A good meditation on mortal salience

H/T Ken: https://mobile.twitter.com/NibleyHugh/status/1067514057417142272

There are two sorts of situations where you really benefit from reading and ruminating on this sort of thing, times of intense pressure and times of rest and recovery.

(Ken notes: “Seems like the ‘singular experience’ type thing,” referring to the natural religion of bigeye melons.)

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On war

War is about achieving political objectives by doing evil things to enemy civilians until enemy fighters decide their competing political objective isn’t worth it. I used to think it was about things like logistics and infrastructure, but now I see those are just the means to the end which is to inflict horrors on the innocent family members of combatants until the combatants themselves become morally exhausted. For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to commit war crimes in secret–opposing forces must learn of them so they can be properly horrified by them. The innovation of 4GW is to balance the public image of having the moral high ground with doing the most evil things you can get away with. If media becomes fully polarized, say in a world war, then the usefulness of propagandizing neutral parties decreases and the winner is determined by who wants to win enough to do the most horrifying things the most effectively. I submit this as the fundamental basis for the Sukhomlinov Effect and the common observation that “the only crime in war is losing”.

Anyone who says they look forward to this sort of thing is out of their mind for one reason or another.

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Owl convo number whatever

I just dreamed most of a post on The Princess Diaries actually being about a secular Jew getting into Judaism.

As terribly boring as this sounds, I’d like to create a booklet of exercises for resilient self-talk which teach distraction, disputation, and the correct time to use these (as well as the correct time to use pessimism). Notes:

Perhaps, but it’s a rather useful idea

How are you lately?
Getting any vibes off the cultural landscape?

Nothing of interest
Seems eervtyhing is just getting quiet
Maybe still waters run deep but it feels like that liminal state between waking and dreamingin, culturaly

I’m sensing that people are getting ground down under stress such that they’re beginning to notice themselves being unable to do things they used to consider ordinary.
Or at least, those things have become very difficult.
But there’s also a real sense of hope that if they just hold out, Biden will make things normal again.
Sleepwalking is an excellent description.
So you might imagine the ordinary person’s subjective experience is a dream of walking through the desert, where something so simple as raising a water bottle to their lips seems almost impossible.
I think the blogosphere is basically done for at this point.

Sleepwalking through life is an excellent description of how it plays out for most

I’ve stopped reading nearly everything because no one’s writing anything that interests me anymore. Mostly the change is internal.

Agree on blogging. thta was a moment in time but it’s not the same

Even memes don’t do it for me anymore. Again, this is probably just me changing.

Substack is either a last gasp or harbinger of something else

It would be interesting to guess what that next thing is.

E-mail lists have been a model for years
A couple of the old nrx guys are still plugging urbit

Oh geez.

Seems more plausible now than it did years ago when i didn’t see the point
One argument has been the shift back to the physical world


Still, hard to go back to creating salons and debate clubs with the people in meatspace after having experienced the more perfect selection of the online world drwaing in those with similar interests

On top of that, I think people have grown weary of debate clubs that have nowhere left to go.

Definitely that

Postmodernism apparently has a finite number of endpoints.

Debate is fun when it feels like society is growing because it feels like there’s a real stake in the action
Actually, debate is fun when people feel like they have a stake in society and can shape its outcomes

Right. Whereas debate now is an exercise in either repeating your chosen party platform or being character assassinated.

The only area in which anyone feels like they can actually build anything anymore is space
it’s the last gasp of optimism left

Have you accepted the mimetic rebranding of Hitler and the Nazis as your lord and savior?

Remember kids Hitler died for you…ish
“My uncle says Hitler escaped to Argentina with the help of the FBI”
“Okay time for a triple dose of adderall for you kid”

Well, at least it’s a viable religion.

something a lot of people are looking for
I’m even more confident in your prediction that the 2020s will be a time of cutls

Did I say that? Completely forgot.

