HAPPINESS A DUTY, Good & Smart

August 26, 2015

Forget Sisyphus’ Dreary Myth, Embrace The Happiness Strategy:

Far from being a sin, could happiness be not just fun, but a duty? I will propose that happiness is, indeed, a duty. Happiness is both a cerebral and social necessity. Let’s start with its social link.

When an animal suffers, or at least, when an animal is not happy, it is likely that it is either under aggression, and, or, needs to get into some significant action (taking some risk to go somewhere unusual, even if that animal is only an herbivore).

In either case, action, and, a fortiori, suffering put the animal, human or not, into an aggressive neurohormonal state, or cocktail of aggressive states (notice in passing that it is not always a bad thing: action, or even suffering, are often needed for everybody’s good!). Thus, someone’s unhappiness often ends up as somebody’s else suffering. Unhappiness is not just immoral, and asocial, unhappiness starts a chain reaction of unhappiness.

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

No Laugh, No Love, Nor Mind In Full

In human life, suffering is ubiquitous, unavoidable: born in pain, die in pain, with quite a bit of pain, Sturm und Angst, aging and degeneracy in between. So suffering always stands at the ready. Ready to help us not to settle too hopelessly into routine. Suffering, or the threat thereof, is always ready to enrich our minds, be it only with appendicitis, or a broken ankle, we don’t need to encourage it too much.

Happiness, though, precisely because of the ubiquitousness of suffering, is more tricky: it requires more of our enthusiastic cooperation, and encouragement. Happiness calls onto creativity to exist, and overwhelm the pain out there. Not by eschewing the world, as monks and Buddhists propose, but by engaging it enough, to bring up the neurohormones of happiness (Endo cannabinoids, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin, GABA, Serotonin, Adrenaline, Nitrogen Oxide, “laughing gas“, etc.).

Happiness cannot tolerate too much moderation (consider the Adrenaline above, a chemical known to make a dead heart jump into action, or Dopamine, which cocaine, methamphetamines, boost, to create effect).

Moderation is debilitating, especially in large quantities. Happiness instead embraces immoderately the best aspects that life has to offer, and run away with them. (Creation, in particular necessitates to run away; as our society tries to run away from the encroachment of robots and plutocrats, creation will be needed ever more. Socially good creation is entangled with happiness, while unhappiness is entangled with war hormones and neural patterns and organs.)

But what of the other cerebral consequences of happiness? Happiness is a facilitator of survival. Epidemiological statistics show this.

Wisdom is, first of all, about being as smart in one’s behavior, as one can be, given the circumstances. An example is the six passengers in the Thalys train who just fought the heavily armed terrorist. They acted wisely, and, in this case, it meant that they acted decisively, fiercely, and with maximum violence: first two Frenchmen engaged the fanatic in combat, as it came out of the toilet. A Franco-American professor in his fifties, grabbed the AK 47 automatic machine gun, and ran away with it, and got shot through his entire left side for his trouble. Then the two U.S. servicemen, helped by another American, and a Brit followed, while the terrorist’s two guns jammed. The latter four heroes already got the Legion of Honor. As the 62 year old Brit pointed out, jumping on the terrorist, and hitting his head and choking him until he got unconscious, was the wise thing to do. Sometimes, extreme physical violence is the right activity to bring survival. This is a truism. Yet, in that case, happy meant punchy.

But what does the will to survival in the individual or the society have to do with? Happiness. Who wants to defend a sad life?

Salvador Dali noticed that the Nazis’ will to start a world war had to do with the desire to lose it. I agree. It was not just hatred, cupidity, and the stampeding of the herd, which characterized Nazism. Germans had long been unhappy, and had long built a cultural anthropology of unhappiness (thanks to the fascist and racist political system which ruled them, much of it straight from Eighteenth Century hyper-militaristic dictatorial Prussia and its ingrained hatred against Jews and Poles). German unhappiness brought forth the cultivation of a war-like society (a poisonous, but delicious fruit of which is higher efficiency).

Something striking about the four Anglo-Saxon heroes of the train above, is that they all seem happy in life. This is reflected by the inner strength they exhibited after the harrowing circumstances they had been through.

Without that inner happiness, the four heroes would have valued their lives less, thus valued life in general less, hence would have been less keen to defend theirs, and other people’s, lives (remember the connection of happiness with Adrenaline).

Happiness is not just a luxury, a reward, it’s a safety, even a security. not just for the individual, but for the community at large.

Socrates said the unexamined life was not worth living. Indeed, it never was, and never will. For a human being, to live is to examine. But with what is life examined? Intelligence. And the better examination is rendered possible only by greater intelligence. And what brings maximum intelligence? Experiencing the world in full.

The Romans knew this well. Even in their baths, they had a frigidarium, an ice-cold bath. And a caldarium, a very hot bath. Life, even at the baths, was not just all about the tepidarium, the tepid bath.

Sadness, unhappiness, or the tepidarium, a tepid life, only brings the input of just part of the world. Thus they make minds which are only partial (for example, only war-like). Such half minds are legions. Hitler was typical: more or less a quasi orphan, failed artist, bum, and then a shell-shocked, gazed soldier, his experience from the world, lots of unhappiness, and war, was all what his mind was made from (Stalin, or Lenin had somewhat similar war-like, dejected, unhappy backgrounds).

Sadness brings up the war-like instincts, hence the fascist reflex (to make one out of the many). Here is the answer Estienne de La Boétie was looking for, when he wondered why people accepted to live in servitude to an oligarchy. In Discours de la servitude volontaire ou le Contr’un (Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Anti-Dictator), La Boétie asserted that tyrants had power because people granted it to them. I have proposed a mechanism to explain why it is so. And lack of happiness is central to it.

Happiness brings other aspects to the interaction with the world, which sadness can never reveal. Happy aspects, unhappiness alone never brings. Happiness allows to learn more form the world, it makes the mind in full.

The happy mind is a mind in full.

In a nuclear chain reaction, each nuclear fission, which is caused by a neutron’s impact, in turn creates, in the average, more than one neutron, which strike other nuclei, etc. Nobel Laureate Irene Curie discovered the chain reaction in the particular case of Uranium 235 in 1937 (although many sexist males preferred to attribute the discovery to Otto Hahn, who got the Nobel for it, it’s clearly Irene who taught Otto, through years of heated epistolary exchanges).

Unhappiness has a much more devastating amplification potential than its equivalent with radionuclides. Indeed an unhappy human being can make many other human beings suffer. Not just a couple. This is all the more true in a representative democracy, that is, an oligarchy. After he was elected Chancellor in January 1933, the pathologically unhappy Adolf Hitler was in good position to make hundreds of millions suffer, and not just his niece (who escaped through suicide, with her uncle’s gun).

If happiness is so important socially and for the blossoming of the individual mind, should not it be viewed as more than a right, but even as a moral duty?

The preceding was inspired by the neurohormonal theory of the mind, according to which neurohormonal states do not just characterize the mind, but are determined, with immense inertia, by exterior and inner circumstances. Given the neurohormonal theory of mind, it’s rather self-obvious that happiness is a duty. Without it, it is not that obvious. It’s probably why the notion, that happiness is a moral duty, not just for kicks, seems to have been ignored by the main philosophical ideologies.

Happiness is right in all ways. It even enables to learn. How? The road to truth is paved with errors, painfully learned. Only happiness makes us willing to embrace errors with an open mind. And wish for more, more errors, as we wish to learn more, learning to happily bounce from pains and disappointments to some new, unexpected, more exciting, freshly instructive errors.

No pain, no gain, yet, no happy, no bouncy. If one wants further gains, one has to accept further pain, and that’s possible only with a sunny, happy disposition. To learn ever more, means to be able to suffer pains gladly, ready to bring some more. Happiness is not just about preferring fun to dread, or about blocking reprisals of hatred against doom and gloom. Happiness is an epistemological need.

Patrice Ayme’

 

What If God Is Nuts?

August 22, 2015

A Moroccan Jihadist climbs on a High Speed European train in Brussels. It is easy to get weapons in Belgium, less so in France. He is armed with a full automatic machine gun, a Kalashnikov, AK 47, nine magazines for the AK47, a handgun, a knife. He has been told, and believes, that, as the faithful, he should obey god’s writ. And even more than that, he will fight racism.

How come?
If Islamophobia, the fear of Islam, is racist, does not that mean that Islamophilia, the love of Islam, is anti-racist? Thus by believing Islam to death, are not Jihadists fighting racism? Jihadists believe that, to the bottom of their all consuming hearts. When god is nuts, nuts are gods.

And What If God Is A Crazy Homicidal Maniac?

And What If God Is A Crazy Homicidal Maniac?

Notice that France is the most atheist country (thus number one targets for Jihadists). From my point of view, France’s healthy skepticism about the morality of god, is directly traceable, not just to Clovis and his Franks, but to the election, in Paris, more than a century before that, of Julian as “Augustus (supreme Roman emperor, in 360 CE). The Catholic bishops hated the all too moderate and philosophical Julian, who was derided as “the Apostate”. The Franks organized a flurry of anti-Christian coups, during the Fourth Century.

