The never ending American Civil War vs Earth


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2The American Civil War didn’t end in 1865. It simply revised its methods. It’s an interesting fact that whatever is center stage in US politics devolves back to this one very basic Civil War dichotomy.

The Civil War had many different original sources. Slavery vs abolition was one of the catalysts, but it also reflected the very different economics and mindsets of the two sides. The war came and went, but never left American politics.

Mark Twain, in his Life on the Mississippi, mentions that in the South, every conversation in his day turned to the war. In the North, it was just an occasional topic. Not much has changed. The Civil War restructured America in to a more or less permanent adversarial perspective.

American ValhallaThe Civil War was America’s worst war. 3% of the entire population were casualties, dead or wounded. Today, that’d be 9 million people. Roughly 10% of the population served during the war or 30 million today.

Talking about monuments to human suffering – After it ended, Robert E Lee was asked by a woman what to tell her sons about the war. His reply was succinct: “Tell your sons to abandon their antagonisms! Teach them to become Americans!”

It was good advice, and like most good advice, it was ignored. Just about all of America’s internal disruptions and dysfunctions ever since could have been avoided if that advice had been followed. Continue reading

The No Think society


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2A No Think society is a recipe for failure. In the past, No Think societies have blundered on regardless down the millennia, crashing whole civilisations. Now, the same No Think mentality is destroying this civilisation just as effectively.

No Think, defined

A No Think environment is typically all about means and processes, rather than objectives. Goals are vague, and often just token rhetoric, like “… for our children, and our children’s children”, utterly meaningless. (Thatcher’s “children’s children” are a monument to the barrenness of No Think.)

At best, No Think goes from A to B, however haphazardly or insanely. Even the idea of more steps from C-Z doesn’t begin to enter the “thinking”. No Think is also stunningly undemanding in terms of logic. There’s little or no If/then logic, aka contingency logic/step logic/using your brain for something other than keeping your ears apart.

No Think is also extremely simplistic, almost insultingly so. Generally, it’s no more than a jingle, like Make America Great Again or Peace in Our Time. Even the physical realities are somehow expected to follow the jingle, not the facts. Greatness and peace need more than verbosity to happen.

The ramifications of No Think

No Think is also highly counterproductive. For example:

  • Generations full of plagues of psychologists and psychiatrists now exist with unheard-of levels of mental illness. (To be fair, many psychologists and psychiatrists are among the most ferocious critics of this situation.) The No Think theory is that if someone’s there to do a job, it must be being done. It isn’t.
  • Human rights is a major cause for all progressives. It’s even accepted by conservatives, however unenthusiastically. Human rights abuse in the No Think world is now as bad as it’s ever been. Slavery is higher than ever before.
  • Poverty is the all-time leading disaster in human life. Attempts to end or alleviate poverty are ongoing and sincere, but the No Think society, with its one step logic, doesn’t get it. Even by its own very shallow standards, poverty is bad for a No Think society. Poverty means lower economic participation, lower revenue, less business, and serious obstacles to productivity. See anyone actually doing anything about ending poverty?
  • Pollution is poison. Any one of those toxic chemicals can kill you or give you a serious medical condition. Some of the chemicals make compounds of each other, and nobody really knows what they can do. You, on the other hand, are more likely than ever to find out. You’re in big trouble, hit with serious medical expenses, and is anyone doing anything about pollution. Only very slowly and grudgingly. The No Think approach is that “pollution is business”. That’s it. No more thinking has been done. The result is a pole to pole sewer full of toxic materials and very large numbers of very sick people.
  • High fructose syrup is generally considered very dangerous. The rates of obesity and diabetes have gone up drastically in the last generation. High fructose is one of the major culprits. It took at least a decade for even the basic theory of the risks of high fructose to filter through the No Think political environment.
  • Carbon emissions are quite unnecessary and easily preventable with proper process filtering and better, cleaner, combustion. Carbon products like coal and oil can be used to make much safer products that earn more money for producers. Is any of that that happening? No. Again, “Pollution is business,” and the rest is just lying.
  • Polarization is extremely bad for societies. In the whole of human history, there has never been anything safe about people who hate each other’s guts living side by side. What’s happening in No Think Land? Deliberate polarization, and it’s a career for a lot of people.
  • Crime is parasitism. The No Think society is “tough on crime”, but is that having any real impact? No. Quite the opposite, crime rakes in about $1 trillion per year, at the expense of the entire human race. The ridiculous War on Drugs simply bankrolled organized crime, which now contaminates and corrupts just about all sectors of business. No Think, not surprisingly and as usual, has no answers and no ideas.

Yes, this could go on forever, and I’m not going to waste my time or yours on the very long list of subjects. The real issue is the No Think problem. If you don’t think about possible outcomes, you’re going to hit the fan sooner or later. If you don’t model and plan, you don’t have either a model or a real plan.

No Think = No Criticism

One thing that fascinates me about No Think is that all forms of criticism are blocked, however ineptly. Facts are ignored, ideas are simply not developed, and practical issues are rarely mentioned. Even the theory of public, let alone expert, input and criticism is simply absurd in most cases.

