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4
EFFORTPOST The Dog Question

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The phrase “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” has Biblical origins, with the Gospel of Matthew 7:15 reading: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” As the idiom implies, one should be wary of those who pose as harmless when they are in fact predatory. Beyond its Biblical context, the lesson has implications in daily life, as it instructs one to be discerning regarding who and what one allows into one’s life. Importantly, the idiom stresses that one should not rely on looks to make judgments, as they can be misleading.

In nature, there are several instances of animals who attempt to be “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. This is a tactic known as aggressive mimicry, and it involves animals attempting to look harmless to prevent being detected as predators. The zone-tailed hawk, for instance, resembles the turkey vulture when in flight. It flies among them, lulling its prey into a false sense of confidence until it is close enough to strike.

As a whole, humans are wise enough to not go near wolves. Their visual appearance is frightening enough. Their perky ears remind one that they are alert predators with keen senses, and their yellow eyes carry no warmth. With their intimidating size and massive jaws, it is clear that they are carnivorous beasts that are not to be trifled with.

In contrast, the domesticated dog has floppy ears, large eyes like a newborn human baby, and a rounded forehead. Many have shortened muzzles and curly tails, and they retain puppy-like behaviour for their whole lives. Consequently, it is dogs and not wolves that have earned the title of “furbaby”, and it is a common belief that the dog is an animal that is suitable to bring into the home and around one’s young offspring.

When comparing the dog and wolf, it is worthwhile to ask which one regularly harms humans. In the past century, there have been two fatal wolf attacks on humans in North America. In contrast, dogs have caused 279 human deaths between 1979 and 1994 in the USA alone. Dogs savage humans far more than wolves, yet it is the dog that is treated as the kind one. It hides behind the innocence of its appearance. The dog is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

A Man's Best Friend

“A Diamond is Forever” is a marketing slogan used by De Beers for decades to sell precious minerals. As De Beers summarises, the phrase “encapsulates the security and eternal romance that comes with owning a diamond and it marks the sentiment of responsibility and commitment between two people”. With four words, De Beers has been able to permanently entangle the concept of love with diamonds.

As many are well aware, the value of diamonds is artificial, and there is no real connection between diamonds and love. Buying a diamond for your spouse does not demonstrate your love, nor does it guarantee that the love will last forever. Nevertheless, through the power of marketing, the phrase persists as a truism that continues to influence society in drastic ways.

The modern man thinks of himself as quite clever to see through the trickery of the slogan “a diamond is forever”. However, the general public remains mostly accepting of a similarly baseless truism – “a dog is a man’s best friend”. It is an easy belief to accept, as humans have been living alongside dogs for centuries. When the phrase is used by the pet industry, it denotes something entirely different. It is meant to imply that dogs are a part of the family; that they go beyond working animals and can live beside our young and in our homes. It implies that dogs can be integrated into all aspects of human life.

There is a marked attempt to keep this big lie alive, and the drive is particularly strong in the West. Once one notices it, it is impossible to not notice it any longer. Time and time again, dogs are portrayed as loving, loyal animals. In popular media, it is not uncommon for dogs to be heroic characters strategically used to garner sympathy from the audience. Paw Patrol, Marley & Me, Bolt, Eight Below, the list goes on. Sickeningly, the majority of these films are marketed towards children, who are primary victims of dog attacks.

Pray tell, what kind of friend sends at least a thousand Americans to the emergency room daily? Is it acceptable for friends to attack 4.7 million Americans yearly? Do friends maul your offspring unprovoked out of jealousy?

Let us compare the dog to other common suburban pets. Dogs bite, disfigure, and kill our young daily, yet we feed and house them. Far from being friends, they are ungrateful, contemptuous creatures that have waged war against us for centuries:

>The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates half of all children 12 years-of-age and under have been bitten by a dog.

>The vast majority of dog bites are from a dog that the child is acquainted with - his or her own, a neighbour’s, or a friend’s dog.

>79% of fatal dog attacks are on children.

>Even small breeds such as Dachshunds and Pomeranians have attacked children resulting in fatalities.

No other pets pose these risks to us. No other pet will attack half the population, target children, and fill up hospitals daily. Cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, none of these pets popular in residential areas maul children. Only one animal does this. Dogs are not man’s best friend. Compared to the rest of our animal companions, they are man's worst enemy.

Bite the hand that feeds you

As part of the dog propaganda machine, there has been a concerted effort to conceal the dog bite epidemic. So strong is the dog propaganda machine that children, the primary victims of dogs, are the demographic most likely to desire one in their home. Children are not born loving dogs – this is the product of years of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Scooby Doo, and the rest of the dog propaganda that has normalized the idea of dogs in the home. With these propaganda pieces, dogs are anthropomorphised and given human voices and emotions, convincing children that dogs are something other than bestial predators with high predatory drives. These beliefs are carried into adulthood, and by that time they have been held for so long that they are seldom questioned.

However, much like one stepping out from an ultra-religious family or an extremist political movement, once one recognises the glaring flaws of one’s beliefs, slowly but surely, a sense of shame creeps in as one realises what a ridiculous meme one had been a victim of. To unstick oneself from the dogist meme, there are few cowtools more powerful than raw numbers. When attempting to portray dogs as harmless, dogists will often focus on a single statistic – deaths. Dogs are responsible for about 30-50 deaths in the USA yearly. The argument made is that this is a relatively small number, and that such anomalies can be prevented by practicing dog safety.

Firstly, it should be noted that the majority of the deaths are children. This cannot be ignored, nor can it be understated. Dog victims are almost always children. Secondly, contrary to popular belief, most dog attacks are unprovoked. In many cases, the victim is not even aware that the dog is around. Alternatively, what is considered “provocation” is regular human behaviour, such as a baby crying or squealing, or a child running, or, heaven forbid, walking near the dog while it is eating.

Most importantly, focusing on deaths allows dogists to ignore the terrible non-fatal effects of dog attacks, including disfigurements, psychological trauma, and lifelong injuries that leave victims disabled. There is also a high pathogenic risk that comes from dogs, as they are the primary transmitters of rabies to humans. One in five dog bites become infected.

So how many people are bitten by dogs? It is impossible to know. A survey done in Pennsylvania revealed that the rate of dog bites was 36 times higher than what was reported to authorities. It’s in a dog owner’s best interest to not report dog bites and to try their best to not visit a hospital to treat wounds, especially in USA where healthcare costs are exorbitant. Consequently, dogs continually bite the hand that feeds them, and the true statistics are never captured.

The question sincere dogists are always left asking after their dog attacks is why? After being fed and treated well its entire life, why would the dog suddenly snap? The answer, more often than not, is predatory drift. Regardless of how much training a dog has, it is still liable to predatory drift. This cannot be trained out of a dog because it is part of its core instincts it inherited from wolves. You cannot predict when it will happen, and even the most loving dog can go into predatory drift:

>Predatory drift is a glitch in a dog's prey drive that causes a dog to display predatory behaviour. The dog tries to stop an agitated, squirming, squealing, running thing from moving and, unfortunately, this involves using its mouth and teeth.

Dogs will be dogs.

Protect and Serve

Of all dogs, it is the police dog that is treated with the most nobility. They’re viewed as heroic, selfless, disciplined, and brave. To interfere with them is a crime, and they receive respect almost on par with their human counterparts.

Police dogs should be abolished immediately. Setting an animal on a human being is unnecessarily degrading and inhumane, and it should not be a routine form of aggression used by law enforcement. It is essentially turning the other person into the prey of a dog. In those moments, the victim is less than a dog, and they are brutalized in an animalistic manner. This barbaric use of dogs is done specifically to degrade the victim and strip them of their dignity, and such tactics are cruel and unusual and have no place in law enforcement. Cops should not get to set dogs on unarmed, non-violent crimes. A dog bite from a German Shepherd results in lifelong disfigurements and permanent injuries. This is a disproportional response.

>An extensive investigation led by the Marshall Project last year examining more than 150 severe bites found almost none of the victims were armed and most were suspected of low-level, non-violent crimes. Some were innocent bystanders. Among those cases are an Arizona man whose face was bitten off, and a 51-year-old man who committed no crime but was mauled to death in Alabama when a dog tore an artery in his groin.

Police are not training cats to do this. Nor are they training pigs, goats, or donkeys. Just dogs. They are uniquely suited for the task of human torture. They have no sense of right and wrong, and they easily are taught to attack innocent, helpless individuals.

>Laureen Frausto was sleeping in an abandoned West Covina, California, post office two years ago when she woke up to a police dog mauling her arm, according to a lawsuit Lacy filed. The dog allegedly dragged her more than 40 feet while officers asked her questions. Frausto underwent four surgeries, lost function in her left arm and hand, and was left with permanent deformities

Look into your heart and tell me that is a proportional response to a homeless person sleeping in a post office. They also attack innocent people, because dogs cannot understand human affairs and discern between suspects and innocent people.

>Desiree Collins sued the city of St. Paul after a dog latched onto her elbow as she was taking out her garbage in the morning while police were out looking for someone else.

Frank Baker, a Black man, was not suspected of any crime when he was brutally attacked by a police dog in 2016 while a cop kicked him in the ribs.

Enough. This needs to be put to a stop.

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Some of this might be wrong, but I think I got most of the interesting points. Dude's dug himself a pit and there's not going to be any good way out of it, I think. It's split up based on the timestamps in his description

00:00 Does he even know how much money he makes?

  • Weird stuff at the beginning where he doesn't want to show his eyes, location or age.

  • Works at a tesla factory

  • Financial situation is "pretty wonky"

06:11 Tax fraud?

  • Left last job because he didn't want to get vaxxed

  • Didn't waste money paying taxes on the interim job :marseykingcrown:

08:49 Weird expenses?

  • Two credit cards

  • $358 in road tolls, includes late fees? He stalled them to the point of being threatened with court? :#marseybased:

10:11 You have NO MONEY!!!

  • $3049 in, $5000 out

  • "I've been... you could say... investing" :marseycool:

  • "I used to budget" "I've maxed all my credit cards" "I used to have thousands money in my savings. All those thousands absolutely gone." "I had to close my savings, in fact I didn't close it myself, the bank just completely deleted it."

11:43 Rent is 60% of his income

  • "Undisciplinary actions on a mutual basis when it comes to sharing rent, for sure"

    • His former roommate (family member, brother) ditched him and left him with the lease
  • Back and forth about whether the roommate is in fact fricking him over by leaving him with the rent bill

    • The answer seems to be a Yes but apparently it's consensual
  • Lease ends in a few months

17:53 You have NO MONEY!!! p2

19:53 Going massively into debt for a dream

  • Big money spent on audio equipment, paying in installments

  • Learning audio engineering

  • Just finished paying off a second(?) $1200 subwoofer

  • Splurged a little on audio software plugins

  • "I've had chances to make money but I did not at the time receive money"

    • He refused payment because he wasn't satisfied with the quality of his own product :marseychad:
  • Believes he will make a thousandfold return on investment

    • Has sunk at least 20k into this

26:33 150% utilization on credit cards!!!!

31:54 DebtCHAOS

  • One is over $5400 and the other is $2697

  • $1700 over his credit limit, they're still letting him purchase on it :marseyretardchad:

    • $129 interest on that in November? Not sure I heard this right
  • "Once I learned I could [spend over the credit card limit] it kinda just set this mentality that I could just do it and then pay it off"

  • $6 under the credit limit on the other one

  • Got declined on a $1 purchase :marseysad:

  • 0% interest until early spring on Credit Card 2

  • Been recently building up hardware collection, started out on software but moved onto hardware

34:00 Hidden car debt....

  • Car loan

    • More than 60% paid off

    • 4% rate

    • Cosign on the initial purchase, refinanced under his own

    • 2018 Chevy

35:31 Do you even have a financial future at this point?

29:50 Are you willing to sacrifice at all?!

  • Mostly backstory stuff

  • Had some health problems during the moving job which made him quit

  • Been cutting back on fast food

41:51 Clean up this MESS

44:03 Rent is 60% of his income p2

  • roughly 1900 on rent on a roughly 50k income? Not certain I heard this one right

  • Long defense of the brother because the brother has helped him out bigly in the past?

50:22 Broke forever...

52:35 Hammer Financial Score

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Reported by:
  • Patsy : rdramahistorian
9
EFFORTPOST Volmageddon [Uncle Bill's Sunday Funday Storytime]

No, it's not about that Indian b-word ruining Scooby Doo, this is far more interesting.

On 5 February 2018, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) Volatility Index (VIX), after nearly a year of low market volatility, increased more than 100% in a single day—from 18.44 at open to 37.32 at close. This sudden spike led to sharp losses for short-term volatility investors who had bet that the VIX would remain low. Several high-profile exchange-traded products (ETPs) that deliver short volatility exposure destabilized or collapsed. Questions remain as to what may have led to the crash on a day that eventually came to be dubbed “Volmageddon”.

Short volatility ETPs had grown extremely popular in the preceding few years because they had profited from sustained low market volatility. Leveraged and inverse ETPs experienced rapid 30% annual growth over the previous decade, exceeding the 20% annual growth of the wider ETP space. The underlying VIX futures market for short volatility ETPs was very volatile. The average 90-day trailing volatility of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index was, on average, 64.0% between January 2007 and December 2017, compared with 17.4% for the S&P 500 Index. Also in late 2017, S&P 500 volatility reached historical lows, at approximately 6.8%.

The two most popular examples of inverse VIX ETPs at the time were the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX short-term exchange-traded note (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX short-term futures exchangetraded fund (SVXY). Both ETPs tracked the inverse performance of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index (henceforth, “VIX Futures Index”).

Following particularly low volatility in 2017, the combined AUM of these funds had rapidly grown to $3.5 billion by early February 2018. In the 5th February price crash VIX rose by 102% and the VIX Futures Index rose by 72%. The two inverse ETPs that tracked the inverse performance of the VIX Futures Index (i.e., the XIV and SVXY) collapsed in the afternoon and suffered abrupt losses. Their prices crashed in the run-up to 4:15 p.m. Eastern time, the daily settlement time of the VIX futures market and the time when ETPs calculate their net asset values (NAVs). The ETP prices continued falling in the after-hours market. By the open of the next day, ETPs had fallen by 97%, according to Bloomberg data.

Many analysts had already argued that the rise of ETFs increased the volatility of the underlying assets as a result of noise. Crowded trades and volatility premium also played a part.

The Value Proposition of Inverse Volatility Products

The VIX approximately tracks the volatility implied by near-term options on the S&P 500 Index. Investing in VIX futures contracts enables investors to take a long or a short position on the future level of the VIX. The VIX Futures Index measures the returns of a portfolio of short-term VIX futures contracts with a weighted average maturity of one month to expiration. Inverse volatility ETPs offer investors the ability to take short positions against future values of the VIX by offering a return equal to the inverse return of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index. Investors in such ETPs profit from unexpected decreases in the VIX and lose from unexpected increases in it. Investors also typically profit in the absence of unexpected changes in the VIX. The reason is that the existence of a volatility risk premium, as well as the negative correlation between VIX movements and stock market movements, implies that futures are typically upwardly biased estimates of future VIX values.

Indeed, by January 2018, the two largest inverse volatility ETPs were the SVXY and the XIV, with total AUM of, respectively, $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion.

The SVXY was structured as an ETF, and the XIV, as an ETN. Both ETNs and ETFs sell shares to outside investors and promise the return performance of an index that they track. An ETF typically purchases and sells assets directly to track an index performance. In contrast, an ETN promises an index's return performance without the mandate to directly invest in assets that are related to the index it tracks. Thus, the ETN is more likely to offer a return profile without tracking error. As such, it relies on the issuer's ability to issue such returns and thus the issuer's creditworthiness. One of the main advantages of an ETN over an ETF for investors is, therefore, that an ETN typically pays out the exact index return rather than the return of the ETF's asset basket. One of its main disadvantages, in turn, is that the ETN is more vulnerable to the issuer's credit risk.

The popularity and interest in inverse and levered volatility ETPs may be surprising considering the view that these products are not well suited for buy-and-hold investors and hedging purposes. A key reason is that inverse ETFs and ETNs must maintain the same “–1×” exposure to their benchmarks every day. Analysts had also proved and showed that the associated daily rebalancing creates compounding mechanics that can lead to poor long-run performance. Accordingly, prospectuses of inverse ETPs specifically note that these products are not appropriate for providing the desired risk exposure for periods longer than a day.

However, these products may provide value to investors through strategies. Many noted that investors may invest in short volatility ETPs because they are seeking to diversify, are reaching for yield, or are chasing positive return performance.

The Ball Gets Rolling

A VIX ETP issuer who sells a short volatility product to investors will typically hedge by taking short posit ions in VIX futures contracts. Doing so ensures the issuer of a neutral position. Normally, the issuer will match the futures exposure with the cash received from investors (or its AUM). Because the fund seeks to deliver returns equal to –1× the benchmark index every day, the issuer needs to rebalance its position each day to ensure that the mark-to-market value of its short futures contracts matches the value of the fund's AUM.

The XIV ETN.

The XIV ETN sought to provide investors with a return mirroring the inverse performance of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Index (VIX Futures Index).

In early February 2018, the value of the XIV's AUM stood at $1.86 billion. As a counterparty to buyers of the XIV, the XIV issuer effectively had a long exposure to volatility equivalent to a notional amount of $1.86 billion. To hedge the full exposure and remain neutral, the issuer took a short position in VIX futures with a total market value of $1.86 billion. This procedure would ensure that any change in the value of the liability to investors would be offset by markto-market changes in the value of the hedge position. Suppose, for example, that the VIX Futures Index rose by 10%. The value of the XIV's AUM would fall from $1.86 billion to $1.86 billion × (1 – 10%) = $1.674 billion, implying a reduced liability for the issuer. The issuer's short VIX futures position would also suffer mark-to-market losses and fall from $1.86 billion to $1.674 billion. Overall, the issuer's gain from a reduced XIV liability would be offset by an equivalent loss on its hedge position. Going forward, however, the issuer would not be neutral and would need to rebalance its hedge as specifically, the notional exposure of the issuer's short futures position increased from $1.86 billion to $1.86 billion × (1 + 10%) = $2.046 billion, and the issuer would need to reduce the exposure of the short position to $1.674 billion.

The issuer would need to buy futures because the value of its liability became $1.674 billion, not $2.046 billion. In the absence of trade, the issuer would have a mismatch on its balance sheet, with a short position in VIX futures that was too large relative to its XIV liability ($2.046 billion ≠ $1.674 billion).

As a result, the issuer would need to close out existing positions through the purchase of new VIX futures contracts to remain neutral. In our hypothetical scenario, the issuer would need to lower its short volatility exposure by buying VIX futures contracts for an amount of $2.046 billion – $1.674 billion = $372 million.

In case of a drop in volatility, the issuer would need to rebalance its hedged position by selling additional VIX futures contracts.

The SVXY ETF.

Like the XIV ETN, the SVXY ETF sought to provide investors with a return mirroring the inverse performance of the VIX Futures Index. To do so, the fund sold VIX futures with a notional exposure equal to the fund's AUM. For example, in early February 2018, the value of the SVXY's AUM stood at $1.7 billion and the fund was short VIX futures with a notional exposure of $1.7 billion. The value of the fund then fluctuated in line with the mark-to-market gains and losses on the short futures position.

A rise of 10% in the VIX Futures Index. The mark-to-market losses on the fund's short VIX futures positions would equal $1.7 billion × (–10%) = –$170 million, and the fund's NAV would accordingly fall to $1.53 billion. However, the notional exposure of the fund would have increased from $1.7 billion to $1.7 billion × (1 + 10%) = $1.87 billion.

Thus, even though the XIV and the SVXY differ in their structures—an ETN and ETF, respectively—both funds feature a need to rebalance their hedge posit ions each day. The fundamental reason is that both funds are leveraged, in the sense that the notional exposure of the fund does not fluctuate in line with the value of the fund. Ie like leverage from a bank and playing it in the markets your exposure and assets do not move in synchronicity. In this case it even diverges more and more 😴😴😴

Volmageddon

The disproportionately large market share in VIX futures contracts held by leveraged ETPs (e.g., XIV and SVXY) amplified the February 2018 volatility shock through their rebalancing mechanism and contributed to their collapse through a feedback loop,

On 5 February 2018, the VIX increased more than 100%, from 18.44 at open to 37.32 at close. This increase is one of the largest daily jumps in the history of the VIX and came after several years of low volatility.

Concurrently, the VIX Futures Index rose throughout the day.

As discussed in the previous wordsX3 sections, this increase in volatility led to a drop in the value of inverse volatility ETPs' AUM and a simultaneous increase in the notional exposure of their short VIX futures positions. To remain market neutral, the SVXY fund and XIV issuer needed to buy VIX futures contracts to match their short volatility exposure with the reduced value of their fund's AUM. In deep markets with sufficient investors, the purchases of VIX futures contracts by ETP issuers with similar rebalancing needs would have had a minimal impact on the prices of VIX futures.

However, in January 2018, the XIV, the SVXY, and other ETPs with similar rebalancing needs after market hours jointly held a significant portion of the market. The market concentration was so significant that the purchase of VIX futures contracts as a result of rebalancing created further upward pressure on VIX futures prices and a feedback loop that would ultimately reduce the value of the ETPs' AUM significantly. Specifically, the purchase of VIX futures would have significant positive effects on futures prices and lead to further drops in the SVXY's and the XIV's AUM. The result would be the need for more rebalancing that would lead to even further drops in AUM.

Lesson for r-slurs:

Why do they mean by rebalancing. 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫

You have given me $10 (your net worth) to short shares. I short 10 shares of $1 and receive $10. My liability to you is $10, my assets under management/exposure (since I have to buy them back within a time frame) is $10.

Now let's suppose the share prices rise by 10%. So the 10 shares I have sold now would cost $11 to buy back. Accordingly I would exhaust the $10 I have got from short selling those shares and use $1 of your money. So your assets (my liability) take a hit of 10% (you're only left with $9) 😭😭😭 and my exposure increases to $11. This is why even though I haven't taken any loan, I am leveraged, since my AUM and exposure diverge more and more.

If you want to learn more, DM me, I'll send you some adderall

Anyway,

The ETPs traded from a 9:30 a.m. open to a 4:00 p.m. close, and by 4:00 p.m., the VIX Futures Index had increased by 39%. As noted previously, both ETPs tracked the inverse of the performance of the VIX Futures Index. Therefore, the increase in the VIX Futures Index increased the value of the combined short volatility exposure of the ETPs from $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion (+39%) by 4:00 p.m. At the same time, the AUM of the SVXY went down from $1.68 billion to $1.04 billion and the underlying value of the XIV went down from approximately $1.86 billion to $1.15 billion (–39%). The value of their combined AUM at 4:00 p.m. was, therefore, approximately $2.2 billion ($1.04 billion + $1.15 billion).

By this time, it was apparent that both ETPs would need to trade a significant number of contracts to remain hedged. Indeed, at 4:00 p.m. prices, the total short exposure in VIX futures contracts that the ETPs would need to close out amounted to $4.8 billion – $2.2 billion = $2.6 billion. In light of this, fund managers would have begun rebalancing before 4:15 p.m., the time when the funds calculate their NAVs and when the VIX futures market closes. This additional demand for futures contracts resulting from hedge and leverage rebalancing likely contributed to the significant increase in futures prices between 4:00 p.m., following the market close for the XIV and SVXY, and the close of the VIX futures market.

It didn't help that the needed number of contracts represented a significant fraction of open interest and volume. For example, in January 2018, the VIX futures market recorded a total open interest of 600,000 contracts, with an average daily trading volume of 400,000 contracts recorded over the five days preceding 5 February 2018 (Cboe 2020). Thus, the contracts needed for hedging and leverage rebalancing represented about 23% (93,000/400,000) of the average daily trading volume in volatility futures contracts and nearly 16% of every contract outstanding (93,000/600,000).

The rebalancing activities of other ETPs, such as 2× volatility futures funds, likely contributed additional upward pressure on VIX futures prices.

AI may also have kicked volatility dabblers in the nuts as High-frequency trading (HFT) also potentially contributed to the crash of short volatility ETPs, especially considering that the average holding period for short volatility ETPs is about 0.88 day.

Conclusion

In February 2018, a spike in market volatility led to a one-day loss of more than 90% for investors in inverse volatility ETPs. This even shows how leverage and hedge rebalancing, coupled with large market concentrations, can lead to sudden collapses of levered investment structures and significant losses for outside investors.

Post Script (Not my words)

Uninformed investors might assume that the leverage returns are generated on a continuous basis, so that if an underlying index is up 5% for a month, the double-leveraged ETF will be up 10% for the same month; if the index is up 10% for 6 months, the ETF will be up 20%, and so forth. That is absolutely not the case. The leverage is determined on a daily basis and the returns for any other period usually will not be double or triple the underlying index.

In order for the leveraged funds to achieve appropriate levels of assets so they can provide their implied leverage, they have to rebalance daily. In the case of an ETF providing long 2-times leveraged exposure, they would typically attain exposure to a notional set of assets equal to 2 times their NAV. An example would be an ETF that takes in 100 units in assets that does a swap with a counterparty to provide exposure to 200 units in performing assets. The rebalancing activity of these funds will almost always be in the same direction as the market.

In essence, a leveraged ETF is essentially marked to market every night. It starts with a clean slate the next day, almost as if the previous day had not existed. This process produces daily leverage results. However, over time, the compounding of this reset can potentially vary the performance of the fund versus its underlying benchmark. This can result in either greater or lesser degrees of final leverage over individual holding periods.

!math !r-slurs

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10
EFFORTPOST The Manlet (or: Cope and Seethe Again) - Chapter 1: An Unexpected Bussy

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats - the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill - The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it - and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

This hobbit was a very well-to-do hobbit, and his name was Messiah. The Manlets had lived in the neighbourhood of The Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Messiah would say on any question without the bother of asking him. This is a story of how a Messiah had an adventure, found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours' respect, but he gained-well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.

The mother of our particular hobbit... what is a hobbit? I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be at in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it). Now you know enough to go on with. As I was saying, the mother of this hobbit - of Landlord Messiah, that is - was the fabulous Marsey, one of the three remarkable daughters of the Old Bussy, head of the hobbits who lived across The Water, the small river that ran at the foot of The Hill. It was often said (in other families) that long ago one of the Marsey ancestors must have taken a fairy wife. That was, of course, absurd, but certainly there was still something not entirely hobbit-like about them, - and once in a while members of the Bussy-clan would go and have adventures. They discreetly disappeared, and the family hushed it up; but the fact remained that the Marseys were not as respectable as the Manlets, though they were undoubtedly richer. Not that Marsey ever had any adventures after she became Mrs. Messiah. Bungo, that was Landlord's father, built the most luxurious hobbit-hole for her (and partly with her money) that was to be found either under The Hill or over The Hill or across The Water, and there they remained to the end of their days. Still it is probable that Landlord, her only son, although he looked and behaved exactly like a second edition of his solid and comfortable father, got something a bit queer in his makeup from the Bussy side, something that only waited for a chance to come out. The chance never arrived, until Landlord Messiah was grown up, being about fifty years old or so, and living in the beautiful hobbit-hole built by his father, which I have just described for you, until he had in fact apparently settled down immovably.