The High Speed train enters France. The Jihadist goes to the toilet to equip himself (for a slightly different version, see the New York Times). He comes out, a Frenchman in his fifties confronts him, grabs the Kalashnikov AK47, and runs away with it. The Jihadist shoots the Frenchman, the bullet enters next to the spine on the left side, in the lumbar area, through the entire left lung, and comes out through the clavicle. Alerted, two young American soldiers, and a friend, an Afro-American, plus a British businessman, and a French conductor, jump the killer. The lead American hero, Spencer, loses his thumb to the killer’s cutter (it got re-attached in a French hospital, right away). Everybody survives, because the would-be assassin’s gun jams. As related in the Times:

“Mr. Norman [UK Consultant] and Mr. Sadler [Afro-American student] had joined in the efforts to subdue the gunman, who “put up quite a bit of a fight,” Mr. Norman recalled at the news conference in Arras on Saturday. “My thought was, ‘I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go.’ Once you start moving, you’re not afraid anymore.”

Mr. Stone [large Martial Arts expert, Air Force First Class] wounded and bleeding, kept the suspect in a chokehold. “Spencer Stone is a very strong guy,” Mr. Norman said. The suspect passed out. Mr. Norman busied himself binding him up with a tie.

Mr. Skarlatos [22 year old Oregon National Guard soldier, back from Afghanistan, friend with Sadler and Stone] , the AK-47 in hand, began to patrol through the carriages, looking for other gunmen. He made a series of startling discoveries: The suspect’s guns had malfunctioned, and he had not had the competence to fix them.

“He had pulled the trigger on the AK. The primer was just faulty, so the gun didn’t go off, luckily,” Mr. Skarlatos said. “And he didn’t know how to fix it, which is also very lucky.” In addition, the gunman had not been able to load his own handgun: “There was no magazine in it, so he either dropped it accidentally or didn’t load it properly, so he was only able to get what appeared to be one shot off,” Mr. Skarlatos said.”

In the fifties, George Orwell wrote excellent books where he introduced, and condemned, the notion of “thought crime”. Actually he had invented nothing, the USSR had condemned people to death for “Thought Crimes” before.

Roman law itself distinguished the notion of “Mens Rea” (mental act). To be culprit of voluntary homicide, it’s not enough to kill somebody, one has to have thought about it (mental action). Orwell may have thought too fast, and too superficially: fast and shallow thought crime.

We live in a world where human thoughts are increasingly capable of enormous amplification. So what people think about matters.

Legislators recognized this after the Nazi fiasco. Nazism was an ideology of hatred. Once allowed to rule, it programmed tens of millions of Germans into exterminating others. Ideally, such hate ideologies ought to be outlawed. But the lines are hard to draw between fantasy and thought meant to program people into killing robots.

So legislators, starting in France and the USA, decided that hatred of an ideological character, if one could legally prove that it was present, would be an aggravating factor in the commission of a crime.

Another approach was tried earlier. With Christianism. In the Middle Ages, Christianism played an horrendous role. It started with the Fall of Rome to which it contributed heavily (said Gibbon, and I  agree, in part). Then Clovis and his Franks mitigated the Jesus superstition, and things went well, until the rise of nationalism, tribalism, plutocracy and Crusades in the late Eleventh Century (also the time of the break between Rome and Constantinople: all those phenomena are related). After that, Christianism became a force for the worst… Until the last execution for heresy in Spain in the Nineteenth Century, if not the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, where the Church and its Opus Dei, were on the side of fascism (Franco, Hitler, Mussolini).

In the New Testament, Jesus orders to kill unbelievers: Luke 19-27. Thus Islamism is just a parrot, if not a parody, a parroty, of Christianism.

Luke 19:27: But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.

Please compare with the Qur’an “Verse of the Sword” (Sura 9, v5):

“9:5 When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.”

Islamophiles, like pedophiles, are hard pressed to explain that one away. Muslim terrorists revolve around this verse, doing what it orders. The Qur’an, a very short book (83,000 words, I counted) contains many other verses, to the same effect.

Christianism, obeying Christ, killed millions, if not tens of millions. Still, in the end, it was made to submit: any priest teaching Luke 19:27, the core of Christianism in the Middle Ages, would now be fired. So how was Christianism forced to submit? Asking Louis XI, Henry VIII, or the French Revolution, brings the same answer: Christianism was FORCED to submit.

Forcing Christianism is not new: the Franks forced Christianism to submit to their state, most notably in the Sixth and Eight Centuries. In the former case, the Vatican had to submit to the nomination of Frankish bishops, and when the Pope threatened to have them burned for teaching secularly, the Frankish authorities pointed out that Pope “Gregory The Great” had no army. In the Eight Century, the Church underwent nationalization, to pay for the war against Islamism. Then the Popes, on their knees, begged the Franks to come subdue the Lombards (Charlemagne did so, once the Church agreed to recognize him as Roman Emperor). (And I am not even mentioning Philippe Le Bel’s accidental execution of the Pope in the Fourteenth Century, followed by the incarceration of the Papacy in Avignon, among many similar exploits of anti-clerical type…)

There is one religion, always: that of the state (in the generalized sense of religion I use). Superstitions can be tolerated, as long as they are compatible with the state. So make Islam compatible. And that means some Islamist texts ought to be viewed as the Thought Crimes they are, and being ignored as well as Luke 19;27 (and other statements of Jesus to the same effect) are ignored.

If we, who believe in an ever wiser civilization, could submit the fury of Catholicism (“universalism”), we can certainly submit the meekness of submission (what “Islam” means)Civilization is rising: time for the savages to realize that the gods must be crazy.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy Flouted: No Ridicule Is High Enough

August 20, 2015

Democracy by representation can work in a factory, school or a homeowner association: those communities are small enough, and have reduced opportunity of choice. Their leaders’ decisions will not destroy the planet.

We need a concept: let’s introduce the DEMOCRATIC INDEX. It has a simple definition: DI is the quotient of the number of representatives, R, over the total population, P. So: Democratic Index: DI = R/P.

In a Direct Democracy (such as Ancient Athens), DI is one, because each citizen represents herself, or himself.

In modern so-called “representative democracies”, the Democratic Index is basically zero. Athenian Direct Democracy has been replaced by a celebrity circus where oligarchy is presented as the one and only show of greatest interest.

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

In giant countries, government by (“elected“) representatives certainly does not work, and not just because it vests enormous powers in a handful of individuals. The Obama circus of continual fund-raising and frolicking with plutocrats whose business is only possible through government, has made plenty clear that those who took part in an election were the plutocrats, and only them, not “We The People”. (Plutocrats also elected, again and again, Putin to ever more authoritative positions… Until they discovered to their dismay, that he had elected himself to plutocrat in chief.)

At the scale of a country, government by representatives is the power of a few. In Greek: few-rule: oligo-arkhein: oligarchy. Thus:

Theorem: All and any nation claiming to be a representative democracy is, actually, an oligarchy.

That does not mean it’s a plutocracy. For an oligarchy to be a plutocracy, great wealth, and, or great diabolicity, needs to rule.  

How does one hide all this nastiness? One hides it as a kabuki theater, a dictatorship of celebrities.

The New York Times just gave a striking example of this. It wrote a long article relating what Obama views as one of the main functions of his presidency. Times is the “newspaper of report”: it’s striking it presents a movie star as part of Obama’s 2am braintrust.

In “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency

“President Obama… is privately mapping out a postpresidential infrastructure that could cost as much as $1 billion.

One is obviously very far from the mentality of president Harry Truman. After holding office, as Senator, VP, and President, Truman lived in modest circumstances. When he was asked why he did not cash on his aura, Truman replied that it would demean the office of the presidency. Now things have changed: the presidency is apparently viewed by the beholder as all about money:

WASHINGTON — The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed.

“Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the president.

But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied.

“Good manners in present higher American society, is all about who kicks whom, and timing is everything. If they spend their time kicking each other, and laughing about it, imagine what they really do the average losers, such as you and me. The vulgarity was just getting started, though:

[President Obama] then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.

Mr. Obama “seemed incredibly relaxed,” said another guest, the writer Malcolm Gladwell. He recalled how the group, which also included the actress Eva Longoria and Vinod Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, tossed out ideas about what Mr. Obama should do after he leaves the White House.”

Khosla is the self-proclaimed ecologist who bought for himself part of the undeveloped Californian Coast, and then barred nature lovers to hike and swim there, just because he owned it. He fought in court for years to block access to the public (who, in theory, has the right to walk California’s beaches).

Whatever Obama’s future is, it’s something Internet billionaires, part NSA, part vulgar, and hedge fund conspirators, venture plotters, and actresses can profitably manage.