Not helping matters much is the fact that in many cases the criticism, particularly expert criticism, isn’t even understood. If your mindset is that A to B = making money, then no criticism is likely to be seriously considered. If the mindset is tail protection, then criticism is very unlikely to be acted upon.

A con man is a good example. The last thing a con man wants a victim to do is think. The fewer risks the victim is aware of, the better. Now apply that theory to global finance. See how those ridiculous, impossible Third World and Greek loan scenarios fit so well in to No Think business? No Think is a built-in barrier to accurate assessment of anything. If you don’t think, you can’t argue.

No Think Executive Culture

Gothic Black, Paul Wallis books Amazon

This book is all about fears. It includes a monster which learns how to bore people to death and the wonderful town of Pithcurdle, in which the coming of the dreaded Toothpaste Man is a cause for celebration.

C.N. Parkinson, author of Parkinson’s Law, made a very accurate assessment of No Think. He said that the targets are very close, so scoring is high. This is a type of incrementalism, the sort that claims that a 1% increase in something or saving money on wages by sacking staff is some sort of achievement.

It isn’t, and can’t be. The nominal figures are also open to debate, given that you’ve just lost your income-earning staff, and that 1% barely equates to inflation. You’ve met your pathetic goals, and patted yourself on the back, but nothing much has actually been done.

Now imagine a world invested in endless executive meetings, where this is the default method of doing quite literally everything. Whether it’s education, health, or a war, this No Think is based on minimal actual logic, perspective, or anything else which could be called mental activity of any kind.

Political No Think is roughly similar, and can be society-wide. The French Revolution against monarchy resulted in an Emperor, Napoleon. The great egalitarian Bolshevik revolution resulted in an oligarchy of privilege for some, and death and misery for millions.

Military No Think

The longest-running and best documented example of No Think is military. In the very first recorded battle in history, a Pharaoh rewrote history so that he was seen as the main hero in winning the battle of Megiddo. The Crusades were recorded as noble adventures in the name of God, but were in fact sleazy, personal-empire-building, failures involving massacres of everybody, including Christians. The Thirty Years’ War decimated central Europe as badly as the Plague, but was always portrayed as a religious cleansing by BOTH sides.

Paul Wallis, Live Lazy and Love It, Amazon

The theory of this book is that if you can afford to be lazy, you must be doing something right.

In World War One, the idea that unprotected human beings charging machine guns was a bad move took 3 years, and millions of casualties, to sink in. World War One itself was totally unnecessary, but its No Think logic paved the way for Hitler, World War 2, and everything else that followed at the expense of slaughtering two generations. The War to End All Wars produced nothing BUT more wars.

Talk about counterproductive – The British Empire, which had absolutely no reason to get involved at all in World War One, started itself on the way to oblivion. The Austrians, who started the war, lost their empire, as did the Russians and Germans. France, the unwilling host of the worst of the war, turned in to a gigantic graveyard from the Channel to the Swiss border.

In Vietnam, 50 years later, no amount of tactical or political information seemed to make the slightest difference. A No Think political  mindset ignored both the successes and the failures. Having discarded the military option and obviously not considered any others, it tried for that most untrustworthy of escapes, a “political solution” which definitively lost the war.

This is No Think incarnate – Stupid, thoughtless decisions based on nothing resembling real logic. The 20th century was the warning. The 21st century may well be the tombstone.

The world can’t afford this type of super-idiocy any more. If you’re not thinking, you can’t really be in control of anything. Situations need to be managed. The next big mistake may be the last. All problems can be solved. Mistakes can be rectified. If they’re not, it’s well past time to go, humanity. Nobody’s wearing T shirts saying “Save the Stupid”, are they?

intelligent

Read a few of my books and claim that they’re interesting. Nobody will believe you, they’ll think you’re a nut, and you can frolic to your heart’s content.

SMJ hasn’t been updated for a while, thanks largely to volume of work and Amazon’s various new features, which I’ll have to manually add. Expect something, but no idea when. 

 

 

The compulsory slum in your head


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2Human existence is a range of slightly augmented basic needs. All societies impose a large number of restrictions on human life. That includes providing a full-function conceptual slum by default.

The conceptual slum is based on a series of How Tos. How to be normal, how to have a family, how to have a career, how to have a social life, et cetera. This range of How Tos also eats up a lot of time.

This is a historical phenomenon with many ramifications. The totally screwed current generation of millennials can be easily forgiven for thinking that the past was some sort of great-grand-paternal benign haze of “old things”. It wasn’t.

Quite the opposite. The past was a collection of similar How To compulsions, including status-sucking middle-class imperatives like the nuclear family, two cars, endless appliances, and so on. Who you were was basically dictated by what you had in the way of possessions and social status. Sound familiar?

Paul Wallis, Live Lazy and Love It, Amazon

The theory of this book is that if you can afford to be lazy, you must be doing something right.

If Machiavelli doesn’t deserve fame for any other reason (and he doesn’t, the smug sycophantic little bastard) he deserves acknowledgement for defining a hierarchy of social compulsions. Sycophancy is nothing new. It reflects the realities of social hierarchies/real social relationships very effectively. These social relationships are a virtual map of social compulsions.