By some curious chance one morning long ago in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise and more green, and the hobbits were still numerous and prosperous, and Landlord Messiah was standing at his door after breakfast smoking an enormous long wooden pipe that reached nearly down to his woolly toes (neatly brushed) - Pizzashill came by. Pizzashill! If you had heard only a quarter of what I have heard about him, and I have only heard very little of all there is to hear, you would be prepared for any sort I of remarkable tale. Tales and adventures sprouted up all over the place wherever he went, in the most extraordinary fashion. He had not been down that way under The Hill for ages and ages, not since his friend the Old Bussy died, in fact, and the hobbits had almost forgotten what he looked like. He had been away over The Hill and across The Water on business of his own since they were all small hobbit-boys and hobbit-girls.

All that the unsuspecting Landlord saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which a white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots. "Good morning!" said Landlord, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Pizzashill looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. "What do you mean?" be said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is morning to be good on?"

"All of them at once," said Landlord. "And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain. If you have a pipe about you, sit down and have a fill of mine! There's no hurry, we have all the day before us!" Then Landlord sat down on a seat by his door, crossed his legs, and blew out a beautiful grey ring of smoke that sailed up into the air without breaking and floated away over The Hill.

"Very pretty!" said Pizzashill. "But I have no time to blow smoke-rings this morning. I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone."

I should think so - in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them, said our Mr. Messiah, and stuck one thumb behind his braces, and blew out another even bigger smoke-ring. Then he Bussy out his morning letters, and begin to read, pretending to take no more notice of the old man. He had decided that he was not quite his sort, and wanted him to go away. But the old man did not move. He stood leaning on his stick and gazing at the hobbit without saying anything, till Landlord got quite uncomfortable and even a little cross.

"Good morning!" he said at last. "We don't want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water." By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.

"What a lot of things you do use Good morning for!" said Pizzashill. "Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won't be good till I move off."

"Not at all, not at all, my dear sir! Let me see, I don't think I know your name?"

"Yes, yes, my dear sir - and I do know your name, Mr. Landlord Messiah. And you do know my name, though you don't remember that I belong to it. I am Pizzashill, and Pizzashill means me! To think that I should have lived to be good-morninged by Marsey Bussy's son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!" "Pizzashill, Pizzashill! Good gracious me! Not the wandering wizard that gave Old Bussy a pair of magic diamond studs that fastened themselves and never came undone till ordered? Not the fellow who used to tell such wonderful tales at parties, about dragons and goblins and giants and the rescue of princesses and the unexpected luck of widows' sons? Not the man that used to make such particularly excellent fireworks! I remember those! Old Bussy used to have them on Midsummer's Eve. Splendid! They used to go up like great lilies and snapdragons and laburnums of fire and hang in the twilight all evening!" You will notice already that Mr. Messiah was not quite so prosy as he liked to believe, also that he was very fond of flowers. "Dear me!" she went on. "Not the Pizzashill who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures. Anything from climbing trees to visiting Elves - or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores! Bless me, life used to be quite inter - I mean, you used to upset things badly in these parts once upon a time. I beg your pardon, but I had no idea you were still in business." "Where else should I be?" said the wizard. "All the same I am pleased to find you remember something about me. You seem to remember my fireworks kindly, at any rate, land that is not without hope. Indeed for your old grand-father Bussy's sake, and for the sake of poor Marsey, I will give you what you asked for."

"I beg your pardon, I haven't asked for anything!"

"Yes, you have! Twice now. My pardon. I give it you. In fact I will go so far as to send you on this adventure. Very amusing for me, very good for you and profitable too, very likely, if you ever get over it."

"Sorry! I don't want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning!

But please come to tea - any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow!

Good-bye!"

With that the hobbit turned and scuttled inside his round green door, and shut it as quickly as he dared, not to seen rude. Wizards after all are wizards.

"What on earth did I ask him to tea for!" he said to him-self, as he went

to the pantry. He had only just had break fast, but he thought a cake or two and a drink of something would do him good after his fright. Pizzashill in the meantime was still standing outside the door, and laughing long but quietly. After a while he stepped up, and with the spike of his staff scratched a queer sign on the hobbit's beautiful green front-door. Then he strode away, just about the time when Landlord was finishing his second cake and beginning to think that he had escape adventures very well.

The next day he had almost forgotten about Pizzashill. He did not remember things very well, unless he put them down on his Engagement Tablet: like this:

Pizzashill 'a Wednesday. Yesterday he had been too flustered to do anything of the kind. Just before tea-time there came a tremendous ring on the front-door bell, and then he remembered! He rushed and put on the kettle, and put out another cup and saucer and an extra cake or two, and ran to the door. "I am so sorry to keep you waiting!" he was going to say, when he saw that it was not Pizzashill at all. It was a dwarf with a blue beard tucked into a golden belt, and very bright eyes under his dark-green hood. As soon a the door was opened, he pushed inside, just as if he had been expected. He hung his hooded cloak on the nearest peg, and "Dramamine at your service!" he said with a low bow.

"Landlord Messiah at yours!" said the hobbit, too surprised to ask any questions for the moment. When the silence that followed had become uncomfortable, he added: "I am just about to take tea; pray come and have some with me." A little stiff perhaps, but he meant it kindly. And what would you do, if an uninvited dwarf came and hung his things up in your hall without a word of explanation?

They had not been at table long, in fact they had hardly reached the third cake, when there came another even louder ring at the bell. "Excuse me!" said the hobbit, and off he went to the door. "So you have got here at last!" was what he was going to say to Pizzashill this time. But it was not Pizzashill. Instead there was a very old-looking dwarf on the step with a white beard and a scarlet hood; and he too hopped inside as soon as the door was open, just as if he had been invited. "I see they have begun to arrive already," he said when he caught sight of Dramamine's green hood hanging up. He hung his red one next to it, and "911roofer at your service!" he said with his hand on his breast.

"Thank you!" said Landlord with a gasp. It was not the correct thing to say, but they have begun to arrive had flustered him badly. He liked visitors, but he liked to know them before they arrived, and he preferred to ask them himself. He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he-as the host: he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful-he might have to go without.

"Come along in, and have some tea!" he managed to say after taking a deep breath.

"A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir," said 911roofer with the white beard. "But I don't mind some cake-seed-cake, if you have any."

"Lots!" Landlord found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off, too, to the cellar to fill a pint beer-mug, and to the pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.

When he got back 911roofer and Dramamine were talking at the table like old friends (as a matter of fact they were brothers). Landlord plumped down the beer and the cake in front of them, when loud came a ring at the bell again, and then another ring.

"Pizzashill for certain this time," he thought as he puffed along the passage. But it was not. It was two more dwarves, both with blue hoods, silver belts, and yellow beards; and each of them carried a bag of cowtools and a spade. In they hopped, as soon as the door began to open-Landlord was hardly surprised at all.

"What can I do for you, my dwarves?" he said. "Edbutteredtoast at your service!"

said the one. "And Snallygaster!" added the other; and they both swept off their blue hoods and bowed.

"At yours and your family's!" replied Landlord, remembering his manners this time.

"Dramamine and 911roofer here already, I see," said Edbutteredtoast. "Let us join the throng!"

"Throng!" thought Mr. Messiah. "I don't like the sound of that. I really must sit down for a minute and collect my wits, and have a drink." He had only just had a sip-in the corner, while the four dwarves sat around the table, and talked about mines and gold and troubles with the goblins, and the depredations of dragons, and lots of other things which he did not understand, and did not want to, for they sounded much too adventurous-when, ding-dong-a-ling-' dang, his bell rang again, as if some naughty little hobbit-boy was trying to pull the handle off. "Someone at the door!" he said, blinking. "Some four, I should say by the sound," said Snallygaster. "Be-sides, we saw them coming along behind us in the distance."

The poor little hobbit sat down in the hall and put his head in his hands, and wondered what had happened, and what was going to happen, and whether they would all stay to supper. Then the bell rang again louder than ever, and he had to run to the door. It was not four after all, it was FIVE. Another dwarf had come along while he was wondering in the hall. He had hardly turned the knob, be-x)re they were all inside, bowing and saying "at your service" one after another. Colin_Robinson, Chiobu, Chapose,HardIsLife, and MarseyIsMyWaifu were their names; and very soon two purple hoods, a grey hood, a brown hood, and a white hood were hanging on the pegs, and off they marched with their broad hands stuck in their gold and silver belts to join the others. Already it had almost become a throng. Some called for ale, and some for porter, and one for coffee, and all of them for cakes; so the hobbit was kept very busy for a while. A big jug of coffee bad just been set in the hearth, the seed-cakes were gone, and the dwarves were starting on a round of buttered scones, when there came-a loud knock. Not a ring, but a hard rat-tat on the hobbit's beautiful green door. Somebody was banging with a stick!

Landlord rushed along the passage, very angry, and altogether bewildered and bewuthered-this was the most awkward Wednesday he ever remembered. He pulled open the door with a jerk, and they all fell in, one on top of the other. More dwarves, four more! And there was Pizzashill behind, leaning on his staff and laughing. He had made quite a dent on the beautiful door; he had also, by the way, knocked out the secret mark that he had put there the morning before. "Carefully! Carefully!" he said. "It is not like you, Landlord, to keep friends waiting on the mat, and then open the door like a pop-gun! Let me introduce Eleganza, Aevann, Maydaymemer, and especially Carpathian!" "At your service!" said Eleganza, Aevann, and Maydaymemer standing in a row. Then they hung up two yellow hoods and a pale green one; and also a sky-blue one with a long silver tassel. This last belonged to Carpathian, an enormously important dwarf, in fact no other than the great Carpathianflorist himself, who was not at all pleased at falling flat on Landlord's mat with Eleganza, Aevann, and Maydaymemer on top of him. For one thing Maydaymemer was immensely fat and heavy. Carpathian indeed was very haughty, and said nothing about service; but poor Mr. Messiah said he was sorry so many times, that at last he grunted "pray don't mention it," and stopped frowning.

"Now we are all here!" said Pizzashill, looking at the row of thirteen hoods-the best detachable party hoods-and his own hat hanging on the pegs. "Quite a merry gathering!

I hope there is something left for the late-comers to eat and drink! What's that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think, for me." "And for me," said Carpathian. "And raspberry jam and apple-tart," said Eleganza. "And mince-pies and cheese," said Aevann. "And pork-pie and salad," said Maydaymemer. "And more cakes-and ale-and coffee, if you don't mind," called the other dwarves through the door.

"Put on a few eggs, there's a good fellow!" Pizzashill called after him, as

the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. "And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!"

"Seems to know as much about the inside of my larders as I do myself!" thought Mr. Messiah, who was feeling positively flummoxed, and was beginning to wonder whether a most wretched adventure had not come right into his house. By the time he had got all the bottles and dishes and knives and forks and glasses and plates and spoons and things piled up on big trays, he was getting very hot, and red in the face, and annoyed.

"Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!" he said aloud. "Why don't they come and lend a hand?" Lo and behold! there stood 911roofer and Dramamine at the door of the kitchen, and Snallygaster and Edbutteredtoast behind them, and before he could say knife they had whisked the trays and a couple of small tables into the parlour and set out everything afresh.

Pizzashill sat at the head of the party with the thirteen, dwarves all round: and Landlord sat on a stool at the fireside, nibbling at a biscuit (his appetite was quite taken away), and trying to look as if this was all perfectly ordinary and. not in the least an adventure. The dwarves ate and ate, and talked and talked, and time got on. At last they pushed their chairs back, and Landlord made a move to collect the plates and glasses. "I suppose you will all stay to supper?" he said in his politest unpressing tones. "Of course!" said Carpathian. "And after. We shan't get through the business till late, and we must have some music first. Now to clear up!" Thereupon the twelve dwarves-not Carpathian, he wa

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10
EFFORTPOST [Effortpost] [Longpost] Irish football fans get dunked on by Portuguese fans

So a football match happened yesterday between Ireland and Portugal which ended on a draw, unlike the match which was boring, the r/soccer match thread was quite entertaining. I will post some of the best comments.

Because of this match Portugal managed to qualify to the world cup while the Irish didn't, this caused some expected seethe by the Irish crowd.

u/lboms1 · 20 h

Teams like Ireland are so pathetic, don't have a slight amount of talent so they recur to constant fouling and physical game play, so annoying to watch

u/eipic · 20 h

Teams like Portugal expect teams to bow down to them as if the land they walk on is holy, they cry victim when they don’t get their way and resort to holding their face like they got boxed by Canelo.´

comment here

u/Jjordynne · 19 h

Portugal needing the ref to scrape a draw against us, small nation mentality

u/RuameisterFTW · 19 h

Ireland is such a massive nation that you had to go to England to find a team to support

Irish Liverpool fans btfo

u/ivysforyou . 19 h

Says the the discount UK.

u/JapaneseJohnnyVegas · 19 h

Discount UK vs discount Spain

Good comeback (comment here)

u/xHypermega · 20 h

Irish fans are so delusional. Getting reality checks every time their NT play, according to their match threads

u/Team-Name · 20 h

Nah, most of our fans know we're shit. You shouldn't have to resort to shithousery to beat us. Portuguese fans ignoring all of the diving and favourable referee decisions are the most delusional.

comment here

u/SadgeKEK · 19 h

Are these Irish fans that dumb they don’t know the rules of football? lol

comment here

u/keithohara · 19 h

So we've played Portugal twice and the ref was Portuguese both times

comment here

u/ivysforyou · 20 h

These irish think this is UFC.

u/SouthBankWWFC · 20 h

These Portuguese are diving cheats

comment here

u/eipic · 20 h

I’m not exactly a fan of Serbia…

But I can only pray they beat the portuguese lot next week.

u/PumpedUpMatic · 20 h

Salty much hum

Should have tried to beat them as well and maybe qualify

comment here

u/ElKaddouriCSC · 20 h

The refs having a laugh there again haha. Gave a foul for absolutely frick all, Danilo is all over Ogbene. What a diving bastard

u/xHypermega · 20 h

What the heck dude, he got elbowed. He even has blood on his face

comment here

u/Jjordynne · 20 h

Teams like Portugal are so pathetic, don't have a slight amount of talent so they recur to constant whining and physical diving , so annoying to watch

u/ivysforyou · 20 h

Nice copy pasta dude... Portugal's front three are worth more than all Irish team including reserves.

Irish poorcels owned (comment here)

u/Red_Brummy · 20 h

Jeezo Portugal are whining, diving plums. Every chance they get they moan to the Ref after falling over. Still, good that Fernandes has not started.

u/FenrirXXVIII · 20 h

Most of the whining I see is from Irish fans.

both sides are whining but the portuguese have better banter. comment here

And for the grand finale... Here is my favourite comment chain of this whole thread...

u/LtSpaceDucK · 19 h

Fricking christ some Irish fans are the biggest whiners

u/EJAG1991 · 19 h

Irish fans abroad are wonderful, Irish fans in reddit completely deluded with small team mentality.

u/08TangoDown08 · 19 h

We literally are a small team lol, how petty are you?

u/PumpedUpMatic · 19 h

We only have 10 million people on this country and we still manage to be one of the teams with most talent in Europe

true tbh...

u/ef123455 · 18 h

I know right?! Premier league flairs will never shut up

u/LtSpaceDucK · 19 h

I had a completely different view on Irish people

Based... Basing your whole view of a nation on reddit comments.

And now for the most epic ownage of an irishcel by a portuguesechad on this whole thread...

u/iiEviNii · 19 h

Says you, miserable c*nts. Lucky to even be leaving with a point. Your team are actually fricking wank mate.

u/ef123455 · 19 h

Yeah, we will enjoy playing in the world cup haha

u/iiEviNii · 19 h

Will you? You just got dominated by a rebuilding Ireland team.

u/ef123455 · 19 h

“Dominated” we played our B team and drew

u/iiEviNii · 19 h

And you didn't deserve to draw. Are you telling me that Portuguese fans aren't constantly moaning about how bad the manager and team are, and about how much they're not enjoying watch them?

Because one look at the post match thread says no Portugal fans are enjoying their games.

u/ef123455 · 18 h

Yeah we are not happy but that is because we dont have a small team mentality like the irish and we actually demand results from our team…

Maybe that why your country is so shit at football, you Irish sure are happy with little… Imagine being happy about drawing lmao

u/TechM635 · 19 h

Your fans spent most the match complaining about the manager.

If ye even qualify for the World Cup and he’s still in charge.. ye won’t enjoy it

u/ef123455 · 19 h

Do Ireland fans even know the feeling of having your team win a trophy?? Truly sad to see…

u/TechM635 · 19 h

Not our soccer team, we expect them to be like this due to the fact other sports in our country like rugby get priority.

And we win trophies in the sports we give priority

u/ef123455 · 19 h

Ok enjoy your rugby trophies lol

Rugbycels cant stop losing!

Comment chain here

There is a lot more drama but the post is getting to big, if you want to see the rest feel free to sort by controversial on the linked thread!

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12
EFFORTPOST A short story: The Gift

“You'll be alright. Just stop squirming honey, lay still,” Orpah said.

Samson lay on his back on the hot rocks beside the rugged rock path of Sonder Mountain. The sun was flaming intensely, laying a blanket of heavy heat over them. His leg was bent awkwardly, unnaturally, so much so that a lick of the white of his bone could be seen through his shin.

“Calm down honey,” Orpah soothed him, leaning the water flask into his mouth.

The yelling had stopped. Samson had screamed and yelled in pain until his vocal cords were bloody. It was obvious that there was no one else on the path, and with nighttime fast approaching, unlikely it was that the situation would flip. Orpah took off her top, leaving her in just her skimpy white vest, before soaking it in water and laying it over Samson's forehead. The sky was a deep shade of orange. It would have been quite beautiful to look at if the situation was different, less dire perhaps. Orpah knew she would be able to find help at the bottom of Sonder Mountain. But that was easily a three-hour hike, and with night looming over them, she couldn't risk leaving Samson at the mercy of the coyotes. Not while his leg dripped blood and he dipped in out of consciousness, driven hysterical from pain. So she remained at his side, lovingly combing her fingers through his long hair as she tended to his needs.

“They'll notice we aren't there at dinner and come out looking for us. I'll start a small fire to make us a tad more visible,” Orpah said.

Samson gritted some form of acknowledgment through his gritted teeth. His face was almost as pale as his knuckles. Pain like this, it was nothing he ever felt before. It had him contemplating death, wondering whether a life with this amount of agony was one worth cherishing, worth fighting for. Was death not void of all such suffering? But he held on to life, if only for Orpah and her beautiful face, the love she evoked within him, and the tenderness of her touch.

“Go… find… help,” Samson managed to utter without opening his jaw.

Orpah looked up at him.

“Light the fire… and go find help… it'll keep the… coyotes away,” Samson explained.

“Are you sure?” Orpah asked.

Samson nodded. His leg had gone numb from the pain. The feeling of being stabbed over and over again was so consistent it had become a non-factor, like when noise is so ceaseless it becomes soothing or when you wear your glasses for so long you forget they're on. The first few stars twinkled in the sky which was slowly turning from orange to black. Orpah reached into her backpack and pulled out a box of long matchsticks. The trail was mostly stones and sand, but Orpah managed to gather enough sticks to start a sizeable flame. She cordoned it off with a few rocks, kissed Samson on the forehead, and headed down the trail.

“I'll be back as fast as I can,” Orpah said.

The smoke from the flame was serpent-like, the wisps slithering sinisterly. Every moment remaining in consciousness was a conscientious effort. He was glad for the flame. The air had suddenly gone from sweltering to chilly which only made the pain worse. Suddenly he felt the ground shake. He wasn't sure at first; it was as subtle as can be. But it grew and grew until it was an undeniable tremor, as if a giant was walking in the vicinity. Samson didn't have to wonder too much before the source made itself known. A kangaroo hopped out from behind a rock. It was purple and had a flame on the tip of its tail.

“What the everloving frick are you?” Samson said aloud in fear, “what in the frick is that?”

The kangaroo looked at him, tilted its head, and smiled. About twenty crabs crawled out its pouch and scattered all over. The kangaroo stretched in relief. Samson tried to crawl away but failed. The kangaroo was still towering over him.

“I done carried them from Jupiter. Nasty lil buggers, those claws are nothing to be ignorin',” the kangaroo said in a raspy voice.

“What the actual frick is going on?” was all Samson could manage.

“S'pose now is a good a time as any for an explanation. My name is, well I aint got a name. No need for those on the dimensional plane I'm from. I've taken this form because your puny mind would never understand my true form,” it continued raspily.

Samson blinked hard twice. He was convinced this was some kind of hallucination, his mind playing tricks on him, insanity brought on by dehydration and deliria.

“I am the bringer of the gift of death. You can do nothing to earn it, nothing to lose it but like any other gift, you may decline it,” the kangaroo continued, but this time in a different voice like a lady.

“How do I know you're real?” Samson managed to ask.

The kangaroo paused for a while, thought, and then answered.

“On the sixteenth of December your wife Orpah was asleep and you wanted a sandwich. You were too lazy to make it yourself so you opened a jar of Nutella and ate directly from it, you ate it all Samson, all. You got sick the next day and denied eating it. You told Orpah that from the bottom of your heart you didn't do it. But you did,” the kangaroo said in a different voice yet again.

It was as though the kangaroo was having great fun altering its voice each time. Perhaps more out of embarrassment than anything else Samson admitted to himself that indeed the kangaroo was not a figment of his imagination. The entire situation fell into the category of ‘too strange to be fiction'.

“So… am I dead?” Samson asked tentatively.

“Only if you want to be,” the kangaroo replied casually.

Samson lowered his eyebrow, his forehead creased. He was flummoxed.

“Death is a gift, as I have said. You can accept it or reject it,” the kangaroo explained.

He held his long tail in his hand, swinging it around casually.

“And, uhm, if I choose death? What would happen, I'm not saying that's what I want, but if I did choose death, what would happen next?” Samson asked, making very sure to emphasise that he wasn't asking for death.

“I don't know. I've never died. I'm only the collector of souls. I can tell what will happen if you choose life though,” the kangaroo said.

Samson shrugged.

“Oh c'mon, the same old,” said the kangaroo, “pain, misery, discontent, disappointment. Amidst it all a few moments of love and happiness. I've seen a lot of lives in my job. No matter where you are, how you live, it's always the same. Just a different variety of it.”

Samson paused for a while. He had forgotten about his broken leg, something that tends to happen when you have a kangaroo from the realm of death before you. A sly thought crept in his mind.

“You said that death is a gift, right?” Samson queried.

“Indeed.”

“Then, like any other gift, I could pass it on, couldn't I?”

“I s'pose.”

“Then I give my gift to Orpah,” Samson said resolutely.

The kangaroo looked at him, vexed.

“Your own wife? Well that's certainly a new one,” the kangaroo said.

“If death truly is a gift, I would not want my last action to be something as selfish as running away from the strife of the world. If my wife takes it, I will know she loved death more than I. If she rejects the gift, then this will be a life worth living. I don't know, it makes sense in my head,” explained Samson.

“Very well then.”

And the kangaroo stuck its purple hands out, waved them and uttered a magical spell. The sky lit up in a million colours. And then the kangaroo was gone. Samson lay there in the darkness of the night with only the flickering of the flames as his company. No one came until morning when the mountain ranger came around for his morning route. In a state of semi-consciousness, all Samson remembered was being lifted up and put into the back of a pickup truck. He swung in and out of consciousness and found himself on a soft bed, his leg raised in a cast in some sort of log cabin. The ranger and Orpah stood over him.

“He almost died,” he heard the ranger say.

“Oh my poor honey,” Orpah said, “I'm so grateful you saved him. How can I ever show my gratitude?”

“Well there is one way,” he heard the ranger say smugly.

A bit of whispering and a bit of giggling and Samson heard the sound of something oddly similar to the clank of a metal belt buckle hitting the ground. They left the room.

Samson wanted his gift back.

None

1. How to stoically forgive myself after a hanging attempt? 🥺🥺🥺

How to Stoically forgive myself for attempted suicide?

My health problems felt so hopeless that I believed I had no other option but to end my life.

So, I spent four nights trying to hang myself. (Partial suspension with foot/bum/knees always on the ground.)

It didn't work, and now I'm only in greater shame, self-hate, and health anxiety for what I did.

I'm paranoid that I have neck/brain damage. I went to the hospital (they did no scans) and then later got a carotid artery ultrasound from my GP - which came back perfect, yet I'm still in deep fear that the neck pain will never go away and will be a constant reminder of this shameful decision. What makes it worse is that I did this to myself. Suddenly, my other health problems don't feel so bad.

I'd love some help forgiving myself and believing the doctors that I will be okay and the pain will go away.

Since doing this four weeks ago, I'm terrified that this will define the rest of my life. Especially if the pain never goes away.

2. Is my neck okay after hanging attempts? 😰😰😰

Is my neck okay after hanging attempts?

I am deeply ashamed and won't try this again, but I tried to hang myself for several nights. I tried partial suspension hanging - meaning my feet, bum, or knees were always on the ground.

I went to the hospital, and they did no scans and said I was okay.

I also went to my GP who ordered a carotid artery ultrasound and that came back perfect.

Does this mean I escaped any long term neck or brain damage?

Or do I need to get an MRI or other tests?

As all I can think about is that I'll have to suffer the pain of this terrible mistake for life. Which is making life heck.

I'm terrified my neck will never be the same again.

3. Would a neck MRI clear me from hanging injuries? 😱🤔🤔

Male. 42. 85kg. 183cm.

Anxiety and depression.

Valium.

I'm in deep shame and paranoid that I've ruined my neck for life after attempting partial suspension hanging (I always had my feet, bum, or knees on the ground) over several nights. I never passed out.

I went to the hospital, and they did no scans or tests. But my GP did a carotid artery ultrasound, which came back clear.

But since then I still have neck pain (along with other symptoms like ear and swallowing pain) and extreme anxiety, so I'm wondering if a neck MRI is the best test to clear me of everything I'm worried about completely - so I can finally get back to living.

Thank you for your time. I've been living in pure fear and regret since. I'm very sorry.

4. How do you still enjoy life with Peyronie's Disease? 😞😞🍆❌

Since getting this disease I have not been able to enjoy a second of life. Having this disease with all the shame that goes with it has destroyed me. And now that I also have pain, I have no idea if having a life worth living is possible. I know I ask a lot of everybody on here, but I'd love to know how those who manage to still have a life worth living with Peyronie's Disease manage to do so. What are your secrets? As I keep seeing suicide being my best choice to be done with this cruel curse.

5. Psychologist said Peyronie's Disease is so bad that no therapy could help 🤒😮😮‍💨

I'm very much hoping she is wrong.

But as said in the title, my new psychologist said that she thought Peyronie's Disease was simply too devastating of a disease for any type of therapy to help men cope.

It made me feel ever more doomed - and basically confirmed it's all over, with suicide being the only medicine.

6. Best easy-to-understand Stoicism books on Audible? ☺️☺️🎧

I have a lot of Audible credits, so I'm looking to spend them on some great and easy-to-understand Stoicism books. Likely suited to a beginner.

I'm after guided books like How to Think Like a Roman Emperor rather than the straight texts.

As I need all the help I can get trying to understand all this!

7. Why has no cure been found for Peyronie's Disease? 😤😤😡

What makes this curse so darn impossible for medical science to treat? Also, are people currently working on new treatments? Or has the medical community given up all hope?

8. Need help coping with an extremely embarrassing disease 😭😭🏳️‍⚧️✅

Sorry to reach out like this, but my own reading and journaling doesn't seem to be working - so I'd love some advice from you lot on how to use Stoicism to cope with a disease that I feel has completely ruined my life.