“So far, Mr. Obama has raised just over $5.4 million from 12 donors, with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Michael J. Sacks, a Chicago businessman, gave $666,666. Fred Eychaner, the founder of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations, donated $1 million. Mark T. Gallogly, a private equity executive, and James H. Simons, a technology entrepreneur, each contributed $340,000 to a foundation set up to oversee development of the library.”

“666” is the “Mark of the Beast”:, some robber barons have an undeniable sense of humor. Lucky is a country where the wealthiest can make enormous gifts to the Great Leader. At least, so they say in North Korea. And the New York Times goes on:

“The heart of the postpresidential planning is Mr. Obama’s own outreach to eclectic, often extraordinarily rich groups of people. Several aides close to Mr. Obama said his extended conversations over the lengthy dinners — guests say his drink of choice at the gatherings is an extra-dry Grey Goose martini — reminded them of the private consultations Mr. Obama had with donors and business leaders as he sought to build a winning campaign.

The process started as early as the week after Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012, when the director Steven Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis went to a White House screening of the movie “Lincoln.” Mr. Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers.

The advisers said Mr. Spielberg was focused on helping to develop a “narrative” for Mr. Obama in the years after he leaves office.”

Katzenberg, in case you would be so naïve that you would need to ask, is a billionaire, and his jobs is selling dreams (not really different from Putin, just much more modest). It’s all about ‘narrative”

“In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.”

Well, let me tell, you, Mr. President, how the Internet could improve the way society confronts problems: by doing away with you, your actresses, moguls, hedge fund conspirators, bankers, Silicon plotters, and various oligarchs and plutocrats. How? We don’t need you, and your fellow 2 am brains.

We can just vote on the issues, instead of having you and your lapdogs decided everything. Say all propositions gathering more than a million signatures, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution, would be submitted to a national plebiscite.

What would happen?

American Lawyer, the most respected law magazine, just pointed out that for banks:”Fined. But business as usual.”

Banks are mandated by so-called representative democracies to create money (by extending credit). Thus they should be under fierce democratic control. However, they don’t even have to respect the law, they can just bribe their way out of it. And they have no limit: official accusations against the huge world bank HSBC were, after the usual tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking that it financed terrorist networks. So what? HSBC distributed some cash around, as suggested.

A plebiscite proposing that, when a banker steals, say, a billion dollar, he goes to jail, would certainly pass. After all, California had passed “Three Strikes You Are Out”, a law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the third condemnation, even if it were about stealing a pizza slice (a plebiscite, Prop 36, modified the “3 strikes” law in California in 2012, to impose drastic punishment only if the third strike was violent).

We are governed by oligarchs and plutocrats. That they look amusing and distracting is part of their oppression. Dire oppression with a comic face. We need to elevate ourselves, and find immoral, to be thrilled by the politicians’ ridiculous antics.

It is illegal for politicians to accept significant gifts. So what are politicians doing at 2am, with those who can give the most significant gifts? And are given the most significant gifts, such as evading the law on a plutocratic scale? Why is that legal?

Patrice Ayme’

Save Species By Exploiting Them

August 16, 2015

BETTER CYNIC THAN DEAD.

It’s Not Just A Question Of Saving Them, But Saving Our Mental Potential.

Ah, Cecil the Lion, this blood thirsty monster, with giant fangs, was slowly and cruelly assassinated by an evil American dentist. Let’s cry, say the politically correct. Hypocrisy and false reality are the gifts which keep on giving.

A few days ago, a “Mother Bear”, called “Blaze”, in Yellowstone National Park killed and ate, in part, a 63 year old hiker. When she, and her brood, came back for more choice morsels, inhuman, or all-too-human, rangers shot her to death. Her cubs were sent to Toledo, presumably to learn the Flamenco. Let’s cry, it’s the politically correct thing to do.

Rocks @ High Velocity Is The Compassionate Way To Handle Attacking Predators

Rocks @ High Velocity Is The Compassionate Way To Handle Attacking Predators

[Years ago, the recommendation was to lay prone in case of predator attack; this is wrong: predators don’t like to be hurt, a fortiori crippled. By the way, the largest bears are much larger than described above; some subspecies can reach a ton.]

I read some of the “Compassionate Conservationism” press. They are all over the Internet, including the Huffington Post (of course). The comments posted are bloodthirsty against the killer species, man. If only people stopped killing, everything would be great, they scream.

The “Compassionate” ones are against all and any killing. They are also against all and any suffering. As if suffering was the exclusive invention, and province, of human killers. They are completely hysterical about it, forgetting the following: part of wisdom is learning to not be too easily offended.

The problem is not just that suffering is part of the world, and thus, the mind, in full, as I have argued in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/why-killing-beauty-makes-sense/

The problem is that the best way to insure no animal suffering in a given species is by killing the species. Thus the truly compassionate are terminators. As all good terminators, they don’t have any inkling of the horror they are visiting on the world.

Where is this going?

Last time we had frantic animal rights people in power, they called themselves Nazis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany

This made sense: the Nazis tended to hate human beings. To show that, nevertheless, they were good and their hearts were pure, they disingenuously claimed to love animals to death.

People who are so sensitive and unreal to believe that if only people stopped killing animals, the world would be set right, are neither very capable mentally, nor capable of defending themselves.

But there is even a deeper analysis: remember that death, nirvana, annihilation, is the best way to terminate animal suffering. Thus those who advocate stridently to terminate animal suffering are actually advocating annihilation.

Philosophically, I disagree with them. Socrates said that the unexamined life was not worth living. Indeed. But what is the examination made of? Of the mind, applying itself. And what is the mind made of? Of the world. The fuller the world, the fuller the life. Hence the interest of REWILDING US. It’s not just about them, it’s even more about us.

A life less full in less worth living. The examining mind fosters, and is fostered, by surviving the world in full.

Ecology, in full, is the ultimate capital given to us by nature. It has to be protected, and, in particular, the species do. This means finding them economic utility.

Man-eating bears roaming national parks is no way to encourage other human beings to visit the parks, or making people feel warmer and cuddlier about bears.

The 63 year old hiker was “experienced”, said the National Park Service. Although he did not carry bear spray (so the “compassionate conservationists claimed he was at fault).

I carry bear spray when in grizzly country, and nearly used it once against a charging moose (with calf). Charging moose with calf kills more people than grizzlies in Alaska. The calf slipped and fell, and I was able to skirt that unbalanced duo through small diameter trees (having made the theory they would hinder those gigantic quadrupeds). I was not at fault: I had stopped, one hundred meters away, and waited calmly for those ferocious beasts to get off the trail. But, half an hour later, they did the Mohican hairdo thing, lowered their ears, both well-known ominous signs, and charged me casually.

In most of the Alaskan temperate jungle, the safety bear spray provides with is illusory: vision is extremely limited by an exuberant vegetation, with giant leaves, you would smell the bear before you see it!

Half-Ton Bear, Flying To Your Annihilation. No Beast That Could Survive The Genus Homo For Millions Of Years Is Easy Game

Half-Ton Bear, Flying To Your Annihilation. No Beast That Could Survive The Genus Homo For Millions Of Years Is Easy Game

Bears charge at 20 miles an hour through thickets, that’s a problem. Bear spray also has a guard and is cumbersome: one cannot spent hours with a finger on the trigger. (Bear hunters in the past used dogs, who provide warning, or stick to open country.) Black bears are also very dangerous: they can kill and eat humans, where they think they can get away with it. I have been charged by black bears more than once, and had to go full prehistoric, even hitting a bear with a large rock, with drastic effect.

The way to handle dangerous predators is to collar them with GPS, and have professionals track their activities. You want some employment for the future? Here is one of them! One should make an app giving the location of the ferocious beasts. The National Park in Banff, Alberta, already handles grizzlies that way when they approach inhabited areas.

If we want to save nature, we have to endow it with economic utility. This is the highest morality. Let me repeat slowly: if we want to save nature, all of nature, we have to endow nature, all of nature, with economic utility. This means, in particular rewilding. However, rewilding does not mean that human beings ought to be made fair game.

Quite the opposite. The essence of humanity is that human beings are not fair game.

We own this planet, all of it, and our minds depend upon that. Saving them is about saving us, but it cannot come cheap, so we have to redefine what is expensive, and compassion is one of those values which have to be redefined.

Those who claim animals deserve as much, or more, compassion than human beings are either not honest, or mental weakling whose logic will never stand the heat of reality. They bestow nature a disservice, by brandishing useless, self-defeating, narcissistic self-admiring considerations which aim at befuddling the cosmos.

Not feeling the pain we deserve to make us whole, is a pain we can’t afford.

Patrice Ayme’

Juicy Planets

August 15, 2015

This is the one thousandth essay on this site. Let’s celebrate with a whiff of optimism. We found, for sure, three habitable planets. Close-by. And maybe four. Or five. Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, and Enceladus. They are all in the Solar System. Why habitable? Because they all have liquid water.