Maybe that’ll be the thing that replaces social media.
from an earlier chat, if i recall correctly

I believe you, my memory is terrible.
My instinct re: blogs was local IRL grinds will replace social media.
Gaming is probably here to stay though, so let’s be on the lookout for “cult followings” to get more literal.
This would be a good time to start reading up on cults then.
Q-anon was just the beginning.
Imagine if Cyberpunk 2077 had a Q-like element as part of its marketing.
It almost did, now that I think of it.
That worries me, since the more cynical folks will see the potential in that.
“OMG guys the latest COD trailer has you shoving a vaccine needle into Bill Gates’ eye! Fucking based!”
Then just send out weekly Q-lite messages.
In-game messages, I mean.
A guy who may be Robert Kennedy is posting cryptic messages on our server!

VISUP put out some good work on the similarities regarding alternate reality games, viral marketing, Q-Anon, and that sort of thing

I should look at that.

It’s interesting the potential you have here
With the ight inputs you can select for followers with a certina level of intelligence and/or particular psychological traits
like blogs not that i think about it, but accelreated and far more intense

Maybe this is why I’ve felt compelled to watch the Ghost in the Shell show again.
Marketers will be studying how to crowd source stand-alone complexes.
Which I suppose just refers to a cult built around a meme rather than a strong personality.
Trump is possibly the best example of this, now that we’ve seen his real existence completely diverge from the meme of him.
For example, his strident supporters who think he’s the Secret King are strongly anti-vaxxers, but he talked about his vaccine for 20 minutes and almost nothing else at CPAC.
Meme Trump and Real Trump are now completely different people.

Well, maybe it’s obvious now. it’s enough ti dig up really old interviews froms the 70s/80s to see he as always playing a role

We’ll have to watch out for the FBI using this cult energy to create gayops.

but that said, the gap between perception and reality is at least an order of magnitude wider now

In fact, now that I say this some rando in Telegram recently was inviting wignats to some FPS server.
Real Trump:
-Pro immigration
-Anti racist
-Pro vaccine
-“Our sacred democracy”
-Concession speeches

Meme Trump:
-Anti immigration
-Pro racist
-Anti vaccine
-Leading the insurrection
-Still president

>Working harder than ever

Anyway, TPTB probably want to turn Waco into a McDonald’s-level franchise.

still the secret president
the system needs no figurehead, the great levianths powering the monolith travel under their own power and only need meat puppets to serve as conduits
but that reads like a lefty meme
Yeah, basically. Things are likely to get ugly

So if we’re the red team, how would we do it?

what are we red teaming?

Nazi Waco.
Gamer Waco.
We want to create the cult, then radicalize it, then exterminate it on public teevee.

put up a giant rainbow flag and some biden/harris lawn signs

You’re Christopher Wray, and your mandate is to increase funding for fighting white domestic terrorism.
And win massive public support.

Create: same mechanism we’ve discussed…engage in online groups/messaging platforms, select for the ideal marks
convince a small number to move into “sanctuary cities”, red states, move into compounds in certain areas
dial up pressure, say they are WNs, Q-Anon supporters, beleive in “Voter Fraud Conspiracies”…etc

Potential issue: gamers don’t move out.

I know

Anything IRL feels risky now. People want to watch exciting things, not do things.

Right. And zoomers/late millenials are a weird psychological breed
“Hey, want to commit white nationalist insurrection”
“Ummm, how will this help my onlyfans?

There’s a protective anti-sincerity AT field too.

“Do you believe X?”


“Shouldn’t you practice what you preach?”

Irony irony irony.


Because they’ve grown up among adults constantly taking advantage of them, it’s better not to believe anything too strongly.
If they weren’t children, I’d call it hardwired disingenuousness.
Protective disingenuousness might be the most precise formulation.

Life finds a way

Defensive mechanisms only become pathological in a higher trust relationship.

Yeah, hard to see how you get a big dramatic Waco moment, now that i think about it
harder to create

Me, I’d draft young women.

well that’s the other thing

OnlyFans women, that way they’ve already sold their souls.

The rise of cults could provide an opportunity
“OnlyFans island, where young content creators canbe protected from radical incels”
something like that?

Pay them to go be gfs and radicalize these naive kids with their first taste of romance.
Think a combination of government informant and intelligence agent working an asset.
Single moms especially are de facto psychopaths.
If they had a choice between killing a man and being 30 minutes late to pick up little Trayvon from daycare…I don’t like the man’s chances.
And I don’t mean that hyperbolically, I mean in that exact situation they’d murder a person if they knew they’d get away with it.
Single mothers are very realistic, rational creatures and it makes them very dangerous.
So if that means radicalizing incels for $500 per month from the government, they’d absolutely do it.

