: good versus evil, us versus them. By demonizing and scapegoating politically marginal groups, the right is able to define “real Americans,” who are good, versus those defined as parasites, illegitimate and internal threats, who are evil.

There is a critical paradox at work. The Republicans have deftly turned being the “Party of No” into a positive stance: They signal to their base they are working to defeat an alien ideology while defending real Americans and traditional values and institutions.

Ideologues and opinion-makers spin any redistributive policy as a zero sum game; progressive policies give to undeserving groups by taking wealth from or denying rights to deserving Americans and institutions. Since Obama took office, the rise of the Tea Party has made the Republicans even more strident in their opposition. The GOP fights against every Democratic policy – including the stimulus bill, jobs programs, aid to local governments, court appointees, more labor rights, health care, financial regulation, net neutrality unemployment benefits, expanding access to food stamps and Head Start, action on global warming and immigrant rights – because it claims some sort of theft of money or rights is involved.

Sara Diamond neatly summarizes the politics behind the right’s obstructionism in her book, Roads To Dominion. She writes, “To be right-wing means to support the state in its capacity as enforcer of order and to oppose the state as distributor of wealth and power downward and more equitably in society.” (emphasis in original) These principles, in turn, flow from four interrelated political philosophies that animate the modern right: militarism, neoliberalism, traditionalism and white supremacism.

The heart of the right’s agenda is neoliberalism, which is the rule of the “free market” above all else. It demands that everything be a commodity, all actions be judged according to cost-benefit analysis, every realm be opened to capital’s predations, all human needs subjugated to those of finance. If neoliberalism is left unchecked, argues David Harvey in A Brief History of Neoliberalism, it would result in market anarchy and the dissolution of social solidarities. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously summed it up in her view, “There is no such thing as society but only individuals.”

Faced with market nihilism, “some degree of coercion appears necessary to restore order,” writes Harvey. Enter the neoconservatives, who play a crucial role resolving the contradictions between neoliberalism and traditionalism through militarism. Harvey explains that they “emphasize militarization as an antidote to the chaos of individual interests. For this reason, they are far more likely to highlight threats, real or imagined, both at home and abroad, to the integrity and stability of the nation.”

Militarism is just the means, however. To mobilize support for repressive methods the right stokes the passions and fears of its base by posing traditional values as under attack: the family, God, marriage, America, private property, law and order, and freedom itself. These values are often linked to neoliberalism and contrasted in opposition to “collectivism,” which is presented as a looming danger to both property and God. This also bridges the ideological gap between the religious right and the free-market right.

For example, the Christian Right is stridently anti-union. While the Bible can easily be read as a socialist document, the central role of money-driven ministries and televangelism has oriented Evangelicals toward free-market ideology that is expressed in its “prosperity theology” – “the belief that God rewards signs of faith with wealth, health and happiness.” As many Evangelicals are actual or would-be entrepreneurs, this doctrine is readily accepted. It’s a small step to convince them that unions promote secular collectivism that threatens private religious values, thus creating a theological rationale for neoliberal policies.

I use “the right” instead of “Republican” or even “conservative” to describe the movement and its ideas. Until recent years, there was a breed of socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republican that retained a foothold in the GOP. These Republicans provided critical support for civil rights and other progressive legislation. This segment, which tended to concentrate in the North, has largely shifted to the Democratic Party (with the result of pushing the Democrats further to the right). So while the right may now overlap significantly with the Republican Party, it wasn’t always so. More important, as shown by the Christian Right in years past and the Tea Party today, the right will try to purge those Republicans deemed not sufficiently orthodox, making the party more and more extreme.

The Tea Party is the latest chapter in the history of the Republicans as the “Party of No.” Its existence depends on continuous promotion from FOX News, organizing by Republican consultants, front groups such as Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, and the GOP itself. Much of the Tea Party’s funding comes from right-wing foundations through the front groups, and its politics are anti-government, anti-labor, pro-corporate and often socially conservative, which is the same agenda the right has been pushing for more than 30 years.

The roots of right-wing obstruction are represented by three pivotal historical figures: William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. “The father of modern conservatism,” Buckley proclaimed his intention to stand “athwart history, yelling Stop!’” in founding National Review in 1955. He knit together traditionalism, free market ideology and anti-Communism, and his politics were a textbook case of opposing distribution of power and wealth and for imposing social order. In the 1950s, he dismissed civil rights legislation because Southern whites were “the advanced race.” This wasn’t a passing fancy; he defended this position as “absolutely correct” in 1989 on NPR. He inveighed against the 1965 Voting Rights Act as threatening “chaos” and “mobcratic rule.” While opposing basic freedoms for all people because it threatened the traditional order, he was for using force to impose gulag-like policies such as quarantining drug addicts, tattooing people with AIDS on their buttocks and suggested “relocating chronic welfare cases” to “rehabilitation centers.”

Buckley was not alone in believing progressive policies eroded traditional mores and institutions. Barry Goldwater, who was trounced as the Republican presidential nominee in 1964, voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling it “unconstitutional.” He fought school desegregation, and the desegregation of public accommodations, claiming it “tampers with the rights of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of property.” He railed against federal aid to schools, the minimum wage, Medicare and the entire welfare state because “socialism can be achieved through welfarism.” He opposed the progressive income tax because it artificially “enforce[ed] equality among unequal men.” One of Goldwater’s informal advisers in 1964 was economist Milton Friedman, who saw nothing wrong with racial discrimination in employment because it was a matter of “taste.” Many campaign volunteers came from the conspiratorial John Birch Society, which labeled integration a communist plot. Within Goldwater’s campaign one can see how various segments of the right united in opposing racial equality, but each for different reasons.

In contrast to Buckley, Goldwater was no religious traditionalist, but he did combine libertarianism and anti-Communism. He hewed to a secular traditionalism forged from patriotism, the Constitution and frontier mythology, and was far more open-minded on social issues. His wife Peggy helped found the Arizona chapter of Planned Parenthood, and he made clear his contempt for and opposition to the Christian Right when it began to take over the Republican Party in the 1980s.

A contemporary of Goldwater was the unapologetic racist, former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who swept the Deep South in the 1968 presidential election running on a segregationist platform. He represented yet another form of traditionalism, one that stoked fears that “blacks were moving beyond their safely encapsulated ghettos into ‘our’ streets, ‘our’ schools, ‘our’ neighborhoods,” according to Dan Carter, author of From George Wallace to Newt Gingrich: Race in the Conservative Counterrevolution.

Wallace pioneered the race-based appeals that still excite the populist right today. But he was also a deft cultural warrior who, writes Carter, “knew that a substantial percentage of the American electorate despised the civil rights agitators and antiwar demonstrators as symptoms of a fundamental decline in the traditional cultural compass of God, family, and country, a decline reflected in rising crime rates, the legalization of abortion, the rise in out-of-wedlock pregnancies, the increase in divorce rates, and the proliferation of ‘obscene’ literature and films.” Add gay marriage, Islamophobia and immigration, and you pretty much have the right’s culture war agenda of today.

The right’s need for enemies is coded in its political DNA. Without enemies to defeat, vanquish and even destroy, the right would suffer an existential crisis. For Goldwater it was the Communist menace; for Wallace, integrationists and intellectuals; for Nixon, liberals, antiwar activists and black radicals; for Reagan, labor, welfare queens and the Evil Empire; for Gingrich and his cohorts it was gays, feminists, welfare mothers and the Democrats; during the Bush years, it was Islam, immigrants, gays and abortionists; For the Tea Party, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, it’s all of the above.

There is one final step in how the right mobilizes grassroots support behind an obstructionist agenda. Few people mull over philosophical concepts when making political decisions. That’s why mobilizing group resentment and solidarity simultaneously is so effective. It gives people a way to see both enemies and allies in their daily lives. In the case of immigrants, the narrative is about “illegals” stealing jobs and social services from taxpayers. In the case of the Obama administration, the story is that taxes are being stolen from hard-working Americans to support parasites ranging from welfare recipients to Wall Street bankers.

Chip Berlet, a scholar at Political Research Associates, describes this as “producerism.” He defines it as “a world view in which people in the middle class feel they are being squeezed from above by crippling taxes, government bureaucracies and financial elites while simultaneously being pushed around, robbed, and shoved aside by an underclass of ‘lazy, sinful, and subversive freeloaders.’ The idea is that unproductive parasites above and below are bleeding the productive middle class dry.”

Segments of the right use producerism differently, explains Berlet. “Economic libertarians blast the government for high taxes and too much regulation of business. Anti-immigrant xenophobes blast the government for letting ‘illegals’ steal their jobs and increase their taxes. Christian fundamentalists blast the government for allowing the lazy, sinful, and subversive elements to ruin society.” In recent history, Wallace and Nixon used producerist rhetoric to mobilize white working-class resentment against blacks.

Producerism is premised on other techniques. First, argues Berlet, a group of people are dehumanized so they are seen as objects and then they are demonized as evil. Next, the group is scapegoated irrationally for specific problems. Lou Dobbs mastered this process in defining undocumented immigrants as “illegal,” then spouting dubious claims about immigrants being responsible for crime waves and disease outbreaks, and finally blaming them for stealing jobs and social services. Another example is FOX News and its hit job on ACORN. The group was caricatured as so nefarious and omnipotent, a poll last year by Public Policy Polling found that 52 percent of Republicans believed ACORN had stolen the 2008 election for Obama.