And massive quantities of it. Europa’s ocean seems greater in volume than Earth’s… by a long shot. Ganymede’s ocean maybe 800 kilometers deep… This is astronomy, in full, with its proverbial astronomical numbers.

Juicy Planets In The Habitable Zone

Juicy Planets In The Habitable Zone

The total land area of Earth’s continents is 148,647,000 square kilometers (57,393,000 sq mi), or 29.1% of Earth’s surface. This is just a tiny bit larger than Mars’ total area (145 million square kilometers). Mars has lots of water. However, except for (rock covered) glaciers and ice caps, most of it is ice mixed with the soil.

It is welcome news that planetary bodies close-by have plenty of water, and land. Europa’s land area is 30 million square kilometers. Ganymede is 87, and Callisto 73 million square kilometers. Thus the total land area of water loaded Jupiter satellites is 190 million square kilometers, much larger than the grand total of Earth’s continents. That’s plenty of room for human civilization to expand into.

As I related, civilizations come and go, and one of the main mechanisms, if not the main mechanism, has to do with the entangled exhaustion of increasingly impotent technology and waning resources. This is fully in evidence now in our case: although not all resources are exhausted, yet, others are exhausting: the CO2 pollution, and similar, entangled crises, have reached the stage of a mass extinction.

A race is engaged between the deployment of more renewable energy and multiple singularities from pollution and resource exhaustion.

Once, when still a child, I met a poet and philosopher from a family of poets and philosophers. He read some poems. I was impressed. The conversation, though, turned to space exploration. My youthful enthusiasm was quickly dashed. The poet told me that space would not help humanity’s problems. Actually throwing money at space prevented to feed children, he opined. Walking on the Moon was mostly a folly darkly connected to imperialism, colonialism, materialism, nihilism.

As a teen, but a teen experienced from having lived in Africa most of my life, who had endured through wars and coups d’état, I doubted the wisdom of the poet. (When I was 11 years old, I made a sing-song about a coup d’état enfolding in the African country in which I lived. Retrospectively strange…)

I knew very well that there are monsters out there. But then, again, I also knew monsters, properly handled, could learn to behave properly. A leopard entered an open hut I was sleeping in, and walked out (don’t ask me about what I view as my parents’ irresponsibility: there was just another child in that hut, smack dab in the center of a national park, full of panthers). I once walked around a bend on a dirt road, in the same national park, to find a lion spread all across said road, looking at me calmly. I did not panic, and respected away.  

Differently from the European poet, I knew the world was richer than just a zero sum (where what you put in is what you get out). I knew starvation was entirely due to war. If you don’t want children to starve, the first thing needed is a strong stater, with a constitution centered on human rights (instead of the Catholic or Islamist creeds).

As it turned out, in its rush to the Moon, and Mars, as ordered by its Guide (USA president JFK), NASA and its Nazi engineers, helped develop plenty of new technologies, from fuel cells to solar panels. Now Photo Voltaic Solar energy is, with wind turbines, the cheapest, safest form of energy (fossil fuels get more than 5 trillion dollars of subsidies, each year). In a way PV solar energy is feeding the world, and saving it too, being non polluting. Solar PV arose in space, to feed satellites with electricity.

To this day PV energy panels used in space are much more efficient than any used on the ground (but also much more expensive, as they use different very expensive materials). The research goes on: the requirements of space did not just bring Teflon.  The technological push impelled by space exploration keeps on going. The giant infrared telescope NASA wants to launch (with an Ariane V rocket!) has been delayed for years by setbacks while developing new technology to make it possible. Engineers have perfected the efficiency of space probes and solar PV, to do away with plutonium to energize them.

Far from being weird and unusual, expanding human civilization throughout the Solar System is the most conservative behavior to behold.

It’s revolutionary in the sense of evolving again, as we used to.

Indeed, how did our species arise? Our family, hominidae, arose from a separation from chimpanzee like ancestors. Basically, our distant ancestors were motivated enough to come down from the trees and imitate baboons (giant or not), and conquer the savanna. Giant baboons, who could weigh up to 200 kilograms, and stand two meter tall, besides being extremely dangerous, were probably an inspiration, as they dominated the savanna-park.

Conquering new land, and new environments, is what our species does. Our species shipped to Australia in prehistoric times, and conquered the Americas, and the Arctic, also in prehistoric times.

Now the juicy planets of Jupiter beckon. This summer, Europe attributed to Airbus the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), to launch in 2022, and NASA announced that its “Europa Clipper” mission was feasible. It will “clip” Europa’s atmosphere 45 times, to analyze it for organic materials.

Some may object that, before we conquer space, we could conquer the oceans. It seems an obvious extension from swimming. However, going to space means a difference of one atmosphere of pressure, just as going down ten meters in water. Going down in the ocean at its average depth, 6,000 meters, means 600 atmospheres of pressure, a much greater challenge than the one and only one of pressure difference space requires.

With present technology, extrapolated a bit, Earth’s life could be implanted in these icy moons of Jupiter, one way, or another. It’s imaginable that present day life, recently discovered 850 kilometers from the lighted ocean, under Antarctica’s ice shelves, could survive in Europa’s ocean.

And it will need to. It’s not just a question of our nature, and respecting it. Or of our tradition, Charles Quint’s “Plus Oultre”, and respecting them. It’s a precaution. We are using Earth far beyond sustainability. Yet, out there, in proximal space, lays in waiting another 230% worth of the entire land area of Earth, complete with abundant water.

After 1,000 essays on this site (and more on Tyranosopher.com), what’s the obvious verdict?

If you want to be popular, write about simple things, for simple people, in the most simple fashion. Cats, witchcraft, celebrities, flowers, home remedies, and logic for the mentally underperforming. People want to forget about their condition: those who are going to die do not salute me.

Another dismal conclusion is that censorship is strong, out there: the New York Times boast of having censored hundreds of my comments (they sent me an email about that). It’s more like thousands. The Guardian, a British daily supposedly on the left, just informed me I my comments were censored, because I am culprit of “blogging the Qur’an“. So the Guardian has decreed that Patrice Ayme, is a well-known… Jihadist? Complain about something will get you accused of it: one of the logics of the vicious.

The New York ran a long article on Islam Rape Kit, but systematically censored any direct quote from the Qur’an supporting that criminal habit. To blare as a subtitle that:

“ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.” is alright. Claiming that ISIS claims the “Quran’s support” is fine. Demonstrating it is presumably “Islamophobia” (thus racism, thus censored).

Meanwhile, pretty much unfazed, I have been trying to think, as honestly as I can, precisely, and beyond (“plus oultre“) what has been said, on the most difficult problems, trying to find possible issues to them. Escapism, if you will, the hard way. As Montaigne caustically preempted, in the introduction to his “Essays”, paraphrasing:”Passant passes ton chemin, there is nothing for you here, Adieu.” (Amusingly, Montaigne, who was familiar with the most powerful, such as the future king Henri IV, was actually seriously manipulative in his essays, as demonstrated by the fact that he spent lots of pages crawling on his belly, singing the praises of most plutocrats… This is not the case here, as witness the evidence that I should have antagonized everybody by now.) 

Ultimately, I write just for my little girl, who has called me (with a slight twinge of irony perceptible) “the One Who Knows Everything”. That’s good enough, it’s the greatest honor, and all the meaning one needs in the world. Camus claimed one must find a meaning to rock and roll. Silly. Those who love a child do not need to impose meaning onto themselves. They have found it already.

One day, human children will bathe on Europa.

Patrice Ayme’

Islam Rape Kit

August 14, 2015

Islam contains an ideological rape kit. Sacred texts of Islam clearly state that “those that your right hand possess” (that is, slaves) can be sexually exploited. Slaves are obtained in battle. Devout Muslims are enjoined to practice as the Qur’an enjoins to do. The New York Times, in an harrowing description of systematic raping of children by Muslim warriors, is finally waking up to these facts. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html

Just As The Moon, A Pre-Islamist Religion, Rules Over Islam, So Does Abominable Sexism

Just As The Moon, A Pre-Islamist Religion, Rules Over Islam, So Does Abominable Sexism

Qur’an (33:50) – “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee”
This is one of several verses “from Allah” which say that the limit of four wives to have sex with does NOT apply to slaves:

Qur’an (23:5-6) – “… abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess…”
The Qur’an is a small book (only 83,000 words, including much repetitive salutations to god), thus, if Allah wasted valuable space to make the same point four times, sex slavery has got to be a great value to him.
Qur’an (4:24) – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) except those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” Sex with married slaves is authorized.

It is often said that Islam promotes equality: nothing is further from the truth. Christians and Jews, where and when tolerated had to pay a tax, wear distinct marks on their clothing, and to be killed if having sex with Muslim women. “Non-believers” and “apostates” have to be killed too.

However, even among Muslims, there is no equality:
Qur’an (2:178) – “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.”
S0 all human beings are not equal, even among Muslims: freemen, slaves and females are three categories.