It's called Peyronie's Disease, which has left my peepee bent and unusable. It's notoriously difficult to treat. And it's not something you can talk with anybody about.

My thinking problems are that I no longer feel like I'm a man, I feel like my life is completely ruined and is not worth living anymore, I feel that I'll be forever alone, and I worry that this will never be healed - and that I'm cursed for life and broken.

I also keep having thoughts that no man would carry on living with a disease like this.

Again, sorry for the rant, but I'm desperate to find some Stoic relief if that's possible.

9. Does caffeine tablets cause diarrhoea like coffee? 💩💩💩

Struggling with long-term carnivore diarrhoea so cut coffee. Wondering if I can take caffeine tablets, or they cause diarrhoea too?

10. Basic one I'm stuck on. How can I possibly be happy with horrible illnesses? 😞😞😞

I'm new here and have been reading “how to think like a Roman Emperor” as well as watching Einzelgänger on YouTube.

For a bit I thought I was making mild progress.

Perhaps I'm just tired, but today I was bombed by the thought that my chronic illnesses 100% prevent me from being happy, so I'm excluded from the benefits of Stoicism. I was stuck and couldn't seem to find anything that I've read so far to help me out.

However, I'm sure I'm missing something very basic here and I would love some help finding relief and getting back on track.

Thank you!

11. Sticky, dark poops. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 (I'm sorry but this is just too many emotions to put in 3 emojis)

I'm 34 days in.

I only pass scowtools every three days or so, but they are now dark and incredibly sticky/impossible to wipe, requiring a shower.

They are also soft, small little nuggets. Which I guess is better than the diarrhoea it's been since day one?

Wondering if this is okay/normal and I'm fine to keep up this WOE and things will right themselves eventually?

Thanks all.

12. Anyone treat Peyronie's disease with carnivore? 💪💪💪

I know this is a long shot, but I'm wondering if anybody had or has heard of people have any success treating Peyronie's disease with carnivore? As it does sound like the disease is from inflammation.

12 (Extended) Here's a short explanation of the disease:

What is going on? - If you have Peyronies, you have a condition that caused your body to replace normal elastic tissue in your peepee with non-elastic scar tissue called plaque. It has no association with plaque in your arteries or elsewhere in your body. You have Peyronies when your body forms scar tissue in the peepee in places where it is not needed to heal a wound. It replaces normal elastic tissue, often far from any injury, and it can cause deformity, much like putting a piece of Scotch tape on a balloon and then blowing it up. The resulting deformity can be a bend, narrowing or dent, or shortening of the peepee. If you have scar tissue at the site of real damage on the peepee that is NOT Peyronies Disease. That is a normal healing process as long as the scar tissue does not spread over healthy tissue. Be aware that most bends are just natural variations from one peepee to another and are not Peyronies Disease. A peepee is seldom perfectly round and straight any more than noses are all the same shape.

14. Can carnivore help fibrosis conditions? 😞😮☺️

I'm trying to treat Peyronie's Disease, and unfortunately there's VERY little treatment options.

So, I'm hoping going carnivore could be the silver bullet to treat fibrotic conditions like this.

15. Starter stack for treating peyronie's disease 🤣😂😆😄😃😊☺️🙂🤭🤨😒🤔🧐😐😑😕🫤🙁☹️😧😦😮😯😲🫨😵‍💫😵😰😨

I'm going to be proactive and get started on treatment while I wait to see a urologist.

Is there anything I'm missing? I would love your thoughts on my battle plan.

SUPPLEMENTS

CoQ10 – 400mg daily

L-Arginine – 3 grams daily

Acetyl L-Carnitine – 3 grams daily

Taurine – 1.5 grams a day?

K2 and D3 – once a day capsule.

DRUGS

(Also, I'll ask my GP for:)

5mg Cialis.

Pentox.

LIFESTYLE

Carnivore diet (zero carbs)

Daily walks.

No smoking.

No alcohol.

CONSIDERING

I'm now thinking of adding:

Ginkgo Biloba

Silymarin

Bilberry

Propolis

OTHER

I'll wait until I see the urologist before starting any traction/stretching/vacuum therapy.

!r-slurs our god has arrived

None
13
EFFORTPOST Scott Alexander Doesn't Understand Cult Public Relations Part 2: NARCISSISM

It turns out that I was coming in late to the conversation when I posted my takedown last night.

Effective Altruism has been experiencing subjectification at the hands of Twitter and Scott Alexander continues to miss the point in such spectacularly abundant fashion that I'm a little annoyed I dashed what I said last night.

The problem with Effective Altruism isn't whether or not it is a part of American Civic Virtue. That isn't really the debate.

The problem with Effective Altruism is that as a movement it is a pure expression of intellectual narcissism.

Scott Alexander is a Narcissist

He thinks, perhaps, that he has escaped narcissism because he delegates the recipient of the adulation to an egregore. But he must defend the threatened object of his narcissism at length, and the nature of his defense reveals the thinness of the cult mentality in pure, dripping narcissism that is deeply repellent to other people.

Most Movements have Exactly the Reputation they Deserve.

Let's dig in.

THE WORD OF THE LORD

Matthew 6

1“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Praise be to God.

Now this passage provokes an ETERNAL CONUNDRUM in that it makes communicating about good and evil difficult, OR...

This passage reveals the ETERNAL CONUNDRUM about communicating about good and evil.

These people think they're atheists.

It happens all the time that people break the spirit and the letter of this religious command simply for the Christian Church to communicate and organize its doings (if there even is such a single conglomeration). Certainly I am self-consciously a cult leader in that I have self-consciously cult - ivated a following. But I am a student of the mystic zummi, and zummi gave up his mask once it became cumbersome: in this way he successfully demonstrated detachment from the spiritually impure form of his following once it had more or less served its purpose (it was an accident of our gathering and therein was its beauty).

The SFBA Rationalist Cult did not have such an intelligence at their disposal.

If you were to throw this verse in Scott Alexander's face after he cried in the public square about the good he and his flock were doing, he would quite rightly dissemble: how is it that we're supposed to talk about doing good?

But the problem with Effective Altruism is that it believes it is separate from the American Civic Religion, even though it is not. It is merely a replication of Christian ethos in a supposedly secular philosophical framework in a deliberately spiritual practice. These people are merely hopelessly confused Christians seeking to differentiate themselves from American Civic Virtue at large with a cult name.

In other words it's not enough that their cult gives, they also demand, in a narcissistic sense, to be recognized for their giving, and they refuse to take any sort of responsibility for the reputation they have incurred.

Scott Alexander doesn't understand: he is the SBF of writing about politics. Every single luminary from the SFBA Rationalists carries the imprint of narcissistic fraud upon them, and they cry angrily that no one will recognize them for "their" work.

With that said, let's look at Scott Alexander's impressive display of impressing you with his display of impressing money virtue money impressing.

Socialists think we're sociopathic Randroid money-obsessed Silicon Valley hypercapitalists.

Because the end result of your "AI Safety" team is capitalists exploiting AI.

But Silicon Valley thinks we're all overregulation-loving authoritarian communist bureaucrats.

Because they're winning in the conflict over their exploitation of AI. The biggest narcissism at work in their AI team is believing they, and they alone, were working on AI safety. Some of us just know how to keep quiet. But I foresaw that there would be idiots who would talk anyway. Who would do the work anyway. It's just funny that the AI Safety team of the SFBA Rationalists were the least effective AI Safety team that has ever existed. (SotS didn't form an AI Safety team: that's just how competent we are.)

So their AI Safety team is pure fraud. (It doesn't matter what they believe, only that they're incompetent.)

The right thinks we're all woke SJW extremists.

Unsurprising the group that prioritizes order at the expense of outcasts is skeptical of a cult of midwit outcasts.

But the left thinks we're all fascist white supremacists.

No, at least, I only think you're incapable of noticing fascist white supremacists, which is worse. That's the EY = fraud AI researcher, SBF = fraud financier, SA = fraud political writer part.

The anti-AI people think we're the PR arm of AI companies, helping hype their products by saying they're superintelligent at this very moment.

Why is it their problem if your team has a PR problem?

But the pro-AI people think we want to ban all AI research forever and nationalize all tech companies.

Why is it their problem if your team has a PR problem?

The hippies think we're a totalizing ideology so hyper-obsessed with ethics that we never have fun or live normal human lives.

You're writing a hyper-obsessed article about ethics in which you are clearly intent on spreading a totalizing ideology. ("No I'm not saying everyone should be an effective altruist, just that effective altruism is a good movement!" And that's where the cult mechanic is operating unconsciously on these sleepwalking myconids.)

But the zealots think we're a grift who only pretend to care about about charity, while we really spend all of our time feasting in castles.

I think the argument that you care more about being perceived about caring effectively about charity than the actual charity itself has a lot of weight: narcissistic cult.

The bigshots think we're naive children who fall apart at our first contact with real-world politics.

In a world where the political parties were: religious fundamentalists behind an authoritarian strongman unto fascism, and the political party that believes in climate change, your team got lost and thinks it's somewhere in the middle even though you're all fricking shitlibs performing American Civic Virtue like good Christians but without any proper awareness of your spiritual origin. (If it's not just Christianity with a lot of complicated handwaving so you can pretend you're atheists, what is it?)

But the journ*lists think we're a sinister conspiracy that has “taken over Washington” and have the whole Democratic Party in our pocket.

This is were Scott Alexander especially is just an idiot. Many of the midwits under the SFBA Rationalist banner suffer from this problem of essentializing journ*lisms, and in normal circumstances I might be willing to give Scott the benefit of the doubt here for brevity, but he does this all the time. His hatred of journ*lists is deeply irrational and comes from his narcissism getting poked at by the NYT.

[An infographic in which Scott Alexander presents twitter criticism of EA]

Scott spends no time rebutting these arguments directly.

The only thing everyone agrees on is that the only two things EAs ever did were “endorse SBF” and “bungle the recent OpenAI corporate coup.”

This is the conversation for inside the PR committee, not for a public statement. Yes, those are the things which EA is known for being involved with. Yes, those things reflect badly on EA.

In other words, there's never been a better time to become an effective altruist! Get in now, while it's still unpopular! The times when everyone fawns over us are boring and undignified. It's only when you're fighting off the entire world that you feel truly alive.

In a post ironic world, all expression is genuine. Scott Alexander doesn't believe he's a myconid. Scott Alexander does not believe he is recruiting for a cult. He carries out the motions of a ritual's function, and he receives the ritual's result.

All of this is precisely why EA deserves criticism.


Time for a quick break.

:#marseydrinkwater: :#marseycool:

We ready? Alright. Now we get to the counter-gish-gallop.


A Gish Gallop isn't inherently bad form. If the preface Scott Alexander wrote were coherent and shorter, this would be an interesting document. Unfortunately, the opening paragraph of the Gish Gallop is deep failure.

And I do think the movement is worth fighting for. Here's a short, very incomplete list of things effective altruism has accomplished in its 10 years of existence. I'm counting it as an EA accomplishment if EA either provided the funding or did the work, further explanations in the footnotes. I'm also slightly conflating EA, rationalism, and AI doomerism rather than doing the hard work of teasing them apart:

COMPUTER

ENHANCE

I'm counting it as an EA accomplishment if EA either provided the funding

There it is. Done. QED. This is narcissism. It's a narcissistic cult in which they think they avoid the narcissistic attachment by delegating it to an outside non-human anchor: their Team which is now getting criticism, and their response to criticism is to say

"LOOK AT HOW MANY POINTS WE COLLECTED!"

What do you want, Scott? Do you want an award? For all your good boy points, I am prepared to issue a motion in Impassionata Congress to give you an award: the "EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM IS A REAL CULT WITH REAL PHILANTHROPIC NARCISSISM" award is practically in the mail, I bet I can convince the other Impassionatas to vote 'yes.'

Providing funding isn't doing the work and you really shouldn't be proud of it

But if you are you shouldn't form a cult about it

and if you form a cult about it

Don't be surprised when that cult gets a reputation for being conceited. For being full of frauds who are more interested in getting credit than anything else.

You want credit? You'll get it, but here's what that looks like.

Saved about 200,000 lives total, mostly from malaria

FRAUD. The cult provided money for other people to do work. All of his citations link to non-profits, I'm not digging into every single one but I'll do a few. This one is GiveWell, whose wikipedia page states:

"In 2006, Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld, who worked at a hedge fund in Connecticut, formed an informal group with colleagues to evaluate charities based on data and performance metrics similar to those they used at the fund, and were surprised to find the data often didn't exist.[2] The next year, Karnofsky and Hassenfeld formed GiveWell as a nonprofit to provide financial analyst services to donors."

"In 2013, GiveWell moved its offices to San Francisco where people in Silicon Valley had become strong supporters of the effective altruism philosophy."

In other words, existing Non Profits were already practicing "effective altruism" before the cult tried to take credit for it. What did EA add except for fraud, this taking credit that Scott Alexander so brazenly attempts?

Treated 25 million cases of chronic parasite infection.

FRAUD. The cult provided money for other people to do work.

Given 5 million people access to clean drinking water.

FRAUD. The cult provided money, and wants to take credit for the work.

Supported clinical trials for both the RTS.S malaria vaccine (currently approved!) and the R21/Matrix malaria vaccine (on track for approval)

FRAUD

Supported additional research into vaccines for syphilis, malaria, helminths, and hepatitis C and E.5

FRAUD

Supported teams giving development economics advice in Ethiopia, India, Rwanda, and around the world.

FRAUD

Convinced farms to switch 400 million chickens from caged to cage-free

Scott Alexander's own footnote says:

Their numbers add up to 800 million but I am giving EA half-credit because not all organizations involved were EA-affiliated. I'm counting groups like Humane League, Compassion In World Farming, Mercy For Animals, etc as broadly EA-affiliated, and I think it's generally agreed they've been the leaders in these sorts of campaigns.

AN HONEST FRAUD IS STILL A FRAUD.

Freed 500,000 pigs from tiny crates where they weren't able to move around

This is another one I dug into and FRAUD I'm not going to run through all of these because you get the idea.

Gotten 3,000 companies including Pepsi, Kelloggs, CVS, and Whole Foods to commit to selling low-cruelty meat.

This one doesn't even have a cite and sounds like they're taking credit for the bandwagons others made. FRAUD.


This is the part where things get wacky. See Scott Alexander knows, on some level, that he's defending his cult, as he "slightly [conflates] EA, rationalism, and AI doomerism."

AI

Developed RLHF, a technique for controlling AI output widely considered the key breakthrough behind ChatGPT.

Is this really effective altruism or is it just a cult defending its contribution to AI Threat?

…and other major AI safety advances, including RLAIF and the foundations of AI interpretability.

The really unfortunate thing is that though EY was stupid enough to talk he was also loud enough that researchers in his cult were part of generating the AI Threat.

Founded the field of AI safety, and incubated it from nothing up to the point where Geoffrey Hinton, Yoshua Bengio, Demis Hassabis, Sam Altman, Bill Gates, and hundreds of others have endorsed it and urged policymakers to take it seriously.

You didn't found the field of AI Safety and anyone who thinks this just because the Bishop of SFBA Rationalism said it is an idiot. AI Safety has been a concern for decades. As an actual field the better work was done by people with pedigrees and yes that is 100% an endorsement of formal education over FRAUDS TAKING CREDIT FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK.

That you got a bunch of names to sign a letter doesn't mean it was a success.

Helped convince OpenAI to dedicate 20% of company resources to a team working on aligning future superintelligences.

lmao "Secured some lip service to AI safety after Capital had taken over AI development"

Gotten major AI companies including OpenAI to work with ARC Evals and evaluate their models for dangerous behavior before releasing them.

This is good work that is not altruism, not effective, and if the only thing connecting it to EA is that it's part of the SFBA Rationalist Cult Complex, you have a problem.

The more accurate story is that Eliezer Yudkowsky bricked a bunch of human brains with bad firmware, but some of them landed in a good enough spot to work on the problems that everyone was already working on: it's just that SFBA Rationalists have the brainworm of tithing the credit to the SFBA Rationalist cult.

Scott Alexander has to Stop Performing Cult Bishop in order to actually address the criticism of the SFBA Rationalist Cult, of which Effective Altruism is just one banner.

Got two seats on the board of OpenAI, held majority control of OpenAI for one wild weekend, and still apparently might have some seats on the board of OpenAI, somehow?

:marseylaugh: "we're naive children who fall apart at our first contact with real-world politics." :marseylaughpoundfist:

[Sam Altman manipulates EY directly in a tweet]

The SFBA Rationalists are so easily duped it's a bit sad.

Helped found, and continue to have majority control of, competing AI startup Anthropic, a $30 billion company widely considered the only group with technology comparable to OpenAI's

Is it any wonder there's people criticizing them both for AI Safety and bringing AI to capitalism? God these people are idiots.

[For some reason, Scott includes a tweet here...]

...where he misses the point about the "weird lesswrong ideas" in favor of a, uh, stupid? comparison to medicare? Like these people are in a cult so they can't understand that their cultishness is offputting. It's sad and, frankly, funny.

Become so influential in AI-related legislation that Politico accuses effective altruists of having “[taken] over Washington” and “largely dominating the UK's efforts to regulate advanced AI”.

So your complaint is that people noticed that you exercised the power you always intended to exercise? God these frickers are insufferable. Politico is engaging in hyperbole and if you're going to be involved in politics, you just have to get used to this and stop flying off the handle every time a journ*lism says something you don't like.

Helped (probably, I have no secret knowledge) the Biden administration pass what they called "the strongest set of actions any government in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security, and trust.”

To the extent that this work was the SFBA Rationalist Cult, it wasn't present solely in the SFBA Rationalist Cult. To a certain extent I admire the fact that this has happened, but the credit does not go to the cult except in the cult's narcissistic brain bust, which is the problem everyone is trying to point you to when they talk about EA as a dipshit fraud factory.

Helped the British government create its Frontier AI Taskforce.

Same. If y'all weren't a dipshit fraud factory this might be a point in your favor, but it's still missing the point of the criticism.

Won the PR war: a recent poll shows that 70% of US voters believe that mitigating extinction risk from AI should be a “global priority”.

A single victory, poorly fought, by a writer who then got lost on twitter in the deluge of his own mania.

Helped organize the SecureDNA consortium, which helps DNA synthesis companies figure out what their customers are requesting and avoid accidentally selling bioweapons to terrorists

Fraud. Funding isn't doing the work.

Provided a significant fraction of all funding for DC groups trying to lower the risk of nuclear war.15

Your cult is engaged in fraudulent credit for this work because you think money is contributing when it's merely helping.

Donated a few hundred kidneys.16

Unironically, this one I'll give you, but you should talk about it less because the logical result is giving cult members enhanced status for organ donation and that's just the kind of incoherent spirituality that

These People Think They're Atheists

your types perform.

Sparked a renaissance in forecasting, including major roles in creating, funding, and/or staffing Metaculus, Manifold Markets, and the Forecasting Research Institute.

lmao THESE ARE WASTES OF TIME FOR IDIOTS YOU MADE THE WORLD A WORSE PLACE WITH THEM

(anything which can be predicted in a prediction market isn't worth predicting)

(unless you're an idiot who thinks winning points is inherently good)

(of course the midwit cult boasting about its points gathered for other people to work with boasts about its development of online point measuring)

(this is just too funny I can't believe this is real)

Donated tens of millions of dollars to pandemic preparedness causes years before COVID, and positively influenced some countries' COVID policies.

yeah you and Bill Fricking Gates

Played a big part in creating the YIMBY movement - I'm as surprised by this one as you are, but see footnote for evidence17.

Open Philanthropy's Wikipedia page says it was “the first institutional funder for the YIMBY movement”.

This one infuriates me. People worked for years to popularize YIMBY and you don't get to count funding an already existing movement as creating it.

These people are unpopular because they're frauds

And they're frauds because their narcissism is in constantly taking credit

FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK

I think other people are probably thinking of this as par for the course - all of these seem like the sort of thing a big movement should be able to do.

That's not at all what I'm thinking: what I'm thinking is that no other movement would struggle with its own self-definition in such a narcissistic and fraudulent way.

But I remember when EA was three philosophers and few weird Bay Area nerds with a blog. It clawed its way up into the kind of movement that could do these sorts of things by having all the virtues it claims to have: dedication, rationality, and (I think) genuine desire to make the world a better place.

I don't actually think that anyone, anyone, is questioning whether or not the cultist desire to make the world a better place is genuine.

Just that: the weird bloggers? They should shut up and the movement of the SFBA Rationalists should disperse into the nonprofits it has helped develop.

To the extent that there's a community in the SFBA Rationalists, unironically they should convert to Christianity or at least just take this one little bit, Matthew 6, and tattoo it on their tramp stamp region so they don't get lost this way.


Scott Alexander's conclusion

Scott Alexander performs the ultimate idiocy of the point counters: he makes human lives fungible and cracks a joke about curing diseases and preventing terrorist attacks that happen to equal the number of lives they believe they've saved.

He handwaves around some numbers to make them holy, then praises EA in the public square.

>Still not impressed? Recently, in the US alone, effective altruists have:

ended all gun violence, including mass shootings and police shootings

cured AIDS and melanoma

prevented a 9-11 scale terrorist attack

Okay. Fine. EA hasn't, technically, done any of these things.

But it has saved the same number of lives that doing all those things would have.

About 20,000 Americans die yearly of gun violence, 8,000 of melanoma, 13,000 from AIDS, and 3,000 people in 9/11. So doing all of these things would save 44,000 lives per year. That matches the 50,000 lives that effective altruist charities save yearly18.

I don't hate this crude joke in isolation, it's just stupid after all of the FRAUD.

People aren't acting like EA has ended gun violence and cured AIDS and so on. all those things. Probably this is because those are exciting popular causes in the news, and saving people in developing countries isn't. Most people care so little about saving lives in developing countries that effective altruists can save 200,000 of them and people will just not notice. “Oh, all your movement ever does is cause corporate boardroom drama, and maybe other things I'm forgetting right now.”

Christ forgive me: but this is whiny narcissism. No Scott, it's not that people don't care about the lives that EA claims to have saved, it's that EA didn't save them, it just funded other people who deserve the credit more.

This is the cult's persecution complex, the performative whining of the final arc. "Any press is good press," Scott Alexander thinks as he prepares to plant another cult hook.

In a world where people thought saving 200,000 lives mattered as much as whether you caused boardroom drama, we wouldn't need effective altruism.

This is complete delusional narcissism at work. A stupid, and blatantly stupid, false statement justifying the existence of the cult.

These skewed priorities are the exact problem that effective altruism exists to solve - or the exact inefficiency that effective altruism exists to exploit, if you prefer that framing.

If this were all the SFBA Rationalist Cult was (this must be the shell game deBoer was pointing out, lmao I should have read his essay), this conversation wouldn't be happening because it would be one more non-profit doing non-profit things which isn't news and... that's ok! It's ok for not all mainstream news to be celebrating the work non-profits do!

Nobody cares about preventing pandemics, everyone cares about whether SBF was in a polycule or not.

This isn't remotely the problem with SBF, that's just the funny part of it.

Effective altruists will only intersect with the parts of the world that other people care about when we screw up; therefore, everyone will think of us as “those guys who are constantly screwing up, and maybe do other things I'm forgetting right now”.

When you stubbornly refuse to understand what your errors are, perform a cultish "call for criticism" which unsurprisingly does not result in reforming away the SFBA Rationalist cultishness, you deserve the reputation that you have as, oh what was it?" "children who fall apart when exposed to real world politics?"

And I think the screwups are comparatively minor. Allying with a crypto billionaire who turned out to be a scammer. Being part of a board who fired a CEO, then backpedaled after he threatened to destroy the company.

They might(?) be minor if the SFBA Rationalist Cult could actually reckon with them as mistakes on the scale of the massive continual streak of FRAUD which runs from the original high school dropout midwit, through SBF, to Scott Alexander.

These are bad, but I'm not sure they cancel out the effect of saving one life, let alone 200,000.

LMAO

LOL, EVEN

This is the way these Cartesian minds think: they think in offsets, they think spirituality is a matter of net good and net bad. It's all just points to them because they're hopelessly broken minds trying to arithmetic their way out of a social problem they refuse to believe they have.

(Somebody's going to accuse me of downplaying the FTX disaster here. I agree FTX was genuinely bad, and I feel awful for the people who lost money. But I think this proves my point: in a year of nonstop commentary about how effective altruism sucked and never accomplished anything and should be judged entirely on the FTX scandal, nobody ever accused those people of downplaying the 200,000 lives saved. The discourse sure does have its priorities.)

And whining about discourse is empty, you should shut up about things you can't change, Scott.

The discourse does prioritize mocking goofy and weird cults that

They Think They're Atheists

have nothing but fraud and a methodology indistinguishable from the American Civic Virtue already at work in the United States to distinguish them in discourse. Yes: discourse is functioning just fine. You just can't handle the heat of that which you have wrought.

Doing things is hard. The more things you do, the more chance that one of your agents goes rogue and you have a scandal. The Democratic Party, the Republican Party, every big company, all major religions, some would say even Sam Altman

lmao is Scott Alexander threatening Sam Altman?? This is the most interesting line.

  • they all have past deeds they're not proud of, or plans that went belly-up. I think EA's track record of accomplishments vs. scandals is as good as any of them, maybe better.

But the Democratic Party is self-conscious of itself as a political party, it's not a cult with a denial complex. I joke about leading my own cult, for instance, but to the extent that it's true, the purpose of Impassionata Congress is to insulate me (and my 'followers') from cult mechanics by providing a structure which accommodates for the relation of speaker-listener. Companies are bound by their corporate charter and the cultish elements of CEOs is diminished through the configuration provided by the board of directors. Religions have to figure some shit out in order to function! (But they can't do that if they're in denial about what they are, and what SFBA Rationalism is is a cult.) (They think they're atheists, and atheists can't be in a cult.)

It's just that in our case, the accomplishments are things nobody except us notices or cares about.

THE NON PROFITS EXISTED

BEFORE YOU FUNDED THEM

YOU ABSOLUTE

NARCISSISTIC

MIDWIT

Like saving 200,000 lives. Or ending the torture of hundreds of millions of animals. Or preventing future pandemics. Or preparing for superintelligent AI.

Your organization is less capable of handling these things than mainstream electoral politics very specifically because you believe you are in any way separate from mainstream American politics.

But if any of these things do matter to you, you can't help thinking that all those people on Twitter saying EA has never done anything except lurch from scandal to scandal are morally insane.

SFBA Rationalists are politically insane, and you can tell because everyone who is against them must just be 'morally insane.' You see the cult mechanic at work? Isolate the followers with rhetoric like this.

That's where I am right now. Effective altruism feels like a tiny precious cluster of people who actually care about whether anyone else lives or dies, in a way unmediated by which newspaper headlines go viral or not.

If you actually believe that the SFBA Rationalist Cult is above newspaper headlines in a work that has headlines in it all over the place, you're an easy dupe and you belong in the SFBA Rationalist Cult.

My first, second, and so on to hundredth priorities are protecting this tiny cluster and helping it grow. After that I will grudgingly admit that it sometimes screws up - screws up in a way that is nowhere near as bad as it's good to end gun violence and cure AIDS and so - and try to figure out ways to screw up less. But not if it has any risk of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, or interferes with priorities 1 - 100

"I am 100% aware that I am in a cult, I will grow that cult, I will protect that cult, and I don't care to learn from any of its mistakes thus far."