Social grovelling is your instant guide to who’s who, what’s what, and the passing priorities of whole societies. All this is based on what are bizarrely called “real world” factors.

This means that your desperate need to socialise with somebody you can’t stand is compulsory. You are afflicted with a range of social relationships whether you like them or not.

Even more excitingly, your own priorities are also very much affected/afflicted with the effects of other people’s compulsions. This banal mechanism is the basis of human society of the past and present. It dates back to the caves, and probably the trees. The big atavism of Jack London’s Before Adam, Orwell’s Big Brother, any form of vague social authority is all you need.

The Mental Slum

If you’ve ever wondered why seemingly intelligent people are virtual slaves to every sort of materialism, ideology, fashion, or whatever, the compulsion is very insidious. The metal slum is derived from the social slum. The lowest common denominator is mediocrity, and the lowest common denominator is also the average.

It may not be your idea to blunder around in a world full of idiotic lifestyles, ridiculous extravagance, and “terror by tantrum” in the form of real terrorism or office tyrants. Socialising with psychopaths may not even be your idea of a good time. This is the social environment, and this is the real slum.

A slum, by definition, is a filthy, disorganised, poverty-stricken, crime and disease-ridden environment. The mental slum is no different. Mental filth could be described as mental trash. Mental poverty doesn’t need a description. Mental crime, in its many forms, is pretty normal. Is it any wonder that mental disease is so common?

Imagine, if you will, a world where compulsions are avoidable. Real choices are available, and your mind and intelligence don’t have to wear the repulsive prison uniforms of suits, offices, mortgages, and constant need.

Somewhat different, would you say?

Talking about “different”– One of the strangest things I have ever heard, and believe me when I say I have heard some pretty strange things, was a single sentence: “Fear of being different”. Think about that seemingly innocuous expression for half a second.

Different according to whom, or what? Society, of course. This pathetic, clapped out, hopeless, mindless excuse for total failure which we call society causes people to fear being different?

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

Fear of creativity is the sure sign that you should be a publisher. Read this, and you’ll never need homicidal maniacs again.

If you’re claiming to be a human being, (and you really should know better), you ARE different. Nobody else is you. Even mathematically, you are different. Forget pseudo-egalitarianism; Person A is not Person B in physical terms, mental terms, life experience, perceptions, perspectives, add dictionary here.

The social slum you were born with, however, dictates “normality”, however absurd. The irony is that normality is usually a conglomeration of accepted How Tos, and equally normally completely out of date. The norms of the previous generations are therefore inflicted on younger generations to whom they are basically meaningless.

In Western culture, that famous contradiction in terms, the norm continues to be a whole series of compulsions from roughly the 1950s. These compulsions are now almost completely irrelevant, and progressively becoming more absurd as models for doing anything.

Why inflict new generations with the mental slums of the past? What possible use could it serve? Who benefits?

Getting out of the slum

To get out of the slum:

Keep your distance from it: There is no need to participate. You’ll have a much healthier, much happier life as a result.

Avoid the Idiot Factories: Ideologies, in particular, simply restrict thinking. They rarely if ever add anything to do it. You may also have to waste a lot of time un-learning the bad habits and lousy arguments of ideologies.

Don’t merely accept anything: You don’t have to believe a damn thing. Check out your information; is it consistent, and does it make actual practical sense?

Either you run your life, or it runs you: Who’s winning, the groceries or you? Make sure it’s you.

Forget How Tos: Nobody can tell you how to be yourself. Nor do they have any right to do so. Your best friends will insist that you be yourself, and that should be enough of a hint for anyone.

When you get out of the slum, stay out.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

The new phobias – Fears in a clapped out, thoughtless world


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2Fear is a major driver in human existence. Fear is actually one of the reasons humans stand on two legs; to better see danger. These days, fear is a way of life. The new fears are pathetic, but predictable.

  • Gnostiphobia -The fear of knowledge. This is the wonderful mechanism whereby being an ignoramus is acceptable/compulsory in human society.
  • Bibliophobia – Fear of books. This type of fear is largely responsible for the regression of the human race into its present disgusting state.
  • I-phobia – Fear of being oneself and having an individual personal identity. This is a conformist psychological disorder, relating to the risk of actually being a human being. Symptoms include the constant use of the word “we” and disassociation from own actions and responsibilities.
  • Materia-phobia – Fear of material things, either as lacking them, or as agents of social demotion through being cheap or shoddy.
  • Peer-phobia – The fear of one’s social group, self-explanatory.
  • Comprehension-phobia – The fear of being expected to understand anything at all, particularly if it involves oneself actually doing something. Perhaps the final despairing bleat of total intellectual cowardice.
  • Talent-phobia (also known as competence-phobia) – Common in business, Hollywood, media, economics, politics, and largely responsible for the cultural stampede to incompetence at all levels.

If you happen to have noticed that all these fears add up to practically every single thing human beings are capable of doing or being, bingo. Human psychological life is now so stress-laden that phobias are the norm.

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

Fear of creativity is the sure sign that you should be a publisher. Read this, and you’ll never need homicidal maniacs again.