Plenty of Hadith relate that Muhammad enjoined his men to practice rape after battles (see for example Hadiths from Bukhari, say Bukhari (62:137), Bukhari (34:432), etc.).

The apologists of Islam scoff that this is all irrelevant: there are bigger predators out there, please stop worrying about Islam. Certainly so. And, as I have argued, modern vicious, fundamentalist Islam was promoted by American plutocrats and their servants.

But there is a much larger problem: Islamist ideology has obviously vicious, prominent aspects which explain what went wrong in the territories it conquered. That’s granted. The larger problem is that it ought to have been obvious all along. And the question is:

If Western intellectuals could not see what an abysmal superstitious, vicious ideology Islam represented, which other superstitious, obviously vicious ideologies do they not see? And even more pertinent, which ones do they have interest not to see?

The political and financial systems are obviously vicious and pernicious ideologies it’s best not to look at. Or then to look at in such a way that the critiques are too mild, and, or, too off base (thus ineffective).

Here are some extracts from the Times’ article… and not even the worst ones:

***

QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.

The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.

A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year… To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.

A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has
emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.

“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by The New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.

“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship. “He said that raping me is his prayer to God. I said to him, ‘What you’re doing to me is wrong, and it will not bring you closer to God.’ And he said, ‘No, it’s allowed. It’s halal,’ ” said the teenager, who escaped in April with the help of smugglers after being enslaved for nearly nine months.
…“They laughed and jeered at us, saying ‘You are our sabaya.’ I didn’t know what that word meant,” she said. Later on, the local Islamic State leader explained it meant slave.

“He told us that Taus Malik” — one of seven angels to whom the Yazidis pray — “is not God. He said that Taus Malik is the devil and that because you worship the devil, you belong to us. We can sell you and use you as we see fit.”

Here is a last Hadith, for the road. It’s often asserted that Islam promotes, and protects women. Apparently rather unsuccessfully:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 126:Narrated Imran:

The Prophet said, “I looked at Paradise and saw that the majority of its residents were the poor; and I looked at the (Hell) Fire and saw that the majority of its residents were women.”

Patrice Ayme’

Only Philosophy Can Reverse Civilization Collapse

August 12, 2015

World population is presently exploding. How many human beings were there before dogs became in wide use? In 35,000 BCE, it is estimated that Earth had three million human beings. Before the rise of cities, in 10,000 BCE, world population had reached 15 million. The rise of civilization was enabled by a technological explosion, the discovery, invention and intense use intense use of science, technology, writing, genetic engineering (dogs, cattle, goats, chicken, cats, wheat, rye, millet, rice, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, etc.), irrigation, fuel, etc.

Civilizations rise when they find new technological tricks to dominate and exploit their environments, be it the human, and, or, natural, environments. Those tricks exhaust resources after a while, bringing stress, thus war (against people, and, or, nature). War activates the fascist instinct, bringing the rise of plutocracy (as observed nowadays), and complete cretinism (also known as theocracy). This makes the collapse worse. Civilization can be destroyed by fate. The most famous case is a civilization we owe so much to: Crete. It was devastated by one of the worst volcanic explosion in 25,000 years (as it tried to recover, it was hit by a “plague”, according to Greek historians). 

Cretan Girls Leaped Over Bulls In The Nude

Cretan Girls Leaped Over Bulls In The Nude

Crete is part of our cultural inheritance. Today, the status of women depends upon the breakthrough ancient paintings (from the Knossos Palace, above), some 40 centuries old, depict. The status of women was high in Crete. Women could be in authority, for 2,000 years. Women were then to be subjugated in Greece, for 3,500 years (yes, time flies, these are big numbers: civilizational setbacks can last millennia).

Europe is named after Crete, an acknowledgment. The goddess Europa was from Crete (and one of her sons was the famous king Minos, after whom Minoan Civilization is named).

An example of self-imploding collapse is the Maya. The Maya were, for millennia, an extremely advanced civilization which seemed to be on its way to accomplish on its own something similar to the ascending superiority of Middle Earth (my term for the Mediterranean plus Egypt-Middle East-Arabia plus India area).

However, a terrible century long drought starting in the Seventh Century struck the Maya who proved unable to manage the crisis, to which they added terrible wars (the worst involving a queen, in the leading role, not just the usual demonic males). All Maya cities were destroyed. When the Spaniards landed, eight centuries later, the Maya were just shadows of their former selves (yet, they proved to be tough customers).

As Jared Diamond (2005, in his book “Collapse”) wrote, one can only be struck by “the disappearance of between 90 and 99% of the Maya population after A.D. 800 …and the disappearance of kings, Long Count calendars, and other complex political and cultural institutions.” Not just that, but much more importantly, the giant irrigation system of the Maya, with its dams and canals, was one of the world’s largest, ever: it can still be seen from space. When that centuries old irrigation system was left in disrepair, civilization became history.

In the close-by very extensive highlands of central Mexico, many powerful states also rose to high levels of power and prosperity, only to rapidly collapse. Teotihuacan (the sixth largest city in the world in the Seventh Century) and Monte Alban among those to experience dramatic collapse, with populations decline of at least 20–25% from their peak within a couple of generations (Tainter, 1988).

Civilization collapses come in many guises. Egypt cycled through more than two dozen dynasties, and a couple of century long occupations, tweaking itself every time. However, in the end it was unable to stay an independent, original civilization, undergoing thereafter 2,000 years of subjugation. 

The present civilization was born from a near-collapse. And was born thanks to a philosophical reset.

Indeed, in the case of the Greco-Roman empire, full collapse was avoided. The Franks rebooted Greco-Roman civilization, with their own Germano-Christian sauce, by the early Fifth Century (defeat of Goths who were ejected from Gaul, 507 CE, thanks to the battle of Vouille’). This is completely clear, when one inspects known facts, battles, laws, and the Storia Francorum of bishop Gregory of Tours.

The truth of what happened was masked by severe setbacks which were endured in the Sixth Century, under (Constantinople based) Roman emperor Justinian: Christian madness made Greco-Roman intellectuals flee to Persia (!), while a terrible plague (“Justinian Plague”), and a mysterious cataclysm (asteroid, volcano?) struck Earth’s climate. (The reality of what happned under the Franks was also masked by French Revolutionary propaganda, which was anxious to put all and any “ancient regime” in a bad light, and the usual Anglo-Saxon propaganda, anxious to disparage its absurdly French origins in all and any way.)

Differently from the Maya, the Franks centered in, or around Paris, and the Romans in Constantinople, were able to adapt to the catastrophes of the Fourth (Christianization, Gothic invasion), Fifth (Germanic invasions of 406 CE; then, the Huns), Sixth (as related above), and Seventh Centuries (dramatic war with Persia, followed by the surprise attack of the god crazed Arabs).

Both then defeated in the Eight Century those fanatics of war who had attacked like carnivorous locusts.   

The official “Renovatio Imperii”, the Renovation of Rome, was made formal when Carlus Magnus (Charlemagne) was endowed with the sole “Imperator Romanorum” (Imperator of the Romans) title in 800 CE, an imperial tradition which went on with say Otton II in 962 CE, and for more than a millennium (formally, Napoleon I, as leader of Francia was entitled, the Roman way, to grab back the title for himself).

Greco-Roman civilization incorporated the Cretan, Egyptian-Sumerian, Phoenician civilizations (with more than a touch of Etruscan). Then other Middle Eastern elements were included (Mythra, Great Mother Cult, Judaism, etc.) Western civilization incorporated even more: the fierce love of freedom, and women, of the Germans, and the generalized tolerance and open mindedness of the Franks (by 600 CE all citizens were Franks, and, within a generation the slave trade was outlawed by the Imperium; that latter fact was a world’s first). Interestingly the Franco-Roman synthesis incorporated traits which Crete had, but that the Hellenes had lost (for example maximum sexual equality, in at least some respects: there were female Cretan matadors, playing with ferocious giant bulls).

Conclusion? Even in an horrendous situation (the decline of the Roman empire, under fascism, theocracy, barbarity, invasions, ecological collapse, plague, unfathomable impact of a giant explosion somewhere), fresh new ideas, arising from shock philosophy can turn things around. The Franks demonstrated this thoroughly. The Chinese also did, on a more modest scale… Until Mao came, and unleashed the Dark Side onto fossilized Chinese thought, habits, and a philosophy, Confucianism, which had ruled for 26 centuries, as the symbol of ultimate wisdom (which it was not).

