Underlore

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Fiction

The Nature of Sleep

The places we go when we dream slide like a bubble rising through the deep out into less dense spheres of existence. Pressed upon by that which is towards that which like they, isn’t. Eventually an equilibrium phase is reached and like oil rising through water but stopping at air, those dreams collect at the border of nothingness and reality possessing elements of not quite either.

In that place some minds are known by their echoes or their intransigence . Some madness becomes a fortress, a landmark unchanged by the buffeting of infinite other vision and thoughts. The consistent dreams form the foundation of this bulwark against the the void. To walk in this place is to literally tread on the overlapping dreams of the collective insane.

There are only so many colors in nature’s pallet and to paint with the mind is to copy something again and again. Time is an illusion and therefore originality is meaningless. To dream your phantom tree is to dream someone else’s because in the dream world the tines of the snow flake are lost. Only that it had tines is relevant, such is one of the properties of being that close to oblivion.

I visit there again and again and my avatar avoids beauty for the pain seeing it causes me. I see pits leapt over my the heedless sleeping, and always I alone feel the fear of the drop, and always I am a special exception and outsider. Leaving and looking up while all others live and wait in line.

Pain doesn’t no exist in this place as far as I can tell, but fear none the less does. A consequence of the echo no doubt. The dreamer so rarely knows they are dreaming and I am no exception. Still there must be perils for dreamers awaken and that is the end of creation literally. The waking of a dreamer ends a street. The grey fog of the never dreamed stretches on an infinite and yet zero distance between the border of the dream space and true oblivion equivalent to the gulf of difference between one and zero.

The gap of Zeno which can never be bridged yet has countless roads and paths and slides stabbing into it like an inverted pin cushion.

Envy the lucid dreamer for their ability to explore and guide.

Like the transition phase nature of the place so to are the people of a gradient nature leading form the fully awake and aware, which can only rarely exist in the dream work, and the mindless philosophical zombies. The NPCs of the dream game.
They don’t know they are dead. They experience nothing.

The Apex

This image is a 7 sided self-intersecting irregular polygon. It is an original symbolic attempt to express visually the core of my work and ethos.

It has 7 sides because luck, fate, means everything. Luck is the apex of importance of trait. It is better to be lucky than anything else. Good luck is immune to corruption. Good luck can also be totally invisible. You have no idea what you have narrowly avoided.

This image is meant to symbolize my entire world view. This symbol is my wish for myself and my species. For others it should represent affinity with my philosophy, vision, goals, and intent.

It has a gradient of violet into blackness to symbolize the transition from the seen to the unseen, or vice versa. Apotheosis and revelation in any context.

It is pointed downward to symbolize where our focus should be: On the here and now, as opposed to any hypothetical after-world. This as such thus symbolizes intractable opposition to pain and death.

Apex means point, but also utmost, and upper. Pointing it downwards is meant to showcase the paradoxical nature of all top-most truths.

Also it symbolizes specialization. You can view it from an anthropomorphic stance at which point its asymmetrical nature indicates a solitary, purpose-specific limb. To remind us that we are all focused specialist entities and thus should care about others because we need each other and the system of physical and logical law on which we are printed, on which we depend for functioning, which is enforced from an unknowable source.

Its self-intersection is meant to symbolize the importance of that hidden truth, the Underlore at the highest possible, most widely applicable scale. The twist in the unseen third dimension is what defines this shape. This self intersection is what creates the paradox that makes it a piece of truth.

It represents the struggle between the meaningful dualities hidden in unusual and unseen dimensions. Such as the struggle between the future self and the present self, or the struggle between the individual and the tragedy of the commons, or the choice to live for today or live for a year from today.

I’ve labeled this fiction precisely because it isn’t.

I hope you come to understand.

P.S.

Underlore: noun

  • The key fact(s), logical conclusion(s), or missing context(s), which radically change the meaning of a given event or idea.
  • The profound truths, beneath and more real, than what is superficially apparent.

See also: http://underlore.com/to-the-allies-of-pain-and-death/

Propaganda 2.0 (Or “Lessons for Men”)

I just can’t handle it anymore.

To me watching contemporary movies and shows is like watching movies made in the 50s and earlier. Full of insulting, dehumanizing, and mind numbingly extreme sexism.