It requires species-wide stupidity on a colossal scale to achieve this effect. The results of this global gutlessness should be interesting:

At this rate, psychology and psychiatry will no longer be necessary. All mental conditions can be explained by extreme imbecility.

The evidence of fear is everywhere, particularly in the extremely polarised world of politics. Fear is a weapon; it can be used as indiscriminately as you like, as long as it puts people on one side or another.

In the workplace, fear is created by the inferior middle managers and supervisors to reinforce their own position. This is done at the expense of quite literally everybody else, including their employers, at incredible expense to all involved except the causes of the problems.

In relationships of all kinds, fear is based on a combination of any kind of conflict plus whatever interpretation or spin either or both parties use in the conflict. This also relates to comprehension-phobia, for the reasons shown above.

Responses to phobias

Best practice response to phobias is to slavishly and mindlessly refuse to fight them. Running away is okay in theory, but that implies some sort of intelligence, which is of course totally unacceptable. Better is to stick around surrounded by things you fear for years or decades, drowning in stress and living in absolutely hideous life. You genius, you.

Gothic Black, Paul Wallis books Amazon

This book is all about fears. It includes a monster which learns how to bore people to death and the wonderful town of Pithcurdle, in which the coming of the dreaded Toothpaste Man is a cause for celebration.

The trouble with confronting your fears is that at least a few of them may have some basis in fact. Arachnophobia is a case in point. Fear of spiders is quite reasonable. All spiders are dangerous to some extent, and some are extremely dangerous indeed. The theory of confrontation involves you in having direct contact with an extremely dangerous animal.

The other problem is that confrontation doesn’t actually make the spiders less dangerous; it simply makes you less afraid of them. Ironically, someone discovered years ago that arachnophobia is a particularly good indicator of strong survival instincts. So maybe that type of therapy is way out of whack?

Killing the things you fear is of course the traditional response to phobias. The problem is that these new fears are a bit personal. Killing your knowledge, personal identity, or, for example, may be somewhat inconvenient. Killing your knowledge may not be much loss, but if you kill your personal identity, you’ll only have to go and find/steal/borrow another one, won’t you?

The current historic obligation on all human beings to be absolute morons at all times is also a bit of a problem, believe it or not. Being obliged to be a moron by your delightful necrophiliac society, you may not be allowed to think your way out of situations involving your fears.

There is only one real solution – Cheat. Create fake fears, and tell everybody how terrified you are of them. That will convince everybody that you’re perfectly normal, quite harmless, and well worth ignoring. At least you’ll get some peace of mind.

intelligent

Read a few of my books and claim that they’re interesting. Nobody will believe you, they’ll think you’re a nut, and you can frolic to your heart’s content.

 

Feel a desperate need for something intelligent?


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2Need something, anything, intelligent to relieve the monotony?Amid the endless fascination of global stupidity, a certain lack of enthusiasm is becoming evident. Maybe there’s something a bit samey about endless disasters and a pole to pole sewer of a planet?

Obviously, your intellect is starving. There is no nutrition to keep it active. Talk about food for thought; where, exactly, would you find it in a place like Earth?

Now the really scary bit  – It’s just possible that having to learn the language of stupidity to communicate with “others” (Other whats, does anyone know?) may be sabotaging your efforts to find the food your mind needs.

There is something almost impossibly mediocre about any situation where futility in communication is the normal state of things. Do people wake up in the morning and say cheerfully, “Hey! Now’s our chance to be futile!” Some don’t, you know. Well, you know now.

Let’s put the no-intellect situation in PR terms so it will be comprehensible to the most unimpressive of intellects and perhaps even penetrate their thick useless hides –

You remember something called “aspirations”? No, of course not. Well, there were such things, years ago, before you useless bastards were born.. There was also something called a credible society, and places where people were allowed to use their minds without having to apologize for it to some jock roadkill PR/media suppository maggot.

Sickening, of course. Imagine billions of people having aspirations and intelligence, sometimes even at the same time. How could you sell it? How do you merchandise intelligence to the point where it might even be noticeable?

It’s a big issue, and people have been avoiding it for years. The language of stupidity is free of any reference to it. Everybody is an ignoramus in good standing, in this language. That’s why you no longer need to listen to at least

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

Reading a book may lead someone to suspect you’re intelligent. This book, which can be used as a sort of S&M device, will throw them off the track nicely.

90% of any conversation, because the conversation is as ignorant as the people doing the talking.

It’s inspiring stuff. No issue, theory or fact, however globally or personally lethal, is allowed to be intelligently discussed, described, or comprehended in any meaningful way. The problem of course, is that your mind, down to its last muesli bar of reasons to exist, is  just sitting there like a prisoner, playing its harmonica, and rattling on the bars of social media. It may even be looking at those little tourist brochures for personal oblivion called “trends in modern lifestyles”. Grim indeed.

(You can see why this is being written in PR terms; so that even the dear little gerbils who “manage” modern media imagery will get it. You bloody worthless pig-ignorant peasants, you.)

Meanwhile – Back at your interesting-things-starved mind – It may be digging a tunnel to escape from its prison, but escape to where, you ask? To the wildly exciting blather of the vast amounts of information which will be forgotten in the next 5 seconds? No; that’s not where it wants to go.