The Tea Party movement – which the Republicans have helped create and exploit to oppose the entirety of the Obama administration – is the latest political variant of the right’s themes. Much of the right’s anger is directed at immigrants, African Americans and social welfare and equality in general. Among Tea Partiers, 73 percent think “Blacks would be as well off as whites if they just tried harder”; 73 percent believe “providing government benefits to poor people encourages them to remain poor”; 60 percent believe “We have gone too far in pushing equal rights in this country”; 56 percent think “Immigrants take jobs from Americans”; 92 percent want a smaller government with “fewer services”; 92 percent think Obama’s policies are moving the country toward socialism; only 7 percent approve of Obama’s performance as president; and a combined 5 percent identify themselves as black, Asian or of Hispanic origin.

One survey found that identifying as a conservative or a Tea Party supporter was an accurate predictor of racial resentment. Additionally, only one-third were opposed to the government tapping people’s telephones and racial or religious profiling, and barely half opposed indefinite detention without trial. This is a movement that thrives on opposing the distribution of power and wealth more equitably in society and for imposing a repressive social order.

With nearly 60 percent of Tea Partiers believing Obama is foreign born or saying they are not sure, it becomes clear why so many on the right have adopted violent and revolutionary rhetoric. The thinking is he’s a foreigner or a Muslim or stole the election, so he is alien and illegitimate. As such, it makes sense he is pushing an alien idea like socialism that may be part of some grand conspiracy like the New World Order, the North American Union, the Bilderberg Group or Satan. (In a poll last September of New Jersey residents, not known for being prone to right-wing radicalism, 29 percent of Republicans thought Obama was the Anti-Christ or were unsure.)

However irrational this position may be, the logical consequences are not: anything Obama and the Democrats do must be opposed because it is a life-and-death struggle. In opposing the health care plan, the right is not just trying to deny services to the undeserving, it is affirming and protecting free choice, family, the sanctity of life, the market, God, country, the Constitution – all arguments trotted out in the last year.

Like the Clinton years, no matter how much Obama tries to appease Republicans, he will remain under attack and be held responsible for bizarre crimes and conspiracies because the right has nothing to gain from compromise. In fact, Republican opposition has devolved from the philosophical to the tactical. The right-wing noise machine frames Obama and the Democrats as the source of all evil, making compromise virtually impossible. Republicans now assail Obama policies they used to champion from the market-friendly health care law and huge tax cuts in the stimulus bill to the bipartisan deficit commission and pay-as you-go budget rules.

At the same time, the Obama administration has stoked support for the Tea Party by providing aid and comfort to Wall Street rather than Main Street. The Republicans have exploited legitimate anxieties over high unemployment, a shrinking economy and onerous taxes by scapegoating the weak and marginal for policies that are structural and historical in nature.

The lesson for Obama and Democrats is not that they went too far to the “left,” it’s that they went too far to the right. Obama had the political capital and the leverage over the banking and auto industries to push for a “Green New Deal” that could have restructured the transportation and energy sectors and created millions of new jobs. Slashing the bloated military budget while fighting for some type of single-payer health care – instead of a plan that uses public money to subsidize the for-profit healthcare industry – budget deficits could have been constrained while reducing the financial burden of medical bills for most American households. Implementing such an agenda could have created a mass constituency that would fight for a progressive vision and against the right’s repressive politics.

The right has well-thought-out ideologies, a specific agenda, clearly defined enemies, and ruthlessly pursues power to achieve its goals. And it’s fighting a Democratic White House and Party that stand for nothing, which is why being the “Party of No” will continue to be a winning strategy for Republicans.

Updates:

  • Going to Extremes
  • Racial Income gap widens – by several 100%

  • Project Brainstorm

    Posted: 4th May 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    More on this idea soon – what could we all do with self-organizing, transferable, editable 3 Dimensional mindmaps if every user had access to them by default?

    The basic premise is based on the excellent mindmapping “the Brain“. But the twist here is – make it standard with every SL client. Allow avatars to trade them back and forth. Allow objects in a brain to serve as folders (containing other prims). Allow replacement of the icons by ‘illustrative’ prims of appropriate size (such as picture frames). This idea isn’t new and it is already being done in SL.

    I will argue soon why this should be ‘point and click wisywyg’ in Second Life, why it would attract new users in SL that have he profile Linden Lab wants drawn in, and it would have synergistic potential through the roof.


    Being against life extension

    Posted: 29th April 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized

    In response to this article:

    Argument One : When We Become Able To Extend Our Lives We Won’t Be “Human”.

    Response – as opposed to what? We will be “florgubs” – the odd species that emerged when humanity became immortal? “Florgubs” what used to be the human species, but now they are known by a different name? And when humans stop being humans (and go by another name) will they magically change into something completely different? No Annalee goes even further (and makes a spectacle of herself) – she postulates that those who are immortal look like this:

    …which would rather defeat the purpose. My version of Immortal looks a bit more like this:

    .

    So what’s this odd prejudice? Is it a human fear of some sort of fundamental change? Say, “what will become of humans when they fly” ? Well – as soon as humans fly their mortal souls will be left behind… and they wil be left changed. Because that is what people believed once and used as an argument to oppose human flight (or any travel at a high speed for that matter).

    I declare this argument not erely bunk, but positively ludicrous.

    Argument Two : Whatever Body You’re In, There You Are.

    Another disingenious, relativist idea, and one I loathe with every fiber of my being. This assertion is an insult to millions of people with a disability. The argument states : it does not matter one iota what body you have, healthy or sick, sane or insane, hideous or beautiful – because you’ll be stuck with the same old crap. This is a morally reprehensible argument. My point is – if we all had healthier bodies, humanity would have to find a new category of people to hold in contempt. The argument more or less implies that ‘inadequate, flawed people’ are necessary. I’d call this a completely evil argument.

    3. Our Augmented Bodies And Minds Will Be Hackable.

    And they aren’t already? They are and we call the hacking things like disease, rape, murder, brainwashing, religion, slavery, taxes. The statement that an artificial body will be just a relative change, and nothing will ever change is a self-defeating argument. I could use this argument in precisely the reverse manner – I could say “It doesn’t matter if we improve our bodies, because even if we do, we can still be hacked, like we can now” – and what point will the argument have made? Precisely, nothing.

    4. We’ll have to deal with the immortality divide.

    The argument suggests – so what if some have access to life extension and immortality, and others do not? … and this is an argument against life extension? Well, to me the argument is FOR life extension. Because in the real world, if we can we will. Which means, we should make doubly sure that life extension is not artificially constrained or limited or forced into an unaccountable black market niche – I’d want life extension nationalized, mass produced and available for as many people as we can make it available to – to make doubly sure some sinister elite doesn’t sneak past any laws society would aim to implement. We can’t afford small, unaccountable sinister immortal elites.

    The article is one massive orgy of straw man fallacies. Actually I’d call it a deceitful argument.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzYj5jefTnc&feature=PlayList&p=D15C1C3487241D49&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=14]

    /s

    95% does not [anywhere near] win

    Posted: 29th April 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    Probably 99%. We live in a world where the total profits are maximized by a climate of competition. Right now we (except me) are all stuck venerating thic paradigm of competition (and exclusion, scarcity, disparity, envy, exhaustion, depletion) to the point of it being a religion. That the world is simply not functioning (ehh “sustainable”) stares us in the face but we won’t abandon the underlying premise – the competition based paradigm remains sacrosanct. Even if you spell it out for the shills, they shake their heads vehemently – ‘free markets are necesary to maintain our standards of living’.

    Are they?

    For some to win, many must lose. I’d replace that with – the only thing left to 95% of humanity is hope. But we are in a crisis now, and the positive thing is that people who are in a crisis are sometimes forced in to self-reflection. The inevitable conclusion for many is – we don’t get even, we don’t get ahead, we don’t win. An worse, in a climate of resource constraints and collapsing infrastructures and natural resources and well, literally a collapsing climate we end up with those who already have, feeling empowered to rake in even more. And that literally means less for anyone else.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59OJ17raqWw&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Let me spell it out for you – everyone wants to live the good life. Everyone (at least those who can, and still have aspirations) will have some sort of ambitions. Many will even have realistic ambitions, or expectations. To this end they enter a deal with those in power, and work hard. Most people who work hard can have a comfortable life – not all mind you.

    But this isn’t happening right now. So – is this system we live in the best possible arrangement we could have? Or is it just a historical artefact?

    The Witch Hunting Gene

    Posted: 29th April 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    I have a hypothesis – I do not have arguments for this hypothesis. I firmly held this idea for quite a few years now. My idea is that humanity has a persecution instinct. Worse, I believe that humanity is compelled to self-formulate groups to persecute, and will do what it can to kill them in an organized manner.

