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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
Reported by:
29
EFFORTPOST Why prostitution is morally mandatory

All life originated in the chaos of the Hadean era over 4 billion years ago. From the earliest days, the key and only goal of life was to reproduce. As individuals, as populations and as species. This ensures the continuance of life itself as a heterogenous panoply of all living things. As a fact, all living things exist not only in and of themselves and for themselves, but also has instances of the general trend of life. Just as a giant assembly of cells make up an individual living being, so too all living beings make up life.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993148840098.webp

Saurian or salesman, we are but facets
of a single shining diamond.

Now it's true that quite likely life exists and has arisen on many different planets throughout our infinite (or at least extremely vast) universe. And perhaps throughout other universes in that infinite set of all possible phenomena that we call the multiverse, or some metapantheists call divinity. So the question may arise why we should privilege earth's life - the life that arose on this planet, or perhaps, gestated here, having been brought from some other locale - over the infinite forms of life that likely exist throughout the cosmos. To which an easy rebuttal is given; namely, that we have concrete knowledge only of our own existence. These supposed external forms of life do not impact or play a role in our calculations until they are confirmed. Furthermore, even if foreign life were found it still remains the case that our life strain is unique and has developed in a different fashion from that of the rest of the universe. Just as multiple cowtools are useful in the toolbox and multiple ingredients make a more delicious cake so too our life would have its use to the universal set of living beings even if other forms of life exist, perhaps even more more advanced than ours.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993146768517.webp

The interplay between male and female enriches life;
The meeting of the two gives it meaning.
In fornication, we engage in creation;
We become as gods.

Most ideologies, ethics and systems of moral thought today are based on entirely faulty foundations. Humanism and its doctrines of equality and materialistic hedonism form the court religion of all societies not actively theistic or despotic on this planet; in fact all are ascientific, even antiscientific, theories. They go against all schools of higher knowledge, and even the foundations of group organization, which demands strict hierarchy and obediance of the part to the whole as a prerequisite to further development. All ideologies prevalent today are at the end of the day useless for anything more than consuming the emotions of those that believe in them to replicate themselves further. In fact, they are worse than useless, because in their idealistic endeavors they create negative situations that end up harming the actual goals of us as humans and as living things: namely, to reproduce our species and form of life, to have it exist for as long as possible, in as many forms as possible, in as many places as possible, consuming as few resources as possible, so that our existence may continue for yet longer.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993145408223.webp

Fish are known to be a form of life.

We must become as the lich of human mythology, which abandons its softness and material connections to survive eternally, wielding unimaginable power, subduing all before it. In fact all wise men, and some women, of history agree that the first and greatest struggle is with the self. One who is enslaved to his own desires is not free no matter his status in life. Similarly the struggle of humanity is not against an alien entity or material consideration but with that within itself which keeps it weak: its emotions and ideologies.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993143908834.webp

Learn and study, ancient being.
Save us as you saved yourself.

We live in an era of societal collapse, profound malaise, a time when the yin has overpowered the yang, kali yuga, late-stage capitalism, ragnarok, the christian's end of days, the liberal's end of history, the birth pangs of moshiach, the climate apocalypse, akhir al zaman, an age where all agree that things are profoundly fricked up. May G-d grant that we triumph over these destructive ideologies and moral systems, like a strong body purges a cold, and not be overwhelmed with them, like a chronic suffferer, wracked by disease after disease til his constitution is overwhelmed and utterly crushed and his existance dissipates into nothingness, dust and rotting meat for worms.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993141548452.webp

Will you heal her? Or would you
let her die and be forgotten?

Actually this worm recapitulates the fact that humans are the only way all species - from worms and plants to the higher orders which feed us and provide a portion of our awe and entertainment - will survive beyond the natural lifespan of this earth. Therefore, a vegan or an ethicist who proclaims the value of animal life over or alongside that of human life does not realize that 99.9% of all species ever living have - and in fact 100% species will - go extinct unless we get them off this sphere, and then perhaps they have a chance to survive, at our whim and grace. For it is a scientific certainty that this earth and all on it will end very soon (on the timescale of the planet itself and life on it). The fact that - a short few dozen million years before its end, or at least inhospitability to higher life - a species arose capable of leaving Earth and taking with us some traces and fruits of Earth's existence, can be regarded as nothing less than the highest Mercy that can be granted any body hurtling through space. An infinitesimality of infinitesimals; the winning of an impossible cosmic lottery.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993139917345.webp

This banana will perish
ignomiously but for
the hand of Man.