The cosmic microwave background – Now, how could you pretend to find something interesting in that. You whimsical soul, you.

Studies by incredibly irritating people have shown that given half an excuse, the human mind defaults to something it’s actually interested in. This is considered by the sages of modern life (aka scum) to be a particularly stupid thing to do, partly because it’s not believed to be possible for anything to be interesting.

Nor is it believed possible for that all embracing demographic called “them” (aka humans) to be intelligent.

That’s the encouraging bit. Your mind can wander away and there’s no chance anybody will go looking for it.  If you find something that actually interests you and saves your mind from eating its foot off in sheer bored frustration, nobody will believe you. You’ll be weird enough to be left alone having fun and staying mentally alive with your interesting thing.

So – Feel a desperate need for something intelligent? You should.

intelligent

Read a few of my books and claim that they’re interesting. Nobody will believe you, they’ll think you’re a nut, and you can frolic to your heart’s content.

Visualization Skills vs Modern Media – Who’s Winning?


 

Do you see it?
I see a herd of beautiful wild ponies.
Thanks, Daria.

Visualization is the process of creating your own visions. It’s complex. It’s also hard to learn if you don’t read and don’t have to turn things in to actual thoughts to visualize. Modern media, rather annoyingly, isn’t helping much.

No, this isn’t going to be a series of easy cheap shots at media imagery.  The very obvious doesn’t need elaboration. The stories might be crap, but some of the visual stuff is pretty good, particularly in gaming media.

The problem is that the stories are trying to be visual, not stories. If you remember being read kid’s stories, and having to fill in the gaps when there were no pictures to look at, trying to follow the storyline, it’s as basic as that.

It’s one of the most valuable skills any human being can have, and it’s being suffocated by this damn spoon feeding media. You don’t have to visualize, to the point you lose the skill.

Visualization – The “advertising effect”

Arguably worse is the “advertising effect”. This is the bit where the brain ignores most of what it sees as irrelevant. The absurd overload of imagery drowns out personal visualization. People don’t even get enough time to really take in an image before it’s replaced with another, or more likely a lot of other images.

This is the epitome of unfocused. While your brain is rummaging around in this visual confetti, exactly how much visualization can you do?

The “illiteracy effect” on visualization

What do you see, what don’t you see? What do you WANT to see, or not see? Is visualization sometimes more than visual?

Since most people don’t read anything which requires visualization, the ability to associate ideas, even in the same sentence (Ahem? I hope not) is pretty lousy. The famous, and dull, “What are we talking about now?” is the illiteracy effect in full swing. They aren’t stupid; they literally can’t make the mental associations between two statements put together.

Literature makes readers make associations, of actions, ideas, mental images, and, well, everything involved in what you’re reading. It’s a unique effect. Only music really goes as far in to “figure it out yourself” as literature.

Good visual art creates associations, even the really advanced type of associations, but how much current visual art is really much more than a “Postcard from Whatever” or “Another Endless Pic of Me, This Second in Time” ? The fantastic things that visual art can do are crowded out by the truly banal, most of the time.

So it’s no wonder that people’s visualization skills are pretty shaky. Ask them to visualize a better world, and you’re going to get a rather uncertain response. Ask them to visualize a better life for themselves, which is what they’re supposed to be doing, aspirations and all, and the response will actually get lost in trying to picture itself as anything more than a shopping list, if that. How good would you say people are likely to be in visualizing issues, given this total incompetence in very basic visualizations?’

Visualization? What visualization?

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

Isn’t creativity all about visualization? Has to be.

The inability to visualize mentally is as handicapping as blindness. If you can’t even visualize your own existence, maybe it’s even worse. On a global scale, it’s catastrophic.

If the entire human race doesn’t even have the skills to visualize a sane society, how likely is a sane society? How mindless is mindless enough? Living in a junk shop of a world, being sold crap and crime every 5 seconds, and why would you want a mind? What possible use could it be?

The problem, of course, is that if you can’t visualize a solution to a problem, you’re going to be stuck with that problem for a very long time. Just think how many problems there are in everyone’s lives.

So maybe being mindless isn’t such a good idea. Maybe not being able to visualize is dangerous. The one place people never look for answers is in their own minds. The place is usually a mess, cluttered with “life’s little packaging”. Usually hasn’t been dusted much, either, this place, and there’s often a distinct impression of mouldiness.

The pity of it is that somewhere in that mess is a way to visualize, or at least the remains of the nearly forgotten skills. People may never have visualized at all after childhood. After all, to “live”, all you need to do is recycle whatever you’ve been taught or told, right?

This book is called humor. Humor IS logic. Logic is used for visualization, in many ways. Coincidence?

No thinking at all required. No use of intelligence, either. Any idiot can simply recite information and agree with anything. You could be totally stagnant by 22, and a fossil by 30, and it would make no difference at all in that undemanding little mindset. Life is one big set of quotes from other people.

