morning 02.21.17

Eyes are making it tricky to keep blog rolling right now.

Study on prehistoric violence published. Tracing the history of California for past 1,000 years.

Weird Life Found Trapped in Giant Underground Crystals. Mexico. Naica mine in Chihuahua. Microbes trapped in pockets of fluid inside these crystals. 10,000 to 50,000 years old.

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump. This one is annoying because there are several inaccuracies in it or shit I just disagree with.

  • 4chan wasn’t that off the radar. I tried it out fairly early thinking that it could be a decent forum for discovering comics. Unfortunately, most of the users had terrible taste and were incredibly arrogant about it. Most of the other topics were also utterly worthless. Then again, i used to lurk sometimes on Something Awful prior to this. Forums like ILM and Barbelith were more interesting for what I was interested in.
  • Raids. Other forums alternately celebrated and derided 4chan raids. There was nothing mysterious about the origins. Almost certainly a few are referenced in old Metafilter threads from that era. ILX probably has mentions of these too.
  • Everyone fucking knew it was 4chan versus Scientology. This “Don’t talk about 4chan” shit is a myth. They never could shut up about 4chan. Another factor that seemed to drive that crusade was 4chan’s love for New Atheism. That’s not mentioned in this piece.
  • Anonymous. Yes, it was originally a 4chan project, but the article doesn’t mention that key members of that group were arrested. Others were probably quietly co-opted. Why would Anonymous go from ambitious projects attacking authoritarian power structures to doxxing random women on the internet? It didn’t. Mostly those were different people. Anonymous did indeed have different values from Occupy but Anonymous is not Gamergate either. Anonymous-affiliated groups used to dox rapists back in the day… and those people were pursued and charged by the FBI.
  • 4chan has not been static. The forum is now on its second or third generation. As the years progressed, it self-selected for a specific set of personality traits. Eh, “self-selected” is inaccurate. 4chan radicalized in a pattern analogous to other groups infiltrated and shepherded by certain agencies. The hikikomori story is only one angle of what happened. It’s more comfortable for certain powers that outsiders like the members of 4chan to channel their frustration towards minorities than at powerful institutions. That’s how one gets an “alt-right”.

 

 

 

noon 02.18.17

Did Stone Age people build a large labyrinth in Denmark? Bornholm. Palisade enclosures. Neolithic.

Iron Age Potters Carefully Recorded Earth’s Magnetic Field — By Accident. All kinds of great research interlocking here.

Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts. Good. Whatever aspect of the deep state that is supporting YPG can keep on keeping on.

India’s only live volcano active again: National Institute of Oceanography. On Barren Island in the Andaman Islands. It’s been erupting since January 23rd. It’s been intermittently active since 1991, but was dormant for 150 years prior.

Parable Of The Sower – Not 1984 – Is The Dystopia For Our Age – Nnedi Okorafor. I don’t think I’ve gotten around to reading any Octavia Butler. I vaguely recall The Parable of the Sower.

morning 02.18.17

I’ve just spent 30 minutes looking for that damned Nazi book theft book and it’s absolutely nowhere in the house. It’s fucking mystifying.

Mark Woods of wood s lot passed away recently. It has been too many years since I read wood s lot, but it was an early blog I followed for ages.

Simon Reynolds on Mark Fisher. In the past couple of weeks, I misplaced a great post in which someone collected many key pieces by Fisher. Still looking.

Exposing the Myths of Neoliberal Capitalism: An Interview With Ha-Joon Chang.

Life’s Building Blocks Found on Dwarf Planet Ceres. The Dawn mission has identified organic molecules that likely formed in reactions in hot water, likely related to its ice volcano. There could be subsurface fluids, and even more remotely possible… life.

Damien is recording again. The Missing Company Demos. His dead nun guitar sound is a good one. Only four songs so far. It’s unnerving to think that some of his recordings that seem “recent” to me compared to the songs I first heard are now twenty years old, and the first songs I heard of his were recorded about nine years before those.

Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak. Cocoliztli. This isn’t the disease I would have expected, but it makes a lot more sense than haemorrhagic fever. It’s a strain of salmonella that is now rare, Salmonella Paratyphi C.