Eugenics, hierarchies, bayesian pragmatism, record keeping, analysis and collection, focused science etc. will be key elements of any succesful human society (where success is defined as furthering the goal of our species to survive and thrive). That given, it cannot be said that any previous society - even with those putative features implemented - ever truly reached (or came close) to the level of integration into reality, with reality as its primary and only benchmark of success, that would be required to truthfully catapult our species off its nest and into the wide fields of the stars. No blustering nazi or foppish californian abortionist can claim they pioneered the true path, not least because their movements died out, to be replaced with new ones even more tenuously connected to reality. A nazi was, and remains, a fool.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17192993156987236.webp

C'est fini. Ponder and reach
your own conclusions.

None
Reported by:
  • MayflyAlt-98 : >posting Holly again. He's relapsed :marseygiveup:
  • J : Theres nothing wrong with hollieposting leave him alone
27
EFFORTPOST Hunter S. Thompson

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1719061101566605.webp


Introduction

Hunter Stockton Thompson was born in 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky. It is not known whether he is cricimcised or not. According to biographer Peter Whitmer, there was “a sort of indescribable charisma that Hunter exuded from an early age”, and his peers recognised the “unique sense of humour” that would come to characterise his writing. As a youth, Thompson was very interested in sports, and he played baseball while he attended I.N. Bloom Elementary School. During 1948 and 1949, he wrote and distributed a sports journ*lism newspaper for his neighbourhood, and it served as an outlet for both his love of writing and his love of sports. At the time, Thompson was only eleven, and his writing was “linear and to the point, but that would change as he gained more experience. When he was fourteen, his father, Jack Thompson, died from a rare neurological disorder known as myasthenia gravis. Jack's death had a profound impact on Thompson, and some believe that it is the reason why he “left behind the dream of becoming an athlete”.

Thompson's foray into experimenting with intoxicating substances began in high school when he started drinking alcohol. During this time, he also turned into a delinquent, and his stunts initially involved setting fire “to a small eatery where students went for lunch”, but they soon grew more violent and came to include:

>pouring sulphur across the top lockers at the Collegiate Girls School, and lighting it;

>appearing at the Athenaeum Christmas dance with an entire department of stolen festive lighting; flooding the first floor of the high school with three inches of water during an assembly;

>dumping a truckload of pumpkins at the entrance to the Brown Hotel,

>or chasing the history teacher, Mr. Gearhart, around the classroom, threatening to hang him out the window by his ankles.

Thompson's alcohol-fuelled antics eventually caught up to him, however, and he frequently found himself in trouble with the law during his senior years of high school, culminating in him spending sixty days in jail after being charged as an accessory to robbery. After spending some time in the Air Force, he settled in New York where his passion for literature grew. As Whitmer notes, Thompson would spend hours “reading and outlining The Great Gatsby”, just so he could understand its inner workings. The text was highly influential on Thompson, who would go on to write his own drug-fuelled version of the pursuit of the American Dream.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/171906110187455.webp


Thompson the Writer

Thompson's professional writing career started in 1959 when he began working as a journ*list for Daily Record, a newspaper in Middletown, New York. His time there was brief, however, and he soon relocated to South America, where he failed to find a scoop and advance his journ*lism because, as he discovered, “in Brazil, it is more than who you know: it is who you are related to, and how much money you can give to the cause”. In typical Thompson fashion, he entangled himself in legal issues after he was found with a .357 Magnum, and “it then took real diplomatic intervention to extract him from jail”. He returned to the USA in 1963, where he settled in San Francisco.