To repeat slowly: the Franks introduced the following reforms, in rough chronological order:

  1. The rule of warriors bound to common sense and religious tolerance (in complete contradiction with the Catholic terror, just prior). This was illustrated by Clovis’ quip that, had his Franks been there, Christ would never have been crucified. On the surface, it’s as if Clovis had understood nothing of Christianity. Indeed it looks as if Clovis had not understood that God wanted to be crucified, just to visit a guilt complex on his followers, same as with the story of the snake and the apple. Most probably, Clovis understood all too well< and made a show that he was firmly intend to violate God’s law. In any case, under the Franks, Judaism, Paganism, etc were freely practiced. Christianism with a human, even Frankish face (to the Vatican’s rage).
  2. The implementation of a modern, much less sexist, non-discriminatory legal system, applying to all by 600 CE, the Lex Salica, on top of Justinian’s refurbishing of Roman law. By 600 CE, all citizens of the Imperium Francorum were Franks (in a dramatic contrast with the situation in Spain, where the Visigoths applied Visigothic law just to themselves; same in italy where the Lombards, another type of Germans, were above Roman law)
  3. The outlawing of slavery (starting around 650 CE).
  4. Nationalization  of the Catholic Church, constitution of the largest professional army since Republican Rome, to face the humongous Islamist invasions of 721-745 CE. Destruction of the army of the Arab Caliphate (which thus collapsed in 750 CE, crushing Bin Laden and other Islamists forever thereafter).    

All these reforms were of a philosophical nature: the Vatican discussed excommunicating Charles Martel, for expropriating the Church, but concluded it was safer not to debate with a Hammer. When the Franks formed, named, and made a bishop, within three weeks, from an illiterate Frankish warrior, they were sending a message to the Vatican about who was the boss: secularism, not superstition.

Civilization survived from smarts, not just swords.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Against Perceived Irrelevance Creative Thinkers Contend In Vain

August 7, 2015

The madness of crowds always rule: it’s a consequence of several deep instincts which made humanity possible. However, one hundred was an immense crowd, then. Evolution did not expect, because it never experienced with, crowds in the thousands. Now, we have crowds in the billions.

This is no exaggeration: several billion people supposedly follow and revere a religion founded by somebody who tied up his son, to slash his throat, like a vulgar goat. Then the “god” in his head told him not to do it, after all: why would that madness be revered for millennia, is a striking example of the madness of crowds.

There are even greater follies in power now: why would bankers and financial types be let to enjoy the power they do, in violation of the basic principle of democracy (which is that power, kratos, is to the people, demos)?

Another folly: that warming up the Earth’s polar regions by as much temperature difference as separates us from the last maximal glaciation, will have dramatic consequences in a few millennia… but not before.

An even greater madness is that none of this is very interesting, and it’s much better to read and fantasize about “Harry Potter” (not “Hairy Potter”).

The madness of crowds has been the argument of those who favor the madness of one, monarchy, or aristocracy, the power of the best. Of course, one has to determine who “the one” would be, or what “best” means. Most often, it turned out to be best born.

The “Internet”, in many countries means “Facebook”, a private company, which, historically has been used politically in many ways, including spying by the government of the USA. “Facebook” also spies on its customers’ “likes” and habits, and sells the information to advertisers, while tweaking what its customers see, in consideration of what they like, or apparently associate to. This amplifies the (already preexisting) bias towards tribalism.

So what of better thinking in all this? Or, more simply, what of creative thinking in all this?

It’s not favored. Indeed, only thoughts that please crowds get amplified. This tribal thinking is a form of intellectual fascism. Intellectual fascism: What concept is this? Subjugating all too much of one’s mind to all too few ideas, principles, or emotions.

Could technology help to foster (more) correct, (less) erroneous thinking, just as it has favored, so far, to all too great an extent, tribalism and intellectual fascism?

Yes. Original thinking could be determined by very sophisticated software. Software could also determine whether (supposedly) known facts are contradicted, and highlight them. Software could also being made to find META hierarchies, thus determining plausible depth of arguments.

Whereas software could not determine whether an argument is correct, it could determine if said argument satisfies the preconditions to be a paradigm jump. Including whether it involves new concepts, and, if so, what they appear to be. And whether the argument lives in another logical dimension (a precondition for originality).

A creative thinker can get discouraged when informed her thoughts are irrelevant. Claimed irrelevance is the first step towards complete impotence.

So technology could help fostering creative thinking considerably. However, the main point remains that ethics would have to change. The mood, at this point, is that thinking, cognition and association, all serve the most basic instincts of tribalism, and, more generally, intellectual fascism. We are far from having put TRUTH as the ultimate god we have to serve.

“Postmodernism” and “French Theory” instead insisted that truth was tribal. In truth, abusing truth is tribal. Truth itself is not tribal.

Verily, it’s a mark of particularly fanatical tribalism to insist that truth can only be tribal: “French Theory” is tribal.

It has always been true that discovering new concepts tends to be the mark of the ascetic ones: one has to be a monk to ferret the truth. Thus great creative thinkers discovering new truths tend to have had difficult lives. So one has to choose: creative thinking of the worthiest type, means a hard life. Marie Curie’s Nobel money was used to build the bathroom she did not have prior.

And when one rolls out more famous thinkers whose lives were easier, it turns out, often, that a good case can be made that they were more opportunistic, or more lucky, or better tribally connected, or to a tribe which amplified renown better, than the ones who really originated the idea. I have documented this many times: Poincare’ originated Relativity, and not just its name, but even E = mcc. Yet, a German was attributed the discovery. The same German was fully attributed the theory of gravitation, although the main idea therein came from Riemann, another German who had the misfortune to die young. This is not just about being nice to pioneers: recognizing Riemann is recognizing that the fundamental idea of gravitation a la Einstein is a tautology. An all-too-easy way of thinking.

So what? Some will suggest to give time to time… And wisdom will blossom. But here is the problem: creating new truth could not change the world much in the past, and that world was rather static. However, now, both potential impact and the world, are highly dynamic. Pure thinking is extremely mighty, and thus, an ethical bomb. Which will expose ever worse, if not properly handled.

New truth can change everything fast. For example, if I am right, and I have exposed detailed reasons why,  Antarctica’s iceshelves can melt in decades rather than centuries, if that were a new truth, the impact on present civilization would be huge. I have even exposed how East Antarctica, supposed to last 5,000 years by conventional climatologists anxious to be taken very seriously, is actually already melting, below the surface. If I spent all my energy writing silly sorcery for little children, I would have, no doubt, more readers. But why to try to do what the tribe wants to honor, to justify its own existence? In the end we are all dead, as (plutocrat) Lord Keynes (not so) subtly noticed. So distinction is not about dying, but how we die.

How we enjoy living through suffering is how we reach for greater values, the highest gods. Camus famously said: The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”  

There is no need to “imagine” Sisyphus happy. It comes naturally. Struggling, even suffering, not too much, but enough, is necessary to fill a human beings’ mind, and generate happiness. Struggling and suffering  are even more necessary to creative thinking. (The pseudo philosopher BHL cannot replace them with the stimulants he takes, such as cocaine, amphetamines, and various illicit cocktails; struggling and suffering, for real, are much more potent.)

The world is changing fast. We are approaching various singularities of our making, none of them we can stop.  

The way out is straight, yet narrow: truth, and lots of it. Nothing superficiality can produce.

Against perceived irrelevance creative thinkers contend in vain. Yet, therein salvation, and only there.

Patrice Ayme’

Puerto Rico’s Default: Back To The 1930s?

August 5, 2015

We were told, for years, the outrageous lie that Greece’s debt crisis was “caused” by the Euro… Even by supposedly left wing economists of the USA (Paul Krugman, etc.), and their European parrots. I exposed this as a cover-up of the outrageous state of banking under a thick layer of Europhobia, even more than four years ago. Now Puerto Rico exhibits an increasing unwillingness to pay interest on its debt. Now what?

Puerto Rico’s Default Has Got To Be Europe’s Fault:

It’s only a matter of time before the plutocratic press, or, if you want, the Main Stream Media, make the Euro and Greece the reason for Puerto Rico’s failure. (For such a devious reasoning, see below.)

After 2008, the economy turned bad, and governments borrowed heavily to keep the society going. As the prospects got dimmer, https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/new-york-vulture-justice/, bought Puerto Rican debt. Vultures hate education, as education makes for rebels, and they are in position to reduce educational spending, in Greece or Puerto Rico. When Vulture Funds had their fill, of Puerto Rican debt, they sprang the trap: mistaking Porto Rico for Greece, they required the Porto Rican government to reduce spending in education… So that Porto Rico could pay them the extravagant interest payments.

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Debating Puerto Rican debt appears to be about finance, state debt, schools, hedge funds. Yet, ultimately, it’s about who owns Puerto Rico.

The Guardian, and magazine such as Slate, bought the hedge fund propaganda, bait, hook, line, sinker, if not the boat itself. Jordan Weissmann in Slate, a famous electronic magazine, blared: Hedge Funds Think Puerto Rico Should Shut Down Schools to Pay Its Debts. Is That So Wrong?

No, of course, it’s right. Hedge Funds should have all rights you can possibly imagine. They already buy and sell entire countries.