Plausible outline

The training course would be simple.
“Say nice things, the point is to raise his confidence.”

I’m not sure how much this scales, but this could work

Then, when the kid is feeling some self-esteem, tell him about a coding bootcamp.
All expenses paid, live on campus.
And whoa, it’s based!
Half the day is playing games and it’s full of gamers sending Hitler memes in chat!
The other half of the day is temple prostitutes recruited from OnlyFans!

And look, our coding project is examing voting machines!

Fucking based!

Wow, these things are insecure! How has no one messed with these yet?

Did you know voter fraud has a long and storied history!
I never knew reading could be fun!

Blame the irish!

Hey, let’s try to keep this imaginary scenario civil.

I kid

As we’re the true Israelites, what you’ve said is anti-Semitic.

Nobody cares if we radicalize people against the irish


Oh, so it would be based after al



All right, so that’s how I would do it.
But how would a shithead from a super ZIP do it?

Anyway, that could od it
Well, the problem would seem to be scale
Maybe you get enough people to radicalize and you develp some potential assets

He’d probably try to pay Amazon to do it with big data.
Don’t you NSA nerds already have something for this?

Well yeah, it would be guided by big data

Yeah, but you can’t just no-knock raid literally everybody.
Logistically, I mean.


And culturally.
Even the Zoomers fresh out of college would eventually get tired of killing literally every conservative for spurious reasons.

I still think the main PR push is to keep talking up the threats of “the wrong people” online while only hitting a small number of figures
Pour encourage les autres

Makes sense.
So…continue the slow boil?

It seems the more logical plan, but when it comes to semi-copetent careerists, that’s a point against it

I think that raises the question whether the wiser heads can maintain control.

doubt it
There are no wiser heads

Maybe not now, but Disraeli was a genuinely impressive guy.

Eveyrboyd beleives their own bullshit because anyone with doubts isn’t sufficiently “with the program” to play the bureacratic/political games you need to play to rise to the top
the past is a different country

All right then, since human ingenuity is also a different country, being a thing of the past, what we should expect is sequels and remakes and franchise reboots.
Along with more confidence and far less shame.

yep. old tricks with new vigor

Doubling down, which as I established is the theme of 2021.
Everyone is doubling down on their favorite kind of stupid.
So what were intelligence agencies up to 20 years back?
Bell bottoms?
Power bottoms?
9/11 comes to mind.

power bottoms are always useful. inbuilt underground network, a strong sense of isolation from “conventional society” and a particular lack of inhibition

I’m not actually too familiar with what the term refers to.
Found footage movies also come to mind.

hence why there were purges of gays/lesbians from government service in the mid 20th century…fears the commies would subvert and/or blackmail them

So imagine Blaire Witch Project except it’s 9/11 except it’s Nazis.

well 20 years spent fighting terrorists abroad, need to find a way to keep those budgets…so terrorists at home!
I mean, the symbolic moment is already there

In other words, we’re looking at a mass of Sandy Hook incidents with crisis actors and Nazi salutes.

Maybe there are more incidents

All of it livestreamed.
That way you know it’s not a deepfake!

but as we keep talking i’ve grown less sure
i think they keep trying to make hay out of 1/6
with maybe a few incidents to keep the pot boiling

There’s an attention span issue with keeping it on the Capitol thing.
Only Boomers watch Cavuto.
Assuming he’s still on.

i don’t know who that is

Fox News anchor.

That said, the “believe your own bullshit” thing is strong

I think less so with politicos, though maybe moreso with technocrats.

But i suspect we’ll see a grab bag of “incels”, “white nationalists”, “qanoners” just to see what sticks

Well yeah, you gotta A/B test.
That idea is decades old.
The thing is, no one’s actually scared of Q-Anon people.
They’re too ridiculous.
You need a genuine fear, like watching ISIS set people on fire.

which might be the issue…such a threat doesn’t really exist

Even if the right-wing terror group is 100% fake and gay, made 100% of crisis actors, it’s better for that sort of thing.

“chinese influence” is actually the clsoest thing but that doesn’t serve the right political aims

Plus, fake Nazi terror groups don’t go off-script.