    This set of genes evolved probably in the era when humanity found itself without ntaural predators and other species competition. That’s the same era, which probably started before the current holocene, where humanity started living in larger aggregate communities. At some point in the past humanity started persecuting other humans, and they benefitted from it. Benefits entailed tribal unification – either by fear (everyone was now terrified to have their own ideas) or by literally weeding out freethinkers- but there were other benefits as well: you take the money and property of the people you exterminate. This happened on a big scale in Bosnia with Muslims, WW2 Germany with Jews and in Rwanda with the Hutu’s. Or with natives everywhere in the colonial age.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s57f7w8tCTc]

    This gene may be profitable for some groups (under some rare circumstances) but it is detrimental for the human race – witch hunts and pogroms based on ‘gut feelings’ tend to hit people who merely look different. The majorities find reason to regard minorities as unwanted, based on things like eating habit, incompatible taboos and skin pigmentation. In some few cases the alleged benefit of chasing away (or killing) the unwanted might make sense of a monstrous, ecological level (argueing about humans as I would argue about competing animal strains in savage nature) but mostly it’s just an instinct running amok.

    We can’t do zip about it; if this pet hypothesis has any validity we are stuck with it until we can change the genetic predipositions of humanity on a large scale. We might be able to patch for this tendency, but I don’t see that work very well. So for now we are stuck with every human having to keep a watchful eye for his fellow human beings. Once they gang up on you, ‘because you carry an odd hat’ be prepared for anything because next thing might be they start rounding you up and take you to the killing fields. I may have the gene. Anyone reading here may have the gene. You cant take anticipatory action against this gene, because that might be precisely what the gene wants. So we have to stay vigilant against it.

    Maybe one day, when humanity is a lot smarter, we can all come together to cure this evil tendency.

    Willingly Divided and Ruled

    Posted: 28th April 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    In Rome there were very few slave revolts, by and large because fear worked, and slaves concluded that quite often they had it better as slaves than they used to living like savages. Emperial Rome offered amenities far in excess to what Gaul could offer the former tribals. But at the same time Romans mixed incompatible slaves – middle easterners and germans – belgians and etruscans – armenians and spanish. The nett effect was total culture shock and the slaves living in fear, distrust, scheming and betrayal. The dangers that came with insurrection were so severe, the potential payback of rebellion so marginal and the mistrust of their fellow slaves so overwhelming that most slaves didnt rebel – or they did so in a manner that allowed Romans to pick them off one by one and cull them in the early stages of slavery. Yes one might even argue that these overlords we have always had have always been culling troublemakers. Our society might have been a breeding experiment in applied docility and gentrified productivity. Everyone else has been weeded out and only the humble and industrious have remained.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2CqtNeRK_w&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Little worker bees.

    In the 20th century the slaves have been replaced iwth the third word and Romans are now the Americans and their aligned states. Rome also worked through subsidiaries, and they supported a transnational system that was Roman, while they themselves where not. But the Empire was Roman, and every bit of civilization was a Roman amalgem, enforced through Latin and education and slave labor. In this climate death came quick. Slaves lived short, brutal lives. The same is now true of the people in the third world, and of immigrant labor. We in the west thrive on slavery, and we think the current situation normal. Decent people don’t even see the difference anymore. They assume that was China has to go through isn’t de facto slavery – it is ‘the growth pains of becoming an advanced society’. The nearly three billion or so Indians, Mexicans, Turkish, Chinese, Polish, Indonesians who are de facto slave lanor of Japan, Korea, US, Australia, EU and United States are becoming ‘real people’, somewhere in a distant future, one or two generations from now. It is ‘the price they must pay’.

    It should be clear that I do not agree with that assessment, but very few people would be inclined to consider my point of view.

    We live in a pathologically conservative world. If we wanted to, we could have a paradise for seven billion people in ten years. Everyone would be fed, educated, housed properly, have decent medical care. However – it would also mean that certain privileged elites in EU, Japan, US, would have to relinquish more than half their relative affluence. It would mean an end to wasting capital and material resources on militaries. But in the current psychology of humanity that would be as impossible as it was in Roman times.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pQK6bh5zkI&feature=related]

    The world I envision is not a continuation of this one. My future is one where this strangling conservatism, and this sickening lack of faith is replaced with a rising tide of equality – and not a rising tide of more of the same, more for everyone. I advocate far less disparities in affluence and far more progress. Progress in all fields.

    I wish to see the Roman paradigm die, and be buried. We live in a post-Roman world. Our deity(s) are clearly laughable Roman parodies. The ‘chistian’ deity has absolutely nothing to do, other than a few haphazzard biblical falsifications, with the jewish deity – our christian god is a paulinian deity, an upgraded Jupiter. Romans would instantly see the artefacts that remain of their empire. We all live in a world saturated by lies, and by an imperial ‘divide and rule’. The patricians put an emperor in charge, tolerate his management – but in the end it is money that rules, and established rich investors that call the shots – for all we know vampires.

    And yes, I would see that monstrosity die, once and for all, and be replaced by something far better. And not something that has been tried before, anywhere in history – I have something completely new in mind.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhVKZ3P-5ss]

    Demonization for dummies

    Posted: 21st April 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized

    CAUTION: I originally intended to follow up on this post and update depending on the replies on the particular site, but as it turns out this would not be a very good idea. In fact I may drop this reply in total if this spirals out of control. The catchphrase is ‘apophenia alert’ here. Vigilantcitizen.com involves a particular pseudochristian subculture of people who see signs of the impending apocalypse, leftbehindism, the wrath of g-d, the illuminati etc. etc. etc. everywhere. They look for signs in Lady Gaga video’s, in the sincere conviction someone went through some kind of script charting out elaborate visual symbology of baphomet and zodiacs and ‘the way water is squirted in her face’ and all that, to make some kind of point. I am a little cautious about this bunch, since these are clearly people who are very much living an isolated, misunderstood and underappreciated existence, and they will latch onto everyone picking fights or ‘resisting satan’. Believe me, I’ve been there and it is not an easy life. Bad part is this will get worse as time goes by and more and more people opt for religion rather than SSRI’s.

    UPDATE: The site which has posted a call-to-arms by consistently lying about the transhumanist movement does not desire open debate. Our replies are deleted and those who post are accused of being one and the same individual. Transparent debate seems to be impossible. The reply section has become one giant ‘hurray’ shouting match of apopheniac selfindulgence. Go for the own team, there’s at you, blackhatters.

    UPDATE: All my replies have been deleted. New posts have been refused. The site below does no longer believe in an open discussion, or even an open exchange of ideas. They have not just failed miserably, their whole paranoia fest has exploded in their face for all I care. Very sad – because we could have really used these people as a critical countermovement or ‘echo chamber’ to transhumanism. That won’t work since transhumanism doesn’t have much use for what is clearly a bunch of loons.


    Transhumanism is scary to the usual suspects. Let’s face it, some people are nervous about what is happening in the world around them, and have chosen to have a sniper mentality. The enemy is out there! Quick, let’s get him before he can get to us… (It is indicative of the same dynamic William Gibson so eloquently captured in his bridge trilogy when he had a company exist solely on the basis to attack competitors in the memeverse.) A whole legion of these self-appointed critics and moral sheep dogs sit around proposing very little by themselves, but look the horizon scouting for new ideas and when they spot any, they snipe them down. Remarkably enough the sniping is done with pretty awful arguments these days. So I was not surprised when I stumbled on another piece of marvelous social criticism over at this place. An angry analysis by an armchair counter-revolutionary…. This prompted me to doctor up a a response. Like always, a lengthy and somewhat tedious response, so if you can stomach it do read on.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeZWg3KzMSI&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    The author is, at it turns out, stationed here. It becomes clearer the premise of these articles is to apply christian apocalyptic labels on events that do not fit inside the understanding of their regular readers, as to construct some kind of significance in all the confusion things that happen in the world. It is a little offensive to be grabbed and be recycled in their particular mental picture of the world, but I suppose thats what they have to to to survive in an increasingly complex world.

    The article named “The Transhumanist and Police State Agenda in Pop Music” briefly explored the transhumanist theme of the Black Eyed Peas’ video “Imma Be/Rock that Body”. Vigilant Citizen collaborator LVB expands on this subject and describes the Psychological Warfare techniques used in this video.
    The Black Eyed Peas “Imma Be / Rock that Body” video is a masterpiece of high tech computer-generated imagery and state of the art digital music production. It is also one of the most blatant examples of Psychological Warfare and deception that I have ever seen in modern mass media. This article will discuss

    1) What Transhumanism actually is.
    2) The massive use of Psychological Warfare techniques in this video and all forms of mass media.
    3) Analysis of the video, itself – to show you how these psychological concepts, the occult and Transhumanist symbolism and the deceptive storyline are integrated in this video to promote the dangerous agenda of the cult known as Transhumanism.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQjDYuAk4JE&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Face it, I am not a fan of fergy and I can understand someone would consider her music and singing as a form of severe psychological warfare. Rather – the black eyed peas are tolerable as such, and I even see fergie have a sort of functionality in the band – they probably have been friends for ages – but fergie is no gwen stefanie for that matter. What gwen does with style, fergie does about as tasteless as a gutter hoe. It makes for interesting mashups at best. But seriously, you could have done better picking a statement of dubious message, overused CGI and vacuous content.