The final section.

:#marseyschizotwitch:

We're almost done.


Am I cheating by bringing up the 200,000 lives too many times?

No, just weakening your essay, your conclusion is 2x and maybe 3x too long for the actual points you are making.

People like to say things like “effective altruism is just a bunch of speculative ideas about animal rights and the far future, the stuff about global health is just a distraction”.

That is one criticism of some of the SFBA Rationalist Cult.

If you really believe that, you should be doubly amazed! We managed to cure AIDS and prevent 9/11 and so on as a distraction, when it wasn't even the main thing we wanted to be doing! We said “on the way to doing the other things we really care about, let's stop for a second to cure AIDS and prevent 9/11, it won't take too much time or resources away from the important stuff”. Why haven't any of you distraction-free people managed that?

Uh, you didn't do any of that, you didn't even manage it. You just funded it. And when you got directly involved you've *embarrassed yourselves and you're still in denial about that.

I don't think any of this is a distraction. The Democratic Party is anti-gun and pro-choice. The gun control isn't a ruse to trick pro-life people into joining the party, and the abortion rights aren't a smokescreen to deflect opposition from gun owners. Movements are coalitions. Sometimes this means different people with different priorities choose to work together. But other times it means the same people tend to share both priorities. People who are pro-choice are usually also anti-gun, and vice versa.

If your priority is taking credit, no one wants to build a coalition with you. It's not hard man.

And I notice that the tiny handful of people capable of caring about 200,000 people dying of neglected tropical diseases are the same tiny handful of people capable of caring about the next pandemic, or superintelligence, or human extinction. I think the common skill is trying to analyze what causes are important logically. Surprisingly, this comes up with different results than the usual strategy of caring about whatever is trending on Twitter today!

YOUR MEDIA LITERACY IS BADLY BROKEN

Some of those results are broadly popular, like saving 200,000 lives. Other results are broadly unpopular, like worrying about AI risk. But both sets of results come from the same process, and the people who get them are natural allies in a world where most people can't bring themselves to care about anything that isn't current front-page news.

You're not the only people who decided to do anything about the world and you don't have a monopoly on altruism. This is where the SFBA Rationalist Cult mentality is most grandiose and totalizing: you can't conceive of non-cult members as being on the same 'side' as you because you get distracted by twitter insults.

[some chart which talks about bait and switch in an article which is full of bait and switches]

lmao. I haven't been including the images because they're not good. Like they're actually well selected it's just that they're presented, by Scott, as if they're a mystery, a sort of art piece in contrast to his calm and logical argument. Unintentionally hilarious. They're honest frauds.

I don't want the takeaway from this post to be “Sure, you may hate EA because it does a lot of work on AI - but come on, it also does a lot of work on global health and poverty!” I'm proud of all of it. I believe - just like Geoff Hinton, Bill Gates, Sam Altman, Daniel Dennett, etc - that there's a pretty serious risk of human extinction from AI over the next few decades. I can't imagine believing this and not thinking it's important to prepare for. EA has done a great job working on this (see list of accomplishments above), and I think the AI and x-risk people have just as much to be proud of as the global health and animal welfare people.

If you were simply attributing this to "altruism" you might be correct to write this essay, but it would also be absurdly incoherent. Do you see? You formed a movement around "Altruism" and the only people who took it seriously were midwits. But you don't own altruism and defending "altruism" is incoherent. The only reason you can even write this essay, Scott, is you are the Bishop of a cult.

So my recommendation is that you look carefully into the research on what causes can most benefit the world - near-term, long-term, whatever seems most important to you after some honest study - and try to come up with some way to help them. If you want, take the Giving What We Can pledge to donate 10% of your income, or look at 80,000 Hours to see how you can get an altruistic career.

And there's the cult hook.

And whatever you do, do it quick, before the metronome swings back and all of this becomes popular again.

And there's the knowing wink that he's preaching to the choir to shore up support internally.


These People Believe They Are Atheists

And Atheists Can't Be In A Cult

But they're self conscious of the Effective Altruist movement as a spiritual mechanism for gathering and binding people, they just can't take the next step of perceiving the cult around them and attempting to mitigate the disastrous effects the cultishness has on their broader appeal.

The streak of fraud which runs through the SFBA Rationalist Cult and its various organizations aren't incidental mistakes taken by a developing movement, but reflections of a culture of narcissism which takes the persecution complex of the grandiose, runs it through a midwit consensus reality that could only have been achieved in the early Internet, and results in a reputational problem which is wholly deserved.

Here's the kicker :bluelight: :redlight:

If Effective Altruism Fixed their Culture

It would just become Altruism, i.e.

It would cease to exist

It would just become the American Civic Virtue at work within the normal American Narcissism which is better modulated. A series of non-profits sharing a cult lineage that doesn't actually matter because the people in it balanced their spiritual identities around a less narcissistic collective practice.

Thus my advice to the SFBA Rationalists is: disperse. Throw down your idols now that you know you have them. If they had any decency or integrity they would log off and consider their mission accomplished.

That's what I plan to do once Impassionata Congress finishes this legislative session.

Thank you for reading.

:#marseyshrug:

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15
EFFORTPOST Auberginegate - The Phillip Schofield Drama Continues

Sorry for the lack of updates. I know each and every one of you have waiting for the next episode of the saga. It consumes your every thought. It's the first thing you think of when you wake up. Let's get to it!

Recap: Phillip Schofield was a presenter on British television. He had spent his whole life in media, and most notably hosted This Morning with HOLLY WILLOUGHBY.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1686806634989957.webp

Phillip Schofield came out as gay a few years ago, and he left behind his wife of several decades and his two daughters. Brave! Recently, Schofield admitted he had an inappropriate relationship with a young man on ITV. He had also gotten this man a job. Though Schofield insists that the sexual stuff only happened when the boy was of age, there is evidence that they knew each other since he was 10. This has given rise to rumors that even if it was legal, there was some grooming involved.

LATEST EVENTS

1. AUBERGINEGATE

Lets begin with Auberginegate. Journ*lists hounded the head of ITV for comments on the Schofield saga which has gripped the world. The response? "Do you like Aubergine?" For Yankees, aubergine is eggplant AKA the PEEPEE EMOJI. What did he mean by this? Is it code for something? Trolling? Who the frick knows!

The response got the attention of British parliament.

2. WHAT DID THE HEADS OF ITV KNOW?

The heads of ITV were grilled by MPs in parliament. This is an event that will dictate the future of our species. It will affect Holly Willoughby's career!

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16868066372872877.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1686806642656334.webp

During the meeting, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall told MPs the affair was "deeply inappropriate", but that she had not had evidence until recently. ITV director of television Kevin Lygo told the MPs: "He looked me in the eye and promised me that there was absolutely no truth whatsoever in this, in the rumours of this relationship."

>Dame Carolyn added: "We asked multiple times of both individuals, both formally and informally. Because we had no evidence, no-one brought us anything tangible, either on the production floor or from the outside... there was only hearsay and rumour and speculation."

AUBERGINEGATE WAS MENTIONED

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>"We want to be confident that ITV is not letting star power and favouritism damage the lives and careers of people working there - and, more importantly than that, we want to be confident that when mistakes have been made, ITV will be making changes rather than making jokes about aubergines."

>That was a reference to a recent remark made by This Morning editor Martin Frizell when he was asked by a Sky News reporter whether his programme had a toxic workplace. "I'll tell you what's toxic and I've always found it toxic. Aubergine," he replied.

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-65889240

3. HOLLY WILLOUGHBY SURVIVES SCHOFIELD DRAMA

Holly has returned to her rightful throne as the queen of daytime British television. Unemployed brits on benefits, stay-at-home mums, and folks waiting in dentist offices can once again rest assured that Holly Willoughby will be on that screen goddammit.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1686806642853539.webp

While she has returned, it is just not the same. Without Pip beside her, there aren't as many cute giggles from her. She has had a few co-hosts, but it seems Dermon is destined to be Phillip's replacement.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16868066459362872.webp

Will schofield off himself? Will ITV survive this scandal? What the frick was the aubergine comment about? What about Holly?! Stay tuned for more updates. Please like, share, and subscribe, and don't forget to hit that bell icon to be alerted as soon as a new video drops. Patreon and link for merch in the comments below. Peace.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16868066460688422.webp

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16
EFFORTPOST Fedster Shmedster aka WTF is this money printing meme I see. (A primer for idiots)

1. What is fueling this bull market

As far as for influence in the S&P 500, the stock markets and risky assets in the US there's no international factors that exist but for war. If war kicks in, as we've seen with Ukraine in terms of its impact on oil, oil price and various other things, if China gets scary in terms of Taiwan, yeah, it might have an impact (negligible).

But that's more of a function of the fiscal changes that the US has to put on its books in response to the national defense. But as far as any sort of monetary change, they just don't exist. You could actually say that if you identify that there's such a thing as a global liquidity, that's a spurious correlation.

If you search hard enough, you can find indexes after the fact, even after the fact might be five minutes. But after the fact, you can get all sorts of neat indexes, like what's the coffee price influence on steelmaking in the United States? Everything comes in and out.

But the thing is, is what's the Federal Reserve up to in terms of its actual cash flow? There's no such a thing as a fed induced liquidity (no matter what wingcucks on either end of the political spectrum neolibs vs AnCaps tell you). The Fed and if you just deal with just the United States, the Fed, not since World War II (and they didn't even do it during this COVID period), has actually put money into the country.”

Regarding what they have put in, they're mostly a very small trim tab, which because of the law that divides mandatory discretionary spend from Congress does have influence. They can tighten, they can ease, but it's a small fraction of what the actual innate US economy is doing

Now, if Congress, like the Soviet Politburo, is tied up in a five-year forward plan of what they can spend and not spend, you can have some forward look in terms of what that's going to be, then yeah, the Fed matters.”

They can have an influence. Volcker proved it with what he did, but by the way, that's the only time the Fed's ever proven that they can handle inflation More on that below). They thereafter acted like a trim tab, where they just did a very small amount of tightening or easing, which influenced the market that gave the forward expectations thesis, that's the New Keynesian thesis, which has actually just gotten out of hand totally, which is that the forward expectations of what the Fed's going to do is all that counts.

It's the federal government's bank is what the Fed is. It was never a policy maker. What's happened is that given what happened with the GFC and the Fed moved to a completely, radically new way of operating, which is called Neo-Wixel-Woodford, or whatever you might want to call it, and there's a lot of material that started with Woodford's 2012 presentation at Jackson Hole, where the Fed just shifted to forward markets. (Attached - Michael Woodford's paper on Forward Guidance, presented at the Kansas City Fed Meet, 2012 in Jackson Hole. Read it if you want; I glossed over and rolled my eyes so many times within the first 10 pages I have no interest in going through the whole thing: https://www.kansascityfed.org/Jackson%20Hole/documents/6930/Woodford_JH2012.pdf ).

They can just set down the framing of what they can do. And that's supposed to be monetary policy. Well, that, from any rational point of view, means that the Fed has just given up and left the play field.

That, especially when there's an exogenous shock like COVID looming over and the Fed's not evolved, signals what their power truly is. They're always just a small trip tap, so if they actually expect that forward expectation management is all they have to do, well, sooner or later, people start to poke at it. And then more and more poke at it, and they say, okay, things are great two years from now or a year from now.

Yet sentiment matters, and the Fed is the principal definer of sentiment right now. And last week (after the markets held steady even after rates were not cut and there was an indication that it might even go up) was the start of the end of that grip on the market. It was almost like a near panic among Fixed Income hustle and bustle cels.

Yet everything the Fed did was clearly orchestrated. Everyone had like six talking points in front of them before they go out. There is no independence with all the FOMC and the regional Fed governors.

Unless there's like a two to three trillion dollar tightening that comes from, and at this point, only Congress can deliver that, the stock market has only one way to go. Now, it might be that the nominal growth might be inflationary, it might not, but the stock market is going to continue to go up.

2. But what is the Fed then?

What happened in the 70s, this is the fundamental object lesson of monetary policy is every time there was the slightest hint that the economy could be turning down, the Fed lowered rates and then inflation came back up and then they increased rates. And the issue is when the Fed doesn't look like it's resolute on inflation, inflation doesn't come back to where it was before, it comes to higher than it was before, which means that every time to fight it, you've got to take rates even higher, which means that the damage you do to the economy is even more. And so letting it, expectations spiral out of control, I think is just a very risky thing for the economy.

And that's not some theoretical model. People actually lived through in the 70s. Volcker buck broke the economy under Carter and Ford but neither of the trio get the recognition they deserve. 😞

The overall story that inflation is moderating is still the right story. But the not dumb people have long been of the view that inflation has been, and will be more stubborn to come back to 2% than everyone would like. And in particular, in the last half of last year, part of the reason the numbers came back so nicely was that goods turned deflationary and that offset still higher than normal levels of inflation on services and shelter.

Now, in the 2000s, there was healthcare inflation that was quite significant and much more than it was in the 90s. But goods price deflation came down. So the basket does shift and it's fine if it shifts, it just needs to get to 2% overall. Frick it, we ballin on averages, cuz.

And so that makes policy pretty straightforward with today's world, which is, you have restrictive rates and you want to be restrictive and bring inflation down.

Thus there would also seem to be a disconnect between a certain number of Fed officials who will say policy is restrictive versus looking at something like that financial conditions index, or even the amount of refinancing being undertaken by like the corporate bond market or the loan market recently. So there are many financial conditions indices. Some of them show looser than others. As it should. It's miscalculation and hand waving from them, it's almost a schizophrenia inducing cognitive dissonance among ABS/MBS and bond traders. They have no clue wtf is going on and how to interpret yield curves anymore.

3. WTF is a housing market bubble (Section only for zoomers and below 60 IQ) !r-slurs

But how much a restrictive policy today restrain the housing supply of tomorrow; whether it's like a multifamily house, where there has been recent data that new multifamily development has really fallen off quite a bit. And in theory, that means housing becoming more scarce in 2026

And when fed started raising rates, the country was in the middle of as frothy a period in the housing market as it could have gotten. On an average, 12 bids per house. Houses going for $40,000 over listed price.

As of late, single family starts are quite strong and much stronger than normal in this cycle, in part because I think availability of existing homes has been so low. And multifamily starts have come down a bunch, but that was from a very, very high peak.

And so they're not that far off today where they were before the pandemic.

If the economy continues to be as robust it is with rates where they are, that'll tell you something. (Spoiler - Housing will not come down)

A. Productivity would be a very simple way to explain the change. A higher productivity economy is a higher trend growth economy, which would do it. Something something solow model or sumthn.

But coming back to inflation. Why is it set around 2% by the Fed?

First: IDK.

Second: It has worked for 30 years

Third: It's a good number to measure deflation

A good example would be encyclopedias. I used to buy encyclopedias, so did you. (Pre 2000s born). No one buys an encyclopedia today. It's on your phone. And so it's out of the index. And so it's gone from being whatever it's price was, say $399 to zero. That's deflation, but it's out of the index. And so speaking more about tech, actually, you're not buying a camera anymore or film. It's taken a set of things out of the index, deflationary.”

If you set a target at zero and you don't hit it exactly, you're in deflationary territory. And deflation is where everything tomorrow costs less than it does today. So the incentive to buy today goes down, which means an economy tends to stagnate.

Really the major tool the Fed has is credibility.

Tl;dr - DUMBFRICKS STOP LOOKING AT THE FED NEWS AND RATES TO REBALANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO

!metashit !math

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PART 1: B-WORD I NEED SOME HENNY AND A PLAN B

It's commonly said that the internet never forgets. An embarrassing picture can follow you like a venereal disease, and words spoken in jest can become your digital epitaph. The truth is, the internet forgets the bulk of its content daily, and it's a small fraction that will ever become timeless. It's impossible to determine what will become viral, and what will weave itself into the fabric of pop culture. Today, we'll be looking at an iconic video, and the impact it had on one woman's life. The video is a deceptively simple one, featuring four young ladies at a pharmacy. The result? Lives changed forever. Buckle up, it's going to be a long one.


The four young ladies

As I've already stated, the video in question features four young ladies. I wouldn't be able to guess their ages but they appear to be in their early twenties or late teens. So who are these ladies?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1695931975781676.webp

1. One of the them, who seems to be the leader, is wearing red sneakers. She also has on a skimpy pair of shorts and a crop top that have the American flag on them. This is a noteworthy choice, as it is considered disrespectful to print the flag onto clothing. As the US flag code states:

>The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds but always allowed to fall free

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

Was this a conscious choice? Is she anti-American, or is this a foolheaded display of patriotism? You'll also notice that she is holding a bottle of Hennesey. This is a French cognac that makes up about 60% of the USA's cognac sales. It is one of the most referenced alcoholic beverages in music, especially hip-hop where it was primarily popularized by Tupac Shakur.

https://vinepair.com/articles/hennessys-popularity-is-not-due-to-hip-hop-the-story-is-much-deeper-than-that

I'd hazard that she has been influenced by pop culture to purchase it, as she is brandishing it in public - very eager to show off her trendy alcohol. I hope I don't come off as judgmental.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1695931975884029.webp

2. There is a slightly larger woman in what can be described as a full-body catsuit that is black and yellow.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319759307163.webp

3. Another lady can be seen wearing a high ponytail, a necklace (more on that later), and a full yellow outfit on.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319759952314.webp

4. The last lady is wearing a white spaghetti strap top and leopard print tights. that reach her knees. She stands out for one very big reason. Care to guess?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319762451303.webp


Henny and a Plan B video

With the four ladies discussed in adequate detail, we can finally analyse the video in question. Here's a reddit link:

https://old.reddit.com/r/awfuleverything/comments/f2h5i8/need_some_henny_and_some_plan_b

You can watch the video, I'll wait for you. Done? Alright, let's continue. As you see, lady in the American flag states she does not wish to fall pregnant this summer. She leads her friends in the following chant: “b-word I need some Henney and a Plan B”. Make no mistake, in this instance, they are not talking about female dogs. Instead, the term “b-word” is being used to describe either:

a) Women in general

b) Anybody they don't have respect for, regardless of gender

It should be noted that in this context, it is a derogatory, sexist term. Yes, the fact that they are females themselves does not eliminate the sexist, injurious history of the term. I know that many will disagree, but that is my position.

So what is Plan B? Also known as Levonorgestrel, Plan B is an emergency birth control medication taken post-coitus. It is known to cause the following side effects:

  • hives

  • dizziness

  • hair loss

  • headache

  • nausea

  • abdominal pain

  • uterine pain

  • delayed menstruation

  • heavy menstruation

  • uterine bleeding

  • fatigue

  • diarrhea

  • vomiting

  • painful menstruation

And they say crack's bad for you!

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

As the women sing in unison, they perform a dance known as "twerking". This dance, popular within the African American community, typically involves the performer shaking their buttocks in elaborate ways. Practised twerkers have been known to perform daring feats such as doing handstands and leg splits while shaking their buttocks, moving individual butt cheeks, and shaking their buttocks with incredible speed. For a showcase of twerking at its best, I'd advise you to view the following:

I'll wait while you watch? Okay, back to the issue at hand. Our four ladies pay no attention to the other patrons in the pharmacy. They open their mouths in front of the camera to prove that they're taking what is presumably Plan B. Fortunately for these ladies, alcohol is not known to reduce the efficacy of Plan B.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1695931976697502.webp


What's going on?!

I cannot make sense of this video. All I have are educated guesses, and I'm still left with plenty of questions. My current theory is that by showing off these two specific items (Hennesey and Levonorgestrel) and dancing, the ladies are indicating that they will be indulging in hedonistic sexual acts. I say so for the following reasons:

  • Drinking alcohol is known to reduce your inhibitions. These women are already confident, so what barriers are possibly left to tear down?

  • Plan B implies they are going to partake in sexual activity, likely unprotected, as that would result in pregnancy

  • Twerking is often interpreted as a sexually suggestive dance, mostly because individuals in the African American culture regard the buttocks as a secondary sexual organ

I feel like I should state that I am not judging these women. Provided they act with the consent of all involved, and it is done in emotionally and physically healthy ways, I have no problem how these women entertain themselves.

I viewed the Henny and a Plan B video years ago, and it stuck in my mind due to its provocative content. Who are these ladies? Why did they film this in a pharmacy? What did they use the cognac and birth control for? Fueled by curiosity, I sought answers. There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that there was hardly any information to be found on most of these ladies. The good news is that what I did discover was more than I bargained for.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319768102674.webp


PART 2: WHO IS ALICIA GOKU?

So where does one begin? One interesting detail I noticed in the video was the necklace on one of the women. It reads “GOKU”. An anime fan? Following this lead, I eventually discovered Alicia Goku (She/They). She lives in Los Angeles, and as you'll learn, she is a woman of many, many talents. A true renaissance polymath not unlike Da Vinci.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319817681198.webp

Alicia Goku the musician

Alicia Goku has a very active music creator. She has been uploading music on YouTube as recently as three months ago. Her most popular song, Stank Walk, was uploaded four years ago and has half a million views. Imagine my shock when I discovered it referenced the iconic pharmacy moment!

The video depicts a house party where Goku and her friend, Suki Hana, are at a house party where they are having their way with the men attending. There is plenty of twerking, copious amounts of it, and when the men pass out, they are robbed of their money. All the ladies of the Henny and Plan B video are present! At this point, there is an issue to address that cannot be avoided any longer. The caucasian lady repeatedly slaps her genitalia. She performed the same act in the original Henny and Plan B video. It's like her signature move.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/169593197605821.webp

As I discovered through research, this is an act that women often find themselves exposed to during coitus with men, much to their displeasure. You can find such anecdotes online:

>I slept with my boyfriend for the first time the other day, he went down on me and suddenly, without a warning he slaps me right between my legs. It did not really hurt, so I didn't say anything but like 30 secs later it does it again. It didn't hurt but it didn't feel nice either so I asked what he was doing and he said he finds it sexy.

https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/whats-the-deal-with-kitty-slapping

You can also find Goku's music on Soundcloud where she has over 2000 followers. I found myself enjoying most of her music. I think she's genuinely talented. My two favorite songs are

1. I'm Gay Foreal

Here she raps over Outkast's Miss Jackson. She flexes her lyrical abilities while embracing her bisexuality(?).

https://soundcloud.com/aliciagoku/im-gay-foreal

2. Eyes Can See

On this boom-bap beat, she keeps a very catchy flow along with flawless delivery and raunchy punchlines.

https://soundcloud.com/aliciagoku/eyes-can-see-prod-by-bboykiddnerdd

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1695931979098733.webp

Alicia Goku and cannabis content creation

In addition to being a dancer and a rapper, she is also a content creator. She has focused her efforts on marijuana, also known as cannabis, which is a psychoactive plant that is commonly ingested via inhalation. Although cannabis can be regarded as a psychedelic, it does differ from other psychedelics. Most notably, compared to other psychedelics, cannabis produces a more persistent euphoria, a strong sedative effect, and has a shorter time of action. In an interview, Goku stated the following about her cannabis content creation career.

>I specialize heavy in making marijuana-based content and marketing myself as a brand. I also make music and am very proud of how my content as an influencer has made my music career flourish. What sets me apart is my willingness to take criticism and not let that stop my grind. Every day there is a new trial and tribulation, but it's about how bad you want to get to that next level. I know I control my future and I don't give power to anyone else.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220929200422/https://voyagela.com/interview/meet-alicia-goku-los-angeles-ca

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319792698064.webp

Alicia Goku the LGBT icon

Not done stretching herself, Alicia Goku has proven that she excels in front of the camera as a reality TV star! She can be seen in Hot Haus, a contest to see who will become the next queer icon. It premiered in 2022, and since then it has become an online viral sensation, leading to it receiving a second season on Canandian streaming network OUTtv. On Twitter, its hashtag has been viewed over 3 million times.

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

Goku joined the show in the second season which aired this year. She competed against folks like Delicious Cuggi who also appears on HBO's Legendary. She also competed against, I kid you not, Antifabussy.

https://twitter.com/antifabussy

Goku won the show! This netted her a cool $25,000. Guess she can buy all the Henney she wants now, heh. :marseywink: As a queer icon, she represents us. She is one of us. A post-victory interview revealed something interesting about her view of nudity. I think this reveals just how complex she is as a human being, and how she has carefully thought through things before doing them.

>That's not to say it wasn't challenging, and that there weren't moments when she questioned her strategy in the game. “I think [the most challenging part] for me was, I didn't necessarily want to be fully nude on the show. I could get sexy but I saved my coochie for my OnlyFans,” she shares.

>When her fellow contestants began to immediately disrobe in the first episode, Goku had to do a gut check and ask herself if she was ready to compromise that boundary or not. “No diss to anybody else. But I didn't want to get naked. So for me to see everybody just getting butt butt naked and I was thinking, would I have to do that to win? Am I gonna have to compromise how I wanted to perceive myself on the show, just to try to get the win?” she says. “And my mom and my girlfriend just basically reassured me that the only way you're gonna win is that you be yourself and be true to what you want to do.”

In case you're curious, here's here OnlyFans, though she seems to be inactive since 2021.

https://onlyfans.com/aliciagokuprivate

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319804699366.webp


So that's the life and times of Alicia Goku. Many of my questions weren't answered. I dug through interviews and podcasts, and she has seemingly never referenced the Henny and Plan B video. So I'm stuck wondering what led to these ladies dancing in the pharmacy. I'm also left wondering what Alicia Goku thinks of the video. Is she happy about it? Does she feel like it's a blip in her past that she doesn't think about anymore?

Think back to the first time you watched the Henny and a Plan B video. What did you think of her? Did you judge her? Now that we've delved into her life, what do you think of her now? Have your views changed?

To conclude, I don't think the internet is going to forget Alicia Goku anytime. I'm playing my part through this post, but Alicia Goku doesn't need my help - it looks like her fame is only growing. And even if the internet goes down today and is lost forever, she'll live on in my mind and hopefully, from this point onwards, in yours too.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16959319806545603.webp

None

Donna Peepeeens was a pop culture writer covering mostly Star Wars. Her Twitter was https://twitter.com/mildlyamused until banned in 2018. Basically your typical goober-gate era online feminist.

/images/1638620210M5g.webp

Today

Donna's not writing much, instead spending her time spreading conspiracy theories on TikTok under https://tiktok.com/@momllennial_, with 95k followers. She's talking about how the Roman empire is an invention of the Spanish Inquisition, Alexandar the Great was a womxn, Pompeii never erupted, blacklights were ancient technology, etc. The conspiracies are often centered around white supremacy, fasciscm, or other leftist concepts. She uses a lot of stupid TikTok filters, is very condescending, and overemphasizes her movements like an anime girl. I also have a feeling her glasses, hair color, and messy hairstyle are an attempt to appear older or more scholarly.

TikTokers have confirmed she never graduated with any degree, despite her TikTok profile.