His return to the USA coincided with the crescendo of the hippie movement, and Thompson had a first-row seat to see it all unfold. He shared some of the ideals of the hippies, as he was anti-establishment, and was a “gourmand of psychedelics”, but he did not always have a high opinion of hippies, especially those of Haight-Ashbury whom he accused of being “lazy, apolitical, unmotivated by money, and totally lacking aggressiveness”, descriptions which they would have likely not contested. He crossed paths with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters but “his rancid attitude towards the unmotivated hippies, didn't allow him to fit naturally with the peace-loving pranksters for more than a few long drug-sodden weekend blasts”. Thompson voices his criticisms of Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in Fear and Loathing, casting derision on their carefree philosophy. After a bad experience, the protagonist thinks of the hippie mantra “tune in, freak out, get beaten. It's all in Kesey's Bible”, and concludes that it is all “bad gibberish; not even Kesey can help me now”.

Thompson began building his reputation as an eccentric journ*list, and he developed a unique method that involved him using an audio recorder as the basis of the writing and using drugs when witnessing the events that he was reporting. He grew comfortable with what Whitmer terms “confabulation”, meaning he would “glean a few facts from his friends, splice it with his inimitable style, and phone in an article, all the while recovering from a terminal hangover”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17190611021372917.webp


Thompson the Character

To some degree, it could be argued that the public persona of Hunter S. Thompson is a fictitious creation. Even if one accepts this argument, it should not be forgotten that the same could be argued of any public figure who is conscious that they are being watched and judged. Merely knowing one is being observed adds a performative element to one's actions. Throughout Thompson's antics, there is a sense that he is keenly aware of his public persona, as seen in his 2003 interview with Conan O'Brien which he does while drinking liquor, smoking, and shooting with rifles at his own books.

Thompson's self-awareness should not fool one into thinking there are no genuine aspects to the writer's legend. Although his criminal history before Fear and Loathing has been discussed, it should be noted that even with his newfound fame, he continued to get into trouble with the law, including in 1987 when he fired a shotgun at a golf ball on the Aspen Municipal Golf Course. His disdain for those in power is also displayed through the scathing articles he continued to write about politicians, including Clarence Thomas. This lifelong record of criminality suggests that his oppositional stance toward authority and his devil-may-care attitude are integral parts of Thompson that would have existed regardless of whether he became a bestseller and public figure or not.

The one aspect of Thompson that is certainly not made up is his copious drug use which eventually caught up to him. In his later years, his health deteriorated so badly that his physician told him: “You are dead. And you have been for two years!”. He died in 2005, at age 67, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It has been speculated that his copious drug use likely contributed to the depression that led to his suicide. The paradoxical legacy he leaves behind, as Whitmer summarises, is that of a “hillbilly high-school dropout with a half-dozen bestselling books to his name”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/171906110217725.webp


Conclusion

There is not much more to be said. The man is a legend. I'm not going to cut myself today because I distracted myself with writing, although I can't stop thinking about sliding that razor on my skin. Tune in next time when I discuss Sodom and Gomorrah.

None
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
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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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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  • 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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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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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:

None
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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24
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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49
EFFORTPOST Impassionata Returns: A Not Very Thorough Continuation of the SFBA Rationalist Cult Coverage

@GatanKot's coverage of the SFBA Rationalist Cult pulled me back in, I've had this draft sitting around for a while. The truth is it's not very good, but neither is this place.

Far from being a place where rightoids are subjected to the ridicule they deserve, this continues to be full of increasingly weak denialism about the fascism of Trump. You all really are this stupid, aren't you? The dude spent the entire debate in scare tactics about immigrants. The xenophobia is so apparent.

Y'all seem to think that Democrats don't have policies on immigration but there are ways to debate immigration without centering fear and alarm. It's a panicked approach for Trump because Trump knows he's a weak candidate.

Hence his desperation around Project 2025. What, you think that because Project 2025 doesn't contain passages from Mein Kampf that the concern over it isn't sane? It's the Christian theocracy in agenda form.

So you're all pointing at the leftists freaking out about the theocracy that Republicans definitely want to instate. That Trump is definitely tied to, in fact when he's tried to distance himself from it that's caused problems for him! Hilarious.

Point is that the intelligent people have moved on. I don't like to write here. I'm not up to the task of abusing the rightoids anymore.

It's just that @TracingWoodgrains wrote an article that was _really bad_. I'm not saying it couldn't have been a good article, but it definitely was evidence of a person broken by being online.

