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Letters: Challenge and Response
I asked people to come up with the hardest challenges they could for the ANUS ideology. That which does not kill us makes us stronger, in theory, and with nothing to fear in the logic of our beliefs, we can submit them to whatever knocks they face. People are afraid of a single crack appearing in the seemingly pristine and uniform surface of their beliefs, but a detail out of place or even a major branch of the theory collapsing does not invalidate it; if the most abstract, most universal part of the idea behind a worldview is correct, it can withstand even finding most of the "supporting" data - information supposed to "prove" or "justify" or in the best cases, explain, the system of beliefs - is defunct. There is no reason to fear if the basic concept is sound. If it's not, no amount of correct detail can make it sensible! With that in mind, let's tear into the letters...
Thanks for the intent, but if you don't mind, could you pray for our world instead? Humanity is overpopulated, we're polluting the damn thing, and as far as gods and me go, nature and the earth are my gods and I love them because life is the greatest inexpressible gift ever granted, and it is granted constantly, and most people spit in its eye by falling short of noticing how amazing, rare and beautiful it is (with a little work). Would you do that for me? Pray for earth. Pray for life. Pray for sanity returning to the human race. Maybe it'll work - probably sooner than some idiotic concept like "democracy." Thanks!
Minds are being opened to the idea that you cannot have two political ideologies share the same space without adulterating both; a "love" in the form of tolerance is in fact hatred for what makes each unique. For both Islam and Europe to survive, they must be separated, as Judaism must be separated from Europe, as Shintoism must be separated from Europe, and so forth. What we were taught is "hate" we now see as "love," and what we were told was "love" shows its sublimated hatred...
I would like us to recognize this as a species and peacefully separate cultures. What causes Crusades, or Holocausts, or neverending Jihads and ethnic cleansing? The attempt to integrate different cultures which would rather stay autonomous. Separate the cultures, and there's no problem. What's the single cause of racial animosity, democide, genocide and ethnic hatred? Combining different cultures/ethnicities in the same spaces. Stop multiculturalism, and you stop ethnic hatred. Race is culture is ethnicity; culture shapes us by selecting who succeeds in a society, so we are products of our culture; in turn, who were are, genetically, determines what we select as culture. Like all things in nature, it's a tautological neverending cycle that seems to defy time itself -- and if we're smart (?) we'll heed it.
The spirit of Europe is like hope and self-confidence in a depressed person: it is merely sleeping. While some people have gone and gotten themselves destroyed with television, sex, jobs, drugs, fast cars, booze, lies, religion, HIV+, most Indo-Europeans are basically intact but are depressed as to their future. When they joyfully accept the end of the old order, modernity, and a chance at a new one, the collapse will no longer be misery but a chance to rebuild, a giant joyous arts and crafts project on the scale of a civilization... thanks for your email.
This question comes up a lot, and it's great you ask it. Question: what happens when previous usage of a word is, as seen in the light of new research, found to be not specific enough? Answer: the new definition takes hold slowly. What most call "nihilism" is in fact fatalism, because it is not a lack of belief; it is a belief in a null value to all things. True nihilism is a state through which one passes en route to more interesting things. As in Zen Buddhism, or the meditations of a warrior monk, it is a clearing of the mind from all extraneous data, so that one might see life as design and by understanding its structure and operations, immediately perceive its order and the place of the individual in that order. In a sense, it's structuralist existentialism, but at this point we're using category names instead of descriptions; we could equally call it Zen postmodernism, or transcendental empiricism, or pragmatic idealism (as Nietzsche did). Do we wish to get further into meaningless terms?
In fact, the error you make above, in my view, is that you think categorically. You see a definition of nihilism and figure you can pigeonhole the entire philosophy to that, because you see it as a category: all nihilism must be a subset of this. Nihilism is a word; nihil (nothing) plus ism (belief in). We believe in the nourishing power of nothingness as a conduit to the "undergoing" described by Nietzsche. He may use a different definition of nihilism, but then again, that's based on the usage of a foreign culture, the Russians. I'm not a Russian; I have a different language, and it's possible that Russian nihilism is what I call fatalism, and they have a different term entirely for what I call nihilism. Nietzsche campaigns against "nihilism," but is it the same nihilism which I champion? Both of us detest fatalism; if you understand the structure of argument, you'll see how that's the word you seek.