The One Russian Linking Putin, Erdogan and Trump. Alexander Dugin. His name is familiar but his ties to Turkey are new to me.

Review: ‘Homo Deus’ Foresees a Godlike Future. (Ignore the Techno-Overlords.) Dreadful. I’ve no intent to read it, but this is clearly the future Thiel, Musk, etc. dream of. We’re going to go extinct anyway. Uploading copies of our consciousness is silly.

Eyes bothering me this morning. The left eye has been losing its ability to focus on objects in the distance over time, but has degenerated to the point everything more than a few feet away is a blur. The right eye is now overworked. Waking up round 3:30 this morning, even reading comic books caused dizziness reading. Vision is better now, but it’s still work to focus on anything too long. As far as I can tell, this isn’t even the fucking glaucoma. Great.

morning 02.17.17

Post and move on. It feels very unfinished, but it’s just a fucking blog. Just slap some edits in later if needed. Posts hanging in draft for days, weeks, months- are a waste of time.

The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria. Let’s not kid ourselves…. this is a war crime. ISIS had no armor that needed to be pierced with DU and it’s not worth it anyway.

Colin Wilson, overpriced at nothing. Heh. Poor old Colin Wilson. I used to check out The Occult at the Amite library several times over as an adolescent. Almost totally over my head. Same went for The Outsider. At least he’s still less embarrassing than goddamned Piers Anthony.

Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection, scientists reveal. I lacked the imagination to see why they’d bother, aside from curiosity. The planet is warming up too fast for them to have habitat. However, they point out putting mammoths in the tundra would keep it from thawing quite as fast.

Church, a guest speaker at the meeting, said the mammoth project had two goals: securing an alternative future for the endangered Asian elephant and helping to combat global warming. Woolly mammoths could help prevent tundra permafrost from melting and releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

“They keep the tundra from thawing by punching through snow and allowing cold air to come in,” said Church. “In the summer they knock down trees and help the grass grow.”

However, John Hawks on Twitter pointed out that an artificial womb is bigger news that a cloned mammoth. He also points out that this wouldn’t really be a true mammoth anyway, but a hairy elephant with CRSIPR’ed genes. I’ve no idea what to make of Chruch’s prediction of age-reversal in 10 years.

How Islamic scholarship birthed modern astronomy. This yet another reason is why that Sam Harris bullshit on “Islam needs a Reformation” is facile bullshit.1 Islam took a very different path than Christianity as it became more progressive earlier. The new Dark Age of Islam springs directly from the helping the Saudis spread Wahhabism to crush leftist movements in Muslim countries. Many of the New Atheists are just racist assholes. It’s weirdly analogous to how the American middle class became radicalized towards fascism, isn’t it?

White House dismisses 6 over failed background checks. Heh. They were walked out by security after they failed FBI background checks. They’ll be back in some form or another if the world doesn’t burn down first. I just perused SF86. It doesn’t seem that harsh. There are a lot of questions of foreign financial interests, drug abuse, criminality, etc. and most of them only pertain to the last seven years. I may be a total fuck-up in some ways and I could probably still pass it easily. What is wrong with these people?

Among those who won’t be working at the White House was President Donald Trump’s director of scheduling, Caroline Wiles, the daughter of Susan Wiles, Trump’s Florida campaign director and former chief of staff to Governor Rick Scott. Wiles, who resigned Friday before the background check was completed, was appointed deputy assistant secretary before the inauguration in January. Two sources close to Wiles said she will get another job in Treasury.

Anti-Trump protesters don’t care about his Russian ties. They’ve got a much bigger agenda. Good. It’s fun to see how many ties there really are between Trump and Russia, but none of us want a deep state coup. Hillary and her surrogates rambling about that shit is how Trump became president. No more geopolitical games. Fuck the elites. We need true reform. Until the quickly widening economic injustice is corrected, fascism will continue to spread. That said though… Trump fully briefed on Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador, source says. (Even Fox is turning on Trump.)