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The Truth About Porto-Rico: Tax Haven, Millionaires’ Haven:

The total tax receipt in Puerto Rico is 10%, a small fraction of what it is in advanced countries (at least 23%). Taxes on the rich are small, full of loopholes. Moreover, the USA treats Puerto Rico like an exploited colony, so full reimbursements and compensations available to full citizens of the USA are not available in Puerto Rico.

Another truth is that educational spending is exploding in the USA, because health spending (Obamacare”) does not control costs (contrarily to what propaganda says). So plutocrats from hedge funds profit from an inflation which fellow plutocrats in health care engineered, thanks to an arguably too Machiavellian by half White House.

Porto Rico is a weird island, a territory of the USA which is neither destined to independence, nor a state. In the 1950s, four Puerto Ricans went to the Congress of the USA, and shot 30 rounds onto the Representatives, to ask for independence.

Krugman says Puerto Rico is not Greece: indeed, Puerto Ricans flee massively to the USA. Greeks no doubt ought to do the same and contribute free, or menial labor, to the splendor of the economy as celebrate by Krugman. People who are in the know stridently contradicted Paul Krugman’s positions and exposed them for what they are: the term “neo-colonialism” is too good. Pursued to the end, Puerto Rico would just vanish, except as a tax haven (just as the Virgin Islands next door).

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Mussolini Fustigated What He Called “Demoplutocracies”:

Hitler joined the Italian dictator in complaining about the “plutocrats”… whom he knew all too well (top Nazis commiserated with him for having to dine with “plutocrats”, and make small talk to “plutocrats“, etc.)  

Does that mean that those who complain about “plutocracy” a lot, such as yours truly, are also fascist?

No. Of course not. First it shows that Mussolini and Hitler called their dinner guests “plutocrats” because that’s what they, all often, were. It also reveals that, in the 1930s, it was a common political truth, worldwide, that plutocrats had caused the financial and economic crisis… As they had, since they were in command (the bubble of the 1920s was deliberately engineered by Lord Montague and his American alter ego, to mitigate British debt from World War One by inflation and over-activity).

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President Roosevelt, Knight Of The Dark Side:

People often ask me what the Dark Side is. Neither “Evil“, nor “Star Wars” do justice to the notion. That force is strong, but its strength varies. The politician who acted the best, for his own country, when faced with that plutocratic crisis, was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt devalued the dollar, shackled Wall Street and the banks, created a Command and Control economy (headed by a young Canadian!). Roosevelt, himself a plutocrat, behaved in an extremely progressive, socialist way. Because he had to. Sometimes, the Dark Side is all about doing what is necessary (I see Obama chuckling in the distance with his drones). Embracing many of the solutions of the hard left, was the price Roosevelt paid to save plutocracy.

Maybe to compensate, for his own exuberant socialism, Roosevelt was abusive with the French (who still adore him), and exploitative with the British. He also helped making sure that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini could devastate Europe… To the great profit of the USA. In 1939, or early 1940, Roosevelt could have declared war to Hitler. That would have probably made him win re-election in November 1940 in a landslide.

Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented Third Term. President Washington had refused to do so; Roosevelt was not obligated to run for an unprecedented third term. But he was morally, civilizationally, and strategically obligated to declare war to Nazism. FDR never did: Hitler declared war TO him. So why did not he?

Because Roosevelt was a master of the Dark Side: he let Nazism being used as a blunt instruments to destroy the competition in Europe, the other representative democracies (France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway… and their allies: Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc.) In the USA, this makes him a great man, an immense patriot, the founder of the “American Century”. The judgment of history, is another matter, entirely, let’s hope I contribute to it with my own point of view (“theory“).

In any case, President Roosevelt was a master plutocrat, whereas Hitler and Mussolini depended upon plutocrats. The case of Stalin is different: the Dark Side was so strong with him, he was able to surf over lots of plutocrats, as if they were waves, one after the other. Early on plutocrats of the USA (such as the Harriman Brothers) financed him (say to develop Baku oil fields). Engel in his theoretical book had said to do away with marriage, and embrace, free, secxual love. So Stalin’s satanic approach was pragmatic. Allied to German fascists, from 1916, until savagely attacked by his colleague Hitler, Stalin dictated his conditions to a weakened Roosevelt who was all too happy to give him half of Europe to chew on.

The Pragmatic Approach Can Be Opposed to the Principled One:

The USA stays highly pragmatic, never having ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Obama presented a plan to lead from behind technological progress (it affects energy production, about 30% of the CO2 production, but not transportation, another third, or industry). The solution, of course is to take out all subsidies for fossil fuels, starting with the richest countries, and doing so progressively. If Europe and the USA decided this, they could impose it, worldwide, through a carbon tax.

A conference in Paris is supposed to make desperate efforts to stop the rush through the two degrees Celsius, but the largest sub-arctic zone, Russia, has already barreled right through.

As long as hedge funds feel they can order the world around why should it be any different? What else?

Plutocrats say: all the problems arise from French-like socialism, and the European Unification related to it. Thus, they have got to say that so it is, with Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has to be related to the hydra of European unifying socialism, sneakily propelled by the French.  How could that not be? Contagion, what plutocrats fear the most, this what Greece and France brought: contagion of rebellion. Destroying direct democracy is why Persia financed the war of Sparta against Athens. Plutocrats have profited of this Persian investment, ever since.

The Greeks did not want to pay for their banks’ errors, and the state debt resulting from it. So the Greeks started a mood, a mood where those who owe resist their lords, the lenders. Hence the Puerto Rican legislature sudden decision to resist its masters, the hedge fund managers. So, you see, European leftists are not innocuous, they are already attacking on U.S. soil.

And the climate crisis? Purely a French invention. Proof? The climate conference is to be held in Paris in four months.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the Multiverse fanatics, no proofs are really necessary, screaming insanities is sufficient, to qualify for respect (as long as you have a big gun, or pocketbook, or aura given by those with guns, or pocketbooks). Everybody knows this, by now: the tedium of the medium is the message, and the massage.

Patrice Ayme’

Why KILLING BEAUTY Makes SENSE

August 1, 2015

The Dark Side of humanity makes sense. As long as this terrible truth is covered up, it will fester, promoting the deepest infections, as it does. The Dark is not just obscure, vicious, cruel: ignoring it prevents the Enlightenment to proceed further.

Thanks to taxpayer money, a giant Ariane V rocket launched the Rosetta Mission to a comet, more than ten years ago. In France plutocrats pay taxes at several times the rate of the (lightly taxed plutocrats of the) USA. Taxes make a mission such as Rosetta and its lander Philae, possible (French experiments are also at the core of the present and future NASA Mars landers).

Science feeds the Enlightenment, with hard facts, so does history. History, inasmuch as the part of it consisting of hard facts, is part of science, and also feeds the Enlightenment.

Hunting, torturing & killing Give Many Of Us Meaning

Hunting, torturing & killing Give Many Of Us Meaning

[Assyrian Lion Experiencing Technical Difficulties, 27 Centuries Ago.]

Now the lander Philae, busy in a hole somewhere on the complicated ground of the comet, where it gets sun occasionally, feeding its batteries, has found complex organic materials on the surface. Such complex compounds eventually turned into living organisms here on Earth. Philae found that they must have existed in much of the early solar system. This raises new hopes of finding life beyond our planet. Indeed, several planetary bodies (Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, etc.) harbor liquid water. It seems that Europa’s ocean is more massive than Earth’s. Ganymede’s ocean seems to be most of the Solar System’s water (with a depth of 800 kms). The recent discovery of fishes (!) 850 kilometers from the open sea (and the sun!) under an Antarctica iceshelf, below the freezing point of sweet water, indicates that Earth’s life could be adapted to Jupiter’s satellites.

After philosophers censored me for allegedly veering off a comment presenting a story hinging on a story about stories, and a Malaysian Airlines jet debris was found at the (French) Reunion Island, having also severely veered off course, being at Reunion, 180 degrees from its original destination China, comic relief is in order.

Is amusement provided by plutocrats who shower themselves in public, to advertise that they give what’s for them pennies for research on Charcot’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)? Is it funny that plutocrats believe we are so dumb that clowning around will enable them to disguise themselves into the innocuous clowns whom they are the exact opposite of? Who wants to heavily tax innocuous clowns? Bill Gates and Mr. Z from Facebook correctly believe no one will. So they monkey around, hoping we will do the same. It deeply evil to depict the Gates of Hell as fun and games.

What we need to do with plutocrats is to eliminate them all together, with harrowing taxation. Until they succumb, and disappear as a species. Then research in ALS, biology and medicine, could be funded appropriately. Only then. Moreover, we will also have enough money to send missions searching for life to Europa and Enceladus (the technology exists: a probe flying through an Enceladus geyser, or the attending ring, would find proof of life readily). With a tiny part of the money we will have left, we can go watch real circuses.

Giant money makes for one gigantically nasty world. Big money is simply insufferable.