When you look at arguments as whole things, instead of some terms strung together, you will see that argumentative logics have shape as well as category, and that when you get over category, you will start using language descriptively. Categories, you see, would have to exist objectively in order to work the way you hope they do, and the cosmos functions as fluidly as it does in part because it has no single definition source for categories; such a linearity would make it as prone to entropy as our modern governments! The universe does resist entropy more than we give it credit for doing. Nietzsche wrote an essay called "On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense," and if you paste that quoted string into google, you'll find a free etext on that topic. Maybe that's a good place for your research to begin.
Hmm, interesting question. I don't think about homosexuals much, but what I think is this: there are three groups of people who can be described as "homosexual."
Some people are genetically homosexual, in part because whatever recombination of parental genes produced them triggered a natural response to prevent it from breeding; this is why homosexuals have a statistically higher rate of heart disease, for example. Nature's smart like that.
Others I think are homosexual because somehow the natural process sensed that it would be producing too many males motivated to breed, and so it capped off a few -- kind of like putting wire caps on live circuits.
The final group are people like your buddy who have been molested and/or are perverts. For them, homosexuality is a means to an end; they might "be" (see discussion of categorical above) homosexuals, but more rightly we can say that they act in a homosexual manner. The abused kids are re-enacting the tenderness they felt at being the sole object of another's desire; the perverts merely need a good cover to have lots of sex as twisted as they can make it.
I suppose I can't answer your question. I don't really give a damn. I think homosexuals and heterosexuals exist in separate worlds, and when we're honest, we put that into practice by having gay districts and kicking gays out of straight districts unless they're very quiet about what they do, in which case we call them "bachelors." The essence of my naturalistic philosophy is that every thing has a place, and giving each thing its place prevents the kind of senseless conflict that is an identifying mark of modern times.
As far as homosexuality in music goes, it sounds like abused children looking for extremity. Remember the porno-grind explosion in the late-1990s? Some of it was the product of people with a good sense of humor, but others were simply perverted morons. They were hetero, but did they grant any benefit to the genre? I don't believe in "progress" - I believe genres evolve by getting better at what they are, not by finding a new form that's novel and unique and all about placing appearance on a higher level than content. Content -- music as language, art as psychological symbol, symbol as construct of philosophical systems -- is more important. People who get sidetracked on sexual metal have not a snowball's chance in hell of doing anything important for the genre, and history bears this out.
Hope that helps. I fear it didn't. Well, I'll go for "useless and friendly" then -- how 'bout them Yankees?
Thanks for a well-phrased and to-the-point critique. I have two responses: First, I support local governments more than large centralized governments. The more people you get in on a decision, the harder it becomes to have anything other than the most general compromise, generally called "the lowest common denominator." I also find that government works best when the people involved interact with a daily basis on their citizens. It's not simply soldier #432919391 who takes one for the team in a distant foxhole, but Frodo son of Drogo, an upstanding citizen and friend of your father. You spend your resources more carefully in such a government, and act more for the preservation of local civilization as a whole. Second, as an offshoot of the previous point, I am against democracy in all forms, although I acknowledge that it may work for a short period of time in small local societies composed of educated people. I am not against voting, per se, as sometimes it is the right answer; I am against using voting as the default behavior, as it encourages passive government ("Let's see what the citizens think"). The largest section of any group comprises its least specialized members, and this becomes dangerous in a democracy in that it means the people least capable of ruling are (by numerical preponderance) by default going to make the daily decisions of ruling. Democracy is passive, and it forces compromise. One person can make up his mind; two people have a harder time; three harder still; from there it rises to an exponential state of difficulty. People are naturally diverse. The problem is that decision-making requires clarity and a single course of action, which is the antithesis of diversity. So somehow we must get one decision out of thousands or millions of viewpoints; we must do what is right for the whole, even if many people can think of things that would benefit them more personally (for example, I'd like us to go to war with China so my Mandarin lessons start earning me money). Democracy is opposed to finding an answer. Democracies are good at constant discourse, never-ending debate, and replacing leadership every four years. They are counterproductive for decision-making, and encourage the citizens to become involved with government only through the voting booth. Democracy is to government as television is to life. It's a sick pornography of existence, distilling the wide range of experience into a few pre-prepared options, with people engaging in the process more to feel important about themselves than to get anything done. When it's time to really find a survey about something unimportant, like what color we paint city hall, by all means take a vote - who cares what the outcome is. However, when you need real decisions made, find the smartest people in your society, get them to discuss the issue until they're using the same language, and then hash out an agreement. It's far better than Democracy, even when the decision reached is wrong, as this process responds more quickly to change and can take a bad idea quickly and evolve it into a good one, where Democracy will become enmired in infighting and personal drama. Democracy is a popularity contest. Democracy is the selection of the most popular product, sometimes called consumerism. Democracy is wishful thinking for personal gain over looking at the whole situation and doing what is right. I know almost everyone you respect has told you Democracy is friggin' great, but think of it this way: they could be misinformed.