Of course, you wouldn’t be able to solve problems, either. You can’t visualize solutions outside the information you’re given. Nor can you have the choice or (even the right) to distrust anything you’re told, but that’s OK, too, isn’t it? So the solution is always going to be based on what you’re told, whether it’s right or wrong. You have no options.

So what’s the solution? As an author, saying “read” seems a bit self-serving, but you could do worse. You could try doing something for yourself, too, like doing your own thinking, if only to see if you really can escape from the no options mode.

There is one possible out. Visualization is based on some sort of need, in many cases. You may not even know why you need whatever it is, but it’s a sort of visualization. That pesky need to see clearly is more useful than it looks. If the mind can see, it can think about what it sees. Better option? Better than lost forever in an ocean of bullshit, for sure.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

The misuse of the word ‘elite’


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2“Elite” means “ select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society” according to Google. The way the word elite is used in media, however, is quite different. It means a social elite, without qualifiers, and it’s very misleading, as well as being as fake as this idiotic total failure of a society.

In times past, the word elite meant specialist, highly trained, highly qualified, very experienced, and combinations thereof. Now it means any collection of generic peasants in suits claiming status.

In the military, the word “elite” has never been ambiguous. You don’t hear about “elite” sycophants, slackers, or rear-area recidivists. You only hear about highly trained special forces, crack troops, and truly experienced professionals.

In the arts, elitism is largely despised. Elitism has done very little for the arts except get a few genuine benefactors and a much larger number of self-proclaimed elitists. That’s a very telling fact. Few great artists have been elitists themselves, either. The virtuoso is only a virtuoso because an acknowledged virtuoso calls him or her a virtuoso.

In both the military and the arts, the self-proclaimed elitist is an absurdity. Of no value to the professions, the elitist is at best a 2 dimensional bit of décor, not to be taken seriously for anything.

In our wonderful mainstream media, however, “elites” fester everywhere. You’d swear everybody with a name was a member of some vast class of superior beings. It’s though Wall Street was packed with saints, and politics was some sort of personal ordeal for the spiritually enlightened, rather than two dunghills full of the inevitable trash these sectors create in huge batches.

The WASP elite misnomers

Of particular irritation to me is the apparently interminable references to WASP elites. I’m a WASP. I even drew the picture myself. These so-called elites aren’t real elites, but a blanket term used to describe anything in the public eye. How can anyone, or anything, possibly mistake these tedious little pustules as any sort of elite?

Didn’t know that, eh?

Even more bafflingly, the actual WASP elites were first mentioned as being on the way out. The real WASP elites, of course, are anything but out of business. They’re everywhere. They have trillions of dollars. They own huge amounts of property and equity. They simply have better things to do than run countries or do red carpet events, or waste time in the public eye. (Well, who doesn’t?)

They are, however, also a good example of the misuse of the word “elite”. They exist in any old form, any old way, without much formal structure (entirely unnecessary), and have been categorized as an elite, which they were and are.  The mistake is to portray the useless/insane/downright stupid American management class, usually WASPs, as elites. They’re not the same thing, in so many ways, as the true elites.

It’s the difference between Warren Buffett and some dire little middle manager in a poky little office pretending to be someone. It’s the difference between an actual wasp and a fruit fly. Buffett could be described as an elite group of one, and prove it without even trying. The substandard maggot-droppings managerial wankers couldn’t possibly be described as an elite, even in a sewer.

That’s how far out of whack the use of the word “elite” has become. Even the theory of elites is now well over the cliff in terms of reality. In the UK, the theory of elitism has been dying a well-deserved death since the social disaster of World War 1 and subsequent debacles, of which Brexit is just the latest in a series of catastrophic mismanagement events. The tiresome wastes of tweed now pottering about in British public life claiming to be elites and proving their incompetence with every nanosecond couldn’t be mistaken for a form of life, let alone an elite.

The real British upper class, or what’s left of it, may vote Tory because their accountants say their primitive Thatcherite policies are better tax options. All well and good, but they don’t mix with the Godlike Grocers of Westminster any more than necessary, and briefly. They have nothing in common with these petty-minded, governmentally-inclined shopkeepers.  They certainly don’t run their businesses on the same haphazard, idiotic, basis as the pseudo-elite run Britain.

In America, Old Money dies hard. It’s the nearest thing to an economic elite, in the sense of actual experience in being rich for generations. It forms a sort of elite, if you really can call a collection of out of touch rich people an elite.

In contrast, New Money, which has some claim to respect on the basis of actual achievement, can’t even be bothered being an elite. The status of elite, particularly in its severely devalued modern form, means nothing to them, with good reason.

Everything is an “elite”. Every rock, presumably, is some sort of socially superior being. New Money knows better than that. They deal with this collection of social flotsam on a daily basis, and familiarity has bred well-deserved contempt in practical terms.

…So can we be a bit fussier about the use of the word “elite”? Can we stop elevating every transient hanger-on in a generation of true, proven fools to a status they will never deserve?

www.sydneymediajam.com

The fake society


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2Just when you think stupidity, hypocrisy, and delusion are career assets, they’re not. They’re scripted. Modern fakery must be spontaneous, and basically genetically inherited. You need to be born useless, pig-ignorant, and at least trying to be subhuman to make a career out of it. Result, a fake society.