Hillary Clinton suggests Americans read the Constitution under Trump at Oscar de La Renta stamp unveiling. Hillary sucks. She makes no effort whatsoever for causes championing the poor and the marginalized, but she shows up for a ceremony for a fucking postage stamp for a fucking fashion designer. Oh ho ho! Oscar was an immigrant?! No better example of the meritocratic Clintonian vision is honoring a dead rich person who secured recognition from the elite. I bear the man no ill will but knowing this is what Hillary finds worth her time demonstrates why she lost to a corrupt fat oaf who will destroy the nation. She’s completely out of touch and inept. (Oh, Bloomberg was there too. Lovely. Just lovely.)

Betsy DeVos’s Brother Is Setting Up A Private Army For China, Sources Say. Erick Prince is at it again. Blackwater redux. It’s old news that he’s been working with China in Africa, but this is a new wrinkle.

  1. I probably said or wrote something like this over a decade ago, sadly. Fuck past me. Fuck future me too, probably. []

midday 02.14.17

The Rise and Fall of a K Street Renegade. This is a perfect anecdote as to what the fuck is wrong with the Democratic Party. Evan Morris was too gauche with his wealth to weather this. Despite his absolutely horrendous unethical behavior, it’s a shame that he killed himself. He could have turned evidence against some other similar operators. David Vitter bonus appearance! Another piece already has a bit of a followup.

The Anarchists vs. the Islamic State. The more I read about this, I feel like the CIA is psy-oping the fuck out of us. The Kurds are fairly heroic recently. Pisspiggraddad makes me laugh. The CIA is almost certainly manipulating leftists to support interventionism in Syria. (With the news features, that is- The Kurds would be out there fighting anyway and their embrace of foreign fighters seems real.) It’s a parallel narrative to the White Helmets material that was getting pushed in Time magazine, focusing more on sympathies of bleeding heart liberals. I cannot help but admire these damned fools are going to die for a cause I find admirable.

Four Details about Surveillance and the Flynn Ouster. None of this fits into my weird, unsupportable theory about Russia finding Flynn too compromised to bother with, so they gave the thumb’s up on jettisoning him (and they have Tillerson now anyway.) Wheeler points out that the FISA order was unlikely to have been directed at Flynn, because the FBI wouldn’t have needed prompting to monitor Flynn in December. They would have already been in progress. That FISA is for someone else. Interesting.

morning 02.14.17

Michael Flynn resigning because he was caught lying about his talking to Russia makes little sense. Trump clearly doesn’t give a fuck about lying. It doesn’t feel that it really has to do with lying. Something that has bugged me for awhile is that Flynn allegedly serves Russian interests, but he is extremely hawkish on cranking up a war with Iran. Putin wants chaos, but that kind of uncontrolled chaos virtually on his doorstep, with it possibly benefiting Israel and Saudi Arabia, doesn’t seem wise. I cannot imagine what’s really going on here, but the media patting itself on its back for taking down Flynn by proving his lying feels… dumb.

I’m only halfway through episode 81 of Chapo Trap House, but they said a few things that don’t jibe for me. They were mocking the idea of infiltration of Black Bloc as liberal paranoia. Nah, it’s long documented that it happens. How they dismiss that is baffling.

They also were rolling their eyes at some of the more militarized machinations coming out of the White House, deriding that as tv fantasy. They seem disconnected with what’s going on with the ICE raids. An unnerving amount of federal law enforcement seem ready to steamroll anyone they regard as a threat if given free rein. Trump is a senile buffoon, but they are underestimating Bannon somewhat. He’s not a supergenius, but that Sun Tzu shit isn’t what Bannon is about. It’s Julius Evola and Edmund Burke. Most of what they wrote might be over Bannon’s head1 and he’s cherrypicking, but he’s got the gist. Anti-Enlightenment. Anti-semitism. Islamophobia. Anti-feminism. Liberty through moral order through private property. Crisis and war are crucibles. It’s not deep stuff. The same shit is hawked on 4chan to brain-damaged gamers.

Their real underestimation is how rotten the edifice of American democracy is. It doesn’t take a genius or great man to drive the nation over an abyss. Those CPB agents at the airports weren’t micromanaged. They were free to interpret the executive order any way they wanted, the more extreme and harsh the better. They were detaining people that weren’t even included in order. The culture in all law enforcement has fomented authoritarianism and xenophobia for decades, arguably since inception. The machine is ready. All that held it back was etiquette.