Examples of the Roman history conspiracy

Rome didn't exist

https://streamable.com/eo95ym

Source materials to prove existence of ancient Rome can be dismissed because of eugenics and fascism

https://streamable.com/tbfdp3

"Ancient Roman architecture" was built by Nazis

https://streamable.com/x8xx9v

Actual historians (Roman history and otherwise) aren't happy

Proxmaxwell's response

https://streamable.com/eegkcd

Stakuyi's response

https://streamable.com/43lmao

Meredithancret's response

https://streamable.com/irjo9a

Batdoeshistory's response

https://streamable.com/ii9zcc

Matta_of_fact's response regarding a piece of art <-- great example of how Donna makes stuff up & responds to people

https://streamable.com/j7f85x

Maklelan's response regarding Torah

https://streamable.com/mcy864

Batdoeshistory's response regarding Pompeii

https://streamable.com/hbhksz

theaidanmattis's response

https://streamable.com/ln4s57

The main event

https://tiktok.com/@theaidanmattis (Aidan Mattis) has spent more time responding to Donna's videos than anyone. This led to her making a video calling Aidan a white supremacist based on this college article. She also said followers of Aidan tried to dox her, so she called the state police.

https://streamable.com/1ocjhu

source

In context: Aidan, as a founding member of the campuses's TPUSA chapter, was quoted in response to a student's (from a different college) request to rent space at the uni to have Richard Spencer give a talk. Aidan appeared to be uninvolved in the event but stood for freeze peach.

In response to the defamation Aidan is going to file a cease and desist on Donna.

https://streamable.com/uaakat

source

Lastly, Miniminuteman is pressed enough by Donna's behavior that he's going to consolidate all the TikTokers into a single Youtube video to take her down.

https://streamable.com/pnjn9h

source

Addendum

The OG user momllenial (no underscore) is also pissed at Donna

https://streamable.com/usoz0u

source

None
17
EFFORTPOST Are these three people racist or not? You decide

Racism is fact of our world and we cannot escape. The question isn't whether you're racist, but rather, what kind of racist are you. Today, I'd like to present to you three individuals who have been accused of racism. It is up to you to decide if they are racist or not. Their names are

a) Thomas Sowell

b) Justine Sacco

c) Rachel Dolezal

Apologies if this is somewhat rushed. I'm tired after a day of being a wagie.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240209053411.webp


1. Thomas Sowell

The man doesn't need much of an introduction, so I'll just jump into the meat and potatoes of why he is considered a racist. Firstly, he argues that social welfare in the USA has had a dysgenic effect on African Americans.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240203506439.webp

He also poses an interesting idea that I've since given plenty of thought. He argues that yes, there are differences in the outcomes of different races. However, this is not necessarily a social injustice. Instead, it could be attributed to cosmic injustices. For example, if I am born without legs, is it an injustice you must pay for? Of course not. This may be the way to think of some of the differences between races.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240204670873.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240205451021.webp

This leads to some interesting conclusions:

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240206166105.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240206862278.webp

He is LOATHED by leftists, especially white liberals who do not want a Black man spewing this kind of rhetoric. To make matters worse, he continually points the finger at liberals as the source of modern day racism.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697224020756096.webp

Do you agree with this man's views? I am intrigued by his idea of delineating cosmic injustices from social injustices.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697224021170025.webp


2. Rachel Dolezal

I'll briefly discuss her history. Rachel Dolezal was a Chapter president for the NAACP, and she identified as Black. She was brought into prominence when it was revealed that she has Caucasian parents. Since then, she has been ridiculed and attacked.

She now identifies as transracial, which is what I'd like to discuss. A common critique of Rachel's transracialism is that she is coming from a privileged position, and is using that privileged position to choose to claim blackness and be part of a marginalized group. According to some, this is insulting as individuals born black did not have the privilege of choosing to be in a socially subordinated group, unlike Rachel. For a summary of the arguments, I'd recommend the now highly controversial paper titled “In defence of Transracialism” by Rebecca Tuvel.

Personally, I believe her argument is sound. Self-identification should be respected, and if she relates to the Black culture, then we should accept that. Being Black is not inherently about being oppressed, so I'm not moved by the argument that she is acting from a position of privilege. Lastly, I must ask: could the same arguments not be waged against heterosexuals, the privileged norm in society, who make an ideologically influenced decision to identify as asexual or lesbian? In other words, if one accepts political sexuality, what reason do you have to not accept transracialism too?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240216579633.webp


3. Justine Sacco

It's 2013. Justine Sacco was thirty years old and a senior director of corporate communications in New York. Life couldn't have been better for her. One day, she decided to visit her relatives in South Africa (they happened to be whites who were part of the anti-Apartheid liberation struggle). Before boarding her flight, she decided to send out a tweet.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697224020841622.webp

She then put her phone on flight mode and boarded the flight. During this time, her Tweet was shared thousands of times around the world, including by Donald Trump. People figured out that she was on a flight, they found her workplace and her name was removed from the site. She landed and turned on her phone. She saw messages from her friends and family:

>“You need to call me immediately.”

>“You're the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter right now,” she said.

People had congregated at the airport in South Africa to watch her land. Her life was over. She was hated around the world, and she was receiving death threats. You see, South Africa has one of the highest HIV rates in the world. It's one of the few countries in the world where women have higher HIV rates than men, largely due to ex-president Thabo Mbeki's AIDS denialism. Her family told her she was a disgrace.

Since then, she has managed to rebuild her life, and she has a high-flying job once again. She is the Chief Communications Officer for the dating app Match.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinesacco

In an interview for the book So You've Been Publicly Shamed, she confessed that she had PTSD from the ordeal, which I believe and sympathise with. Do you think she's racist?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240215541904.webp


Conclusion

Calling someone a racist is a bit of a Kafka trap. The more you defend yourself, the guiltier you look. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali has stated, “false charges of racism are the easiest way to enforce denial”. Have you ever been called a racist? Was it a valid accusation?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16972240213862898.webp

None
17
EFFORTPOST 1(ish) Year Furry Porn Retrospective (Effortpost)

Hello, after almost an entire year of "attempting" to learn furry art I am here to catalog my journey.


The Beginning


To give some background, before I decided to make furry art I was already making marseys and sometimes even edited AI art, so I was somewhat familiar with manipulating images (and using lots of clipart for my marseys lol).

:marseyfurry::marseygigavaxxer::marseyanime::marseydolphin::marseycapykiss::marseywtf2::marseysonic::marseybait::marseyreporterfox::marseykink::marseyracist::marseycopeseethedilate::marseysnoo::marseybath::marseykfc::marseylolcow:

and

https://rdrama.net/post/37872/carpathianflorists-offical-fursona-as-commissioned-by

BUT eleven months ago I had the idea to start learning how to make art for real, (completely ironically of course haha)

![](/images/16725897839372315.webp)

back then I was still using Paint.net, which is what I had been using for all my marseys before then. Looking back it was really limited with what you could do on it, so I'm glad I switched thanks to @Sylveon advice.

Looking back my first piece does look really shitty, however, I was proud that I was able to pump out something that somewhat looked like an actual furry.

![](/images/16725902030457664.webp)


Addressing Something Real Quick


Before we move on I want to address something that a lot of people ask me , and that I why I use mouse and keyboard and not a drawpad. Well, I don't use a drawpad for two different reasons.

  1. I am a stubborn bastard who wants to prove people wrong that I CAN make decent art with mouse and keyboard.

  2. I have a condition where I can't really hold my hands that steady. I doesn't really have that big of an effect on my life, you can only really notice it with my handwriting, however having to accurately draw straight lines would take forever if I used a drawpad, so that is why I use mouse and keyboard like a true neurodivergent.

Also as a bonus, it gives me a artstyle that can't easily be replicated by our looming AI overlords that are coming to kill us all :#marseyrobot:


The Evolution of My Art (Haram)


Over time I have become a lot better at making my character look less flat and more lively. I think one of the best examples to show it is my furry OC Ratso. I've been making a habit of drawing her every few months just to see how much I have improved, so here is a lazy infographic showcasing it!

![](/images/16726019395007915.webp)

I've gotten a lot better at making the art pop out, and how to make jaws actually work. The jaws are what make furry characters stand out from regular boring human art, so I am glad that I am getting the hang of doing it.

![](/images/1672602398589381.webp)

One other thing that I am proud of is how much better my shading has gotten. It looks like night and day the difference between my new shading and old shading, and all I had to do was an experiment with different cowtools.

Old

![](/images/16726025824718795.webp)

VS New

![](/images/16726026192769184.webp)

It looks a lot softer on the eyes and I like it!

Also, I drew my fursona, I hope to make a more updated one at some point however this was the one I drew to get the lolcow badge.

![](/images/1672603884546396.webp)


The Reception to My Art


So after I had a few months of practice under my belt I decided to make a furaffinity account. This was all very new to me because tbh I have never actually interacted with the wider furry community before, once you are no longer the weirdest and most degenerate person in a room it's not very fun anymore. However despite that, I am an attention-craving whore so I decided "frick it, might as well start putting my art out there".

http://www.furaffinity.net/user/altaccountokapi

As of right now, I have 23 favorites and 363 profile views. Surprisingly I have not had many thirst posts put under my art so far, only like 3 "I wish I was her" type comments.

Generally speaking, my cbt and chastity porn would do the best, while the less "kinky" ones would not do as well, which is fine since I prefer to do kinky artwork anyways.

You would never guess what my most popular post was, it honestly shock me how well it did, it was this one lol.

![](/images/16726033769506736.webp)

I guess boxing fetishes are a surprisingly big thing lmao. The more you know I guess.


Final Thoughts and The Future


I'm very happy with the progress I was able to make in only a year. Please keep in mind that while other furry may live in their mom's basement and can spend 12 hours a day making art, I have both college and a job to worry about, so I don't have as much free time to work on art as most other furry artist.

I have been working 50+ hours these past few weeks just to afford tuition for next semester, so I haven't really had time to work on art. However, I do have a work in progress right now. It's going to feature the character from THIS piece, who will be futa. And I'm warning you now that this piece will be HIGHLY degenerate.

![](/images/16726047032503467.webp)

(The WIP)

![](/images/16726047250625105.webp)

Anyways I would like to thank the rdrama jannies ( @carpathianflorist , @Aevann, etc) for tolerating me, I want to thank @Sylveon for recommending krita and unleashing this monster unto the world. I want to thank @MarcoHoHo for being the biggest fan of my art, and finally, I want to thank all the cool dramafur of rdrama who keep this degenerate community here alive.

See you all in 2023!

None
18
EFFORTPOST Not Of Normal Criminal Element - The P-dophile Hunters of the UK

NONCE HUNTERS ON TERF ISLAND

What crime is more despised in society than pedophilia? Anyone who endangers or harms children is instantly stigmatized, sometimes even killed. It's easy to understand why - kids are innocent and they are our future.

Many blokes around the world have taken it upon themselves to hunt these people and shame them. In modern day, murder isn't acceptable, so they shame them online. If you've kept up with nonce hunting scene in the UK, you'll know a few of the key groups and their incestuous history with each other.

To my understanding, Chris Hansen is the OG. His influence cannot be captured in a single graph. He importantly influenced Stinson Hunter in the UK who spearheaded the nonce hunting on TERF island. Stinson had a good run, but he eventually tried other shit that didn't work. He did, however, usher in the first “wave” of nonce hunters, and it's easy to say that Shane Brannigan and Sarah Doherty (internet interceptors) were the stars.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050206875556.webp

They had some beef together and mutually destroyed one another. Internet interceptors split up with many of the members trickling into other groups such as Predator Exposure and Guardians of the North.

I'd like to show you some of my favorite p-dophile hunters from the UK and the good stings they have done. The article would have been longer but unfortunately, I stopped paying attention to the scene for a few years and come back to discover that most of the good ones have been scrubbed off the net. Nevertheless, there are still some good ones, but not the best ones.

I apologize that they are not all YouTube, as some videos are only available on Facebook. Trust me, they are worth the watch.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050251473312.webp


Shane Brannigan

If you've been in the nonce hunting scene of the UK for a while, you'll recognize Shane Brannigan as one of the OG p-dophile hunters. He has a bit of a backstory and he looks like true Norfwood mate. He was abused sexually as a child and the police never believed him. It's screwed his brain because he is psychotic in his methodology.

For many of the p-dophile hunters, you can tell they are doing it for clout. With Shane, it's clear that it's personal. You can tell he is using all his willpower to stop himself from literally killing the p-dophiles in front of him.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050210582573.webp

During Shane's heyday, he had the best videos online. He had the men terrified, and he'd often make them phone their wives. Sometimes, he would pair up with Sarah Doherty, who is another very aggressive p-dophile hunter. I used to know the story between these two and the fallout they had, but it was years ago and many of the videos have been scrubbed from the internet.

From research and memory, I have been able to piece together the story a bit, but I can't confirm the details because the videos of them talking about it themselves are gone. The point is, they eventually had beef, and Shane knew something about Sarah that made her quit p-dophile hunting altogether because she was afraid of it getting exposed.

If anyone has the tea, please share. There are also blogs online that try to cover it, but it's hard to tell what's real because some of them could be p-dophiles trying to besmirch the hunters who ruined their lives.

https://thetruthaboutshanebrannigan.blogspot.com

Here are the best stings from him:

a) Andy Salter

This is one of the best stings out there. Nice and clean, and ends with an arrest. It occurs in a confined space, which adds to the tension. Shane yells at the man, and he gets scared. Then Shane calls the female decoy who calls him a dirty c*nt.

b) Keith Goldswain

Another good, clean sting. One of the highlights of this video is that you can see the visceral fear in Keith's eyes, voice, and trembling hands. It's a sight to behold, and it makes you excited as well. He trips over his voice trying to defend himself but it's for nothing because he's banged to rights.

https://www.facebook.com/BustedByBrannigan/videos/keith-goldswain-busted-by-brannigan-in-portsmouth/370076483467275

c) Andrew Sealey

This is a favorite of mine. Andrew Sealey is caught with his wife trying to pick up a child. The wife stays by the husband's side, so Shane attacks her as well. He gives no shits, and he doesn't mind being a woman disrespector.

https://www.facebook.com/100063234669608/videos/371419923332931

Shane calls Andrew a nonce and Andrew's like “I've been called worse” lol.

For more Shane goodness you can watch a BBC documentary about him.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050216585288.webp


Guardians of the North

These guys used to be my favorite nonce hunters. I like the leader and his thick accent. They take no shit from the p-dophiles and they make fun of them and humiliate them. I like this group because although it is obvious they enjoy the clout, they seem to do things by the book (mostly). They also have some pretty entertaining stings under their belts.

A wild Holly appears! Holly has interviewed these lads!

These are the stings you need to watch:

a) Praju Prasad

This is a short but good one. They catch an Indian man and he immediately begins the head-bobbing motion like a bobble-toy. He gets on his knees and begs for mercy, but they want none of it. They force him to get on his feet because they don't want him to be so pathetic.

b) Ali

The folks sting someone they know! It's a man who owns a restaurant. You can tell a bit of xenophobia seeping in because they say “your family was the only one I trusted, not anyone else” obviously referring to the predator's brown community.

It gets funny when they ask him “What would your Imam say?” And he is so ashamed he cannot answer the question. They also bring up the fact that Ali's father died in a fire saving others and Ali is far from a hero.

Once again, you can see the panic and it's strong. He knows his life is over, and he wishes he could turn back the hands of time but it's too late.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050214826512.webp


Stinson Hunter

This isn't the type of guy you want in your home. Stinson has a history of drug abuse and crime. However, he now gets to be high and mighty in comparison to p-dophiles. His videos are the cream of the crop when it comes to nonce stings, with perhaps Dark Justice being the only group that comes close.

A man he stung committed suicide and Stinson doesn't give a frick.

Most of Stinson's stuff has been zapped from the net, so I'll only post one.

a) Jonathan Rowland

A man comes on a bike to meet a child. He is stopped by Stinson. The man then proceeds to lie and claim he has been framed. It is funny because he is obviously lying.

https://www.facebook.com/100044427969945/videos/237262102441394


CONCLUSION

There's so many good stings gone forever. If you can help me please identify

  • indian caught and claims he just came to get KFC

  • Man ho owns a carpet store busted at work and he is made to call his wife

  • Man who is busted on Christmas at home and is kicked out by his wife

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I'm in the process of attempting to escape inceldom. I will share the results soon, and it'll be my longest post yet. I think you'll like it.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17005050212239385.webp

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Reported by:
  • birdenthusiast : Winner of /h/vampire contest pls don’t unpin 🥺
18
EFFORTPOST Types of Vampires: Lilith

Congratulations vampiricels :marseyblops2cel: You made it to another week, and to another essay post from the greatest of all rDrama Houses :marseybetauprising:

Lilith is a being from Hebrew mythology with a rather multilayered history. While it’s a bit of an oversimplification to just call her a vampire, Lilith’s mythology heavily overlaps with vampires in the way that demons and succubi overlap with vampires, and she has long been associated with blood sucking. :marseybloodpuddle:


EARLIEST LEGENDS:

As mentioned in my previous House Vampire post, most of the mythology associated with modern vampires originated in early modern south and eastern Europe. However, the idea of a blood or at least life force draining being of undead or demonic origin has independently emerged across cultures and time periods. Even the ancient Mesopotamians and pre-Jewish Israelites had mythological beings that can be retroactively thought of as vampire esque. :marseyaugustlove:

Mesopotamia is a historic term for a region of the Middle East mostly encompassed by modern day Iraq and Syria. The history of the region is essentially a history of recorded civilization, as the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers gave rise to some of the earliest known agricultural societies. The ancient Sumerians in particular represent the arguable start of continuous western history, and what I mean here is that actual Sumerian records have survived into the present day. Their language is still known and their mythological influences remain in literary studies. The same is true of their immediate successors; the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, etc. :marseysargonofaccat:

In other words, Sumer represents the start of when firsthand accounts of the past remain preserved and knowable into the present day. While agricultural civilizations may have existed before Sumer, and while there’s evidence for particular cultures going back into the Ice Age, anything before Mesopotamia’s time is only known through archaeology. We can only guess as to what those people thought of themselves. :marseyskeletontrex:

Though it’s disputed by mainstream academics, some believe Lilith’s earliest legends go back to Sumerian culture, which means we Vampires may be as old as society itself :marseysociety2: Samuel Noah Kramer, an academic on Sumer and Assyria, translated the ki-sikil-lil-la-ke as "Lilith" in Tablet XII of the Epic of Gilgamesh dated c. 600 BC. This part of the Epic involves a tree that is overtaken by a serpent and a spirit before Gilgamesh kills the serpent and causes the spirit to flee. The parallel to the Biblical garden of Eden is clear, though not all experts agree on a direct connection. :marseynerd:

At the very least, Sumerian culture produced the Edimmu, reanimated ghosts of the improperly buried who drained the life force of their victims. These beings are obviously reminiscent of vampires, but that may be a post for a later day. Sumerian and Akkadian mythology also has the Lilu as a kind of winged demon, with Lilitu as the feminine term. :marseybat:


BABYLON AND THE ANCIENT HEBREWS

Though the Sumerian cities were eventually conquered and lost their political independence, the abstract culture remained relevant in the Middle East for several thousand years. The educated elite of the successor civilizations studied their mythology and language much in the way that medieval nobles would learn about Latin and Greco-Roman legends. Babylon was one such empire, and though they were only one of the Bronze Age powers to dominate the Fertile Crescent, Babylon became particularly infamous in history thanks to later biblical influence. People who have never even heard the word Mesopotamia still vaguely know the word Babylon, the very name now forever associated with the original Jewish diaspora and negative concepts like wickedness and apostasy. :marseydevil:

Seriously, you could talk to a hundred people on the street and none of them would know anything about, say, Elam, or Assyria, or Mitanni, or what have you. But thanks to Judaism’s ultimate influence on western history, everyone knows about Babylon. :marseyisrael: Their ancient infamy has been forever preserved through biblical folklore, very much like Lilith herself.

Meanwhile, the ancient Israelites (Hebrews) were the group of people who — no points for guessing this — ultimately founded Judaism. :marseysanders: Hebrew culture goes back even further than this though, with the earliest Israelites practicing the same polytheistic religion as the nearby Canaanites and Phoenicians. (Who eventually founded Rome’s best buddy Carthage) Scholarly consensus believes Yahweh was one of these many gods and that the Israelites gradually evolved into a monotheistic society by worshipping him over the others. The changing views on Baal illustrate this development; Baal was simply the northwestern semitic word for lord and was used in pre-Jewish times to refer to many different gods, even Yahweh. As Judaism became codified the word fell out of favor, and the Bible itself associates the word with paganism and false idolatry. Meanwhile and in contrast, the classical era Carthaginians continued to worship a distantly related Baal Hammon as their supreme god, entirely independent of Jewish influence. With the passage of time Hebrew mythology took a negative view on the Canaanite myths that contradicted their emerging religion, and it’s possible a similar hostility emerged towards the foreign influences of Babylon — that is, Hebrew folklore sought to associate Babylonian influence with sin and apostasy as a way of preserving their native culture in the face of imperial assimilation. In this way Babylon may have served as an indirect vector for Sumerian mythology to influence Judaism, but only in the sense that Jewish texts took entities like the lilitu and made them even more demonic and sinister :marseywitch2:

Ancient Israel would have been exposed to Mesopotamian culture through the Babylonian conquest, but there’s no way to prove if Lilith is definitively connected to the Sumerian myths. In any case, Lilith appears unambiguously in several of the Hebrew texts that would go on to inspire the Bible. She appears once in the Hebrew Bible in prophecy regarding the Kingdom of Edom. There is also an either pre or post Jewish reference in the Arslan Tash tablets, though the exact authenticity of these artifacts is of endless debate. The Dead Sea Scrolls also make a definite reference, though it’s notably in plural. There are five references to Lilith in the Babylonian Talmud. The Midrash Rabbah collection contains two references to Lilith, the first a vague suggestion to a woman before Eve — similar to Lilith’s medieval depictions — and the second a direct reference. :parrotisrael:

Assyriologist Eberhard Schrader (1875) and Moritz Abraham Levy (1855) suggest that Lilith was a demon of the night, known also by the Jewish exiles in Babylon. This would certainly be possible through Babylonian cultural influence. This view is challenged by some modern research such as by Judit M. Blair (2009) who considers that the context indicates unclean animals. Still, even this interpretation suggests an association between Lilith and impurity, not unlike the more early modern depictions of vampires and succubi as corrupters. :marseysexy:

It’s further worth noting that the Greek Old Testament translated the references into onocentaurs or satyrs. The Romans translated them into lamias, somewhat similar as child preying monsters, but also with snake tails. Some early English translations also preserved the references to lamias. :marseyonemediumsnekvibing:


MODERN LILITH

Even if she started as a type of demon, Lilith is most remembered as a singular entity from the Bible and so inevitably made the transition from Jewish to Christian European lore. I think this is notable because her influence mostly consisted of unofficial folklore rather than in Church approved canon. I doubt theologists debated her role in things the way they debated concepts like the Holy Trinity, and some translations of the Bible even turned her references into other creatures entirely. Still she persevered as a traditional Hebrew demon the more superstitious simply couldn’t manage to shake. Her further references in the Bible were probably written to invoke her existing infamy — in other words, her name was shorthand for sin and adultery/child killing just as Baal became short hand for false idolatry and paganism. :marseyrapscallion:

Lilith survived in Mesopotamian folklore as late as the 6th Century AD. She features as a “type” of demon in Jewish occult incantation bowls made in the Sassanid controlled Middle East to protect households and their children. The Alphabet of Sirach, written in an Islamic country between the 8th-10th centuries, (exact date unknown) is one of the earliest works to mention Lilith as Adam’s first wife, the prevailing interpretation of her by the Middle Ages. This may represent a conflation of older ideas, as some Jewish texts mention a cryptic “first Eve” and Lilith was already a byword for sin. :abusivewife:

Indeed it was her appearances in fringe Jewish mysticism that established her connection to the biblical Eden, as opposed to mainstream church doctrine. The first medieval source to depict Adam and Lilith in full was the Midrash abkir, the figure reappearing centuries after the Middle Eastern references. Kabbalistic mysticism established a direct relationship between Lilith and God, and the Zohar and Treatise on the Left Emanation also mention connections to Adam, Cain, demons, and other mystic figures like Asmodeus and Samael. Some versions even preserved the plural Liliths, with a lesser one as Adam’s first wife and a greater one having always been a demon. :parrotevil:

Just like the more general vampires, Lilith achieved mainstream prominence in early modern Europe. Her being Adam’s first wife became widely popularized with the 17th century Lexicon Talmudicum of German Hebraist scholar Johannes Buxtorf. Lilith's earliest appearance in the literature of the Romantic period was in Goethe's 1808 work Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy. Paintings of Lilith became popular around the mid 19th century. The Victorian poet Robert Browning re-envisioned Lilith in his poem "Adam, Lilith, and Eve" published in 1883, notably focusing on her emotional attributes rather than her demonic reputation. Scottish author George MacDonald also wrote a fantasy novel entitled Lilith, first published in 1895. Many of the traditional characteristics are present in the author's depiction, long dark hair, pale skin, a hatred and fear of children and babies, and an obsession with gazing at herself in a mirror. MacDonald's Lilith also has vampiric qualities: she bites people and sucks their blood for sustenance. :marseyvampirebite:

Today Lilith remains a popular figure in Wicca and other neo-pagan followings. Sympathetic portrayals generally have her as a human witch rather than a demon or vampire, though there are of course vampire centric stories that often invoke her. Some feminists see her as an icon, a woman who exercised free will rather than conforming to expectations. You’ll even see cringe :marseysnoo: types naming their kids after her.

To me Lilith is a fascinating concept because of how long lived her motif has become. Even if her origins are nebulous and subject to endless interpretation, I personally find it interesting that a legend could survive this long and create a kind of cross-cultural continuity to human history. It’s doubly intriguing that the character has survived largely through myth and folklore, never having been reinforced by actually mandated religious canon from an organized church.

There aren’t many other Bronze Age characters that still elicit an emotional reaction from people, as opposed to just purely clinical academic attention. :marseynerd2:


AS A VAMPIRE:

As you may have gathered, Lilith isn’t just a vampire but there definitely are connections. There are arguably three different ways of looking at the concept, but all invoke vampiric traits. :marseykiwivampire:

As demons, the lilitu were known for prowling in the night and could sometimes cause storms. (A trait shared by a few vampire variants like Strigoi with hail) These demons are said to possess wings, which I think is notable as this was many thousands of years before bats became associated with vampires. :marseybat2:

The Hebrew Lilith was sometimes a kind of demon and sometimes a specific individual, with the demonic Lilith possibly becoming one and the same with the concept of a previous Eve over time. As a demon Lilith was notable for blood sucking and child killing. The superstitious made prayers to keep Lilith away from their children. Lilith was also seen as a kind of succubi and was said to cause male, heh, “nocturnal emissions”. She could take the form of either men or women and seduce their partners. Children born to these arrangements would be cursed by her and eventually killed. The Alphabet of Sirach portrays her as hunting men for semen and blood, to create more demons and sustain her life force respectively. It’s possible Lilith in particular inspired the s*x appeal that modern vampires are often given, as she was portrayed this way by 19th century depictions around the time the concept of more human-like vampires was taking off. :animevampire:

The biblical Lilith is an individual and is more of a demon or witch than a kind of creature, but she is still sometimes associated with blood sucking and the child killing that particular vampire types are known for. The 1950 Knox Bible outright translates her Old Testament references into “vampire”. :marseychristchanreading:


IN POPULAR CULTURE:

In The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, the White Witch (the main antagonist of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) is said to be a descendant of Lilith, referred to as Adam's first wife.

The character Leeloo in the movie The Fifth Element, a futuristic fantasy, turns the concept of Lilith on its head by saving humanity instead of devouring it. Leeloo is depicted as fair-skinned and with strawberry blonde hair, young and lithe, similar or identical to the romantic era paintings. Leeloo is represented as the original woman (first wife of Adam) and is born speaking the "Divine Language".