One thing media does religiously, and very like a religion, is to be fully in tune with whatever lump of rotting meat it’s producing at any given moment. The latest dead fashions must be worn, praised and forgotten, preferably all at the same time.  Humanity comes along for the ride.

Being a fake has been an acceptable career move since “emotional intelligence”, the move to being an obliging little doormat in the workplace. Simultaneously job seekers were being encouraged to take acting classes to do better in interviews. (Like a hiring decision already decided in a phone call four weeks before the interview will be affected by an acting performance.)

The justification, of course, is “fitting in”. This is how a fake society is created. As someone who has never made the slightest attempt to fit in with anyone or anything since birth, I can appreciate that for what it is. Deep spiritual personal cowardice. Kids faking it to get along with other kids goes back to the trees, or more likely back to the Cambrian. Adults doing ridiculous things to fit in to environments they hate is basically normal.

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

Creativity can never be fake. Nor can anything productive. A fake society is by definition not creative, and unproductive

Imagine getting along with your predators…. And going to such lengths to do it. Fake people, let alone fake societies, rarely survive. Even fakery has a shelf life, and it’s usually very short.

The fake society is the inevitable result. Fakery itself is fake. For example – There is no such thing as fake news. It’s either news, or it’s not. It’s either real or it’s not. Those too stupid, or too gutless to check deserve whatever they get.

In the same context, there’s either a society or there’s not. From the look of most societies, there shouldn’t be the societies which do exist, let alone the miserable snivelling things pretending to be societies.

Can modern societies really claim to be societies, some sort of organized group of people with a common cause and common interests?

No.

Any pretence of coherent society in that form is long gone.

They’re “real” fake societies, in which paid peasants preach division and hatred of social groups, races, and individuals. These people preach hate and troll because they’re paid to do it. It’s a job. They also do it to compensate themselves for their own fakeries, their own failure to exist on their own terms. Only fake people CAN make fake societies. Nothing is real, nothing is trustworthy, and nothing is believable.

Fake is failure. You can’t even be a real person. It’s not you that’s being successful. It’s a fake person, doing fake things for fake reasons. That which is fake can never be real. Game over, clowns.

So tell me, O noble gutless wonders and non-existent nobodies – What if something real happens to you? How much fake bullshit do you need to stop a bullet, an earthquake, or a hurricane? Let’s find out.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

Dismantling the administrative state, or how to prove you know nothing about government


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2The new rocking horse for America’s Least Competent is “dismantling the administrative state”. Given that this idea is coming from people who’ve just spent the last few decades proving they couldn’t run a dunghill, this idea is as banal, impractical, and cynical as you’d expect it to be.

Let’s start with the basics:

  • The money side – Modern societies are revenue-dependent. Nothing is free, in fact. You get precisely nothing for your taxes except the payment of government money to “free market” bozos and their pets. The same “libertarians” who want to dismantle the administrative state are totally dependent on it for government contracts. You don’t get public services for your money; you get jails, and rich, obscene, lobbyists.
  • The legislative side – Legislation is basically a rule book. Why shouldn’t people be able to eat safe food, live in a safe environment, get health care, and at least something for their taxes? That’s not happening now, and hasn’t for years. All modern politicians do is direct public money to corporate interests, and there’s no point pretending it does much else. There’s literally terabytes of information on any subject to prove that. If you don’t have an administration to administer political government decisions, there’s no point in having a political government, because it simply couldn’t govern.
  • The administrative side – The administrative side of government currently reflects the incredible inefficiency of political government. This includes enforcing the rules, managing the use of revenue, and dealing with the endless problems which incompetent political government creates on an hourly basis. Without administration, you’d have total inability to administrate, i.e., total inability to govern. “Bureaucracy” is a measure of inefficiency, not an argument for not having an administrative framework.

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The ISS space fungi saga, and some nasty possibilities


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam CO2The net-garbled furore over fungi growing on the ISS space station has been dragging on for a while. The information is detailed, to a point, but not detailed enough, and better still, not official, so nobody has to do anything about it.

There’s a lot of news about the space fungi, and that’s the good news. The other news is that things could get a lot worse, soon, and for the future. Let’s start with the quality of information available. The net takeaway from the “news” is that the fungi are aggressive, there’s a lot of them, and that microorganisms can live in space.

Fun so far, isn’t it? God knows what is growing away, damaging equipment, eating metal… It’d be a good science fiction movie, but this is supposedly real.

The internet has again turned everything in to a mix of fact and what looks very like fiction. (Thanks again, guys, you’re a great help. You could be the Breitbart of science, the way you’re going. Shut up if you’re not sure, and if you are sure, be clear.)

Established facts so far:

  • 200 known organisms can exist in space, including our old friends, the pneumococci.
  • The Soviet Mir space station supposedly had a ferocious mix of bacterial and fungal growths. They grew with exceptional speed and volume.
  • NASA acknowledges the existence of the various microfauna and flora, but isn’t committing to any statements so far, quite rightly.
  • The fungi are an operational problem, and have even managed to block water lines on the ISS. NASA is analysing data.
  • The survivability of fungi isn’t in question. Other tests have proven that some species of Antarctic fungi could effectively “live on Mars”.
  • Pathogen checks have been done on the ISS for the last decade, to deal with human microorganisms in the enclosed environment.
  • They’re very hard/impossible to eradicate.