So that’s my final answer. Fake opposition actually scary terror group.

Oh yeah, there’s no doubt

Maybe not actually Nazis, there are a couple issues with that, but definitely white, conservative, rural, and religious.

which is close enough
throw in somethig like “radical q-anon splinter group” or something like that

Trump media company tie-in?

something like that
fans of OAN and Newsmax

The only reliable way is to target class markers.
That way people know who to suspect when they encounter them in real life.
E.g. https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/718171918464712755/815216366075641887/unknown.png


So, hunters will be a huge one.
That has the added benefit of taking away the last excuse a liberal will accept for owning a gun. “You don’t need an automatic weapon to hunt.”
If you make hunting a German dog whistle, then that becomes “you shouldn’t be associating out with hunters”.
Correction: “of course they raided you, you shouldn’t be associating with hunters”.
“A hunting group with ties to radical white supremacists was raided by the FBI early this morning. They found what they’re describing as “an arsenal” of weapons and munitions.”
Pan to table full of scary guns.
Cut to Joe the plumber, “It’s scary to think a group like that was operating in our little neighborhood here.”
Put financial pressure on hunting corporations until ammo disappears from the shelves for good.
Make hunting illegal.

Right. Cut off banking, ability to buy/rent property…etc

Cut social media. Stand up fake opposition to replace hunting groups.
Trump: “We oppose this latest measure against iron sights! Of course we all agree no one needs a magnified scope…”
Then he dies of a heart attack and goes to hell for the bump stock ban.
Fuckin Boomer.

instantly martyrized
then the new scare is “trumpist battalions”

So we’ve basically come around to the common sense prediction.

Yes, but it’s always good to examine these things
Should we touch on the self-talk book idea?

Yup, first question is how serious do we feel about it? Second is to estimate how long it would actually take.
Making something worthwhile feels like a 100-hour project to me.
Hacking together a decent internet curiosity feels like a 10-hour project.
A 10-hour project could conceivably be knocked out in a passionate afternoon.
But I don’t see potential for personal growth in that sort of project. We already know we can do that.

then the question is whether or not it would have any effect, and if so, whether thta effect would b a good one or a bad one

To be honest, I don’t feel it’s important enough for the 100-hour version either.
The version of this project that would have a considerable good effect is to do the Anonymous Conservative routine.
100 hours of book writing followed by 1,000 hours of content marketing.

Yes. I noticed the same thing

That would actually get the idea into the collective consciousness.
The issue there is I’m not convinced I’m able to pull that sort of project off.
I would want to practice on something easier first.

We could always retun to operation headache

Speaking of: https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/05/31/do-chess-players-have-higher-iqs-11366
That was on my mind.

pass the smell test
breaking it down would be interesting
visuo-spatil versus mathematical versus verbal iq
i figure that’s descending order of correlation
with working memory playing a huge role

What sticks out to me is that it’s almost anti g-loaded.
“Numerical” likely refers to arithmetic computation, i.e. thinking in a “calculating” way.
The skills on the high end could be referred to as “scientific spectacles”, i.e. the things most strongly influenced by schooling and the Flynn effect.
The skills that are anti-correlated with chess, e.g. problem solving, are the most g-loaded.
In other words, chess is the purest form of System 2 thinking, as everyone suspected.
This explains the intense calorie requirements.

Ah, reading the chart now
Perhaps i should have done that first

Yeah sorry, I didn’t even read the article itself :-P.

don’t bother

I don’t have normal human instincts other than those I built up from obsessing over psychometric charts.
Returning to the project question, I want to ask the same questions as before.
Is it worth it?
How long would it take?
We already created the semi-useful internet curiosity.
Speaking of headaches, this may interest you if I haven’t sent it to you already: http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/
I didn’t keep up with it due to school.

man, that’s ablast from the psat
haven’t touched that stuff in yeasr
every once in a while think i ought to get back into it
maybe i should test and see if it really stuck

Between that and chess I think you’d be covering two of the four subcategories in https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Wechsler_Adult_Intelligence_Scale_subscores_and_subtests.png
Dual N-back trains working memory index (WMI), and chess trains processing speed index (PSI).
I think training any more specific than that does more harm than good, like getting more specific than “resistance strength training”.
Verbal comprehension index is probably best trained by analytical, difficult reading (e.g. reading things like logic textbooks, Aristotle, etc.).
Grammar too. Maybe learning a language would help with the inarticulate linguistics side of things.
Perceptual organization index is the tricky one, because it’s like an overlap between engineering (block design), art/music (picture completion), and pattern recognition (matrix reasoning).
What sort of intellectual hobby exists at the intersection of those things?