Absolute "freedom" is a complete joke for the same reason, and you're right to reject it. This isn't a simple issue, even if its outcome can be expressed in simple terms (think about the complex simplicity of Burzum or Tangerine Dream for a moment here; or even Bruckner, if you're feeling hip to the modern transcendentalism).
Hey, thanks for the question. You're hoping I'm not here to make people agree with me? Hah. The goal of this site is mind control so I can rule the world, and the best classical music for you is Kronos Quartet.
Seems I was kidding.
This site isn't about me; it's about some ideas. I consider these ideas to be accurate. I put them out here because I think awareness with these ideas will show people where there are different paths than the failing ones upon which we tread these days. Whether people should agree with me or not depends on their position in life; in my view, most people shouldn't concern themselves with politics or philosophy, thus I don't care if they agree with me explicitly. What matters is that they understand that someone doing something like what I advocate should be in charge of the issue instead of they, the unqualified masses. Others are thinkers who could absorb some of the flavor of these ideas into their works, and others are opposition who will make their own thoughts stronger by testing them against contrary logic. The site is not one thing to all people.
For classical music, I'd look at it this way: They (whoever They are) claim that Romanticist music was a time period. It wasn't. It's a thread of thought that appears frequently in high-ranking artists throughout history. I'd look for the Romantic works of great composers. Try the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, Johannes Brahms, Ottorino Respighi, Luwdig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann for starters. Best place to find out about these and other classical artists is your local classical radio station; it's free and you'll hear a range of stuff before you're motivated to buy. If you don't have a local classical station, try Houston's - they have a netfeed.
What an interesting series of challenges. I'll respond in the context of chaos and information theory, which when understood by smart people are a new language to classical physics, not a new discipline of physics. Reality still exists, in other words; we've just found new ways of measuring and describing it, and to those who have read the Vedas, these ways aren't all that new.
First, you don't understand boundary theory. "That would be like arguing that once you shake a box of sand, the sand would assemble to form a pyramid." If the box of sand existed in a vacuum, you'd be right. But it doesn't. Gravity, wind, water, vibration, etc. all act on this sand like a mould, shaping it to fit its environment. This is how adaptation occurs: a basic prototype of an animal forms, and then thousands or millions of them are created, and those which adapt poorly die more frequently while those that have advantageous adaptations breed more prolifically. It's not random at all. Entropy is randomness in the form of actions which are truly non-correlative to the external world; in fact, true solipsism could be argued to be a form of entropy (nasty argument against a personalitied God right there). Evolution is not random: it is a process of prototyping from which the best are culled by their structures which are coincidentally correlative to external reality. This is what we describe as boundary theory, taken to an extreme: the system as a whole have properties which influence its internal members to be as they are.
"Change in the environment effects evolution." It's not that simple. I think you're constructing an involuntary strawman based on someone's dodgy definition. When the environment changes, the factors that influence what lives/dies change; this doesn't mean that environmental change triggers a flurry of random mutation. Species under harsh conditions may survive, if they adapt; if not, they die.