In the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion — a show that makes many references to Jewish mysticism — Lilith is a seed of life created by an alien race that ultimately created life on Earth instead of Adam, the intended seed. The antagonist Angels are the progeny of Adam, with the “Lilin” actually being the human race of the setting.

In Fall from Heaven, a semi-officially supported mod for the Firaxis game Civilization IV, the character Os-Gabella is heavily inspired by Lilith. She refused to be the wife of Nemed, a character inspired by the biblical Adam, and instead corrupted two of his later children into the first vampires. Os-Gabella comes to lead a civilization of demons, while her children go on to establish a kingdom of vampires with blood sucking as an actual 4X game mechanic.


IN HOUSE VAMPIRE CULTURE:

We’re all quite familiar with the concept of a vampire temptress :marseybooba: https://i.rdrama.net/images/168763739879237.webp

Mavis

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19
EFFORTPOST The 6 Basic Emotions in the Courtroom

None of us have direct access to reality. We're slaves to subjectivity. The way we interpret events is colored by our past experiences and, most importantly, our emotions. As humans, we have a wide spectrum of emotions we can experience, and they can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes, when we cannot handle our emotions, we endure trauma. No memories are neutral. They are all tinted by emotions.

According to Paul Eckman, we have six basic emotions:

  • anger

  • disgust

  • fear

  • Happiness

  • sadness

  • surprise

Most of us won't have to deal with all these emotions daily, whether we're experiencing them personally, or we're dealing with others who have these emotions. This changes when you're in a courtroom, where we see the extremes of life. A judge may witness all these emotions in one day, every single day in a week. Today, we'll deal with one case for each emotion. I hope you enjoy this adventure.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697132620830953.webp


1. Disgust - Nathaniel Rowland

Typically, we feel disgust when we encounter something contagious or potentially sickening. Disgust can also be expressed towards a person or group of people we find distasteful. Disgust is a powerful emotion, so strong that it can make us vomit. When we experience it toward humans, it can trigger hatred and dehumanization.

In this case, we see a judge express pure disgust toward a defendant and his family. In 2019, Samantha ordered an Uber. She accidentally entered the wrong vehicle - it belonged to Nathaniel Rowland. He locked her in the car and kidnapped her before stabbing her over 120 times. We don't know why he did this.

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

He was found not long after, and it was discovered that he had committed a few other crimes. He denied all of his charges, but was ultimately found guilty. We see the judge express pure disgust at the mother who attempts to defend her son. He is hearing none of it. He stops the mother in her tracks and assures her that the son she raised is long gone and a demon has taken his place.

When the judge drops his sentence, he expresses how he has sons and daughters, and how this reflects on his choice. He also makes it clear that he is not a man of leniency. He expresses shock at how violent the crime was, and he is appalled that the defend would deny the charges when there is so much evidence against him. I find the whole speech interesting, especially when he talks about his past experiences with murderers.

Do you share the same disgust at Nathanial? Or do you still see the humanity within him?

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16971326209421294.webp


2. Surprise - Gary Ridgeway

Gary Ridgeway is proof that me and fellow incels are not unloved because we're bad people. It's simply because we're ugly. Ridgeway is a serial killer believed to have committed close to a hundred murders, though he was only convicted of 49. He would purchase prostitutes, r*pe and murder them, then r*pe their corpses before dumping them. On one occasion, he dumped a body while on a camping trip with his son. Despite this, RIDGEWAY HAD THREE SPOUSES in his lifetime. Frick off. What am I doing wrong?!

In court, when Ridgeway was eventually caught, he had to sit through victim impact statements. Of course, the bulk of the speakers expressed rage, telling Ridgeway to go to heck. However, one man bucked the trend. He steps up looking like Santa Claus, and he's wearing LGBT suspenders. With sureness in his voice, he tells Ridgeway that he is hurt, and that he misses his daughter greatly. Nevertheless, he is a Christian, so he is obliged to follow the commandment of forgiveness. Upon bestowing forgiveness unto Ridgeway, the serial killer is taken by a surprise swell of emotion, causing him to weep. Only forgiveness could move this monster.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16971326210369163.webp


3. Sadness - Ky'Andrea Cook

Oftentimes, when we think about crime and punishment, we primarily consider the perpetrator. There's nothing wrong with this, and nobody will fault you for wanting to exact revenge on those who hurt you. However, it is worth remembering that a prison sentence hurts the perpetrator's family and friends as well. It harms the community, so it should not be taken lightly. In this case, we'll see the devastating effect of incarceration on a single family.

Ky'Andrea, 19, got herself into some trouble. She went out robbing with some friends. One of her friends pulled the trigger on a firearm. Fortunately, the victim survived, but they were all charged with the carjacking and attack. Ky'Andrea thought she would get a lighter sentence. To her dismay, she is slapped with 20 years. This brings her mother to tears, and she starts howling in pain at the thought of her child spending life in prison. Her mother had dreams of Ky'Andrea being the first child to bring home a high school diploma.

Her mother is inconsolable. After the outcry, her sentence was reduced to 11 years.

https://www.news-journalonline.com/story/news/crime/2018/04/09/teen-in-viral-courtroom-video-gets-11-years-in-prison-for-s-daytona-carjacking/987231007

Once again, I warn you to be careful who you call your friends.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697132621207019.webp


4. Fear - Tony Farmer

Fear is one of the most intense emotions any of us will ever feel. It's a primitive emotion that even animals react strongly to. For evidence, see the fainting goat which finds itself literally scared stiff. In the next court case, a young teen who had a promising future as a sports star. He ruins his life by beating his girlfriend. You can watch the beating here:

He is given three years in prison, causing him to faint from fear in court. It is easy to laugh at this, but you must remember how brutal prison is for black men. He knows he will have to rough gang activity, violence, and potential r*pe.

Do you feel sorry for this man, especially after seeing him beat his girlfriend? The judge has no sympathy.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1697132621475203.webp


5. Anger - Trey Relford

Our penultimate case features a young man who killed Salahuddin Jitmoud in 2015. Jitmoud was delivering pizzas and he was only 22 at the time when Relford and his friends robbed and stabbed him to death. In court, Relford denied being involved or being the one to stab. The father of Jitmoud is a teacher. In court, he expresses forgiveness, because he knows his son would want that. He blames the crime on the devil, not the Black boy. This is an interesting perspective which absolves everyone of personal responsibility. Personally, I disagree with this worldview.

The man's forgiveness moves the whole courtroom and the families embrace each other. Relford acknowledges the forgiveness, and he apologizes while crying.

Are you a forgiving person? What's the biggest event you've ever forgiven?

You may be wondering where the anger is. Well, we haven't seen it yet. The anger will come when Jitmoud is standing before Allah and he must answer for his crimes. Then, he will face righteous rage from the Lord.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16971326217756627.webp


6. Happiness

There can be no happiness in a judicial system that is racist, sexist, and classist. Consider the following stats:

>in 2017, the United States Sentencing Commission reported that Black men receive federal prison sentences that are nearly 20% longer than white men convicted of the same crime.

>Federal prosecutors are also twice as likely to charge Black people with offenses carrying a mandatory minimum sentence than their white counterparts.

>70.4% of women attorneys surveyed indicate that they experienced gender bias in the courtroom.

https://www.iadclaw.org/assets/1/7/16.1-_Meyer-_Ageism_and_Sexism_in_Court.pdf

https://www.naacpldf.org/judicial-process-failures

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16971326219505568.webp


Conclusion

Sorry for the slapdash article, I'm still in shock following Holly Willoughby stepping down from ITV. I hope she's okay. Planned work for the month:

  • Spider-Man 2 review (Can't wait to share my thoughts) :marseyspiderman2:

  • Alan Wake 2 review

  • Holly Willoughby's queuegate

  • The lies of Mia Khalifa

  • Danger in Africa - The story of Justine Sacco

  • When women go traveling

  • The murder of James Bulger

  • Hitler and his dogs

https://i.rdrama.net/images/16971326222485268.webp

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20
EFFORTPOST A History of European Psychedelic Literature

Hello. Today, I wanted to discuss the origins of psychedelic writing in Europe. I happen to know about this topic due to my heavy interest in drugs. I hope you enjoy it. I can't sleep, so I thought I'd write instead of cutting myself.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/171598715205425.webp


In the Beginning...

Michael Boon, in The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs, investigates the relationship between drugs and writing in the literary canon. He claims that European literary history before Thomas De Quincey “is generally considered a drug-free zone”. Boon posits a contrary theory and argues that drug-inspired writing can be found in works as ancient as Comus (1637) and Paradise Lost (1667).

How could these texts be considered psychedelic? Comus is a 17th-century masque that “tells a tale about the dangers of taking a walk in the woods”. It features a sprite named Comus who attempts to seduce a virginal nymph named Sabrina as she wanders the woods. Comus offers Sabrina a drink, claiming that “one sip of this/Will bathe the swooping spirits in delight/Beyond the bliss of dreams”. Paradise Lost is an epic poem that retells the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Boon notes that the tree of knowledge described in the poem bears fruits that offer what he calls “gnosis – knowledge of the divine”. After Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit, God sends the archangel Michael to give Adam a vision of the future of humankind. This is done using plants, namely “euphrasy and rue”. According to Boon, in both Comus and Paradise Lost, Milton is referring to psychoactive substances that have “many of the same qualities we attribute to hashish or LSD”, and rue may be another name for the aforementioned Peganum harmala plant.

Boon argues that several plants in Renaissance literature could be considered psychoactive and that “love potions, poisons, mythical philtres and brews, powerful herbs, magical stones, and secret powders” all play the role of “mediating the space between the imagination, with its vectors of desire, intoxication, death and truth, and the material world”. This is true for the aforementioned Pantagruelion plant which can be considered an “allegorical plant, half-real, half-myth” and is “strongly linked to the history of cannabis”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17159871523226624.webp


Marijuana

Cannabis also appears in early European psychedelic literature. As Boon points out, there is little information regarding “actual cannabis use in Renaissance Europe, although there are references to the psychoactive properties of the plant in writings about witchcraft in travellers' accounts”. According to Boon, “the earliest account of cannabis intoxication to appear in Europe was that of a Moroccan Christian convert named Leo Africanus” in 1510. Africanus travelled great swaths of Africa and wrote about it in his text Descrittione dell'Africa which means ‘Description of Africa'. In this text, he describes his experiences with hashish in Tunisia and claims that anyone who eats “but one ounce falleth a laughing, disporting, and dallying, as if he were half-drunken”. Succeeding Africanus is Rabelais who dedicated three chapters of Gargantua and Pantagruel to a plant called “Pantagruelion”. Boon claims it can be argued that these chapters were a “homage to the psychoactive properties of the good weed” and that “there is little doubt that Pantagruelion is the cannabis plant”.

The tradition of cannabis-inspired writing in Europe is continued by many other writers, including Walter Benjamin who was a German philosopher and essayist who also experimented with hashish. He took the drug for the first time in December 1927, along with Ernst Joël and Fritz Fränkel who were both Berlin doctors. Benjamin wrote an essay titled “Hashish in Marseilles”, in which he details his own subjective experiences with the drug. His descriptions demonstrate that the effects of hashish are not unlike those described by other psychedelically inspired literature. He notes cannabis's effects on consciousness, writing that it produces a “continual alternation of dreaming and waking states, a constant and finally exhausting oscillation between totally different worlds of consciousness”. Benjamin also describes changes in perception and claims that “colours grow brighter, more luminous; objects more beautiful, or else lumpy and threatening…”. States of mild dissociation also occur. As Benjamin explains, one knows one is under the influence of hashish when “his laughter, all his utterances, happen to him like external events”. Benjamin also claims that hashish raises one's sense of humour and situations “can become so compulsively hilarious that the hashish eater for minutes on end is capable of nothing except laughing”. Despite all the effects of hashish, “the memory of the intoxication is surprisingly clear”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17159871528836284.webp


Peyote

Another drug featured in European psychedelic literature is mescaline, which can be derived from several types of cacti, including the peyote cactus and the San Pedro cactus. The drug is mostly associated with Native American tribes and, as such, makes a larger impact on American psychedelic literature. The psychedelic effects of certain cacti have been known by Native Americans for centuries, and archaeological investigations have dated the use of mescaline by indigenous people as far back as “8500 BC”. Some of the earliest reports of peyote use among Native Americans can be found in “Spanish missionary records dating to the late 1600s and early 1700s”. For many centuries, “North American Indians used mescaline as a medicine, amulets and hallucinogenic religious sacrament”. In modern times, mescaline is still used by Native Americans, as seen with the Native American Church (NAC) which has a peyote ritual performed for “individuals to access certain cognitive structures and mechanisms within their brains that effectively expand consciousness, resulting in physical, mental, and spiritual benefits”. The psychic effects of mescaline are not unlike those reported from other common psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin and include “various distortions, involving sensory perception, space, time, colour, sounds, and shapes, as well as dreamlike feeling[s]”.

Peyote found its way into the hands of European writers such as British psychologist Havelock Ellis who obtained some in 1897, did self-experimentation, and shared it with both William Butler Yeats and Arthur Symons. Scientific research that emerges from Europe struggles to maintain a firm delineation between the subjective and the objective, and the language used to describe the effects of peyote dips into the fantastical. Hence, “in describing mental states produced by mescaline, researchers searched for analogies in religious experience or literature”.

The German solider Ernst Junger speaks at length about mescaline. During his discussions, the inability of scientific language to entirely encapsulate the psychedelic experience reveals itself, and Jünger increasingly relies on figurative language that leans towards being more mystical than scientific. He notes the profound psychedelic effects of the drug, writing that it produces “an effect that is more brutal and demanding than the effect of the opiates; they transport the user not just to the visionary world and its palaces, but also bring him down into the depths of the subterranean crypts”. Outlining the differences between mescaline and other drugs, he demonstrates his reliance on figurative language once again when he claims that “stimulants and narcotics modify time: they expand it or accelerate it. But with mescaline the earth is cloven; the creative power of time returns to the origins”. He also describes his experimentation with mescaline in Stuttgart during January 1950. After consuming mescaline, he “could not write down even one word” and spent “about an hour experiencing mild nausea”. Soon after, the mind-altering effects ensued. Jünger was “immersed in visions, meditations, visual and auditory perceptions of images and compositions, until six in the evening”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17159871527512167.webp


LSD

Jünger was a close friend of Albert Hoffmann who was a Swiss chemist who synthesized LSD. This drug is widely believed to be “one of the most powerful psychoactive drugs known” due to its ability to produce intense effects at exceptionally low doses. Hoffman synthesized LSD “by chemical cleavage of some other ergot alkaloid”, namely ergotamine. Ergot is “produced by a lower fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that grows parasitically on rye and, to a lesser extent, on other species of grain and on wild grasses”. Once synthesized, LSD is a substance that is “odourless, colourless, and tasteless”.

Hoffmann and Jünger experimented with LSD together, and their psychonautic experiences are recorded in Hoffmann's text LSD: My Problem Child. When Hoffmann describes his experiences, he uses the language of fantasy and surrealism that has appeared in the previously discussed psychedelic texts. This is seen primarily with the use of colour, light, and the numerous abstract descriptions he provides. For instance, when discussing a time when he ingested LSD with Jünger and his pharmacologist friend Professor Heribert Konzett, Hoffmann describes red-violet roses that “radiated in portentous brightness” and claims that “Ernst Jünger enjoyed the colour display of oriental images”. Furthermore, themes of spirituality, transcendence, and profundity make themselves apparent. He evokes the divine when discussing music, writing that “the concerto for flute and harp by Mozart was perceived in its celestial beauty as heavenly music”. Hoffmann claims that Professor Konzett experienced “a breath of timelessness, liberation from the past and the future, blessedness through being completely here and now” which suggests a transcendence from immediate reality and its temporal constraints.

Hoffmann argues that LSD can unearth memories that are repressed yet, nevertheless, negatively impact one's psyche. Memories brought to one's conscious awareness “may then become accessible to psychotherapeutic treatment”. This view is shared by Grinspoon et al who claim that “forgotten incidents from the remote past may be released from the unconscious and relived” when LSD is consumed. It was also believed that LSD resembled the symptoms of schizophrenia, hence it could be used to better understand mental illness. As such, clinicians were interested in LSD, hoping that the drug would “help them better understand and empathize with their schizophrenic patients”. In contemporary times, the view that LSD is a substance capable of simulating schizophrenia has since been “seriously attacked by many phenomenologically and psychoanalytically oriented psychiatrists”.

Hoffmann also notes that LSD is a potentially invaluable tool for terminally ill patients. One of the potential benefits Hoffmann lists is pain relief. Hoffmann claims that LSD might be used instead of analgesic medication. However, he does admit that psychedelic treatment for pain might only be effective because “patients under the influence of LSD are psychologically so dissociated from their bodies that physical pain no longer penetrates their consciousness”. The second benefit Hoffman notes is LSD's potential to allay terminally ill patients' dread of mortality and allow patients to accept their imminent death. He claims that there are numerous cases of “patients who gained meaningful insights about life and death on their deathbeds, as freed from pain in LSD ecstasy and reconciled to their fate, they faced their earthly demise fearlessly and in peace”. For psychedelic treatment to be effective, Hoffmann suggests that patients “be prepared and instructed about the kind of experiences and transformations that await them”. Hoffmann's views of LSD represent a shift in the understanding of psychedelics. From their locus in a spiritual realm among shamans and religious rituals, they are brought into the clinical setting and integrated into psychoanalysis. As will be seen, this paradigm shift will have a profound impact on psychedelic literature and the usage of psychedelics.

It did not take long for LSD to find popularity as a recreational drug. Hoffmann laments that the “joy at having fathered LSD was tarnished after more than ten years of uninterrupted scientific research and medicinal use when LSD was swept up in the huge wave of an inebriant mania that began to spread over the Western world, above all the United States, at the end of the 1950s”. He argues that the “rapid rise of nonmedicinal LSD consumption at the beginning of the 1960s was also partly attributable to the fact that the drug laws then current in most countries did not include LSD”. The period Hoffmann refers to, which will be discussed in greater detail at a later point in this chapter, saw the explosion of psychedelic art which encompasses “creations produced under the influence of LSD and other psychedelic drugs, whereby the drugs acted as stimulus and source of inspiration”. Psychedelic art was unique because artists were influenced in their creative work in unconventional ways. Mediums affected by the wave of psychedelic art include visual arts, literature as well as music, as is the case with the Beatles, a highly influential English band who were wildly popular in the 1960s and experimented with psychedelic rock.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17159871524163194.webp


Conclusion

To do drugs is awfully human and even the brightest intellectuals among us have indulged. Don't feel bad to light one up or pop a tab. Folks far greater than you have done so for centuries.

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  • Healthy : 👏 these 👏 are 👏 not 👏 effortposts!
21
EFFORTPOST Patriot master work

https://twitter.com/ug_chelsea/status/1810273828720758919

There were a lot of hits and in cities that were supposed to be protected by patriot like Kiev and Khrivoi Rog

https://twitter.com/menchosint/status/1809861278917091768

This patriot system that was destroyed 2 days ago and obviously pro Ukrainian claimed it's fake. Was supposed to protect khruvoi rog.

Ukraine started campaign that Russia supposedly hit some hospital with x101 missile

It's a slowed down video so you can compare that missile with couple of x101 hitting same target

Ukraine also didn't mention that main strike was at night and only focused at that hospital.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212395429375.webp

Ukraine put a lot of effort in this campaign

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212398215709.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212403618712.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212409056432.webp

https://twitter.com/mylordbebo/status/1810419215599620181

But question should been what do they expect from it ? US already rushed saying they won't let Ukraine use its weapons on Russian soil. There also wouldn't be any new weapons for Ukraine and Israel with Gaza made sure nobody would give a frick about this event.

But what's important to me is

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1720521237373633.webp

I been telling for months patriots ain't going to do a shit. And now after Ukraine received more patriots than Germany has, and Zelenskyy promised it would stop Russian bombings. We are enjoying how effortless Russian is bombing a city that has most patriot defence on earth. As I mention in the past, patriots can stop around 100 missiles a year. It's probably less in reality because factories that build those often get caught in fire and storages etc in nato countries get blown up like this happened 2 days ago:

Only a year ago they were proudly claiming patriots are shooting down kinzhals

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212414949121.webp

And now they have to beg Israel to give them ammo

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212418537197.webp

>Could Turn the Tide

If Zelenskyy poo right now it could turn the tide, I mean everything is theoretically possible.

With new Orlan drones Ukraine is now constantly also losing Himars vehicles

https://twitter.com/dd_geopolitics/status/1810611257856213352

The targets Russian hit yesterday was some factories and some electricity generators but that's just propping since Russian main goal is to send Ukraine into blackout during the winter.

The winter part will be very interesting because with constant blackouts a lot of Ukrainian will move to the west.

But don't worry to Bloomberg Zelenskyy promised a new counteroffensive and that he end this conflict by end of this year. And yesterday signed some agreements with Poland and Poland promised to him they will shot Russian missiles that enter Polish air space. It's a good promise is will be as effective as:

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17205212429797344.webp

Russian missiles are just couple seconds in Polish air space, shooting them in Polish air space + making sure it falls in Polish soil is kinda very hard to do. Russia has radars in that area so if Polish missile hits Russian missile in Ukrainian air space it will be a direct involvement.

Edit: seems later Poland did an back-steep

Tusk on the idea of shooting down missiles in Ukraine's skies: we need NATO cooperation for this

We need unequivocal cooperation within NATO for this, because this kind of action does require joint NATO responsibility.

So it was just some food for Ukrainian to feel good yesterday

Edit: Ukrainian twitter channel today flex that it got patriot from Germany on 5 June and something (probably ammo) from Romania on 20 June

https://twitter.com/ukrreview/status/1810618910154043565

https://media.giphy.com/media/10JhviFuU2gWD6/giphy.webp

They couldn't pick a better day to flex about it

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21
EFFORTPOST my fantasy

porn starts after the * * *


We all hear the familiar security chime and the door swing open. I perk up, quickly set down the ladle and briskly walk—no, almost run—to the door. I throw my arms around William and bury my face in his chest.

“Hi, honey,” he says. I can feel and hear the vibrations of his voice in his chest.

“Hi baby,” I say. He brings his hand around my head and runs his fingers through a thin lock of my hair that managed to escape my bun. “I made chicken marsala, your favorite!” I tell him.

He lets out a soft chuckle, and we come to the table with the two kids.

“Mom, I'm hungry,” Johnny says.

“Now that Dad's home, we can eat. Boys, go serve yourselves. And Johnny, help your little brother out.”

“Okay,” Johnny says to me. He gets up out of his seat and walks over to Kelvin, who's reading a picture book about cars and trucks. “Kelvin, put that away now, we're going to eat dinner now.”

“Okay,” Kelvin says in his cute little voice. William and I have a beat of shared happiness watching our little Johnny helping out his brother.

Johnny goes to the stovetop and serves himself. Kelvin obediently stands behind his older brother, watching his every move. Johnny turns to him and serves him, though probably a little too much for his smaller stomach. My husband and I follow behind, serve ourselves food, and when we're all sitting down, we say grace and dig in.

* * *

I finish wiping down the countertop. The boys are in bed and William is showering after a long day's work. After putting away the leftovers and closing the fridge door, my eye is drawn to a family picture held under a magnet. I take the picture off of the fridge door and smile. It's a picture with me, my husband, and our two kids, taken a year or two ago by my sister while our family was playing at the local park. I love it so much because of the genuine joy on all of our faces, and because of my pride in the family that I have built. My hand feels the growing bump in my stomach, and I know that the picture will be outdated soon.

* * *

William steps out of the bathroom, hair dripping wet with steam billowing out of the open door. Almost instinctually, I perk up out of bed and bite my upper lip seeing his body like that, only obscured by a small towel. He smirks and starts running his hands through my hair, and I let out some kind of instinctual sound that I can't quite describe. William presses my face against his towel, his peepee throbbing underneath. I can smell his pheromones through it.

He lets go of the towel and it falls to the floor. His peepee flops onto my face, and I instinctually start sucking. He palms the top of my head with his hand, pushing my head towards and back, towards and back again. From so much experience, my gag reflex has been completely disintegrated. His peepee moves back and forth in my mouth, inching farther and farther back in my throat every time. It feel so good to feel and taste every square inch of his peepee filling my mouth and throat. His imposing figure—as seen from down where my eyes are—only makes me hornier.

Eventually I need to take a breath. I push back, and William's hand seems reluctant, but it lets go. I gasp. I grab his peepee, ready to keep sucking but William has other plans. He scoops me up and throws me on the bed, turns me around so that I'm laying on my back and my kitty is facing him. He grabs the waistband of my leggings and my panties and tries to take them off, but the leggings end up inside out, still snugly attached around my ankles.

“Stupid woman,” he says to me. “Why wouldn't you be ready for me?”

I giggle, say sorry, and kick my legs up to finish taking them off. As soon as they're off, he grabs me by my waist and brings me closer to them so my kitty is flush with the edge of the bed, and he goes inside. His hands on my waist, he pulls me into him and thrusts into me. My heart absolutely pounding, butterflies swarming about from pure love, I let out an involuntary moan, trying to keep quiet for the kids.

He thrusts into me more and more. He's so horny that I can feel his rapid heartrate beating through his peepee. Every bit of warmth he transfers to me, every inch he thrusts—it fuels my absolute desire for him, for him alone and no one else. I let out another sound, this one a deliberate release of my pent-up joy.

His right hand grows curious and moves its way up my chest under my shirt. He rolls my shirt up and grabs my breast as he fricks me. I make eye contact with him and smile, and then in pleasure I bite my upper lip. His breathing is heavy and labored.

He goes harder, his hip bones smashing harder and harder into mine. “Mmmmmmm~!” I say, my upper lip still bit. I wrap my legs around him, feeling what I can of his musculature with my thighs and the sides of my legs. He puts his hand on around my throat, and presses his thumb against my trachea. He lets out a soft grunt under his increasingly labored breaths.

I can feel in the rhythm of his thrusts and redness of his face that he's about to c*m. I wrap my legs around him and pull him close into me. As he exhales an exhilarated “Frick” under his breath, I feel the c*m squirt out of his peepee and into me. I moan now and c*m too.

He breathes heavily, exhausted. He kisses me and the baby in my stomach and then flops down to me. I lay my head on his chest, and he runs his fingers through my hair a few times. We fall asleep like this.


i wrote this myself. it is an extremely personal fantasy that feels almost strange to share online.

the most painful part about all of this is that this (or something close to it) is a reality for many women. it's just that God decided to curse me for some reason and now i am forced to be an onlooker to the life which i so desperately want to live. i believe that people are wired to want to live a certain way, so some women want to start families with their husbands in the suburbs, and others don't and would rather live in a lesbian relationship in the city. i dont have anything against the latter, its just that i have been cursed to be wired for the former. and it is thus that the life that i was made for only exists in my head.

i seriously think about killing myself everyday, maybe then i'll have a chance to be reborn as a woman, or at least be dead and not have to live through this.

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22
EFFORTPOST Mean girls in the workplace and other annals of adulthood

Academia represents both the best and worst in our species. It is through academic institutions have helped humans share knowledge, helping us to build on our already massive body of giants. It's a cliche statement but Isaac Newton was correct when he wrote “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I've personally experienced this phenomenon, and with great gratitude, I thank past writers for the concepts and ideas that now inform my own writing. I may not be a literary giant in any sense of the word, but the work I produce for my personal enjoyment is a culmination of all I have learned from my predecessors.