Audio engineering?
I like architecture.
That may be it.

or something related
interior designing?
nah, architecture seems to fit better
building is more challenging then arranging/painitng furniture

I imagine the best thing would be designing the interior architecture of a church to maximize lighting, aesthetics, and acoustics to optimize for awe.

oooo…that’s a good one

The most general term for all this would be “design”, since that covers engineering, aesthetics, and patterns.
“Patterns” i.e. noticing.

Yeah, i’d agree with that
so we have design, conscious language learning, chess, and dual n-back training

That settles it, we’re both becoming Temple OS developers.
Prepare for your new life.
Terry Davis confirmed world champion of the mind.

we call it temple because we’re also doubling as a cult

Actually, video game design isn’t far off from what I’m describing with the church thing.

I propose we be a “eugencic red-headed breeding cult”

Now you’re just pandering.
….But go on :-P.

it’s like “save the whales” but with redheads

It’ll be popular too, since redhead selection is frequency dependent.
We’ll be coming back in style any day now.

now we need a PR push
“Are redheads better lovrs?”
“Whats so appealing about redheads?”
“Is your best friend a redhead?”
the real question now is whether the cult is the front scheme for the os development or the other way around

“Dark secrets about the Enkidu myth and modern racism.”

sounds like a academic paper

I was going for an ancient origins dot net headline.
Same thing?
The cult is the front, since the primary motivation is to feel the rush of power from overclocking our brains on religious interior design.
No one will see that plan coming.
M Night Shabambalamps will be like “that was a bit of a tone change”.

Religious Interior Design
A teleology for a new age
“Express the Sipritual Within You”

This has legs if you can actually get this into a video game.
That’s the easiest way to take over the world I can think of.
Cathedral Worship Service Simulator.
Thriving mod community.

That’s an idea

I always thought the stuff people were doing with VR was super lame.
Why the hell can’t I walk through the Palace of Versailles or the Notre Dame Cathedral?

And deprive them of tourist dollars?
Jokes aside, i get the argument for the authentic over the illusion

I want to sing “How Great Thou Art” with an assembly of ten thousand saints.

But people should absolutely be allowed to experience art and histroy and culture virtually
Imagine a serious country that teaches history through virtual reality, foreign language through immersion simulators

Yeah, obviously the virtual is worse, but I don’t even have a car.
I can experience the park on my bike and be happy, but when I have video games on the schedule it would be nice to look forward to it for a change.
If I’m putting stupid goggles on my face I better at least be at a realistic reconstruction of Marathon.
So until people get their shit together, I’ll be over here playing Chrono Trigger for the fifth time.
With a fast-forward button, the combat does get old.

so another project to add to the religious design temple os redhead breeding cult

I will say, despite some of their truly awful artistic choices, the creators of Final Fantasy 10 genuinely captured the religious feeling.
We should probably finish the operation headache thing, that’s what I think.

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7 Steps to Starting a Successful Podcast – Chapter 4 notes

(Sometimes I forget the stuff I’m doing IRL would make good blog fodder. I’ll fish up the notes from previous chapters and backfill.)

Chapter 4: Planning

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupiry

To have the best chance at creating a successful podcast, plan out episodes weeks and months ahead, and continue to adjust the plan based on different circumstances.

Editorial calendars and notebook planners are great options for planning your podcast episodes. You get a great overview of the year and can easily view upcoming and past topics.

Did a specific episode reach more listeners? Adjust your plan and create more content similar to that success.

Is a certain episode no longer relevant? Adjust your plan and no longer create content in that direction.

Start by publishing once or twice a week. This schedule keeps your audience’s attention, it’s a realistic time commitment in perpetuity, and you can always increase it later. Your audience will respond better to an increase in production than a decrease.

The general length of your podcast can vary. You may want to provide short and snappy episodes that are below 10 minutes or have long-form discussions that near 2 hours in length. In the end, it’s all about giving your audience what they want and keeping them engaged.