I am profoundly tired of fictional examples of the fact that all it takes to be equal or greater than even supernaturally perfect men is to be a pretty young white girl. (E.g. Superman, Batman, Meet Joe Black, Star Trek Voyager, Clash of the Titans, etc.) Think of it. Think of a movie with a male god like figure. Choose your context, I don’t care. If there is a great man in this contemporary fiction odds are profoundly high that there is a sexy young white girl placed equal or above him in social/plot importance even by his own definition. Indeed, it’s often a defining trait that the growth and apotheosis of this figure is the acceptance of this subordination to the girl in question and her omnipresent and homogenous rhetoric of jealousy coddling, status quo maintenance, and disregard for male suffering.

Fortunately for me I’m a pirate. So I just download these movies and fast forward through the bits purpose built to crush all male egos. Unfortunately it makes them about a half hour long. (How long is Batman Begins if you cut out Rachel’s shrew-like, and abusively sarcastic nagging, and the subsequent heroic whining angst from the protagonist?

And we wonder where the violence and suicide and mental illness comes from. Could it be that the whole of human culture has told men that we must earn the right to be full and respected examples of our species and gender by torturing ourselves or annihilating our sense of worth or sublimating it in some socially selected monolithic institution? While at the same time telling women that they are of paramount importance (regardless of their social authority) from the moment they are conceived? Has it ever not been women and children first? Have women and children not always been since the ice age the acknowledged nucleus of every culture? And is that really so shocking give that it has an obvious and factual basis in reproduction logistics?

Looking at the violence of men throughout recorded history, could the explanation for it be in part that since the invention of the club men have been cannon fodder and beasts of burden? Even before we were primates this model has been true. Throughout nature even among insects and fish males are tossed into whatever meat grinder is relevant. We are the engines of evolution precisely because we are expendable. The group can afford to snow shovel us into the wood chipper hoping for a few survivors with an immunity. (Reminds me of “Unbreakable.”)

Let’s face facts. The moment the first clan realized they were better off letting boys die than girls (which they knew probably before they learned how to rub the sticks together) because one tribal elder can reproductively speaking replace 1000 young males (E.g. Temujin, Ramses II) was the moment the vast majority of men stopped being people, and started being tools, and the race was on. To he or she who can most successfully train men to lemming leap on command, goes the whole of human culture. And today it is the people of the public relations industries which have that power. The Michaels Bay of the world who tell us in nerve chilling subconscious clarity that the absolute no holds barred brass ring top of the heap magic wishlist best thing any man can wish for is the approval of the nearest hottest relevant female and tat under no circumstances can she give that approval reward without extreme personal risk and disregard for his own existence as a thinking feeling human. That to define hu(man) is to define suicide. How many instances in Sci-Fi contain AIs proving themselves “real” by sacrificing themselves for the girl or the male who is willing to sacrifice himself for the girl?

What has heroism come to mean but suicidal disregard for the self? We literally venerate the dead because of this obsession with dehumanizing all men simply because they are easily replaced functionally speaking.

This profound and ubiquitous disadvantage in my opinion is the most likely source of the collective global over reaction which resulted in female brutalization and oppression over the centuries.

The price of getting to put the whole of masculinity between yourself and danger, we seem to say is total subordination. And now in the industrialized west, the prison capitol of humanity, the center of the greed universe, the automated child killers of humanity, the slavers mecca, the birthplace of the banker pantheon, they are being given total authority over everything. The male is expected to tolerate this lab rat disposable work mule living sword and meat shield social status while he cheerfully embraces the whims of a female dominated society, which in turn is dominated from the shadows by the emotional manipulators.

Think about it, if the easiest way to manipulate the masses is via their emotions, is it really so surprising that those in command of these forces would cultivate and empower the gender for whom already exists extreme social tolerance for emotional self indulgence, while at the same time actively subordinating the gender for whom logic and abstract reasoning are readily able to eclipse emotional decision making?

Think about it. If you had the power to manipulate volition via emotions, and you have a choice of who to should be in charge, would you not choose the most emotional target you could and then, given the power to do so, would your goal not be to infantilize that target until it was utterly devoid of critical thought? Until like an insect it responded to emotional cues without thought and without reason with clock like precision?

Does that sound familiar? Has American culture not been for the entirety of the contemporary era been telling women that all things younger are better? That it’s ok to cry like babies until someone addresses your problem? That’s it’s ok to scream and yell and hit until you get what you want? That your children are your personal property to do with whatever you wish? That youth IS beauty, and that beauty is god? That men are best when they are like fathers, silent when they aren’t being devoted, and obedient when they aren’t being productive, and above all provide money and do as their bosses and betters tell them.