    Better ExampleBetter ExampleBetter ExampleBetter ExampleBetter ExampleBetter ExampleBetter exampleWay better example … but OK fergie it is you prefer picking apart and so we’re stuck with that for don’t know how many pages. Great.

    Ok let’s get to it.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S-_hL-J1kU&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Holy shit, the first paragraph displays some pretty deceitful, mean-spirited attitudes on your behalf. Was your mother possibly Sarah Connor and did she go on and on about it?

    The very first sentences state the equivalent of ‘what is the organisation ACORN‘ and the next sentence is equivalent to ‘child sacrifice in modern cults‘. You are little hasty there. You jump from mentioning ‘transhumanism’ and next thing, wham, you throw the mind control card at the reader. By doing that you rush into it. What exactly is the bridge from mentioning transhumanism (we call it H+ these days, we even have a cult magazine) and then going and discussing *cough* using mass media Psychological Warfare techniques?” A bit of a stretch in my opinion. … But ok, maybe it has relevance. I would be the first to acknowledge that the current mass media are by and large ‘biatchified’ and coopted by the corporate sector. Last time I checked we ‘ the transhumanists’ didn’t have the resources the author proposes. It’s a bit like that movie ‘G.I. Joe‘ when they take the elevator down and end up in massive underground military installations miles big. I sure as hell didn’t know about those resources? Can someone signal me I need my share of the Global Transhumanist Conspiracy funds deposit on my bank account as soon as possible?

    If only transhumanism had the resources the author LVB proposes, – damn that would be nice. Last time I checked we don’t and we’re still holding meetings in Second Life like a bunch of nerds.

    Let me provide an alternative that has more of my fancy, and more of the message I espouse with Transhumanism, for reasons of contrast.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7O2L4guEk4&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    That video says better how I feel about the world and why I am a ‘transhumanist’.

    But on with the article.

    The Transhumanist Agenda

    Yes we have one.

    Transhumanism is the name of a movement that claims to support the use of all forms of technology to improve human beings.  It is far more than just a bunch of harmless and misguided techie nerds, dreaming of sci-fi movies and making robots. It is a highly organized and well financed movement that is extremely focused on subverting and replacing every aspect of what we are as human beings – including our physical biology, the individuality of our minds and purposes of our lives – and the replacement of all existing religious and spiritual beliefs with a new religion of their own – which is actually not new at all.

    Yep and now you will be amazed – completely true. Transhumanism is all this, and more. Transhumanism is a small movement (and not all that well financed or focused, but let’s not get into that) that has ideals to provide everyone with more choices for escaping the current limitations of the human state. Limitations as in death, smallpox, taxes, having to work, being stupid, being weak and a lot more besides. Transhumanism is a movement that asks some pretty fundamental questions, and comes up with an answer – as in ‘is this all there is?’ and answering ‘not yet, but we may get there’. Yes, transhumanism is fed up with our current biological constraints – in the same manner it is fed up with intestinal bacteria and having to defecate. Certainly by no stretch of the imagination is ‘transhumanism’ in any way occupied with reducing individuality in humans. I guess the angry people have been claiming that about ‘their enemies’ since the jews left Egypt – “they are all a bunch of insect people!!!” but this argument still works for some reason. With regards to transhumanism I’d say ‘au contraire’, if we get our cake humanity will be a good deal more able to self-express in a meaningful manner, rather than be a bunch of docile herbivores as most humans are now.

    As for the purposes of our lives – right now it is by and large to breed, pass on some genes and then die. I am sure quite a few non-transhumanists like to see that changed, as soon as possible. My version would be – give people a few extra centuries to decide for themselves what the actual raison d’etre of the human species might be, you know, while sitting on a beach looking at the sunset with cybernetic eyes so you can really appreciate the colors.

    As for religion, hell yah, religion more or less sucks. Religion has tended to suck by and large, and I subscribe wholeheartedly to Hitchens position when he says ‘religion poisons everything’, and I’d be the first to start sawing under the very foundations of established religious edifices. That is, if people want to believe belief stuff, by all means, the more power to them. but don’t be scared to be held to public scrutiny, much in the same way our pal LVB is doing here.

    The Elitist Creators of Transhumanism and Eugenics
    “The term ‘Transhumanism‘ was coined by biologist Julian Huxley in 1957, who defined it as “man remaining man, but trans cending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.” Julian Huxley was the brother of Aldous Huxley, who you may know was the author of the very famous book, “Brave New World“, which is a vision of the future that most people view as “The New World Order” (along with the book “1984“, by George Orwell) – a depressing future police-state world in which a one world government uses technology, such as surveillance cameras, psychological warfare (propaganda) and brutal military/police forces to control everyone and everything in this dystopian, fictional world. The founders of Transhumanism, were highly educated and wealthy individuals of primarily British and European descent. These individuals were what we would call people of the elite, ruling class of society, and their views were absolutely elitist, if not outright totalitarian and fascist in nature.

    Let me get this straight. Julian Huxley suggested a term ‘transhumanism’, for a concept that more or less traced back to Benjamin Franklin and even before that. Now his brother goes and write a rather dystopian-inclined Science Fiction story (Dunno, I would fancy a bit of soma every now and then) – and what is the link here exactly? Guilty by association? Let’s be frank, Aldous is not Julian and neither ever advocated in favor of introducing a world with actively horrendous qualities as in the book New World Order. I know Dubya read the book and got scared by the idea and with reason. But as a dystopian SF story, it’s a bit dated. But here LVB does the same thing again.

    Premise 1: There is a pediatrician called Doctor Spock
    Premise 2: A fictional character named Spock is cold, detached, aloof and inscrutinable.
    Conclusion: The writings of Benjamin Spock have been discredited as cold, detached, aloof and child hostile.

    I can give you other examples of these flimsy ‘guilty by association’ ploys, and every time I come across them my opinion of the author goes down a notch.

    Bad form LVB!

    EUGENICS
    This Nazi propaganda poster is encouraging public support for its Eugenics program. The poster says that the mentally-challenged man in the picture is costing German citizens too much money, and should be put to death for his own good – and to keep costs down. One of the key concepts of old school Transhumanism was the elitist pseudoscience of Eugenics, or “racial hygiene“, which is a concept that still exists today in the modern, shiny, high-tech version of what is adoringly called Transhumanism, Human+, or H+, by its cult followers.

    “Eugenics is the study and practice of selective breeding applied to humans, with the aim of improving the species. In a historical and broader sense, Eugenics can also be a study of “improving human genetic qualities”. Advocates of Eugenics sought to counter what they regarded as dysgenic dynamics within the human gene pool. Specifically, in regard to the continuation of congenital disorders and factors impacting overall societal intelligence relating to the heritability of IQ. Eugenics was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century, but has largely fallen into disrepute after having become associated with Nazi Germany. Since the postwar period, both the public and the scientific communities have associated Eugenics with Nazi abuses, such as enforced racial hygiene, human experimentation, and the extermination of “undesirable” population groups. However, developments in genetic, genomic, and reproductive technologies at the end of the 20th century have raised many new questions and concerns about what exactly constitutes the meaning of Eugenics and what its ethical and moral status is in the modern era.”

    So, because the Nazi atrocities became so widely known, the ideas of Eugenics went underground for awhile. But the original ideas and goals of “improving the species” and “improving human genetic qualities” are still front and center, albeit in a more subtle and glamorous package now. They try to avoid discussing those embarrassing ideas, like how to keep the undesirable races from breeding so much.

    For the record, Transhumanists are not nazis. In fact if transhumanists had lived in western europe around 1940s my guess is we’d had all been ferried off into the ovens well in advance of the others to be gassed and incinerated. The transhuman ideal in my book is about as diametrically opposed to nationalist fascism, corporatist fascism and militarism as humanly possible. Transhumanism is about rational personal empowernment. The nazis would have been very keen on exterminating that.

    BUT DO Let’s go out on a limb here. Let me say two things – (1) the term ‘eugenics’ has become historically contaminated by authoritarianism, genocide and bad science. In general ‘eugenics’ has become a curseword. In the name of eugenics fascist states killed and sterilized people. As late at the 1970s people having ‘undesirable racial and genetic qualities’ (including having a slurred speech and having lots of freckles) was reason for compulsory sterilization. Let me be totally frank here – I think this is bad and I would say this is unacceptable. Frankly I know no transhumanists who are in favor of this – with the exception of a few white power nut Lavey wannabes in the netherlands, ‘who call themselves transhumanists’ but who really aren’t. They even had their own nifty logo’s these ‘Prometheans’, but I wouldn’t call them credible part of the movement. Their webmaster happened to run another site incidentally.

    Nevertheless, I’d be the first to admit I have ‘neo-eugenic’ sympathies, but not in the manner described above. I repeat, nowhere near the eugenic ideals held by fascists. Please contrast the historical term eugenical movement with if you can spot the differences.