Most podcasts are organized as follows:

  1. Quick introduction from the host describing with will be covered in the episode.
  2. Musical introduction.
  3. Introduction – Introducing the host(s) and possibly the guests giving all the necessary background information. 
  4. Segue into the first topic.
  5. Topic 1: Talk/discuss for 5-20 minutes.
  6. Segue into the next topic.
  7. Topic 2: Talk/discuss for 5-20 minutes.
  8. Segue into the next topic. 
  9. Topic 3: Talk/discuss for 5-20 minutes. 
  10. Closing comments – Thank the guests and audience. Give the listeners updates on upcoming episodes/events. Ask for a subscription and rating.
  11. Musical outro.

The number of topics can be modified and if you get the opportunity to work with a sponsor, advertising breaks can also be included.


Giving great interviews is not as simple as it seems. If you simply read off of questions you wrote down, it will turn into a very boring episode that your audience won’t appreciate. It is best to try to keep the interview conversational and naturally segue into different topics and questions you want to cover.

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Major and minor disciplines in triathlon

You see a lot of different things described as “the fourth discipline” in triathlon, so I’ve just grouped all these in my head as minor (or “helper”) disciplines.

  • Major disciplines
    • Swimming
    • Cycling
    • Running
  • Minor disciplines (aka “fourth” disciplines, “helper” disciplines)
    • Motivation
      • Positive: goal-setting, daily reminders, visualization, etc.
      • Anti-negative: resilience
    • Nutrition and hydration (ref Matt Dixon)
      • After workout
      • During workout
      • Race planning
      • Daily life
        • Before bed (my addition)
    • Recovery
      • Sleep (I almost made this its own minor discipline)
      • Accelerated recovery techniques
      • Not being stupid
    • Transitions
    • Project management
      • Planning
      • Time management
      • Organization (gear, checklists, training plan accountability)
      • Smart spending
    • Understanding
      • Journaling – both the training journal itself and checking in with your thoughts and feelings more broadly
      • Continuing education (re: triathlon training specifically)
    • Strength training
    • Community
      • Coach-trainee relationship building
      • Training with others
      • Friends and family (good relationships are essential to good health, and therefore athletic performance!)
    • Equipment: researching, buying, learning, integrating into training plan, maintaining
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Devon Stack is looking for someone to be the organizer and project manager for his Day of the Rope movie. He’s also looking for a CTO to pick viable tech platforms for a dissident political project. Either of these would be a good real-world case study to test and market your organization software system.

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A brief criticism of laissez-faire capitalism

As a simple matter of information asymmetry, the best strategy for accumulating wealth is to take advantage of young people. Greed, for lack of a better term, produces this outcome so reliably that we can find this truth enshrined in humanity’s oldest myths. In a laissez-faire economy this predisposition is magnified out of all proportion because the strategy of exploiting the youth scales up to any size population, and competition drives it to its most pitiless forms of expression. We should not expect that the ruthless winners of this evil competition will then turn around and engage in benevolent charity with their ill-gotten gains, as if balancing some Manichean checkbook of justice and injustice. That’s the moral worldview of a child who’s ripe for the picking by adults with less optimism but accustomed to a higher standard of living.

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Cheese and Simpsons consuming beasts

Here’s the same message from two different angles:

So when the Jews describe you as “cheese and sauce consuming beasts”…are they even wrong?

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On interpreting anime and Japanese video games in general

There are two things to keep in mind:

  1. The Japanese have an intensely visual culture in the same way that Anglophone culture is intensely verbal.
  2. Japanese writers are on a mission to reverse engineer, retrofit, and communicate Western philosophy to their audience in order to recreate the West’s successes.

English is an extremely idiomatic language, and the greater portion of our accumulated wisdom is encapsulated in these idioms. Before we had a concept for “the time value of money”, we had the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Our memes, historically, were verbal. You can track the referential progression of our various sayings and slang like etymology. Japanese memes, in contrast, are primarily visual. They have the same quality where the artists reference each other (similar to the reference-laden memes of today’s image boards on the internet), but it’s less a matter of citations and more like how a portrait painter will start out painting everyone to look like himself. So rather than converging on simple verbal encapsulations of hard-earned wisdom (as in English), Japanese accomplishments tend to be nuanced visual encapsulations of archetypes taken from the collective unconscious.