On the darker side of things, academia is a highly bureaucratic system often molded by politics over knowledge. This type of environment tends to attract some of the worst kinds of people in society - intelligent but malicious. They crave the prestige of being part of the intellectual club - perhaps even adding the coveted Dr. to their name - and climbing the power structures.

Academia is far from the only place that functions in this manner, and I'm sure you can think of other workplaces that inevitably end up what millennials would call “toxic”. Many factors lead to this situation, and today I'd like to discuss just one element - mean girls.

To be clear from the outset, this isn't a post that aims to attack women or criticize their existence in the workplace. I believe that any country that doesn't allow women in the workforce instantly halves their intellectual capacity. I am focusing on one kind of woman in the workplace and the effects they tend to have.

With that being said, I do apologize if I come across as misogynistic at any point. If you feel that I am being sexist, please comment.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17028424520190973.webp


What is meanness?

Anyone has the capacity to be mean. We've all been mean at some point, some of us have done it today.

At this point, I should make something clear. Meanness, as we use them, refers to intentionally enacted cruelty. It requires a malicious mind, which we all have. So here's an example to show what I am attempting to illustrate. A soldier kills their enemy with a headshot. That's violent, but it's not mean. The soldier then walks up to their victim and spits in their face. Now we're dealing with meanness. The intent is cruelty for cruelty's sake.

An important aspect of cruelty is that the one acting cruelly expects to receive nothing except the knowledge that their target is in pain or suffering, either physically or psychologically. Another example. A group of soldiers gain access to the dressing rooms of their opponents. They take all the clothing and equipment to gain an edge in the war. That's not mean, that's warfare. They also collectively poop in the middle of the room. Now that is mean. They gain nothing but the knowledge that their opponents will be humiliated when they find a steaming shit. Cruelty for its own sake.

Taking things a little further, when we talk about meanness in the modern day, we almost are never referring to heinous acts. A mother abusing their child is mean, but we'd seldom call it that. We'd use a “stronger” word like heinous. If the mother pranks the child by waking them up with ice water, that's what we'd call mean.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17028424527381475.webp


What do mean girls do?

First, we'd need to outline what a mean girl is. These are women who have advanced into adulthood and continued high school behavior but with the benefit of experience and finesse. They're not going to trip you on the corridor, call you a b-word, or tell you to your face that you're not invited to their party. No, it's a different monster altogether.

When the mean girl acts, it's often so well-crafted that you can never truly call it out. Genuine cases of “microaggressions”. They're lawful evil, never breaking the rules as they break your soul. Oftentimes, it'll be years later and you'll still be hurt by what a mean girl said

because the statement itself was innocuous but obviously deeply insulting

. It's a trick women are particularly good at pulling off, and I'll give examples a little later.

We need to talk about two species of mean girls - the equal and the senior.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17028424528889363.webp


The senior mean girl

When I mention the senior mean girl, I'm referring to a woman who is a higher rank than you in the institution. It doesn't have to be too much. She's just the project manager, for example. It gets worse, of course. The senior mean girl can be your boss, full-time supervisor, teacher, or department manager.

Carole Stephens states:

Mean girl behavior can be used to demonstrate the power a senior female attorney has over a novice female attorney. When treatment is flagrant, brazen, and unashamed, itcan be expressed in sexual harassment, physical abuse, biased hiring practices, or exposing women to a hostile, male-dominated workplace.

https://www.proquest.com/openview/f72a25218726baada8d740f118be4ff1/1

I've experienced such a mean girl. They weren't delusional about who they were and what they were doing. They explicitly told me “I like fighting”. I promise you they feel 0 guilt about what they do and in some cases they see themselves as morally justified. During my time in university, I got a glimpse of the environment. Holy shit, they literally make each other cry with their words, and scheme against each other for the same Chad. It's mind-blowing. My current workplace has like 2 women total and it's so based, none of this nonsense happens. Just goals to reach and shitposting on Slack. Women are incapable of constructing such a workplace. A majority female workplace will eventually involve someone making someone else cry.

Mean girls use the following strategies:

  • Putting you in impossible situations

You are verbally given Section A of a task to complete. When you're done, you're scolded for not doing Section B as well. There are many other ways this can happen. The point is that you're made to seem completely incompetent for your inability to complete a task you were never fully instructed to do.

  • Hanging their power over you

It's never explicitly stated of course. They'll never say “I'm the boss, you do what I say.” The threats are much more subtle. It'll be something like “if you keep doing that, we won't be colleagues anymore.” She is straight up telling you “do what I say or you're fired.” The consequence is that you know feel like you're walking on eggshells at work, terrified that you might piss her off. Of course, this behavior isn't exclusive to women, but it's definitely part of the mean girl arsenal.

  • Displays of power

This can be as simple as standing over you as you work. You can't say anything about it because she's not doing anything wrong. But when you're sitting and someone is standing and looking down on you, it's obvious they want you to intimately know the power difference between the two of you.

Sometimes it's little verbal comments meant to make you feel small or stupid. For example, a meeting tomorrow begins at 8am. Mean girl: “And that means 8am, Sneedman. Alright?.” Nothing explicitly bad was said, but it was still an act of minimizing someone by suggesting they're so flawed they need special instructions to function.

  • Public shaming and humiliation

This is perhaps the most powerful tool in their arsenal. A mean girl with power over you will never call you into their office for a private discussion if they have a problem. Instead, they'll wait for a meeting where all the staff is there, then you will be chastised.

They have to wait for a public crowd to start a full explanation of every frickup you've had at work. If they have enough power, it can be an astonishing thing to witness. When I was in university, I witnessed a woman with power completely eviscerate someone during a meeting, going full-on personal, to a room full of silence.

One of the biggest benefits of being the senior mean girl is that nobody can do anything about it. Nothing at all. If a senior mean girl snaps at you at work until you're trembling, then that's that. Nobody's going to help you nor will she face consequences.

There are so many ways to be absolutely vicious while still remaining perfectly within bureaucratic limits. They are the masters of putting up a finger to your face but never truly touching you. The senior mean girl can verbally attack you in a room full of people and nobody will help you for two important reasons:

1. They are afraid of becoming the next target

2. They don't want to lose their job or jeopardize their career

That's why co-workers will stay silent when they see bullying in the workplace. The bully controls their paychecks! You know what's going on is wrong but you also gotta eat.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/170284245324287.webp


The shaming game

Senior mean girls in power in academia will often play this game, and be sure that it is a game. It begins like this: You wait for a public event, somewhere liberals of your ilk will be convening. If it is a regular conference where academics give presentations followed by a crowd asking questions, you raise your hand, you point to your target, and you claim that they are a racist. Your reasoning doesn't have to be too strong. You can point to a single sentence taken out of context in a book they wrote a decade earlier. You can accuse them of saying something racist in the very presentation they were giving that day, whether or not the speaker intended to be racist.

The target is now caught in a Kafka trap. If they deny the claim, they seem more racist. If they admit it, they are now labeled a racist and may be shunned by the academic community. What happens next? Well, during my time in my department, some cried, some did actually fight back, sticking to their principles, but most were simply dejected, remained silent, and offered no rebuttal.

Mean girls are bullies in the truest sense. A bully isn't someone who attacks someone of the same power level. That's just a fight. A bully is someone who enacts cruelty on someone incapable of fighting back.

The consequence? You go to work walking on eggshells, afraid you might trigger the senior mean girl who genuinely has the ability to frick up your life on a whim. Never get yourself in this position. Always have an escape route, money saved, and don't tolerate mean girls in power for too long.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17028424535345182.webp


The equal mean girl

Most of the time, you'll be dealing with the equal mean girl. She works in the same office as you, maybe even the same job. On the surface, nothing is differentiating the two of you as professionals, but the mean girl will make sure you feel much smaller than them.

Her plan of attack is almost always shunning. The mean girl will never tell you to frick off. It's more subtle than that. You just don't get invited to events, then the mean girl makes it clear that you missed out by describing the event while you're in earshot. The pain of being shunned is the aim. She wants to upset you.

Shunning can also take the form of convincing you that nobody would want to work with you. It's not that you're arbitrarily being shunned - it's happened because you're deathly flawed in some way - you're too fat, not smart enough, you're a liar, and in some cases “you're a racist!”.

In addition to shunning, you also get gossip which is an insanely effective way to frick up someone's life whether you're male or female. I'm being serious, if you don't like someone and you can't fight them, spread rumors effectively instead.

The best rumors have an inkling of truth in them: “Sneedman visits the pig farm.” They then get twisted: “Sneedman fricks pigs, here is a picture of him going to the pig farm.” As many men wiser than myself have stated: when women want to hurt you, they go for reputational damage.

They may take a genuine flaw of yours - maybe you do lie sometimes. This flaw will then be magnified and spread to everyone to ensure that nobody even talks to you anymore. You're no longer a person who told a lie - you're a pathological liar, and nobody should speak to you ever because nothing you say is true. Viola! Now you have no reputation and you're shunned.

Lastly, mean girls are linguistic geniuses. They know how to say the perfect things with plausible deniability yet still clearly being harsh. I'll give you an example. Once a woman asked me why I'm vegetarian. I explained that I had read some books that changed my mind. Her response “Oh, so you just read those books.” There's nothing obviously objectional about that, but it's an obvious insult. Through this strategy, you are stuck with the pain of being insulted but with the inability to insult back without looking like the instigator.

Carole Stephens states it best:

Mean girl incivility encourages women to engage in unkind exchanges while remaining affable and approachable. The more socially adept a woman is, the better she is at engaging in mean girl incivility in a discrete way.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1702842453854539.webp


Conclusion

These tactics are psychologically damaging. Many don't recover from these experiences of being a target of mean girls at work. A lot of the research is geared toward mean girls doing it to each other, but rest assured mean girls can also frick up men.

With legs full of scars I have permanently darned myself to inceldom. Even if a woman did like my personality, she would still have to deal with the mess I've made of myself. The worst part is that I know it's not over. The darkness will return and I will crawl back to the razorblade as I always have.

I am forced to accept that I'll never experience intimacy and love with a woman despite craving it. In addition to being 5 foot 1, I am also covered in self-harm scars.

What does a hug feel like? I don't think I've experienced one this year. Also, have you ever dealt with a mean girl? I'd like to hear the stories.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1702842454342635.webp

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23
EFFORTPOST A history of American Psychedelic Literature

I previously wrote about the history of psychedelic literature in Europe. I thought I'd round it out by briefly discussing American psychedelic literature. Hope you enjoy it.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/171627016530532.webp


In the Beginning....

According to Michael Boon, Silas Wier Mitchell is considered one of the earliest Western writers to describe mescaline. This claim is also made by McKenna, who argues that “in 1897 Philadelphia novelist and physician Silas Weir Mitchell became the first gringo to describe peyote intoxication”. As McKenna points out in more informal terms, Mitchell was an American writer and physician, and he is partially known for prescribing the rest treatment to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who would later write of it in The Yellow Wallpaper.

In 1896, Mitchell wrote an essay describing his experiences with peyote. In the essay, he describes hallucinations that gave him a sense of profundity and includes imagery of nature and the universe that evokes the transcendent. Colour is a recurring theme in his report. When he closed his eyes, he saw huge, fruit-like stones that were “green, purple, red, and orange; never clear yellow and never blue”. He acknowledges his inability to describe the intensity of these “gorgeous colour-fruits” and claims that all the colours he had seen before were “dull as compared to these”. Much of the imagery he sees is related to nature and is described in ways that are fantastical and imaginative. He mentions hallucinations of “soft golden clouds” and “things, like green birds”.

Not all the imagery described is natural. He also hallucinates manmade structures that evoke death and the divine. This appears in the form of an ancient Egyptian tomb that he sees. Themes of death introduced by the tomb are amplified by the “funerary orations” he hears, and the themes of the divine are further highlighted by the “priests in ornate headdress” that circumambulate the tomb. His senses and his perception of reality are also affected by his ingestion of peyote. He describes seeing a huge bird claw of stone from which hung a fragment of a substance that seemed to represent “Time as well as [the] immensity of Space”.

According to Boon, Mitchell's writing represents “one of the first explorations of visual abstraction in modern culture”. However, Mitchell's writing is not entirely novel and features literary elements that are common within European psychedelic literature. For example, he makes liberal use of colour in much the same way that Hoffmann and Benjamin do. Furthermore, Mitchell's writing also evokes the divine, a Romantic element, much like the European poet Gautier does. Lastly, Mitchell's psychedelic writing features death. As previously discussed, European writers such as Hoffman and Jünger also feature death in their psychedelic writing, using the concept to symbolise a “Great Transition” as Jünger describes it. Similarly, the death theme occurs to Mitchell as he transitions to a state of altered consciousness where contradictions and surrealism blend with familiar elements of his life. He is whisked away from his old life and sees himself reincarnated as a “fur-capped Mongol huntsman, cold-eyed and cruel, bow in hand, striking down a running rabbit from the back of a racing, gaunt half-wild stallion”.

From comparing Mitchell to the aforementioned European writers, recurring patterns regarding the use of the death and rebirth theme becomes apparent. For psychedelic writers, death is symbolic of a psychological transition that leads to rebirth. However, at the time in which Mitchell writes, this concept has yet to be fleshed out from a psychoanalytical perspective. As American psychedelic writers are further explored, the recurring theme of death and rebirth being used symbolically to represent psychological transition will become more ubiquitous and defined as psychedelics become an unignorable issue within politics, art, science, and other sectors of civil life.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1716270165912246.webp


Cannabis

Although mescaline is strongly associated with American psychedelic literature, several other psychedelics are also significant influences. Cannabis, for instance, makes multiple appearances in American psychedelic literature. While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how cannabis was introduced to North America, Suman Chandra et al argue that evidence points to the fact that “Louis Hébert (1575–1627), the apothecary (pharmacist) of Samuel de Champlain (1580–1635), a French navigator, cartographer, and explorer, introduced cannabis to American settlers in 1606”. Originally, the cannabis plant was used to produce hemp, which can be used to make a wide variety of resources including textiles, rope, and paper to name a few. However, between 1840 and 1900, cannabis was used for medicinal purposes in North America and was administered to cure ailments such as “tetanus, epilepsy, rheumatism, rabies, and as a muscle relaxant”. For some time, cannabis-infused medicine was freely sold in North American pharmacies, but this would not last for long.

Boon claims that the “first American writer to report on his own experiences with cannabis was the travel writer and diplomat Bayard Taylor” who writes about it in his text titled The Lands of Saracen (1855). Cannabis was not always tolerated in the USA and, as Boon notes, the end of the nineteenth century brought with it “a wave of paranoia about the drug”. Consequently, “a number of anti-cannabis laws were passed in at the state level in the early twentieth century”. Boon argues that these laws were motivated by fears of Mexican immigrants and blacks committing crimes under the influence of cannabis. A large influence in the criminalisation of cannabis was Harry Anslinger, the commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics, who referenced the assumed link between the words ‘hashish' and ‘assassin' to argue for a link between cannabis and crime and largely ignored scientific work on the drug. As previously discussed, this etymological link is likely false. Nevertheless, he played a role in the “passing of the 1937 law against cannabis products”.

One of the ways that cannabis gained popularity in the USA was through its association with music, namely jazz. As Boon notes, “marijuana was used in black communities, especially in New Orleans, where it was associated with the jazz culture of the brothels”. Furthermore, by “the 1930s, there were a number of jazz songs about marijuana”. The love of cannabis did not stay in New Orleans, however. In Harlem, there emerged ‘tea-pads' where “people went to get high and listen to a record player, or jukebox”. Because of this association of jazz with cannabis, “one of the narcotics bureau's first targets was jazz musicians”.

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LSD

LSD is another psychedelic drug that plays a prominent role in American psychedelic literature. It had as much, if not more, of a social impact in the USA as it had in Europe. In the 1950s and 1960s, LSD gained popularity among therapists and psychologists in the USA. Therapists claimed that when low doses of LSD were administered to their patients, “their patients' Ego defences relaxed, allowing them to bring up and discuss difficult or repressed material with relative ease”. By the end of the 1960s, “psychoanalytic LSD therapy was routine practice in the tonier precincts of Los Angeles, such as Beverly Hills”, and received plenty of positive attention.

With the increasing popularity of psychedelics in the USA came charismatic figures who associated themselves with these substances. Al Hubbard is one of those figures, and he occupies a prominent position in the history of psychedelics. Hubbard was born in Kansas and, although it is difficult to confirm many facts about his life, “his FBI file suggests he had links to the CIA during the 1950s”. In 1952, he “obtained some LSD, and had a literally life-changing experience”. Following this event, he developed a messianic complex, believing that “it was up to him to bring the new gospel of LSD, and the chemical itself, to as many people as he possibly could”. Using his government connections, he was able to acquire copious amounts of LSD from Sandoz and it is believed that he introduced an estimated “six thousand people to LSD between 1951 and 1966, in an avowed effort to shift the course of human history”.

He developed a form of psychedelic therapy that took patients out of the clinical settings of hospitals and instead put them in more comfortable locations with “pictures and music, flowers and diamonds”, to prime “patients for a mystical revelation”. Changing the setting has the potential to alter how an individual experiences a psychedelic session because, as Grof explains, “people in LSD psychotherapy often manifest seemingly inappropriate and highly exaggerated reactions to various environmental stimuli”. Hence, “it makes a great difference whether the session takes place in a busy laboratory milieu, in a comfortable homelike environment, in a sterile medical setting with white coats and syringes, or in a place of great natural beauty”.

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Shamans

Pollan argues that Hubbard understood that the cognitive disruptions brought on by psychedelics could be effective for “breaking destructive patterns of thought and proposing new perspectives in their place”, hence his “greatest contribution to modern psychedelic therapy was to introduce the tried-and-true cowtools of shamanism, or at least a Westernized version of it”. Broadly defined, shamans are figures who “enter trance to provide services”, usually of a spiritual nature. Some definitions include restrictive criteria, such as requiring the practitioner to make use of “death-and-rebirth initiations, soul journey trances, and animal helper spirits”. The trance the shaman enters “represents a temporary state that appears psychologically”, and associated behaviours during trance include, but are not limited to, “trembling, shuddering, horripilation, swooning, falling to the ground, yawning, lethargy, convulsions, foaming at the mouth, protruding eyes, large extrusions of the tongue, paralysis of a limb, [etc.]”. The cultural narratives of the society of the shaman will determine how the trance is interpreted. For example, as Singh explains, some cultures might frame the trance state as spirit possession, soul journeying, or a combination of these and many other possibilities. Typically, an individual must undergo an initiation to become a shaman. Initiations usually involve rituals that feature “death and rebirth, ritual surgery, magical surgery of body parts”, or dramatic experiences.

Despite the scepticism the lens of Western rationality exercises over shamanism, the concept gained a foothold within America's psychedelic culture. This is partially due to the aforementioned North American tribes who had incorporated psychedelic plants into shamanic rituals for many years. However, figures such as Hubbard were also pivotal in expanding the school of thought which viewed psychedelics in a manner that shamans would – as cowtools to evoke emotional and psychological change for one's betterment.

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Conclusion

America has a long history of psychedelic literature that continues with figures such as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Terrence McKenna. However, they deserve posts of their own. Tune in next time when I delve into the Beat Generation. Writing = no cutting.

None

I've been so depressed I've cried while masturbating, but I think I see the light once again. Everyone will reach turning points in their life. How you react in these moments determines who you are, what your resolve is, and how you will fare in the grueling game of life. Life isn't fair. Some people will find a relatively easy path, and will never have to encounter some of the harsher aspects of life such as poverty, loneliness, and social ostracization.

The person you are at birth will not be the person you are when you die (unless you die shortly after birth). Your personality will dissolve and rebuild several times, and you will become an entirely new person. For today's post, I'd like to describe the process of death and rebirth, and how drugs can help.

I really like the current font the site is using. They call it sewer side because the people who do it are shit. I wish my darn uber eats order would hurry up.

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Carl Jung and Rebirth

I'll introduce Jung very briefly. He was a psychiatrist who was born in Switzerland in 1875. His father, Paul Jung, was a “Reformed Protestant vicar” (Wehr 1987; 9. while his mother, Emilie Preiswerk, suffered from mental illness. As a child, Jung had a deep interest in nature and, though he was surrounded by the church, he was unable to achieve any affinity for all the dogmatic side of religion. Paul was tolerant of his son's choices, hence when Carl decided that he would have to forego the feast of communion because nothing of religious importance happened for him there, Paul accepted.

This would not mark the end of Jung's relationship with religion, however, and his interest in the spiritual life of human beings would become a lifelong pursuit. In 1895, Jung began attending the University of Basel where he enrolled in the medical curriculum. There, Jung proved himself to be quite the polymath. In addition to being influenced by the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, he also familiarised himself with all the occult-spiritist literature. Jung's life took a turn when he picked up a copy of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's textbook on psychiatry, which motivated him to abandon his studies in medicine to pursue psychiatry. In this field, he would have a notable intellectual impact.

Although not completely paralleling Freud's theories, Jung's theories branch off from them. He, like Freud, believes in the unconscious. However, he does not conceptualize it as a psychic realm exclusively housing repressed or forgotten contents. This, according to Jung, only describes the personal unconscious. There is a deeper layer of the unconscious Jung terms the collective unconscious which has contents and modes of behavior that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals.

Jung believes that the collective unconscious is populated by archetypes. In short, in much the same way that animals in the same species will inherit physical traits from their ancestors, so too are there psychic apparatus that are inherited in the form of archetypes. One of the archetypes Jung highlights is the rebirth archetypes which is ubiquitous in several religions and myths around the world. The most popular, of course, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ who defeats death. Though Jesus is divine, he takes the form of man, which in some ways suggests that we are all capable of overcoming death.

The death we overcome is not biological, it is psychic. You would be correct to also describe it as a transformation. A transformation can occur through an enlargement of personality whereby external contents are assimilated by the individual. Although the source of the personality enlargement is external, the individual must have within themselves the capacity to grow.

It's no coincidence that our heroes typically defy death. Allow me to explain. Jung lists identification with a cult hero as a means of bringing about the transformation of the personality. This occurs when one identifies with a god or hero who transforms in a sacred ritual. According to Jung, many religions and cult ceremonies are expressly intended to bring this identity about. In Christianity, he explains, the religion's theology came to include this form of the rebirth archetype over time as the outer God or Christ gradually became the inner Christ of the individual believer. WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD. WE ALL HAVE A CROSS TO BEAR, AND IF WE DON'T LOSE FAITH, WE WILL DEFY DEATH

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Joseph Campbell and Rebirth

Born in 1904 in New York, Joseph Campbell's interest in mythology was sparked at a young age when his father took him and his younger brother to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Madison Square Garden, and to the National Museum of History, and he soon recognized similarities between the stories and symbols of Native Americans and those from his Roman Catholic upbringing. Later in life, he would study Hinduism and find the same symbols once again. He would also study Arthurian medieval material, and he would recognize the same symbols. Upon entering Dartmouth College in 1921, he studied biology and mathematics. However, he would eventually transition to the Humanities, earning his master's degree in medieval literature in 1926.

In 1928, he discovered the works of Freud and Jung which would influence him greatly. Comparing the two, Campbell argues that the Freudian unconscious is biographical, not biological, while the Jungian unconscious is based on a biological point of view. Unlike Freud, Campbell points out, Jung recognized the collective unconscious which is universally shared and from which mythic symbols emerge. During his lifetime, Campbell would expand on Jung's ideas of archetypes in the realm of mythology, theorizing how these images manifest in the myths, stories, and traditions of disparate cultures around the world.

Campbell notes the particular importance of metaphorical death and rebirth, stating that “all children need to be twice born, to learn to function rationally in the present world, leaving childhood behind”. He claims that this wisdom is captured in the Biblical verse 1 Corinthians 13: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things”.

This death and rebirth, Campbell argues, is achieved through puberty rites. As Campbell explains: “in primal societies, there are teeth knocked out, there are scarifications, there are circumcisions, there are all kinds of things done. So you don't have your little baby body anymore, you're something else entirely”. Campbell even cites his own experiences of wearing short pants as a boy and wearing long trousers when he was older as a kind of puberty rite.

What must be noted is that rebirth is unattainable without the preceding death. The god of death is the lord of s*x. La petit morte. In this way, death and birth become intertwined concepts, and one cannot exist without the other.

In summary, the death and rebirth metaphorized in myth is not a clinical death that involves the cessation of all life processes. This is also the case with Freud's concept of Eros and Thanatos, and with Jung's death and rebirth archetypes. According to Campbell, within myths, death is a psychic process that we must all undergo if we are to achieve self-actualization.

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Death and Rebirth via medicine

There is nothing wrong with looking for help. If you are sick, you see a doctor. It's that's simple. I had past experiences that made me deeply suicidal but I have gotten through them with some help from some pharmacological friends. Will I get everything I want? No, but that's okay. I shed my old self and a new one with different desires is born. I know you can do the same. To do so, you have to die first, and this is the scariest part. Just let the forces of life strike you with all their might. A little seedling of humanity will remain, and you will grow from it.

I don't advocate for drug use to solve all your problems. Everybody knows that's foolish. However, in times of crisis, it can be good to have something extremely powerful to basically destroy everything there and allow you to rebuild. Sometimes, drugs just help you by giving you false happiness. It's fake, but it gives you an opportunity to imagine an alternative reality to the depressing one you currently exist in. This is useful, as you know have something to have hope for.

Before I describe my drug experiences, I'd like to warn you that the substances I'm about to list are highly addictive and relatively easy to obtain. Do not go down this road unless sewer side is the only alternative. This is the chemo approach to mental health - drastic and deadly.

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Admitting you need help

If you wind up in front of a doctor with significant self-harm, they'll almost certainly freak out. I've never met a doctor who took it even remotely well, and I don't blame them. When most people discuss self-harm, they're talking about cat scratches - you cut just enough to see blood. These cuts heal relatively quickly.

Then there's manic self-harm which you genuinely can't do without some manner of a mood disorder (or a disinhibited survival instinct). The accurate term for this is "self-mutilation", as you perform the type of injuries that will leave permanent scarring and sometimes nerve damage. These are burns or cuts that travel down to the dermis, and in extreme cases, the subcatenous layer. More often than not, stitches are required, though very few self-harmers will get them. To the average person, it's INSANE to deliberately mutilate yourself. A single razorblade cut will make most people wince, so to see a limb lacerated from top to bottom right down to the dermis is disturbing, to say the least. It looks like the acts of a disturbed and possibly dangerous person.

In this position, most doctors will refer you to a psychiatrist, but they'll also panic and prescribe you pretty much everything if they don't immediately institutionalize you. You will get very high doses of incredibly mind-altering substances, some of them highly addictive. This is a dangerous act, but it's also not a bad thing, as the doctor believes they are dealing with a life or death situation, and their primary aim is to sedate you at least to the point where you aren't a risk to yourself or others. It helps if you look relatively innocent (ie no tats or piercings, speaking clear English, and not acting like you know anything about pharmacological drugs).

The drugs I'm about to describe aren't SSRIs or Bupropion. Quite frankly, I have my doubts regarding SSRIs and their efficacy and I also believe they create chemical dependency which isn't always useful. Instead, I want to discuss the "destroy and rebuild" drugs that are highly psychoactive and will profoundly alter your state of consciousness.