Trace is in denial that he's still an SFBA Rationalist Cultist even as he performs a propagandistic action protecting the SFBA Rationalist Cult from one of its more successful detractors. The only audience for Trace's article is Rationalists. That's it. That's how insular Trace is, and how far he has fallen into mediocrity.


Woke Derangement Syndrome

Scott Alexander got really broken, mentally, by the woke moral panic of the mid 2010s. In combination with his face blindness which seems to have rendered him unable to smell the fascism, he managed to drag the SFBA Rationalist greater cult complex to this political zone where it became obligatory and necessary to platform white supremacists and fascists.

So you have this xenophobic impulse and this violent rhetoric and this authoritarian strongman. And Scott Alexander's take was: this isn't fascism because Trump took a photo op with a taco.

That's how easily duped these people are.

But I think it's worse than that. It's well known that Scott Alexander deliberately sought a neoreactionary audience. As a consequence /r/slatestarcodex's culture war threads were full of white supremacists and fascists.

You can draw a straight line from this decision to TracingWoodgrains absurd belief that the amount of white supremacists and fascists he experiences is 'about normal.' These people don't have a good barometer for how many racists is normal. They're not intelligent, they just LARP intelligence.

I mean you have Scott Alexander literally moaning about how Scientific Journals are bad and dumb and stupid even as his blog is the form and function of a journal: he accepts papers in his book review feature. LessWrong is deliberately a scientific journal.

But they think they're better than humans. They have ingrained the belief in their superiority so thoroughly that they believe they are humble because they claim to value criticism.

And they recreate the same normal people social forms but worse. Scott's substack is worse as a scientific journal because it's filled with smug superior dipshit cult thinking.


This is just a draft, and not a good one. It's too sprawling. I'm annoyed by the wasted potential TracingWoodgrains represents.

In a time where the man who lied his way to sending a mob at the capital on January 6th in an obvious coup attempt is running for president again, TracingWoodgrains is: attacking a defunct former wikipedia editor? Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I'm not saying the piece on Girard couldn't be a good one, but it definitely isn't.


So Scott Alexander has recently been falling apart.

There was an article, I'm too darn annoyed to track it down, where Scott Alexander writes about 'part therapy' and his conclusion is roughly: isn't it good that we banished the demons?

But the whole point of parts therapy is that in this crucial way the demons remain.

Scott Alexander's reaction to fascism is pretty precisely this denial.

So Scott's right that like, we shouldn't teach kids that demons are responsible for their emotional problems. But the limitations of 'objective' rationality are numerous. (How does a cult function if it necessarily believes that it and it alone is capable of objective thought? It doesn't.)

This is the SFBA Rationalist Cult's tic: if it can't understand something, it decides it's stupid and doesn't exist.

The stupidity of people still occurs.

Trumpism is Fascism.

Witness:

https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/nobody-can-make-you-feel-genetically

I think the best conclusion from this result is just to stop caring about these kinds of polls. Any poll whose outcome can change by more than an order of magnitude based on the respondents' politics or statistical knowledge isn't a valid guide to the frequency of real-world events.

Scott Alexander's encounter with irrational people believing irrational things is: just ignore the irrational people believing irrational things.  This is how Scott Alexander ended up in a cult of irrational people believing irrational things while also believing in the superiority of their cult.

THE REEEEEAAL MEAT.

Following the continued bickering over the cultish nature of EA, Scott wrote this sad, sad piece. If you have a sensitive stomach or are allergic to people embarrassing themselves, please avert your eyes for the rest of the essay.

https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/contra-stone-on-ea

EA hasn't always been the best at avoiding this failure mode, but at least we manage to outdo our critics.

I don't believe that this has been demonstrated.

One of the first things intelligent people should learn is that they don't get to decide they weren't caught in a superiority complex.

That the SFBA Rationalist Cult is in denial of the superiority complex it has is really, really funny.  They have an entire course of apologetics about how no, they're not superior to anyone, they just are better than everyone at charitable giving.

Stone is repeating one of the most common critiques of EA as if it's his own invention, without checking the long literature of people discussing it and coming up with responses to it.

Hear the stuck pig squeal.

1: It's actually very easy to define effective altruism in a way that separates it from universally-held beliefs.