  • Parents should be able to self-determine their own children, free to imbue them with ability, or free to not imbue them with ability
  • Society should intervene if parents abuse or neglect their children.
  • All people are morally obliged to care for the disabled and vulnerable and provide them with a humane and dignified existence.
  • Withholding safe treatments that cure heredetary genetic disabilities is a form of neglect.
  • Here is the somewhat longer version. I do have to update that one of these days however so please don’t nail me to the wall on that one 🙂

    But the original ideas and goals of “improving the species” and “improving human genetic qualities” are still front and center, albeit in a more subtle and glamorous package now. They try to avoid discussing those embarrassing ideas, like how to keep the undesirable races from breeding so much.

    The old eugenical movement is dead, and transhumanism is not a continuation of that historical monstrosity. As in – not by a long shot. The author of the article, ‘LVB’ can beat his chest for all he likes, repeating it over and over doesn’t make it any less lying. The old eugenicals were racists who regarded other races and the disabled as an undesirable subspecies of humanity that needed expedient extermination. Transhumanism doesn’t make much statements about races – it just charts human imperfections and proposes how to improve them, in a climate of maximum personal freedom. Sort of like granting everyone personal freedom to have or not to have smallpox. Comparing transhumanism and eugenics in this regard is just comparing dolphins and fish – since they both swim in the sea. It’s demonization and the rather familiar ‘guilty by association’ shtick LVB has been using like a jackhammer so far in this article.

    More bad form!

    My personal position is separate from all that – as a disabled person myself I often would have preferred my parents had been able to prenatally screen my genes before actual conception, remove any of the serious disorders to plague my life, and had me born ‘fixed’. I regard the desire to give prospective parents the freedom (and hopefully wisdom) to have sound, safe and tested therapies remove clearly pathological qualities from the genome off their children. I’d even go beyond that and wiuld say that not using these treatments is a form of severe neglect and child abuse in extreme cases. I’d say a parent who knows he or she has an inheritable genetic disease and still breeds without consideration for the life of the child is a pretty awful parent and an awful human being. Plus he is an irresponsible citizen that knowingly saddles society with significant costs in terms of care. Parents rarely pay the full costs involved whenever a child is born with a severe birth defect and more often than not society is left holding the bill. Someone who takes that risk is doing something really wrong. We should always care for those disabled that are born, but I’d rather that they had all been born as healthy as brangelina, and then some.

    The modern mutation of Transhumanism claims to only support “voluntary eugenics“, which sounds much more benevolent than mandatory sterilization and euthanasia of undesirable humans, doesn’t it? But, if you have any sense at all, you will probably realize that this ethnic cleansing of the gene pool (“improving the species” and “improving human genetic qualities”) simply cannot and will not ever happen if it is voluntary. We should all understand that ideas such as “voluntary eugenics” will not be voluntary anymore, if and when the people who believe in these radical ideas get political and financial power. In fact, they already do have substantial wealth and power, and are working very hard to impose this Transhumanist agenda on our world – whether we like it or not.

    This is so untrue it is simply a form of lying. Yes VLB, you lie when you say Transhumanists want to impose an agenda of enforced eugenics. For starters Transhumanism is simply not associated with traditional historical eugenics – lie. Second, the idea of using force would be the most stupid idea ever. As in countereffective. Third, transhumanism is by and large focused on a number of other things: (1) artificial intelligence and robotics; (2) finding means to increase functional intelligence in the human brain(and why would we share those with anyone…?) ; (3) life extension; (4) nano technological fabrication and intervention and (5) cryonic suspension. I do not read all that many transhumanist articles on genetics, and nine out of ten articles are about finding cures for cancer or age related diseases. If there were any pamphlets going aound with secret plans to have the citizens of the world report with the NWO stormtroopers for genetic screenings, I am not in the loop.

    I’d ball ‘hysterical bullshit, alarmist and more ‘guilt by association’ on this line of speculation. In laymen’s terms : lying.

    The Principles and Concepts of Transhumanism
    Transhumanists believe they are working toward a new and improved existence, leaving everything we have known in the dust bin of history, welcoming a new “Golden Age” of superbeings. They want to become an entirely new species, transcending what we are as humans, using radically advanced technology to achieve their goals. Let’s look at just a few of the primary concepts and goals of Transhumanism.

    The Hive Mind

    One of the primary concepts of the Transhumanist agenda is “The Hive Mind”.

    “Hive Mind : A type of collective consciousness where individuality is stifled; a state of conformity; also written hivemind”.

    “A group of people who give the false impression of being a hivemind (1), eg. by mindlessly following orders.”

    One of the early Transhumanist elites, along with Julian Huxley, was Sir Charles Galton Darwin, the grandson of Charles Darwin, who founded the theory of evolution.

    So, anyway, here is one of Charles Galton Darwin’s quotes relating to the Hive Mind:

    “There might be a drug, which, without other harmful effects, removed the urgency of sexual desire, and so, reproduced in humanity the status of workers in a beehive.”

    As I said previously, the founders of Transhumanism had elitist views about what humanity should be. This Human Beehive concept has been envisioned by the ruling elite class throughout history as the ideal society. The ultimate slave race, scientifically designed to conform, obey and serve the needs of the elite – worker bees who do not question or rebel.

    Transhumanists envision this Hive Mind as being possible when all people across the world can link their minds together using technology, creating a symbiotic existence through the new superintelligence of this collective Hive Mind. Forget about the needs of the individual – it’s all about the Hive. They refer to this collective, superintelligence as the Singularity.

    You have just left the building but left on the lights. This is so far beside the truth. It’s like I am watching this video discussing the homosexual agenda and seconds later I am seeing a jew and a gay guy watching each other in complete and utter confusion asking ‘did you know about that?’. The singularity is not the borg taking over. The Singularity is in fact a very simple thing invented by a guy named Vernor Vinge.

    The singularity is the moment where artificially ‘intelligent’ (or otherwise creative) man-made machines or processes are able to quickly upgrade their own hardware, software, and or replicate themselves, to become even smarter and/or faster thinking, and as a consequence think and create so fast that they enter in a self-improvement recursive loop where pretty soon you’ll end up with something substantially smarter than even he smartest humans. Once that happens any prediction about what happens next are impossible and the future can no longer be modeled – very big changes are likely to come next

    As you can see this has inherently nothing to do with turning people into a slave race. Transhumanism is not about that – it is about giving people things like faxes and mobile phones and cheap ritalin with zero side effects. The suggestion it is is simply silly. It is comparing a landslide with brain surgery.

    I am sure that there are sinister types out there at the top of the existing government and corporate elites that have sinister plans of world domination. We do not live in a very pleasant world. But for peace sake do not go around confusing these sinister elites with transhumanists. It kind defeats your purpose since transhumanists are exactly the guys you want on your side as soon as the sinister elites (assuming they exist and have a clue) start taking over. It is not the wiccans or prayer meetings that’ll save your ass when the bad guys come to take over your mortgage and make your kids take genetic tests. The transhumanist movement are the john connors and mister andersons of the world. You really missed the broad side of the barn here.

    Uploading Your Mind
    “MURG” is the acronym that Transhumanists use to refer to the “Mind Upload Research Group”.
    The Hive Mind, or Singularity, that they are working toward, will occur, they believe, when technology exists that will allow humans to “upload their minds” to an artificial memory device, a sort of global hard drive, so that the combined intelligence of all our minds will create this new superintelligence that is the Singularity, or Hive Mind.

    Yah. Well. Great. Like with many of your statement I didn’t get the memo. Let me look here in the ‘pinkie and the brain’ folder to see if there’s anything under M, for MURG. Lemme see Massmurder .. Mayhem … Mech Warriors… Metal Soldiers … Misdirection… Mutants… Mutilation… Nope. No MURG anywhere. Maybe I don’t have the required rank to see these high level plans? Or maybe you are an fantast who played to many Steve Jackson games? Might that be it?

    The Cult of Transhumanism
    “Instead of meekly worshiping fictional gods, or blindly dismissing the ideals they represent, we should seek to become godlike ourselves. The body is weak, but the mind can be forever. People may die, but they can be preserved and resurrected. This world may in many ways resemble hell, but we can create heaven on earth. The universe may be a place of chaos and entropy, but we can fill it with order and intelligence. Guided by reason and empowered by technology, we can bend reality to our will, and make the impossible possible.”

    Yah that’s pretty much correct. Last time I checked founding your own church, or developing your own set of ideas of the world is legal in the US and UK and where I live. If I like to I can fold a big tinfoil hat emblazoned with dayglow stars and declare myself emperor empress of indochina. Not that it would make much sense. The term ‘god’ is overrated anyway. What kind of ‘god’ are we talking here, more along the lines of Zeus or Odin? Or more oldtestamental like all-powerful but unknowable deity? If you say, ‘we can become godlike’ you are either saying nothing, or you aren’t acknowledging we already are to 95% of human history. Humans fly. Humans talk tot other people on the ther side of the world. Minutes after I posted this endless dreary reply article someone on the other end of the world can get worked up about it. That is magic, and verily it is the power of the gods. It kinda deflates divinity, modern technology, doesn’t it? I mean, my WoW character is level 80. What level is zeus? Can’t be more than level 150…. and Jehova? My guess he should be a level 300. And what does all that mean? I’d say absolutely zilch. Godhood is an antiquated, meaningless term. It’s kids bickering their respective dad has a bigger bar.