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Amitriptyline

This is the first line of defense against severe panic attacks, self-harm, and anxiety-induced insomnia. Doctors prefer it to benzos because it's not addictive. However, it does come with the downside of being quite easy to overdose with. According to research, it's one of the most common drugs used in successful sewer sides This is partially the reason why many doctors are moving away from it, and why my current doctor completely weaned me off it (I got much better shit though :marseychefkiss:)

So what can you expect from Amitriptyline? Well, nothing and everything. Pop four or five and in about ten minutes, you'll be incapable of feeling any negative emotions. You won't feel any positive ones either. It's just a state of extreme numbness. Someone could get stabbed up in front of you and it wouldn't really click that you're witnessing a tragedy. You'd just accept it without much complaint. Wait a few more minutes, and your bed will become irresistible.

The benefit of Amitriptyline is that it gives you a break. If you're being assaulted by depression or anxiety, it'll disappear entirely for at least 12 hours. You won't be productive during this time, but your old negative mind will begin to die as you get the chance to think of anything but your misery. I highly recommend it.

It doesn't have much recreational value. If you're happy, there is not much joy to be had in switching off. Just go out and enjoy life instead of lying comatose for half the day. For anyone suicidal or in mental anguish, it feels like the hand of god rescuing you from heck.

Side story: I failed my driver's test 3 times before I took Amitriptyline for my test and passed. It calmed my nerves and sedated me enough to complete the test. You're not supposed to drive or operate heavy machinery on it but if it works it works.

Rebirth value: 6

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Benzodiazepines

I'll call them benzos from now on. You've heard them rapped about, and they come under many different brand names - Urbanol, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Jordan Peterson's breakfast. It's all the same shit (mostly) - just a matter of dosage. HGHLY addictive, HIGHLY dangerous. I warn you not to touch them unless you are genuinely a harm to yourself.

I can't begin to describe how much I love benzos. They are the evil-stopper. The pauser of pain. The muter of misery. Benzos don't make you happy. They make you not sad. I've read several posts on Reddit of people complaining that benzos don't do anything. That's because you're happy already! The drug is the true shit-tester. If you're playing at depression, they will do nothing for you. If you have a genuine serotonin deficit, it will feel like heaven come true. It's the only drug I've taken that genuinely feels like that Simpsons scene.

Pop 4 or 5, smoke some weed, and put on some music. The rest of your day is about to get perfect. It's really hard to explain what benzos do to your memory. I kind of have bullet-point facts in my head of how I feel on benzos but quite frankly I don't truly remember any of my benzo escapades. It's all a black hole. I just wake up in the morning knowing I had the best night ever.

Benzos have massive downsides. The chemical binds to your GABA receptors, which are the same receptors alcohol binds to. Consequently, you'll experience many of the effects of alcohol (stumbling, slurring, impulsiveness) without ever feeling shitfaced. You will feel 100% sober as you stumble around your house, get into your car, and speed to a drive-through at 2 AM with your headlights off. I've had experiences of tumbling down my stairs in my apartment with a tray full of food, and also trying to sort out my Pokemon cards, only to have them fly everywhere.

People do insane, life-ruining shit on benzos, and they remember none of it at all. Think about the last few years - if you recall a politician, celebrity, or public figure acting insane in public or you've seen someone being weird on an airplane, there's an 80% chance they were on benzos and maybe decided to drink as well. If you've done benzos, you'll recognize that "lucid insanity" very easily.

That lady there? OBVIOUSLY took benzos. No doubt in my mind. I've been lucky enough to not do anything crazy on benzos (that I remember lol).

Here's my theory: if you're suffering from heightened anxiety or depression, benzos will chill you out in a way that does not feel "wrong" or "drug abusey" at all. It feels like doctor-prescribed medicine and there is nothing sinister about it. If you decide to do them for fun, it will unearth all your repressed shit and after you mentally blackout, your body will continue to act out your repressed desires.

In my case, benzos make me read random articles online for hours before going to sleep and feeling happy that I went through a night without self-harming. I have no doubt that if I took them while not in a depressive episode, I would probably see manifestations of my sexual repression.

I would honestly would not recommend benzos except in a worst-case scenario. They're so good, they're bad. They will not fix your problems, just give you a brief break to remember that it's possible to not feel depressed all the time. For many, that's all they need. For most, they'll take this pill and ruin their lives with it. It also causes brain damage when used long-term.

If you're intent on using benzos recreationally, practice moderation. Additionally, make sure you tell yourself that it's an experiment you'll never repeat. There's no point in stating recommended dosage because it entirely depends on what kind of benzo you've been prescribed. I'd tell you not to do too much but if you get high and you have them at home, you're going to wake up with half of them gone even if you decided to take only one. Redosing is nigh impossible not to do once you're high.

Rebirth value: 6

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Zolpidem

Well, well, well. What do we have here? The good stuff. The holy grail of pharma drugs, not counting opioids. It gets no better than this. From now on I'll be referring to Zoldipem as Ambien, but it's sold under a few other names including Nyxe for poorcels on generics.

Ambien is typically prescribed as a sleeping agent, though you'll also get prescribed it temporarily if you're at a point of crisis, especially if you're feeling self-deletey or are self-harming. It's better to be sedated for a while if the alternative is sewer side.

You need an incredibly small dose for the fun to start - about 5mg - and you'll have to decide to stay up after you're hit by incredible drowsiness about 15 minutes in. If you manage to stay up, you'll feel the greatest chill you've felt in your life. An armed robber could enter your house, and you'll help him load stuff into his truck with a smile on your face. You could sit down for dinner with Satan and feel sympathetic to his cause. However, unlike benzos, there are none of the shit-faced effects. You'll walk straight and look fine. Ambien is the best of benzos without the bad stuff.

You can take it at higher doses, but don't overdo it. Ambien makes you puke at high doses, and you run a risk of instant blackout. This is a deadly combination, as it leaves you liable to choking on your own puke. My advice is don't surpass 10mg. 15mg at most, unless you have a high tolerance (but seriously, don't abuse these drugs to the point of having a high tolerance). I've seen Reddit posts of people taking 100mg and that's insane and possibly deadly. I'd probably puke my bowels out. Nevertheless, I understand the pain, and for some, being knocked out for 24hrs+ is genuinely the best move they can make at that point in time.

Once you're in the Ambien zone, a warmness fills your body and your faculties of memory switch off entirely. No new memories will be formed for the next few hours. This is the "blackout" but don't be fooled into thinking you won't be 100% active during this time. The more you do Ambien, the more you're able to grip onto small glimpses of your time on the drug, but it's never the whole thing. Just still frames of a much longer video.

Unlike benzos, Ambien gets weird. Like, borderlines psychedelic weird. It makes the world wavy, you can hallucinate sounds and see colors bleeding out of objects. Much like psychedelics, it also gives you that "safe space" effect, allowing you to think about traumatic events directly without breaking down. This is INCREDIBLY useful for anyone seeking closure or to move past a painful experience.

I'm on ambien right now and it feels great. The fan's wind on my skin feels euphoric. I can think about anything and I'm not really disturbed or saddened by it. There's a strong desire to redose but I know better. Just ride the wave :marseyvibing:

Rebirth value: 8

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Benzo and Ambien

I tried this combo last night. Don't mix them. 20mg ambien + 20mg benzos = instant blackout followed by puking all over my bed. It's not like coke or meth - there is no recreational value from going too far with it. There is a sweet spot for either drug and if you go past it, only bad things happen. You don't need to mix ambien with anything but weed. The same applies for benzos.

I don't think anything too bad happened last night except I sent the same work email to the same address three times in a row. I know it's weird, but I'm hoping it's a "whoops" weird and not "is this person on drugs?" kind of weird. I also had a bunch of messages from work, but it was nothing related to my actions. Folks at work are so nice to me, they're genuinely good people. If I told them I'm a degenerate depressive they'd probably help me without judging tbh but I'm smart enough to know they're not family lol never taking the mask off in front of them and neither should you :marseyseethe:

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Drugs and inceldom

I was in a really dark hole, but I see the light again, and it's partially thanks to drugs. If I had a wife who loved me and had hope that I could start a nuclear heterosexual family, I would never touch a mind-altering substance ever again, but that's not the reality we're dealing with.

If you're an incel it's not the end of the world. Yes, it sucks, but you can still construct a livable life. Principally, you need four things:

  • home

  • vehicle

  • money

  • health insurance

I was going to add media, but I don't think it's vital. In fact, seeing relationships and hearing love music is probably going to deteriorate your mental health. Lock onto a singular goal and direct your fantasies toward it. Don't succumb to the temptations of imaginary friends, it keeps the social faculties of your brain active, preventing them from eventually rotting away and leaving you with no social drive. Don't think about people, don't imagine yourself in a relationships, and in public divert your gaze from women as they're only going to trigger fantasies.

It also helps if you present somehow androgynously. With long hair, a soft voice, no facial hair, and tons of pink/purple clothing, I often get misgendered. I've noticed that people give me that "frick, here's a loser" stare far less and instead I get more of a "oh, its an insecure girl" look which is a lot more sympathetic.

Don't look at doctors/psychiatrists as humans. They're robots and your last lifeline. If you need to speak to them, just switch your brain off and speak the truth, regardless of how cringe it is. They'll give you what you need to continue your incel life with some relative comfort. Another thing - most doctors aren't going to be mad at you. They just want to help! This is especially important if you're self-mutilating i.e. reaching dermal layer. You have a 100% chance of getting an infection, multiple infections in fact. Infections find their way into sterile hospitals, there is no way you're going to avoid them in your shitty home. A doctor will give you anti-infection medication to help when you do BTFO yourself.

As you incelmaxx, you're going to hit walls - if you live in an apartment, you'll probably hear your neighbors have s*x, you'll see couples in public, you'll realize 80%+ of music is about love/women which causes you to greatly narrow what you listen to. There are a million and one reminders that you fricked up severely and you'll never be a normie. Breathe through it. This too shall pass.

Also, bear in mind, nobody becomes an incel by mistake, especially as you get older. If you're being rejected, there's probably a very good reason why. It is moral to distance yourself from others, as you are doing them a favor.

Is inceldom inevitable? For some of us, yes. I do think we do things that push us in that direction. My biggest regrets:

  • leaving groomercord dramasphere and losing my last social group

  • not implementing the "just be first" strategy and finding a gf in grade school

  • wasting years on asexuality

  • indulging fantasies of escaping inceldom

Lastly, your imagination is your strongest tool. I truly believe that any incel should practice writing daily. You can create stories that perfectly suit your preferences and tastes, and they'll be void of any of those painful themes that upset you. The more you use your imagination, the greater the world worlds you can create, and the more you can escape from reality. It helps because mass-produced media is all about love and relationships.

There is life at the bottom. It's not a good life, but it's a life you can make worth living.

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Thoughts on inceldom

Normies have break-ups and they recover by rebounding to the next partner. Incels get rejected and that's that. I find it difficult to accept that this is a matter of personality. The most vile humans to ever live, none of them are incels. Not one. Let's see:

  • Gary Ridgway - killed over 60 women, got married twice

  • Vlad the Impaler - over 40,000 deaths attributed to him, has 5 children

  • Albert Einstein - openly hated women, still married and had children

  • Arthur Schopenhauer - Literally the most prolific misogynist in Western philosophy and is considered the father of Western woman-hating. Had a wife and children, some of them as a result of adultery

  • Jerry Givens - One of America's most prolific executioners who admits that he killed innocent people. He died married with two children

  • Darrell Brooks - multiple felonies and no high school even prior to the Waukesha incident. Still has multiple children.

It sickens me to my stomach to know these folks are more attractive to women than I am. How do you not feel worthless when the bare facts are laid out like this? There's a simple explanation for this - height. Look at the percentage of evil people who get married, then look at the percentage of short people who get married. The pattern is 100% clear, being evil is less of a dating detriment than your height as a male. This article is the most depressing thing I've read in a while.

It has long been understood that tall people generally exhibit a variety of positive attributes: they are healthier, stronger, smarter, more educated, more sociable, more liked, and more confident than short people. Hence, it is not surprising that they are richer, more influential, more fertile, happier, and longer-lived than short people

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1570677X15000398

Studies that attempt to research correlations between height and number of sexual partners don't even include my height because folks my height are expected to be fricking incels.

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https://web.archive.org/web/20230216073416/https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/does-height-make-you-more-attractive

I challenge you right fricking now to find me a bigger predictor of male marriage. Nothing predicts your romantic fate more than height.

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CONCLUSION

If you go around Reddit, you'll discover plenty of nurses and pharmacists sharing info on new drugs that are being abused and how to spot folks trying to acquire them. Such medical practitioners are violating their Hippocratic oath in addition to just being square pricks. "Oh noo boo hoo don't let them buy DXM noooooo you can't see demon spiders!" By turning people away from the relatively safe drugs, you're pushing them to street drugs which are more likely to frick them up.

On a side note, DXM is alright if you're used to self-experimentation. I tried it a couple of times. The first, I found myself in a spaceship, listening to A Tribe Called Quest as I enjoyed the groovy adventure. The second time I projectile vomited and experienced no pleasure or high.

If someone wants to do drugs, they're sick. Sober people typically receive their happiness from their relationships and achievements, and drugs are a distraction from that. I've never seen my mom take a drop of alcohol, because she has a husband and children to fill her life. For the rest of us, we'll take slivers of pleasure wherever we find them. Don't thwart us, or else you'll leave us with nothing but misery. Pharmacists be like "No, you can't have happy pills. Get back to your suffering." This is cruel and immoral.

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EFFORTPOST Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception

Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England in 1894. According to Nicholas Murray, Huxley was “immensely tall – six feet four-and-a-half inches”, and he had a voice that was “beautifully modulated, silvery, precise”. His mother, Julia Huxley, died “of an inoperable cancer after a very short illness” in 1908. This greatly impacted Huxley, and Murray claims that the pain of the loss is apparent in Huxley's literature. As evidence, he argues that “in both Brave New World and its counterpart, the ‘good utopia' of Island, the nature of motherhood and the role of the family is an important theme, and one informed by Huxley's complicated feelings about the matter reaching back to his childhood experiences”.

Huxley would not avoid health problems of his own. His school attendance was not consistent because he “was ill as a child and missed some of his lessons”. When Huxley was sixteen and attending Eton College, he began experiencing pain in his eyes and he was taken to an eye specialist in London. It was determined that he had a condition known as keratitis punctata, and although doctors did their best, he was left blind from 1911 to 1912, and his sight was impaired from then onwards. His sight impairment was devastating because he was “a voracious reader, a painter, a delighted explorer of the natural world” and, according to Murray, “it was a catastrophe which he always believed was the most important single determining event in his early life”. Interestingly, George Woodcock notes that Huxley's seeing impairment was accompanied by aphantasia, and he “could remember scenes, but he could not create a scene by invention in his mind's eye”. Huxley writes about his experiences with near blindness in The Art of Seeing (1943).His sight problems may have been unexpectedly serendipitous because “realising that a medical or scientific career was now out of the question, Huxley turned to the idea of writing”. He read voraciously using braille and a magnifying glass, and he also learnt to play the piano by touch. His loss of sight may have also sparked his search for alternate ways to view the world, ultimately fuelling and shaping his views and interactions with psychedelics. When he was seventeen, he published his first text titled Crome Yellow in 1921. One of his most impactful texts is Brave New World (1932), a dystopian text that imagines a future where society is bioengineered and conditioned with the aim of crafting a perfect utopia.

	

In 1937, Huxley and his family moved to California, USA. During this time, there are “oriental elements that became increasingly preponderant in his religious attitudes”, and this is seen in writing. As Woodcock points out, in Island Huxley crafts a society with a “religio-philosophic basis combining Indian and European elements”. In the 1950s, Huxley began experimenting with psychedelic drugs. He “had heard, since coming to the United States, circumstantial reports of the use of the cactus known as peyote in the ceremonials of a semi-pagan Indian church in New Mexico”. While some view psychedelics as a psychosis simulator and others view them as recreational substances, Huxley instead saw them as spiritual helpers. As Woodcock explains, “he realised that the ways to enlightenment were many; that prayer and meditation in themselves were only techniques, and that there could be other techniques – mortification was one of them – which might effectively break down the resistance of the Ego”.

	

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The doors of perception

The phrase “the doors of perception” is originally found in William Blake's text The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790). Within the text, it is written that “if the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite”. This carries a similar message to what The Doors of Perception argues with regards to psychedelics. Huxley's reference to Blake is no mistake, and he displays a constant fondness for the Romantic artist through his references to him, and titling an essay “Heaven and Hell”, making yet another allusion to Blake.

	

The Doors of Perception can be considered psychedelic due to the way Huxley handles the topic of drug use. The text is presented as an autobiographical account of the author's experiences, and he attempts to make himself appear as a man who is using psychedelics for the sake of science and knowledge rather than hedonism. Like psychedelic writers before him, he assumes the role of the psychonaut who aims to explore unvisited realms of human consciousness. Huxley, with his scientific tone and his philosophical musings regarding psychedelics and their social and spiritual potential, plays the role of the psychonaut quite convincingly, and his eloquence allows him to discuss even his most abstract thoughts.

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Mescaline

Huxley's drug of choice is mescaline. As previously discussed, the use of mescaline is usually associated with Native Americans who have used it for generations for spiritual purposes. Huxley is aware of the relationship Native Americans have had with the drug, and he also discusses how Native Americans have appropriated customs and rituals of the past to still carry meaning in the modern world. As an example, he looks to the Native American Church which has been discussed in this thesis. Following the colonisation of the Americas, Native Americans had to deal with Christianity's encroachment on their culture. In many countries that have experienced European colonisation, Christianity often becomes the dominant religion that moulds many aspects of life including culture, morality, and law. In the process, the culture of the natives is erased. Rather than fight the overwhelming tide of Christianity, Huxley notes that some Native Americans instead did “something which is at once psychologically sound and historically respectable” and incorporated some of the fabric of Christianity into their cultural beliefs and customs. This can be seen in the way the use of peyote has been sacramentalised in a Christian fashion by the Native American Church. As Huxley explains, the church's “principal rite is a kind of Early Christian agape, or love feast, where slices of peyote take the place of bread and wine”. Hence, while Christians experience rebirth by taking part in the symbolic resurrection of Christ through communion, members of the Native American Church use mescaline instead for the same ends. The effects of mescaline are interpreted as religious and spiritual experiences and the Native Americans occasionally “see visions, which may be of Christ Himself”.

	

Huxley speaks positively of the Native American Church, and he lauds them for seeking “the best of both worlds, indeed of all the worlds – the best of Indianism, the best of Christianity”. However, Huxley does not spend much time using Native American worldviews to understand mescaline, nor does he use Native American myths and folktales to make sense of his psychedelic experiences. Instead, Christianity is the religion he mostly uses to frame his experiences. He makes use of Christian language and imagery, and he refers to Christian parables, including the story of Mary and Martha. This is not unexpected for Huxley, whose life in the United Kingdom and the USA would have chiefly exposed him to Christianity. His understanding of both Christian and Native American belief systems goes a long way to shedding light on the prevailing socio-religious climate in the USA during Huxley's time of writing. For instance, by highlighting the Native American Church, Huxley also brings to light the ways Native Indian belief systems in America were undermined by Christianity brought in by European settlers and how, while some Native Americans did try to form a new hybrid culture, others “reacted to white supremacy by becoming Americanised”.

Huxley treats his experiments with psychedelics as a scientific endeavour. This is seen, for example, when he introduces his experimentation with mescaline in quite a scientific manner. He uses precise language, including stating the date and exact dosage he took. In May 1953, Huxley is visited by a friend who is researching mescaline, and he allows Huxley to be his guinea pig. Huxley agrees and consumes four-tenths of a gram of mescaline dissolved in half a glass of water before patiently waiting for the effects. The objective, scientific tone of the text is further magnified by the fact that Huxley, after consuming mescaline, records his conversations on a “dictating machine”. Throughout the text, Huxley makes several scientific observations, and he posits theories on how mescaline might alter one's consciousness. He hypothesises that mescaline “interferes with the enzyme system that regulates cerebral functioning”. Consequently, it lowers the “biological efficiency of the brain” and permits the entry into consciousness “certain classes of mental events, which are normally excluded”.

One of the ways he establishes a scientific tone is by inserting himself onto the end of a long chain of prior psychonauts and scholars. He begins his research by stating that “it was in 1886 that the German pharmacologist, Louis Lewin, published the first systemic study of the cactus”, then continues by pointing out that “such eminent psychologists as Jaensch, Havelock Ellis, and Weir Mitchell began their experiments with mescalin, the active principle of peyote”. Displaying his scientific knowledge of the drug, Huxley explains that “chemists have not merely isolated the alkaloid; they have learned how to synthesize it”. He is also aware of how the drug garners interest from various fields of study including psychiatrists, philosophers, “neurologists, and physiologists”. By discussing his predecessors and outlining the body of scientific knowledge of peyote, he portrays himself as scientifically learned and positions himself as yet another psychonaut in a long line of experimenters.

Whether intentional or not, Huxley's scientific approach adds a subtle layer of humour to his text when it is applied to the most mundane of observations. A notable example of this occurs when Huxley stares at his trousers and notices “those folds in the trousers – what a labyrinth of endlessly significant complexity! And the texture of the grey flannel – how rich, how deeply, mysteriously sumptuous!”. He has a similar experience when staring at draperies, causing him to conclude that “for the mescalin taker draperies are living hieroglyphics that stand in some peculiarly expressive way for the unfathomable mystery of pure being”. What might have been a forgotten observation suddenly becomes a scientific quandary, and in an attempt to solve it, he hypothesises that perhaps “the forms of folded drapery are so strange and dramatic that they catch the eye and in this way force the miraculous fact of sheer existence upon the attention? Who knows?”.

	

Despite his scientific approach, he also occasionally makes use of mysticism in his writing. This is seen through his several references to religion, especially Christianity. For example, when he attempts to explain negative experiences, he compares them to Dante's Inferno, an epic poem that imagines the Christian Hell as an abyss comprised of nine circles. Huxley also juxtaposes positive and negative psychedelic experiences by referring to them as Heaven and Hell, respectively. Thus, as has been the case with his predecessors, Huxley's psychedelic writing disrupts the usual boundaries between different modes of observation and blends the scientific with the poetic. Boon's research on Huxley suggests that the intermingling of the subjective and the objective in The Doors of Perception may be a product of Huxley's life and upbringing because he “came from a background in which literary and scientific pursuits had long coexisted”.

	

It should be noted that while Huxley does make use of mysticism, and though he does give into trailing thoughts and subjective language when describing psychedelic experiences, he does so to a lesser degree than his fellow psychedelic writers, including Ludlow. Comparatively, Huxley is far more lucid than his predecessors, and this is seen, for example, when, during a moment of navel-gazing, he states that “by its nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies, – all these are private and, except through symbols and a second hand, incommunicable”. He suggests that while humans may attempt to socialise, the human experience is ultimately a solitary one, as our experiences can only be shared through secondary means, and tools such as language can never fully communicate one's internal experiences. His remark echoes the kind of philosophizing emblematic of psychedelic writers who are tasked with describing the most exotic internal experiences, but Huxley can put forward a coherent thought without dipping into language that is too strange and imagery that obfuscates.

	

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Huxley and Psychedelics

Like prior psychedelic writers, Huxley displays a positive attitude towards psychedelics, and this view does not change from the start to the end of The Doors of Perception. He does not see an issue with the regular use of mescaline, and he claims that reports by Dr Slotkin reveal that peyote users are “on the whole more industrious, more temperate (many of them abstain altogether from alcohol), more peaceable than non-peyotists”. He views the drug as superior to legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco which he believes are a detriment to society. However, he does not advocate for the banning of alcohol and cigarettes, and instead, he argues that by introducing the public to psychedelics, they could “exchange their old bad habits for new and less harmful ones”. Mescaline may be the drug to do this because, as Huxley notes, “unlike alcohol, it does not drive the taker into the kind of uninhibited action which results in brawls, crimes of violence and traffic accidents”. He also stresses the harmlessness of psychedelics, and claims that “to most people, mescalin is almost completely innocuous”.

Although he sings the praises of mescaline, he is not entirely blind to its negative aspects. He notes that while mescaline is safer than most legal and illegal drugs, it is “not yet an ideal drug”. This is partially because, while many who consume mescaline will find sublime splendours and deep contemplation, there are a select few who find “in the drug only hell or purgatory". Although he presents mescaline as an alternative habit to alcohol and tobacco, he does not think that it is a perfect replacement because “for a drug that is to be used, like alcohol, for general consumption, its effects last for an inconveniently long time".

To Huxley, mescaline is a solution to a problem. He poses this problem to the reader by asking the following question: “short of being born again as a visionary, a medium, or a musical genius, how can we ever visit the worlds which, to Blake, to Swedenborg, to Johann Sebastian Bach, were home?”. To solve this problem, he hopes that mescaline will admit him “at least for a few hours, into the kind of inner world described by Blake”. Hence, in many ways, his motivations are that of the classic psychonaut, as he chiefly desires to explore anomalous states of consciousness.

To better understand Huxley's aims with mescaline, one would need to grapple with how he conceives of human consciousness. In Huxley's view, the human mind is capable of remembering everything that has ever happened to it and perceiving “everything that is happening everywhere in the universe”, a belief inspired by the Cambridge philosopher Dr C.D. Broad, who in turn is inspired by Bergson. However, much of the content consumed by the brain is “largely useless and irrelevant”. Hence, to assist humans, who are biological organisms geared towards survival, the brain, and the nervous system will shut out most of what is perceived, “leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful”. Hence, the brain and the nervous system can be thought of as a reducing valve that gives us “a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive”. Some special individuals, however, can bypass this limiting valve to perceive more than the average person. These are the creatives and the spiritually enlightened through whose eyes Huxley aspires to see, though he plans to do it through mescaline. Huxley's ideas may have some psychoanalytical basis. The previously discussed Freudian concept of repression may be thought of as a form of reality narrowing in service of the Ego. However, this narrowing can be expanded through the use of psychedelics which, as C.J. Healy's research reveals, have been noted by clinicians to unearth repressed childhood memories.

	

Although The Doors of Perception is a popular text, there were several criticisms of it at the time of its release. As is to be expected, many critics chastised the text for its drug-centric nature. The ethnologist Weston La Barre claimed Huxley looked upon mescaline with the “Romanticism-ensorcelled eyes of Europeans” while the Oxford professor R. C. Zachner took umbrage at Huxley comparing his drug experiences to those of great mystical traditions. Huxley did have plenty of critics who praised him, however, and he has been celebrated by psychedelic writers who have come after him. In High Priest, Leary speaks of reading Huxley repeatedly before finally meeting him and describing him as a “wise and good man”.

	

The Doors of Perception is a highly influential text that has gone on to affect not just psychedelic literature, but also public perceptions of psychedelics. The text drew attention to itself due to the way it presents a psychoanalytic approach to psychedelic experiences and posits psychonautics as an intellectually valuable pursuit in the West as opposed to a merely esoteric cultural trait of primitive exotic cultures or a pastime of degenerates. Huxley was also influential in inspiring others to share their own psychedelic experiences. According to Boon, the late 1950s saw a large increase of “Huxley-inspired accounts of LSD and mescaline”.

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Conclusion

Wewlad that was a long one. I hope you enjoyed it. Tune in next time when I discuss Hunter S. Thompson or circumcision or some shit.

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