Seriously, am I the only one that sees this? Am I the only one that has a problem with being bred towards a Morlock and Eloi future? Am I cynical in concluding that the modern crop of American women has proven itself unable to detect how harmful this manipulate in to them as well as us? That they cannot see until it’s far far to late that they have been dehumanized even worse than us? Turned into noting but sex object carrots and trustees in a prison where all humanity is prohibited and redefined to suit the needs of a handful of minds?

But it’s just fiction, we all know better. Right?

Sadly no.

This is why we dream of fictional experiences. And why video like this causes a physical reaction: Height of courage – men working on a sky-high tower (1,768 feet) Your brain for the most part doesn’t know you’re not making this climb. This is why porn and horror movies work. This is why comedy works.

We, quite involuntarily and universally, “learn” from fictional examples, regardless of plausibility. That’s how television works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Arguments_for_the_Elimination_of_Television

My problem isn’t the guy getting the girl in the end, my problem is that universally a girl gets to be neck deep in the plot simply because she’s hot and young when being in the plot is by definition a position of importance, which in turn is a measure of worthiness and human value.

Rachal, batman, dent, joker. They are the major players, and look what it took to get batman and joker and dent there. Now look what it took rachel to get there.

I’m reminded of the seasame street song: One of these things is not like the other.

She’s a perpetually dissatisfied self absorbed monster. Put in a  position to judge and boss around the batman and Harvey dent. And why? There is virtually nothing special about her except she’s a modern princess. Born into wealth, bred to be sexy, happens to be young.

E.g. Dent almost gets shot at work and mere seconds later she’s smirking, making fun of him, and making it blatantly clear she utterly disregards his safety. Indeed when he calls her on this callousness, (in a passive aggressive obsequious way of course, lest he insult his god) she counters with a backhanded compliment and offering herself to him sexually as on condition that he affirm her disregard for his safety with his own disregard. Coyly she says while pressing herself against him on tip toe with finishing school grace… “You know, if you said you were rattled, you could take the rest of the day off.” So if he had HAD been rattled, and actually needed the time to recover from his brush with death, no boobs for him.

And then later batman dives off a roof and saves her from certain death and her reaction? A quip. A scold. “Let’s not do that again.” She’s more of a psychopath clinically than the joker is. And frankly as a result my favorite part of the film is when one of her usual patronizing speeches is cut off by adjacent barrels of explosive finally shutting her up. Which of course utterly psychologically shatters the two male leads, as we are again as men enjoined to totally sublimate and subordinate our sense of self worth and human value in the female lead and the quest for her ever receding carrot.

The universal implication of all that garbage and its like is a question.

What does it take to make you worthy? For a man the answer is complex but universally difficult and/or self destructive. What does virtually every male lead have in common? Regardless of relative power or immortality? Risk. Even Death himself faced risk in Meet Joe Black over a sexy doctor princess. (Same traits as Rachel, breeding, wealth, youth, beauty. And of course every male on screen fumbling all over themselves to win her approval by any means necessary.)

It’s an ingrained facet of story telling it’s so common. As if it’s not possible to tell a heroism story without it. The greater the risk the more interested we’re expected to be. When in fact this is hardly axiomatic. Indeed in function, we know the protagonist is almost certainly immortal.

Superman himself taught us that death isn’t even death when all’s said and done. (http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/max-landis-nerd-rage-on-the-death-and-return-of-superman-is-too-awesome-02)

And I’m not just reading too much into this. This movie is profoundly deep and faceted in other directions as well. http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/tdk

I wish I was as simple as knowing it’s fiction, but all evidence suggests it isn’t.

RTS=PRS

My beef in this context as with virtually all the other “realistic” rts games is the inflexibility. Snipers are a great example. In real life the reason you can’t make an army of snipers is not because some things are immune to snipers at the tactical level but because making them is expensive and takes a long time.

From an organizational strategic perspective you get more bang for your buck just throwing rifles at a mob and then throwing that mob at a problem. (Infantry.)

In RTS terms this sucks because how it manifests tactically are units which appear magically immune to bullets.

In “Company of Heroes” Sniper versus motorcycles/jeeps are an excellent example. I’ll routinely see a jeep park, aim it’s machine gun at a building full of snipers and actually win (handily) because the game has hard coded jeeps and bikes to be virtually immune to sniper fire. (Paper vs rock.) Which is silly because in real life a sniper would decapitate the driver regardless of what “kind” of solider they are.

The problem is that real war isn’t economically balanced or remotely fair. In real war you don’t have to manage an economy or “grow” new troops because that’s the outside culture’s job. As a commander you are more or less handed resources and given an objective.

So in RTS games the PRS and ECON101 phenomenon are really when you get down to it just tricks to keep the game from boiling down to who can build snipers fastest, which would in turn boil down to input speed. (Korean RTS camps?)