Redundancy is itself an advantageous mutation. If climate change occurs, or if a negative trait somehow survives, redundancy allows the species to roll back to an earlier state, like the "Undo" command in your word processor. It also allows the organism to reintroduce those traits and compare them against the new ones as a check to see if adaptation really is occurring. I don't see this as random - it's a natural mechanism which itself evolved and with good reason; it will be needed. You'll note that many systems in nature evolve redundancy. Animals chirp but also look at one another to confirm the message was received. Streams have alternate pathways that carry off runoff or work better in droughts. Is this the hand of God? Depends; if like me, you see "God" as a dumb process better described as "Godhead" which through its sheer unconsciousness has influenced a genius in life, and by the same unconsciousness is insulated from the frailties of life, you might say that evolution is the hand of God, much as in some way entropy is...
"Evolutionary Theory would predict an endless stream of forms" -- I don't think that's correctly read. Correctly read, it predicts a stream of forms corresponding to their environment. If the environment changed constantly in radical ways, you might get an endless stream of random forms, but more likely you'd find the evolution of more "adaptive generalist" species like rats, raccoons, cockroaches and bureaucrats.
I don't have a problem with humanity having evolved out of lower life forms. The evolution itself is a sizable gap, just like the leap between a normal person and a genius is massive, and is comparable (in my experience) to the gap between chimpanzees and normal humans. Arthur Schopenhauer didn't watch TV not because it had not yet been invented, but because to him, that was behavior for chimpanzees, in the same way most people don't fling poo because that's chimpanzee behavior. Genius evolved from normal humanity. Normal humanity evolved from apes. Even more, it evolved in stages, and some of those previous stages can still be seen in Congress. You do say: "It does not in any way assault the facts that the strongest survives and prospers, that he who is steadfast and intelligent and stands over his emotions is strong, and so on." Well, here we agree: those who find the highest degree of reality prosper, and everyone else is just a chimp.
Does DNA determine how man acts? It determines the range of operation; the thoughts themselves are determined by a more complex coincidence of factors. I don't see evolution as random, or as against God, or as denying mysticism or holiness. I see it as a method of great genius that, if one chooses to believe in God or unrandom order, is a manifestation of how great that order is.
(4) It seems to me that each gender understands itself the best; men and women are cut from different cloth, and paradoxically, are equals in separate roles, with a few exceptions who are statistically insignificant. There will be some female judo champions and some men who crochet better than any woman alive; the world isn't as simple as pink is for girls, blue is for boys (and in England they reverse the colors). So when you go looking for comradeship, you will probably turn to other men. You just understand each other better.
However, when a man and woman come together, they are achieving a parity of complementary but different worldviews, an equality of inequality. Men and women will never be the same, at least without creating generic people of complete sexual and personality dysfunction. Men are deductive; women, inductive. Men seek to solve problems by changing the world; women seek to adapt. The two balance each other out brilliantly, and this is why even history's most brilliant misogynists listened carefully to their wives, and in most cases loved them more than their words would suggest. When you decide to have a family with someone, you have either reached a level of accord on these issues or are embarking on what could be a very foolish course of action. So you will, should you choose to mate with a female for life, and I recommend it, since it's kind of fun, find a different kind of comradeship. Instead of finding others who can understand exactly what you're saying, you will find someone who can give an unexpected depth to what you're articulation through the refraction of parallel but distinctly different thinking. Understand? No? Good. Surprises are always better than sure things.
"Intriguing" but not "deep": the concept of deepness, as used in coffeehouses and college dorms alike, implies a competition for a highest state of abstraction. I think this is a worthy part of an education to pursue. However, in my experience, it is a solitary pursuit shared between books, the mind's own explorations, and perhaps the intense but pleasant banter of a few like-minded, same-gender friends, as you note. "Deep," like "progressive," suggests a linear ascent to some ultimate truth, which I don't believe can exist beyond a point; people who are roughly matched in ability have "intriguing" conversations because they both understand about as much of the world as befits their intelligence, and instead of trying to find some greater abstract reasoning for it, are exploring it in breadth and in evolution of thought. Ideas, like species, start with a prototype and expand through being tested and adapting in response; like the scientific method, the universe works through thesis-response mechanisms.