Money is power, power on other people, giant money is giant power on other people. Giant power on other people is intrinsically inhuman (it’s not anticipated by ten million years of evolving human ethology).

Giant power by people on other people is intrinsically diabolical. Diabolical, in the divine sense. Giant power on other people, such as Bill Gates imposing on us his pseudo-clownish behavior, provides the Dark Side with an aspect which evolution itself did not anticipate, so that there is a super-stitious character to it: something which stands above reality, as anticipated by evolution, since before there was T-Rex, and it tore its preys in half.

The Dark Side reaches all over. Including “care”.

Big money brought us Obamacare. Obamacare was going to be the way the “free” market buys and sells us to perfect health care, through “consumers’ choices”. Obamacare was enthusiastically promoted by the likes of Paul Krugman. In the latest news, health care in the USA became 5.5% more expensive in 2014 (whereas incomes did not perk up). Obamacare was not what it seemed. Lies everywhere, not just to manipulate power, but as the fluttering flags, representing the rule of that power, for all to see.

***

I KILL, THEREFORE I AM:

So this rich American dentist went to Africa, offered the natives $50,000, and killed the most famous lion in the local national park. Excuse me, we are Americans, and we believe in drone philosophy: we kill whoever, whatever we want. Anything can be bought, remember? Just as Bill Gates and Mr. Z keep their taxes low, by taking showers in public.  All over, things are not what they look.

So why did this dentist kill this beautiful lion? Some claim it’s senseless. Senseless makes for a good insult, because it’s polite enough. However, “senseless” is a non sequitur. If one really wants to penetrate the mind of one’s opponent, and his error, one has to find in which sense he makes sense.

It makes no sense to claim there is no sense to what so many people (hunters, warriors, plutocrats) feel makes sense. Figuring out how it makes sense, far from being senseless, aggravates their case.

The lion was killed because it was beautiful and powerful. And not just that. Cecil the Lion was tortured, so that his power would be debased, over many hours. Shot first with a powerful modern bow, the lion was tracked down for 40 hours, and one can imagine Walter the dentist drinking martinis, chuckling on the lion’s suffering. Because Walter the dentist kills animals, has killed many animals, with bow and arrows. Not to give animals a chance to survive, but, obviously, to give them a chance, to experience torture. Whereas a rifle shot tends to be very incapacitating, be it only from blood loss, old Assyrian, or Persian iconography represents lions full of arrows, and still fierce (see above). In the Wild West white men found themselves so full of arrows they looked like porcupines, and still, they were not dead. That brought more respect to Native Americans.

A major motivation for human beings is to kill, maim, torture, oppress and subjugate. Forgetting that major fact, is forgetting human nature. Gates and Facebook’s Mr. Z have that major motivation, nearly all plutocrats have it, and, when he feeds us with lies about Obamacare, Paul Krugman has it, in his own meek, but highly influential way.

A few days ago, I surprised a lynx in the Alps (I know when and where to look for predators). I was very surprised by its color (reddish), and its enormous size. It fled for his life (we were only 3 meters apart). He was really fast, in the forest full of trees, with trunks of all sizes close to each other… And in total silence (differently from any other animal that size). Here I was, putting to flight an animal capable of slashing open the throat of a red deer, three times my weight, and with giant antlers.

Lynxes are known not to attack humans, even when their cubs are approached.

***

TERRORISM FOSTERED HUMANITY:

Human beings evolved because not only they could hunt, and eat meat, but because they could terrorize their main opponents, the wild, ferocious predators. Torturing them helped. Bushmen, in South Africa could hunt a large animal, such as a giraffe, with poisoned arrows, over an entire week.

Thus, torturing and killing are deep components of the human mind. They were key to survival. I have walked towards a lion pride resting below a tree, in Africa, as a child. Slowly. Just as slowly, they rose, and walked away. The king and queens of the jungle know well, most of the time, that human beings are like gods.

Now that we know this, that large predators can be instilled respect for human beings, we can take it into account, and reintroduce megafauna. Exerting surveillance for the most dangerous cases.

That lion killing dentist is a coward. Not a real player. Assassinating wildlife with over-powerful weapons  is not getting reacquainted with the human condition. Were it the latter, he would accept not just to hunt, but to be hunted. Let him approach lions with bare hands (I did this more than once, as a child, in the wild). Hunting the cowardly dentist ought to help him get in touch with full human ethology. So those condemning him all over the Internet are helping him become a real man.

Paying $50,000 to kill a well-known, half-tamed lion equipped with GPS, is not a way to exhibit respect for the biosphere. Yet, one should not forget that wild mega fauna will not survive if it is NOT worth the cost it inflicts, in physical damage and terror.

Lions (and other ferocious beasts: panthers, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, warthogs, etc.) are dangerous, and exert terror (when they do not outright kill people). When I lived in Africa, the natives feared and wanted to get rid of leopards (once in India, a particular leopard killed more than 200 people). Equipping leopards with GPS hooked to computers and security is the future. Clearly such systems (already used in Alberta, Canada) are expensive in equipment and trained rangers.

As such an activity provides with the basics of hunting, just as fishing and releasing fish, it can satisfy the Dark Side, and make it serve the goodness of a preserved biosphere. But not just this. Exploiting animals is all right, if it allows them to survive as species, and ecosystems.

For dangerous predators, and other ferocious beasts to survive, they have to provide people with some other things dearer to them than life itself. That is why it was a mistake to destroy (as was just done in New York), tons of elephant ivory. Elephants ought to be harvested for ivory: then they will survive. Same for rhinos: cut their horns, and sell them, under a government mandated program.

Otherwise, keep on contemplating the most massive genocide in 65 million years.

Morality’s essence is what worked before. But, as the world quickly mutates, what worked before cannot work anymore. Let’s adapt our morality. Don’t deny that the Dark Side existed. Don’t deny that the Dark Side can be made not to exist anymore. Instead, ask what the Dark Side can do for us.

***

HARVEST & HARNESS THE DARK SIDE IF ENLIGHTENMENT YOU SEARCH:

Some will whine that this harnessing of the Dark Side is precisely what the “Free Market Theory“, all too often simply a disguise for blossoming plutocracy, claimed one ought to do, and they called it the “Invisible Hand“. However, not so. Plutocracy is a mix of the Dark Side, and the generalized fascism which civilization enables, with the potential of concentrating enormous power in a few hands. It is an enemy of intelligence, as it reduces many minds to just one, or a few.

Thus plutocracy is my enemy, and I put some effort in fighting it, because my Dark Side wants to devour it. Revolutions occur when enough denizens of We The People, want to destroy the plutocrats who rule over them.

Contrarily to what the ill-fated John Lennon hypocritically recommended, Revolutions are good, precisely because they destroy those super-predators known as plutocrats, aristocrats, theocrats, pirates, nobles, mandarins, generals, ayatollahs, bishops and the organizations which foster them, when their rule has become an insufferable imposition of their power, or those they serve.

Mao in 1959, in a secret report, revealed much later: it’s better to let half the population die, so that they other half gets plenty. The Dark Side, fully abominable. However this “Great Leap Forward” worked, as Mao had predicted it. Mao had said that great efforts then would bring “a thousand years of happiness“. And the most troubling part is that Mao’s plan worked: China leaped over India, and spectacularly far out over many other countries. The cleaned slate Mao’s unleashing of the Dark Side created obviously helped.

Just like more usage of the Dark Side helps keep the USA on the straighter and narrower, relative to more placid Europe.

Yet, it’s not just justice, and goodness which judge what is insufferable, but, also, the Dark Side itself. And there is more. Voltaire said that we ought to crush infamy. Yet it’s ultimately anger, which gets us into action, which makes us move, which provides with. Thus, the Dark Side judges, and also motivates.

We are mental landscapes of contrast, we need the Dark, be it just to define the Light. Fighting for the latter, means recognizing the former. Our beautiful species can thrive, as long as it respects the laws, be they only the laws of physics (that is not the case now, with multiple attacks we are visiting on the biosphere). To remind us of that, anything goes. And that cruelty, is a good thing, relative to the alternative.

So hunt lions. But only bad lions. Only with the worst predators can destroyed using all and any means the Dark Side puts at our command. The Dark Side, the useful and friendly Dark Side, feels that better case can be made for the survival of the smallpox virus, than for the blossoming of plutocracy. And stands ready to provide us with the strength we need.

And what about the deliberate killing of beauty, in all this? To overcome beauty is an exciting, and rather amusing challenge, for the Dark Side. If one can learn to enjoy killing beauty, one’s Dark Side is ready to take out much more than that. Its power grows. The more beautiful the lion, the more tempting to kill it, the more instructive, for those who cultivate the parts of the brain most keen, and apt, to handle adversity.

The Dark Side is strong and all devouring. Beauty, just an appetizer. As Rabelais put it in 1534, in Gargantua (chap.5, line 108): “L’appétit vient en mangeant.”

Patrice Ayme’


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