    As for the rest, what you basicly said is ‘transhumanism is a movement associated with extending lives’, then we are talking falsifiable facts we can plot out on a chart. Average lifespans, drop-off rates, defection, record holders. The claims are not all that spectacular and a seamless extension of graphs up until this point. Is that some kind of sacrilege? Is it somehow ‘unfair’ or ‘unnatural’ presuming people are alive right now that will live to be 200? And how can you spin that around into some evil plan that belongs in the next James Bond movie?

    Transhumanist ideas of becoming gods and having eternal life through technology certainly display an extreme level of vanity. Not just the simple human vanity of wearing nice clothes and putting on makeup to look good – but to BE gods – therefore, rejecting and replacing God, entirely. This is the Luciferian doctrine.

    Now we are getting somewhere. Are you a religious person? Do you believe in the god of adam, mozes, abraham and jesus? If you do, power to you. You might additionally believe in original sin and the fall of man as well as the fall of angels. You are entitled to hold these beliefs. But they aren’t my beliefs. I do not belief in this god, and the whole concept makes very little sense to me. Actually, with all due respect, but the whole idea creeps me out immensely. I don’t like people having an active belief in hell and everlasting punishment and demons, but I can do very little about it.

    Now there is one rule though. You explain your world as you see fit. Go ahead and interpret the shape of tortillas in the context of a transcendant deity that created the entire cosmos. But I draw the line here – do not shoehorn me in that metaphysical construct. And if you must, do not say you do. It’s rude. It’s like I produced porn, or some other fictional account, and consistently used your face stitched on the body of Ron Jeremy. It’s rude. It’s like telling you I masturbate on images of your mother. It’s offensive and if I do I should have the proper respect to shut up about it.

    Pragmatic Morality
    The Transhumanist idea that they call Pragmatic Morality, is simply a recycled and renamed version of the oldest deception in the world – that there is no good or evil.
    Here is how this concept applies to the beliefs of the cult of Transhumanism:

    “Ethics and morals must serve, or at least not stand in the way of, boundless self-actualization. They should be tools and guidelines for successful living, not instruments of senseless repression. Like the flesh, traditional morality is something to be overcome. There is no ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’; just efficiency and inefficiency; intelligence and stupidity; winners and losers. There is only rational self-interest, and those too timid and ignorant to pursue it. This simple yet profound realization forms the bedrock of an empowered worldview, and is a key step towards achieving enlightenment and transcendence.”

    Sticks and stones. While what you describe above is not by necessity the mindset of ‘transhumanists’, there would be nothing wrong if any did in fact hold these beliefs. I consider these notions to be immoral and repugnant – I loathe zero sum mindsets. What you describe sounds more like a neoconservative mindset. Or maybe the personal philosophy of Alan Greenspan (I read his memoires). It is an objectivist ethical viewpoint what you describe and though not unknown, it is seriously not the norm with transhumanists I know, and I know most of them.

    A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. Presenting and refuting a weakened form of an opponent’s argument can be a part of a valid argument. For example, one can argue that the opposing position implies that at least one other statement – being presumably easier to refute than the original position – must be true. If one refutes this weaker proposition, the refutation is valid and does not fit the above definition of a “straw man” argument.

    I submit to the jury that by now you are making a spectacle of yourself.

    THE PATRON SAINT OF TRANSHUMANISM
    “‘Lucifer’ is the Latin term originally used by the Romans to refer to the planet Venus when that planet was west of the sun and hence rose before the sun in the morning, thereby being the morning star.”

    “According to Extropian philosopher Max More, “Lucifer is the embodiment of reason, of intelligence, of critical thought. He stands against the dogma of God and all other dogmas. He stands for the exploration of new ideas and new perspectives in the pursuit of truth.” He is also the archetypal iconoclast, rebel, and adversary (the word ‘Satan’ is from a Hebrew word, ‘Sathane’, meaning adversary or culminiator; in original Jewish usage [see the book of Job], Satan is the adversary, not of God, but of mankind; i.e., the angel charged by God with the task of proving that mankind is an unworthy creation). In the transtopian context, Lucifer represents ambition, rebellion, rational enlightenment, and the dark side of Transhumanism.”

    They invoke the devil, verily they must be wicked!

    facepalm

    And the christian (not judaism! jewish orthodoxy does not acknowledge a ‘satan’ in the same manner christianity does) perspective on the matter is that a Luciferan or Satanic figure stood up to ‘god’, and rebelled against an autocrat. So what did this god do? He created a personalized and eternal auschwitz and threw a third of his personal servants plus any human he didn’t like in it. Nice guy. Great idea to worship that guy. Let’s hope you don’t piss him off anywhere along the road.

    Let’s be very clear about it – I am an atheist. I have no use for that ‘god’ and ‘lucifer’ other than to mine for memes. That religion to me is nothing but discarded scrapmetal. … Other than as a handy metaphor or allegory the whole late iron age desert tragedy it holds not special appeal to me. As allegories go, I prefer other ones. My preferred faerie tales are gnostic in nature. Feel free to figure out by yourself what I might mean with that reference.

    Selling Transhumanism to the Masses using Psychological Warfare
    What exactly is “Psychological Warfare“?

    Might it be – persistent and repetitive lying about an ideology because you find reason to disagree with it?

    Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) is defined by the U.S. Department of Defense as:

    “The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior…of groups in such a way as to support the…objectives.”

    “Various techniques are used, by any set of groups, and aimed to influence a target audience’s value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior.”

    This is often referred to as “winning hearts and minds“, or similarly, “Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow.”

    That is what you are doing and that is what transhumanism is doing. Difference is, neither me nor transhumanists have much cause to misrepresent (or lie) about other people’s position. In fact I see absolutely no reason to give a damn about where you stand. So far you have spread nothing but alienation. You have clarified your position nowhere. In fact you have done all you can to alienate the transhumanist spectrum of thinking, whereas at first glance you have comparable views on corporatism, banks, govenments, money, industries as I do.

    Metacommunication
    Metacommunication is a natural human communication process, which is as simple as saying, “I love you”, while you are smiling – communication on two levels. Throw in a hug and there are three levels of communicating this positive message.

    All communication consists of (at least) two levels. First, there is the “content level” of what is being said, literally. Second, there is the level that Gregory Bateson calls metacommunication, which is the underlying message or tone of the communication, which can be as simple as a facial expression. We often recognize this as being the “tone” of someone’s voice, or how something is being said. So, you have what is being said, and how it is being said. The tone is actually the “command” portion of communication, because it is designed to instruct or position the receiver (or victim) of the communication to interpret the message in a certain way.

    Bateson’s communications theory can help reveal the interaction operating behind the message. Every communication, he claims, has both a report [the actual message] and a command aspect [tone]. While the report conveys information about a state of affairs, the command positions the receiver to adopt a particular attitude towards the report and (leads them to) respond in a certain way. The command element of the message is a metacommunication about the context of the message – the nature of the relationship in which the information is exchanged.

    Let me analyze that. You take a video of a mediocre and tasteless band, in a mediocre and tasteless entertainment medium and put it on display. When watching the video, what I see is not the expression of a sinister cabal of global memengineers at work – I see a overexploited mashup of loosely William Gibson based cliche’s strung together at the lowest budget, emphasizing Fergie’s ass, the idea that ‘we gotta go with the program’ (and buy a lot of stuff to be socially relevant). I see some designers and costumers drive up and drown the strip buying ‘cool looking stuff’, with fergie emphasizing accessories that ‘make her ass look good’. All this situated in a desert because it is cheap, has the best lighting, and the hot sun looks great on fergie’s aerobic shape. I see a film crew float by on the imagery established in the movie “district 9” and that disaster that was “terminator 4”. Continuously allowing for sexy close-ups of fergie, fergie in high heels, fergie with childbearing hips. Basic shallow commercial drivel that is polluting our world and is so popular because -allegedly- it has electrolytes.

    So where exactly do you propose shoehorning this video in the same box as where ze transhumanists are rummaging about?

    Falsified Metacommunication – Mixed Signals and Deception
    The point where this becomes falsified metacommunication in mass media is when they include a primary false message in an advertisement or music video, which is designed not only to sell the product, but also to influence the viewer’s attitudes and beliefs.

    Daniel Lerner, who was part of the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA), called this the “Black Level” of Psychological Warfare, because it includes:

    “Commissions of falsification (lies) intended to deceive the enemy“.

    I wouldn’t be emphasizing the strategy of lying too much at this stage. You might have lost some credibility about now.

    There are many layers of communication in movies, videos, advertising and news media that we usually don’t even realize on a conscious level, and that is what this part of the article and the BEP video are all about.

    The term, falsified metacommunication, was coined by anthropologist Richard Herskowitz. It can be understood, in part, using the simple example of a con-man:

    He shakes your hand, smiles at you and tells you nice things…as he steals your money.

    It is a strategy of deliberately distracting you from his real purpose or goal by using friendly, charming deception. It is saying one thing, as a way of distracting the victim with deception to make them feel comfortable with the situation, in order to do another thing – to achieve the real goal, which is stealing your money.