Unproven facts and fictions:

IS the Mars rover being eaten by fungi? Maybe someone should go find out.

Fungi are eating Mars rovers. (Looked like a natural candidate for Photoshop to me, but some alleged growth patterns are similar to terrestrial fungi. See the Soviet Mir link above for the video at the bottom. Not entirely convincing, but I’m a fungi buff, too, so nice try, even if not true. You need to know quite a bit about fungi to do that.)

The fungi come from space. Maybe so, in fact that’s a theory for the beginning of life on Earth. Even so, you’d have to do some pretty fancy genetic sequencing to prove it, and that’s not happening so far. Space fungi, if they are, could tell us more about biological adaption in space than thousands of years of research. It’d be a real Rosetta Stone for multiple issues. The gene sequencing could also fill in a few blanks, too, maybe?

 

The fungi use acetic acid to dissolve tungsten? Huh? Acetic acid, aka vinegar, is great for breaking down things, and killing moulds in bathrooms, but tungsten? Fungi use enzymes, and enzymes which destroy metal could be called overkill. They don’t seem to do a lot of that on Earth, either. The other side of this very skeptical view is that there are obvious stains and visible effects on surfaces on the ISS. How? Seems like it’s a subject well worth exploring.

Fungus and fungal problems for the future

OK, so that was 400 or so words of semi-information for you. You’ll notice I’m not too impressed with the standard of information or depth of research. Looks to me like much more work has to go in to analysis, and much less speculation. If this is the real deal, the first case of managing biological hazards in space, kindly take it seriously.

IS the Mars rover being eaten by fungi? Maybe someone should go find out.

Irritating as some of this stuff is, none of it is entirely out of the ballpark. Fungi and some types of algae are the undisputed toughest organisms on Earth. They’ve survived all the major extinctions, every single one. They are incredibly efficient biologically, and can break down practically any type of organic or inorganic material. If anything’s going to survive anywhere, the fungi are prime candidates.

They can live through heat, cold, UV, etc., in fact they’re incredibly well adapted to do just that. If anything’s alive on Mars, nobody in bio science will be too surprised if it’s this range of organisms.

Now the problems:

  • Point(s) of origin, Earth or space, or both? The idea of taking some overachieving, potentially dangerous buts and fungi in to space where they become even worse isn’t appealing. Decontamination methods will need to be developed, and they’ll add to the load of space exploration. (There is absolutely nothing to be said for accumulating vast amounts of toxic contaminants in flight.)
  • Terrestrial microorganisms travelling in space naturally have affinities with Earth-based life. So when away from home, where’s the most likely place for them to set up shop? Anywhere near anything terrestrial, of course.
  • Does this mean humans will take their pathogens with them wherever they go? It might. It might be worse, too; multigenerational fungi and bacteria could become omni-resistant to decontamination, “superbugs”, and progressively more virulent. The trouble with this situation is that humans would make a great vector for just about every known disease. (There is a precedent for this; the housefly. Flies followed humans around the world. There’s no reason to believe microorganisms would object to a free ride, either.)
  • Are our pathogens toxic to other life? Probably, and that’s despite total alien-ness; super aggressive organisms are chemically They don’t have to find a biological dating agency to hook up with something and cause chaos. See what a fungus blight did to potatoes in Ireland during the Famine. Contact with humans could be fatal. Space travel may bring literal tides of microfauna in to space. If so, and the microfauna is dangerous, humans needn’t expect to be thanked for it. After all, we do know how dangerous some of these organisms can be on Earth.
  • Microorganisms are highly adaptive. We also know that these organisms adapt rapidly to any hostile environment. Ironically, we could use fungi as explorers, just to see how they cope with new environments. The obvious issue is that they’ll adapt to any countermeasures as quickly as usual, or perhaps even more quickly. (Why does nobody do generational studies on resistance, to see how the damn things adapt, by the way? Would have saved a lot of trouble with the superbugs.)

Nobody’s even mentioned viruses, yet, a substrate of the likely micro ecology on the ISS. No phages? If not, why not?

So – Is humanity going to emerge from Earth, bringing every known disease and pathogen with it? Or is this going to be another case of just blunder along, bringing plagues with the explorers? Great image for humanity’s first outings in to space, isn’t it?

This is a real challenge. Even if it’s only 1% of the possible problems as outlined, they’re still potentially huge problems.

The cosmic microwave background – Not all that self-explanatory, either. Just have a guess how many fungi could be living in that.

Ironically, some years ago I did a book which included Martian pathogens as part of the storyline, terrestrial microfauna which isolated a Martian colony.

The book, of course, was ignored, as usual. Pity, because it was so much fun to write.To hell with you alleged literati. If you can’t be bothered reading a fun book, I don’t want to know you.

(I can’t begin to tell you what I think of a society which doesn’t read, and usually doesn’t understand what it reads.) Nice to know my storyline has some vindication, though.

 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books