(3) I think only a pleasant, attractive, witty English man can "fill you in" on this one. Go into any true English pub whistling "God Save the Queen" and drop your wallet in the bathroom - you'll find out quickly why they refer to the UK as "Brokeback Island." But seriously, I don't know where this joke started, but the English handle it quite well, with the exception of the one bloke who broke two of my teeth last weekend. I think it comes (heh) from the slogan of England's failing colonial days, when the world's greatest empire became a prissy little prig prancing about in tight pants while ranting theories of liberal morality: "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash." I guess originally it referred to their navy, and moved from their into the nightlife. You'd have to ask the English for more information. For the record, I think sodomy is hilarious, and should happen more frequently in absurd situations.
(2) Hard to tell when, but all Western empires collapse inwardly and are taken over by Asians, who seem to be more stable but lack a certain flair toward transcendental yet holistic and assertive philosophy; some would say this is because Caucasians are between Asians (low) and Africans (high) on the testosterone scale, thus we're contemplative like Asians but violently self-assertive like Africans. Dunno what I think of that, but Western empires tend to grow and then become besotted with the individualism of their members, thus fall into disunity, and are conquered by itinerant Asian warriors. Greece had Persia, the Romans had Semites, and ancient India fell to first Chinese and later Mongol invaders after it became thoroughly corrupt as a society. North America and Europe have become kingdoms of personal drama, and few people agree on what reality is much less what should be done. Correspondingly, the populations are getting dumber, lazier, fatter, and have many more personal problems; they are highly dramatic, with vivid bumper stickers and personality issues and all sorts of hobbies and big-ass political opinions and stuff, but they don't actually do anything. The West has become rotten. The Chinese are disciplined, violently self-assertive, and have a plan, where the modern West doesn't; they're going to come in and take over, and they will win. History repeats itself.
(1) Sorry to cop out, but I'm not a Canadian and so feel really uncomfortable giving a political opinion in specifics. General opinion of course is to find a naturalistic social model, but I doubt that will help with the immediacy of this election.
Thanks for the provocative questions.
We get the best email on this website; it's too much fun.
Your first question is a good one: why are we trying to make the site more complete in appearance, both visually and philosophically? The answer is twofold, and simple: in philosophy, one wants to make a complete system to avoid setting readers adrift, so periodically re-iterates all that has existed and points out its common threads; often after this, one re-writes, having assembled the many lineages of an idea into a complete system. Second, in the visual arena, it helps to clean up the site to enhance the reading experience of the reader, and it allows us to design an interface for the kind of data we see coming, as if finding aesthetics first might produce a conduit for a vision of what comes next. It seems to help. Note that the same pattern is followed in metal; at the end of each generation, there are some summary acts (Burzum) and at the beginning, some acts that explore aesthetics before bringing content to a parity of articulation (Venom).
I fear my second answer will bore you and be too short: some CDs are omitted because I do not see the utility in negative reviews, or worse, waffling reviews that neither assert nor deprecate a band. "It's OK if you like ambient gothic doom" is useless to reader, band and reviewer alike. Other CDs are simply not yet added, and some (Legion with Darken) are unknown to me. I have not read the recent commentary by Ildjarn, but I believe his work is the furthest extension of the Discharge concept as re-processed through the brainier approach of metal, which affirms an out-of-the-closet transcendental romanticism instead of finding refuge in the sterile, emotionally rigid, almost binary approach of punk music (an approach that, incidentally, damned it to early irrelevance; notice today the genre is flypaper for tools and morons). Ildjarn in my view is best without an articulation of his views, or even cover art; it is meant to be listened to from start to finish as albums, and I do not like the re-releases, as they add on crap that has nothing to do with the experience as a whole. He may see it differently, and I have nothing but respect for the man.
As you've noted, there have been more metal reviews of late. This will continue. There are some undiscovered classics out there (such as Ras Algethi) and some well-known items, like Slayer's "Reign in Blood," that need coverage. Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks for your questions.
February 25, 2006