    For example, say there is a magazine ad with a very beautiful female model, but off to the side you can see the makeup artist standing there putting makeup on another model, who looks like she just woke up. They are letting you in on the joke, the artificial nature and deceptive elements of the ad. This makes you realize that you get it, you think that you understand the illusion, and that makes you feel clever, like an insider, and this feeling gives you a sense of reward and ego boost because you feel smart and cool.

    This process has the typical effect of getting people to relax and let their guard down a little bit, which leaves them more open to the actual intent of what the ad is trying to do – to sell you some crap that you probably don’t need – and ideas that you may not agree with. This brings us to another tool of manipulation and control in communication, known as a double bind.

    There is even something like a triple blind and a double whammy and a obfuscated message and a reverse image. This is high school trickery my dear man. But this is all completely irrelevant to transhumanism.

    Let me give you my version. You just don’t like how the world is turning out. That isn’t strange, I don’t like it one bit either. Humans are genocidal, deceptive and predatorial animals and since we outcompeted our natural enemies we are now finding enemies by whatever excuse in other humans. Humans have become wolves to other animals. This is in our nature and no amount of denying it will make it go away. Society has succeeded in channeling these negative urges in the human species and turned crass negative in a positive – rampant competition culminated in the free market system, and greed now is the new good. I don’t like it, but we are stuck with it. So we are left with bastards ganging up not to kill us and steal our stuff, but rather an ever mountain of garbage stacked up to the sky, composed of stuff of the least value and lowest common denominator sold us as if it’s polished gold, whereas its trash made by the lowest bidder under the most flattering conditions, to make us do stuff. As in work. It’s a crap-ass system but so far it works. People are over all better off than in most of human history. And all we are all looking for is the escape out of this damn hamster cage. So far the only way out was as compost – through dying.

    No wonder that people respond with anger if you take away that – “in the future we might all become centuries old’ – at which most people realize, FUCK, another century of this unmitigated crap? That is why people don’t want any of it. They don’t want that junk jard in the desert, even if fergie’s around to apply three blowjobs a day -because in the end it’s hot in the desert, and it’s lonely and it smells. People see the junk and it isn’t discarded margueritavilles they see, they see themselves in the junk – thrown away by the ingrate kids they raise to replace them.

    Double Binds
    A double bind is a dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, with one message negating the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other, so that the person will be automatically wrong regardless of their response. The nature of a double bind is that the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither comment on the conflict, nor resolve it, nor opt out of the situation. Falsified metacommunication is similar to this in many ways.

    Just understand that this is all about communicating ideas at multiple levels; some true information and some false information, and other levels showing you that they are showing you something, in order to distract you from the real message or purpose, and also to deny what the real purpose of the communication is. It sounds really confusing and schizophrenic, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. More from Richard Herskowitz:

    “This schizophrenic system [double binds and falsified metacommunication as they are used in mass media], therefore, bares its exploitative nature to its victims in a manner that evokes their participation in their own oppression. As Anthony Wilden argues: “It is a necessary function of pathological communication to deny its own pathology while admitting and using it at other levels. Thus, since no system [including the human mind] can actually ignore feedback relationships, our culture simply converts them into POWER relationships.

    The manner in which the spectator’s recognition of mass media deception is channeled into participation in that deception (is) a false democratization of an exploitative relationship, and is used to position the viewer in a certain way, as a means of controlling how they will receive the message.”

    Or, you are channeling you own inadequacy and existential fear in precisely the wrong direction – as surely as you’d be sent out from the trenches of world war one, to stumble over the corpses and mines and barbed wire towards an enemy that is a mirror image reflection of yourself, to cut that enemy down, because some slogan on the wall says you must. Yet you fail to realize at it isn’t the pale losers in the other trenches that are so like you, and the real enemy are the meat merchants with handlebar mustaches that are your betters by birth or fortune or military rank. Don’t taze me bro.

    Imma Be Duplicity
    Duplicity is defined as “contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially, the concealment of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or actions”. It is saying one thing and doing (or meaning) another…and doing it intentionally, in order to deceive. So, with this idea of duplicity in mind, let’s look at what the different layers of communication in this BEP video are telling us.

    Seriously, I wouldn’t be reading that much in fergie. Come to your senses man.

    One layer involves giving the viewer (victim) a false message that is friendly or they will agree with, to make them feel comfortable. In this video, the false and deceptive message is that they believe it is wrong to replace people with machines and “we’re not robots”. This is established at the beginning, to give the viewer a friendly message that they can feel comfortable about and agree with. Like the con-man, they charm you to disarm you.

    But, then you also have Will.I.Am saying how cool it is that the artificial intelligence vocal machine (technology) is going to replace humans, and they won’t have to do the singing anymore. Contradictory messages used to conceal their true intentions = duplicity.

    Another layer involves giving the viewer some clues or obvious messages to show them that the video‘s story is just a story – by calling attention to itself at the beginning and end of this video and showing you the (false) real life events of the BEPs having their meeting, Fergie’s accident and when they rush to help her at the end of the video.

    This method of using the story to call attention to itself is designed to give the victim an added comfort level (remember the first layer above) and a sense of reward or ego boost by giving the victim the illusion that they have figured it out and are “in on the joke”, so that they feel good and smart because they’ve figured it out, which leads them to relax and let their guard down. This is a secondary layer of charming and disarming you.

    But, the most important layer of communication in this video is the story itself, which is shown (falsely) to be “only a dream or fantasy”, which implies that it is not the real message or purpose of the communication. The opposite is true.

    This “dream sequence” shows you very clearly with its visual imagery and ideas what the true purpose and message of this story really is. Here is what you are being shown in the “dream”:

    Humans are depicted as stuttering, broken, helpless machines that are inferior in every way to the machines. In contrast, the machines are depicted as benevolent and good, and they are shown helping humans to become more perfect beings…by force, shooting them with guns that cure their broken condition. This is a good example of cognitive dissonance, which is another powerful aspect of psychological warfare in mass media.

    Cognition is the scientific term for “the process of thought”.

    Dissonance is a state of disagreement or conflict between two or more things – things that don’t fit together. In music, dissonance is expressed as being “a mingling of discordant notes, a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord”. The simplest explanation of this in music is that dissonance sounds bizarre and disturbing to the ear. Notes that don’t sound good together.

    “Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing them. In 1957, Leon Festinger published his theory of cognitive dissonance, which has changed the way psychologists look at decision-making and behavior. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

    Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency in his beliefs, when one idea implies the opposite of another. The dissonance might be experienced as guilt, anger, frustration, or embarrassment.”

    The important thing about cognitive dissonance in mass media is that when a person is confronted with such contradictory ideas, it creates a conflict or disturbance that is usually not even noticed on a conscious level. Instead, it is internalized and processed by your subconscious mind, your autopilot system, in the same way that your autonomic nervous system controls your breathing, heart rate and blinking your eyes without you ever thinking about it consciously.

    Cognitive dissonance huh?… Might also be when a person cannot accept his life, being subject of a production, consumption-based societal death trap, at times liberated from a convenient explanation, yet overloaded by superficial freedoms. It might also be symptomatic of severe future shock, when the neurology of the human body has reached capacity input, and is close to overload – when the human is reduced to a shellshocked, recalcitrant version of himself – cynical and full of rejection. This is the onset of anomie, a collapse of values and the replacement of traditional belief systems with short term animist beliefs. Religion and scientific systems no longer provide any leitmotif and everyday life attains the trappings of a jungle metaphor – a wild pandemonium of sounds, dangers, enemies, competitors and fear. The person that falls into this state sees enemies everywhere and escape nowhere. Anyone has an ulterior motive and they are all out to get you.

    Exposure and Desensitization
    The first time you watch the movie, “Saw”, you might be freaked out by the gruesome murders and torture. But if you watch it another hundred times, I can guarantee that it won’t bother you very much anymore. Over time, when we are exposed to images of graphic violence, sexuality or ideas utilizing combinations of such images (cognitive dissonance) we slowly become desensitized to these ideas, and we are conditioned to stop reacting to them as strongly.

    Seriously? I saw it three or four times and I still get bile in my throat and tears in my eyes. You are saying you can get that desensitized to that level of brutality? I’m sorry, just can’t.

    This can be understood in the same way that a person may get a painful sunburn the first time that they are out in the sun too long – overexposure – too much of what you are not conditioned to accept, all at once. But, after being out in the sun all summer long, the skin has become desensitized, or conditioned, to accept the UV radiation, by receiving smaller doses of it, consistently, over a longer period of time. Therefore, the person doesn’t experience the strong reaction (sunburn) that they did the first time.

    Of course, this example is one where there is a good aspect to the desensitization – not getting a painful sunburn every day is a good thing. In the same way, allergy shots can help people to avoid severe allergic reactions, desensitizing them by giving them small doses of what is bad for them, over a longer period of time. Not having severe allergy/asthma attacks is a good thing, too.

    But, in the case of mass media and the desensitization of our minds, there is nothing good or beneficial about the way that we are being systematically desensitized to accept a variety of destructive and dangerous ideas. Transhumanist ideas are one example of this – humans becoming more like robots, and robots becoming more like humans.