America is a nation governed entirely by id.

It also struck me as weird when Shane Bauer was so impressed by the size of Berkeley protests, until I looked up to see that he probably was getting his life back together after being held prisoner by Iran for two years. November 2nd, Occupy Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland on a general strike. I watched livestreams on that. The crowds were phenomenal- far, far more than the 7,000 the police claimed, probably in the tens of thousands.

  1. and definitely mine []

morning 02.13.17

Trump advisers’ space plan: To moon, Mars and beyond. Heh. All of this could still happen one day, but between catastrophic global climate change and multiple constitutional crises that could likely cause the American constitution to be scrapped, Bezos, Musk, and Thiel had better rethink their apocalypse plans. We’re out of time. The Atlantic has a piece digging iinto this Politico article saying they want to get back on the moon in three years. It’ll be surprising if this government as we know it lasts another six months. Maybe the space Nazis will do it after the undesirables are exterminated. I don’t know.

Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in AI age. When he says humans, he means himself and a select elite. This is the guy drilling a tunnel under Los Angeles because he hate the traffic. Think that through. Los Angeles. You know… the city that’s perched on the coastline west of the San Andreas Fault. There’s something profoundly fucking stupid about Musk. His arrogance is boundless. I rooted for Space X in the past, because I have a naive love for space exploration. Fuck Elon Musk.

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone. There’s so much going on in this story that’s disturbing. Racial profiling of a native American citizen. Ignoring protocol of an existing program that expedites people who have already submitted to rigorous background checks. Customs and Border Patrol agents declaring that they have higher security clearance than NASA. This is what a rogue agency actually looks like.

morning 02.12.17

Stop comparing Trump to foreign leaders. He’s a distinctly American phenomenon. All true. It’s the Hugo Chávez comparisons that are the most maddening. Yes, Chávez was despotic, populist, kinda corrupt, but as Johnson points out, it’s whose interests Chávez served that make him an entirely different creature. The same goes for Huey Long. When the press throws around the label of populism instead of fascism, they’re deliberately obfuscating. Huey Long was distinctly American, but unlikely the also very American Trump, it’s the interests Long served that made Long what he is. How tyranny is used matters. Trump does not serve the working poor and the oppressed. Never forget that.

Leader of Spain’s Podemos party re-elected in resounding win. I haven’t kept track of Podemos closely, but Pablo Iglesias has seemed good to me. It’s not time to work within the system anywhere. It’s designed to smother (genuine) reforms. Taking to the streets matters. This is why people turning up at all of the town halls in the U.S. are scaring the fuck out of elected officials right now. I wish that the American left had someone in his generation as prominent.

A new, liberal tea party is forming. Can it last without turning against Democrats? This headline is dumb. It’s not liberal. Hell, it’s unclear yet who some of these people are. Most of the normal Democrats I’ve connected with on Facebook despise Pelosi and Schumer. There is almost as much rage and disgust for the Democratic Party as for Republicans. Many are still addicted to the Daddy Obama narrative, but that could die down once they realize he’s not riding in on a white horse. Quite a few other protesters are leftists, but some of the people showing up at these town halls are actual conservatives who are already feeling betrayed. The Chaffetz town hall proves that.  This is why Schumer and Pelosi hate this. There is a re-alignment underway. I’m cheering for socialism, but who knows if it will prevail. Regardless, it feels like liberal and conservative brands are exhausted.

I stumbled onto this through a decent blog I follow that debunks pseudo-history. He’s a brilliant guy who is well-versed on a wealth of unhinged fringe shit that I love to wallow in, but he gave away the game the time by a few assertions about “leftist” politics. He’s probably a libertarian New Atheist of some kind. It’s great how mad they get at the idea of an older Great Sphinx. I’d disagree with John Anthony West in that anthropologists and climatologists are moving back the dates on quite a few things quite nicely. Science isn’t corrupted, just some smug old assholes who refuse to adapt their original theses. There was no Golden Age. It was a long slog of expansion and contraction. I’ll concede that. Sometimes fringe people stumble onto some good ideas through very questionable methods. Anyway, I’ll listen to any old kooky person talking about Gurdjieff and Schwaller de Lubicz if I have the time.