For example (warning: I'm just mouthing off here, not citing some universally-recognized Constitution EA Of Principles):

This is all any SFBA Rationalist Cultist does (Trace just mouthed off about a defunct wikipedia editor).

1. Aim to donate some fixed and considered amount of your income (traditionally 10%) to charity, or get a job in a charitable field.

This is just normal altruism.

2. Think really hard about what charities are most important, using something like consequentialist reasoning (where eg donating to a fancy college endowment seems less good than saving the lives of starving children). Treat this problem with the level of seriousness that people use when they really care about something, like a hedge fundie deciding what stocks to buy, or a basketball coach making a draft pick. Preferably do some napkin math, just like the hedge fundie and basketball coach would. Check with other people to see if your assessments agree.

This is just normal altruism.  It's only superior to normal altruism if you believe that your cult is in some way superior in reasoning power to normal people, and your cult isn't, specifically because your cult believes it is superior in reasoning power to normal people.

3. ACTUALLY DO THESE THINGS! DON'T JUST WRITE ESSAYS SAYING THEY'RE "OBVIOUS" BUT THEN NOT DO THEM!

I think less than a tenth of people do (1), less than a tenth of those people do (2), and less than a tenth of people who would hypothetically endorse both of those get to (3). I think most of the people who do all three of these would self-identify as effective altruists (maybe adjusted for EA being too small to fully capture any demographic?) and most of the people who don't, wouldn't.

This is absurd stupid elitism and Scott Alexander should feel deeply embarrassed for having written it.  This is the worst paragraph where the elitism of the altruism branch of the SFBA Rationalist Cult is most evident.  They really believe this.  They really believe that they're more giving than other religions with tithing, more thoughtful about how they give than 'normal' people (and here's the contradiction that will break their robot brains: do they believe they're superior to normal people?  If so, that's the cult dynamic.  If not, then how did Scott Alexander come to write this absurd paragraph?), and better at following through with giving than a religion which gathers in person attendance.

The midwits caught preening, called out on their preening, double down that it's not preening because it's just being "rational."  It's just "correct" (and they have the math to prove it) to believe that the SFBA Rationalist Cult is superior at giving.

Step 2 is the interesting one. It might not fully capture what I mean: if someone tries to do the math, but values all foreigners' lives at zero, maybe that's so wide a gulf that they don't belong in the same group. But otherwise I'm pretty ecumenical about "as long as you're trying" […]

This is where the SFBA Rationalist Cult is actually worse than normal altruism because they believe in magical ritual math which makes them superior but actually just gives them braindead bizarre beliefs.

2: Part of the role of EA is as a social technology for getting you to do the thing that everyone says they want to do in principle.

"We know we're a cult but we call it a social technology to obscure it."

I talk a big talk about donating to charity. But I probably wouldn't do it much if I hadn't taken the Giving What We Can pledge (a vow to give 10% of your income per year) all those years ago. It never feels like the right time. There's always something else I need the money for. Sometimes I get unexpected windfalls, donate them to charity while expecting to also make my usual end of year donation, and then - having fulfilled the letter of my pledge - come up with an excuse not to make my usual end-of-year donation too.

They think they're atheists, but this is what they need to mimic a fraction of religion's power.

Cause evaluation works the same way. Every year, I feel bad free-riding off GiveWell. I tell myself I'm going to really look into charities, find the niche underexplored ones that are neglected even by other EAs. Every year (except when I announce ACX Grants and can't get out of it), I remember on December 27th that I haven't done any of that yet, grumble, and give to whoever GiveWell puts first (or sometimes EA Funds).

And I'm a terrible vegetarian. If there's meat in front of me, I'll eat it. Luckily I've cultivated an EA friend group full of vegetarians and pescetarians, and they usually don't place meat in front of me. My friends will cook me delicious Swedish meatballs made with Impossible Burger, or tell me where to find the best fake turkey for Thanksgiving (it's Quorn Meatless Roast). And the Good Food Institute (an EA-supported charity) helps ensure I get ever tastier fake meat every year.

"I benefit from my religious cult, but it's not a cult, nor a religion, but it is better than religion."

Everyone says they want to be a good person and donate to charity and do the right thing. EAs say this too. But nobody stumbles into it by accident. You have to seek out the social technology, then use it.