    You are reading it wrong. A robot is nothing more mindshattering than a fridge. A robot is not a demonic entity from another dimension – it’s a thing with moving parts which gets your groceries. Or changes your diapers. It is a machine. It is a function of its parts. Make it complex enough and it can do everything you tell it to do, up and including become you. There is no difference between you and the world, other than the pattern which is you that desperately strives to perpetuate itself.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSZKyrwzOh0&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    The End of the Beginning
    So, the primary intended message of this video is the Transhumanist idea that humans are not good enough the way we are naturally, and we need to be altered with technological devices and reprogrammed with radically different ideas in order to be better, even if this must be done to us against our will. This idea is dangerously flawed and it is a complete dehumanization of our species, as well as being a very troublesome vision for the future of humanity.


    1. The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
    2. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.

    No amount of repetition made people believe Borat when he claimed the jew had horns and cloven feet.

    I hope this introduction to Psychological Warfare techniques helps you to better understand the deceptive methods that are used in mass media to persuade us and modify our attitudes, and that it will help you to see the true purpose and meanings in ads, movies and videos that you see in the future. If you’re still reading, you’re a real trooper, and I salute you!! So, now we’ve covered what Transhumanism is, Psychological Warfare techniques that are used in mass media – false metacommunication, double binds, duplicity, cognitive dissonance, exposure and desensitization – and how they are used as a means of deception in mass media. The hard part is over.

    Holy shit, more sermons? How long will this take?

    Imma Be / Rock that Body Video Analysis
    The Imma Be / Rock that Body video begins with all of the BEPs sitting in an office, talking and working on ideas. The main guy, Will.I.Am, is sitting at his computer looking
    an accident) in a superior position, casting its ominous dark shadow down upon the apparently dead human lying on the ground. The machine killed the human. Get it?

    Double pacepalm

    The Transhumanist Song Meanings
    This BEP video uses the songs “Imma Be” and “Rock that Body“. In terms of Transhumanist meanings, I believe that “Rock that Body” means “change and improve the human body“; i.e., improve the flawed, human meat machine using advanced technology, as we see in the video.

    Imma Bee – Literally
    What I find very interesting about the song “Imma Be” is that I believe it is saying, “I’m a Bee”, literally. Obviously, I do realize that “Imma Be” is used as a slang way of

    mes, probably a hundred or so times in about four minutes. So, it seems pretty clear that it was an important message that they wanted to get across.

    triple facepalm

    So here’s Fergie, looking all better now, thank goodness, and she begins singing…well, rapping the lyrics. I noticed that her outfit gives the appearance of a robot face, with the round eyes being her breast areas and the square black mouth is a piece of fabric or tape. Also, notice that behind her is the giant black bad guy Borg. He drops in for the first time here.

    Fergie is now walking toward the diner, which is flanked by the TUBORG beer signs, as well as the BEP album cover image. The album title, “The E.N.D.”, is interesting, not only because of the obvious “The End (of the World)” idea, but also because it means “Energy Never Dies”. This has some obvious spiritual and reincarnation components.

    Some Transhumanists are into cryogenically freezing and storing their heads (Cryonics) when they die, because they believe that technology will exist in the future to bring them back from the dead. Thus, Energy Never Dies.

    Near the diner is a large graveyard of obsolete and broken machines. Keep this in mind.

    Dancing in the Graveyard
    He’s half the man he used to bee…and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on! This is symbolic of dehumanization and mutilation, pure and simple.

    civilization is shown disappearing?

    An you suggest some sinister guys in trenchcoats are going around giving mediocre music video directors large lumps of money and make them follow a carefully choreographed plot for world domination – by over exploiting old 80s cyberpunk imagery barely a notch more original than that billy idol crap? Are you serial?

    Where’s Emerald City?
    The message we are being given here is that human civilization is disappearing and is being left behind by the marching Borg army. Very disturbing.

    killed here, and replaced by the Transhumanist vision of superintelligent, superhuman beings. This ending really drives home the primary deception in this story, and how powerful and effective these tools of Psychological Warfare truly are.

    Quadruple facepalm

    Vigilant’s Conclusion
    The idea of transhumanism has been circulating in mass media outputs, especially movies, TV shows and music videos. Imma Be /Rock that Body is of many videos portraying the upgrade of human beings to a super-robotlike status. The repeated recurrence of this theme simply cannot be a coincidence. It is rather the result of a steady agenda of desensitization, predictive programming and good old fashioned marketing. The trend is not about to die. Here’s Rihanna copulating with robots at Echo 2010.

    Seriously. You should have used this video.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc4NTe5O488&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    to massacre the global transhumanist conspiracy. You could have used more explicit sexual imagery. Missed opportunity really.

    update: http://www.archive.org/download/OccultAmerica/20100227horowitz.mp3

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHoR2QqiN3U&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Exploring new realms – Age of Conan

    Posted: 20th March 2010 by Khannea Suntzu in Uncategorized
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    3 days ago I put my old dog to sleep. He had severe arthritis and the pain medication didn’t really work all that well anymore, and I instructed my meat server to stop mucking around, and take action. He died while we cuddled him, and the last thing the dog did in life was moan in bliss – I know my dogs pleasure spots – and then he slipped away, stopped breathing and had shifted from an animated creature with lively yet somewhat melancholy eyes into a sagging puppet with my purpose other than mulch. Let me empathically state I hate permanent death with every fiber of my being.

    So yah I have had quite a bit of lag – my meat server zoned out on depression, so I parked the useless sack of bones on a comfortable chair and I got the hell out into VR. Gave me an opportunity to catch up on some old gaming, in effect abandoning all my duties and loved ones in other virtual realities.

    I was however pleasantly surprised. Age of Conan really improved with the new launch of the ‘chinese’ expansion. The new land is amazingly rendered and it blew me away. I always had a sentimental attachment to Tortuga, but yanno Tortuga it’s a bit dated (even though its a riot as a concept). No such with the new content – graphics got better…. the steppes in AoC when traveling towards the fabulous orient are 2010 state of the art. Let me show you.

    These tiny landscape elements have been well researched, perfectly situated. These are the skeletal remains of a ‘Kappa’, which is somehow significant because these days everyone runs around with a ‘Kappa’ in Age of Conan.

    This second pic is part of the storyline – you travel from the sinister ‘nietzschean’ necromanticly inclined egypt (or ‘Stygia’) and join a caravan where you travel eastward. During the trek you encounter some animals, and finally the caravan strands in the steppes, beset by Hyrkanian raiders. Watch the archers, they are pretty lethal for their level. The land is riddled with the typical questing runaround trash, which will be impossible to sell five to ten years from now (and game designers will have to think of something new to captivate players).

    You can clearly see the design influences – In have always been a fan of Ron Cobb, and RC did some concepts for the old 1983 movie with Ahnold Schwahzenegger, with the same name. Clearly Paradox entertainment looked back at these designs and created a magnificent nomadic house on wheels, pulled along my mammoths. I was flabberghasted when I saw it, and walked into it. The textures, rendering, NPC’s, composition is all lightyears ahead of Second Life, and this annoys me immensely.

    These are some panoramic stunners, yes?

    Light, graphics, color, texturing, even gameplay. I like it and I heartily recommend it. I can be located on the CROM server, so look me up when you have the opportunity. I suppose AoC came with a surprise upgrade because if they hadn’t they would be finished, just as Warhammer MMO is dead in the water and bleeding money at this very moment. I love competition in this field because it forces game designers to achieve real progress. But I also conclude that Linden Lab is miles away from catching up – to this. No way they can match the appeal factor of these adventuring worlds, and yes, a big slice of their potential audience will make an educated, weighed decision and cease spending time in Second Life.

    So, in a couple of months, WoW Cataclysm, while right now the Eve upgrade is already online. Some matters in SL are winding down, since my boss may have to close the Transvision sim, understandably – 300$ a month to run a sim is ludicrous; Something like 50$ would make a lot more sense. Anything over a 100$ is just not market conform; Linden Lab bleeds potential customers and revenues to any potential competition for time and play.

    I have ideas on this but like I said before, Linden Lab is swamped in ideas and for some reason lacking in assets. My first suggestion would be – find a way to make sims bigger. Find a way to have clients pre-render landscapes around island sims, as opposed to the current panoramic sea vista. Offer a free library of sculpted and baked texture landscaping elements, such as rocks, gnarly root trees, postboxes, parked cars, roman temples – whatever – and make these assets download faster (or install locally). And make these elements 1 prim each – because they are standard why would they signify more allocation space? Make these elements available for free, or only to sim-owners, or only to a very low price. A library of 3D image elements worth 10 gigabyte would make land management in SL a lot more appealing. Standardization may be boring, but it would set a quality precedent – builders would start making better content if they had to build at about the same level of detail as the standard wall/window elements you can just pop into place.

    Yes you can make SL a corporate fest in this manner, or have gamers flock to SL, or whatever audience you care to pull in. It has to look far better and QUICKLY.

    The facts of the matter is – this industry is becoming better and better every year and moving closer to the end goal of totally immersive synthetic reality. At this rate we’ll have the visual elements covered in less than ten years… and animation and interactivity in another five. That will have some pretty deep implications.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH5VgBnLyJQ&hl=en_US&fs=1]