(Betelgeuse notes: In MBTI/Socionics we’d say Japanese culture is iN->eS versus the Anglophone culture of eN->iS.)

In contrast to their complex visual culture, Japanese writers tend to be philosophically unsophisticated and content to borrow from the Western canon. This contentedness is probably due to a genuine humility that comes from the security of a relatively strong ethnocentrist cultural mandate. Since they want people to be able to play “guess the philosopher” successfully, they leave giant clues around that make it pretty clear which book they’re plagiarizing. For example, in Final Fantasy 3/6, they named the Kafka-esque nihilist character “Kefka”. It’s not much of a jump to interpret that one. They wanted the audience to get it.

So when interpreting anime and video games, it’s important to remember that the literary references are going to be pretty hamhanded most of the time, and usually on purpose, but the visuals will often be insightful and quite ingenious. An example of the latter is Kafka’s Light of Judgment, which was created decades before we had notions of SJW attack mobs. I’d go out on a limb and say that the visual aspect of Japanese culture has a prophetic element. The visuals they create are often very good metaphors for systemic changes and pressures that haven’t quite happened yet.

I’m thinking about this right now because Final Fantasy 10 has been on my mind lately, and this duality is on full display in the Leviathan character. On the one hand, they made it a literal Leviathan named Sin so that we’d know the correct interpretive lens is that Hobbes book. But the visuals are genuinely impressive, connecting the notion of the State as a moral institution to the notion of the collective unconscious as a genocide-inducing, behelit-bestowing, Kali Yuga-parasitizing, parasympathetic pressure valve for the systemic negative externalities produced by individual people on average being afraid to look directly at our own shitty behavior. It’s related to a concept I’m trying to formulate right now called “motivated incompetence” (analogous to Haidt’s “motivated reasoning”) to answer the common question about one’s enemies: “At what level are they aware of what they’re doing to me?” For example:

Often it is the additional stress of an illness or period of intense emotional stress that triggers the CFIDS state. This model explains the extraordinary attitudes to CFIDS in certain sectors of the medical community. In the UK there are many who flatly refuse to accept the data, agressively denying that there is any such disease. Sufferers should be managed by obtaining court orders, kidnapping them from their homes in dawn raids, and confining them on locked wards. There the children are “jollied along” (sic) with constant abuse, and forced to perform vigourous exercise. When their condition worstens they are issued with granny frames and continue to be marched up and down. Eventually they end up in bed, being fed by drip since they are too weak to eat, and subject to continued abuse about how much they have “cost” the taxpayer. This kind of behaviour by trained professionals is beyond understanding – perhaps beyond credibility. Yet within the closed and highly ritualised groups of certain healthcare and local government workers, the behaviour has reached the stage where the BBC TV flagship programme “Panorama” recently devoted a whole edition to it. Several after-the-fact court cases against local authorities are currently pending. However, as an unconsciously motivated group aversion behaviour directed at the group of natural immunes as a whole – unconsidered and emotional “lesson teaching” – it is more understandable.


This sort of thing is very difficult to understand except by examining the strange connection between Leviathan-level systemic pressure-to-evil (compare: will-to-power) and motivated incompetence on the individual level. People who experience such things can be forgiven a bit of dissociation because it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that should happen in the same real-life world where the sun is shining, birds are singing, the world is turning, and people around you are complaining about fifty-cent changes in gas prices as if that were important.

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Parable of the angels

This is a story I use to explain the nature of authority to people with introverted sensing as a preferred language.

There was once a family of angels living on the outskirts of heaven consisting of a father, a mother, and a young boy who was just starting to get his wings. Having no free will, they never did anything morally wrong, but not being God they also didn’t have almighty power. So when they were attacked by demons one day, the parents didn’t have the strength to fight them off and were both killed. The young angel was taken to the underworld as a slave where he had a very difficult life until a miracle from God gave him a chance to escape. During that time, and for a long while afterward, the angel felt betrayed by his parents, even though they didn’t do anything wrong other than being created too weak to do the duty given to them by God. Failure felt like betrayal because, ultimately, the result was the same and children in pain aren’t comforted by excuses.

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