The only way to really make that feel like anything other than a contrivance is to change the context such that arbitrary rules don’t seem completely stupid. And in RTS terms the best way to do that is the whole “magic tech” thing you can do in future or fantasy based rts games. (Warhammer/Supreme Commander)

In those contexts the “jeep” would be immune to the “snipers” because the “snipers” have anti-flesh zap rifles and the “jeeps” have “anti-zap” armor/shields or some such, so you arrive at the same PRS effect but it doesn’t feel completely stupid when you’re on the wrong end of it. You simply realize you’re paying the price of over specializing.

Also to make the game “fair” they create a situation where there is no simple winning strategy. The actual winning stratgey if it’s not boiled down to a case of “turtle vs rush” is a complex and fairly rigid build order, which is yet another RTS genre problem.

Basically this is why I don’t really play games generally much anymore beyond games that allow for meta, like diablo, which is not so much that I’m playing the game, as it is being useful to other humans in a fictional context. Second life is a setting purpose built for this I suspect, but because its purpose-built for meta, in a sense it stops being meta because everyone knows why everyone’s there and as a result the whole feel and “game” actually changes, creating a new meta-meta-game. (Make real money, or whatever other real life objectives were already there for the player.)

Bottomline: To correct the sniper/PRS problem, I’d have to hack the game or write a mod but in so doing I’d devalue my winning, and arrive at a different kind of fail/boredom point. Meaning make it so snipers can virtually kill anything just like irl, but get as bored with that as I got with emperor battle for dune once you can start making Fremen. Each had two types, anti vehicle and anti personnel.

_”Strange game… The only winning move is not to play.”_ ~WOPR/Joshua, Wargames

Thought ramble.

(Perspective disclaimer.)

Anyway… The human body is a space suit for the brain. A way for the brain to link to the world yes, but primarily a way to survive in said world.

There are three ways to expand your sphere of influence in this context. To adapt the environment to yourself, find an environment already suitable and travel there, or adapt yourself the environment. Everything that has meaning about a person is in the brain. I am firm on that point. I am not my arms or legs or liver, but I most definitely am my memories, my feelings, and my experience. The only reason my body is remotely me is because what is really me extends into those things. My nerves.

Ok so we can look at a person and we are so used to looking at people that we come to think that this is what people, which are brains as I just explained, look like. But what if another kind of brain evolved? What if other brains took different options? What would a brain in a suitable setting look like? What would a brain adapted for life on land look like? The answers are terrifying because these models of life aren’t fantastical or alien they are ubiquitous and completely disregarded at best or shamelessly exterminated or consumed by us.

Indeed I’m having the worry that intelligent feeling life on this planet might be more common than unfeeling life if you simply expand  your scale a bit. I am not the first to have this idea. It’s in fiction everywhere. But this is the first time I thought about it from a purely anatomical perspective. If you hardened my neurons against the elements and made them more physically flexible, or maybe even blended them with muscle tissue so they could individually contract, what would that look like? A blob? A large moving mold? A jellyfish? And aspen grove? I’m looking around at my world from the brain’s perspective and I’m realize that half of what I see could be brains that have found various ways to dispense with their body.

What if the skull has cut us off? I don’t like where this is going.

As I’ve realized before the only thing special about us in this context materially is the ability to exit our biosphere completely. But what if that’s only because our condition leaves us totally blind to a far superior method of escape? What if the answer to the Fermi paradox is that radio is completely crappy as a communications tool, and that space ships or physical travel is an equally crappy travel mechanism? What if they are watching us for resurgence? Would you bother talking to an anthill? What if the thickness of the skull prevents reception? What if that’s why ancient cultures cut holes in their skulls and did other gruesome things to their heads? What if that is the real purpose of a crown? What if that is the source of power and divine right? What if that is how warriors came to be rulers again and again not because of the fighting but because of the head injury?

I’m tempted to not share these things since each would be a story idea maybe and I’m not supposed to share and I’m so powerfully broke. But whatever, I love writing and I love talking and fate has kept me alive so far. Failure to gain is not the same as loss. Maybe someone will help me.

NBC hates Paul Stamets

So NBC has a new show Hannibal and in the second episode we have a mushroom psycho that buries people alive named “Eldon Stammets.”

I find this upsetting given there is a respected, if not visionary Paul E. Stamets, Mycologist. http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html

Cool show and all but this pissed me off.

I’d say Paul deserves an apology and a fat check/percentage of every rerun.

Underlore © 2013