"If I use the term 'social technology' to disguise the fact that the SFBA Rationalist Cult is a cult, I can still believe that I'm superior to normal people and not in a cult."

I think this is the role of the wider community - as a sort of Alcoholics Anonymous, giving people a structure that makes doing the right thing easier than not doing it. Lots of alcoholics want to quit in principle, but only some join AA. I think there's a similar level of difference between someone who vaguely endorses the idea of giving to charity, and someone who commits to a particular toolbox of social technology to make it happen.

One of the common criticisms of AA is that it is cultlike??

(I admit other groups have their own toolboxes of social technology to encourage doing good, including religions and political groups. Any group with any toolbox has earned the right to call themselves meaningfully distinct from the masses of vague-endorsers).

But no group can claim a monopoly on being effective altruists unless they're arrogant smug dipshit frauds.

Shut the frick up Scott.  The difference between a cult and a religion is roughly that a religion is formalized as a religion (its dogma, doctrine, and/or culture are cognizant of the nature of the "soCiAl tEcHnOLogY" as a religion) and a cult has pathological behavior, patterns within it which are harmful to the cult members and others.

Factors like

  • A persistent arrogance

  • An entire literature of denialism about that arrogance

  • Failure to believe in obviously true things about the world (Trumpism is Fascism and Scott, you're the reason your cult is out of sync with educated people about this!)


If you missed the fascism, it's not too late to be the people to notice the fascism.

If Trump is such a fascist, surely the system will handle him, they said smugly.

You are the system. You are the system of nihilism and playing pretend.

I'm tired of pretending the boomers aren't running this country into the ground. Biden shouldn't run. Biden should execute Trump and withdraw from the race. Yes, execute him: the Supreme Court ruled that Biden has immunity and Trump is an existential threat to our government.

You frickers

The people who piss me off here are those who want to pretend that politics doesn't matter, that nothing matters. Your nihilism is weak. Man up frickers. You've helped create this situation by carrying water for Trump. You laugh at him because he reifies your belief that politics is a joke. You are the ones who make your politics a joke. Stop forcing us to live in your clown world.

Man the frick up.

And ditch Trump.

Call it fascism. Because that is what it is. It's fascism. It's a xenophobic movement glorifying violence, attacking journ*lism, promoting an authoritarian strongman, creating the narrative that it is just and necessary to seize power by any means necessary.

Trump declared war on the constitution on January 6th. He's a treasonous traitor and deserves death. It's not more complicated than that, and it will never be more complicated than that.

Trump is an Enemy of the United States of America.

None
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  • BillAckman : Not opening another self mutilating gore post. Blocked😴😴😴
26
EFFORTPOST Joseph Campbell, Rebirth, and the Hero's Journey

Frick all the Uvalde cops

They're all peepees

They don't peepee guns

They just run

When the shots rung

Chief Arredondo

The head honcho

Couldn't let the shots blow

For a whole classload

of kids

Talking about a barricaded subject

Nothing but a sick injustice

He's a man who can't be trusted

No disembowlment, but he's gutless

Sheeeit

The moral of the story be

No more weapons of war in the store

Because they used so morbidly.

Today we won't be discussing Uvalde, although that was my initial intention. Instead, I want to speak about Joseph Campbell and the world of archetypes and the hero's journey. Why? Because I don't always control what topic my mind wants to focus on. I took a singular xanax and I'm feeling mellow so let's begin so I get back to playing Alan Wake 2. I've been working on this one for a while so I hope you enjoy it!

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1713950998413284.webp


The Early Days

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 recognised 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 recognise 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 recognised 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, theorising how these images manifest in the myths, stories, and traditions of disparate cultures around the world.

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Campbell on Myths

In The Power of Myth (1988), Campbell outlines much of his beliefs and theories regarding myths and their purpose. The text takes the form of an interview between him and Bill Moyers, an American journ*list and political commentator. The simplest definition Campbell gives for myths is that they are “stories about gods”. Of course, this causes one to question what gods are. Campbell argues that a god is a “personification of a motivating power or a value system that functions in human life and in the universe”. Furthermore, “the god idea is always culturally conditioned”. To illustrate how culture might affect a society's idea of God, Campbell compares societies that live in different geographies. According to Campbell, societies that live in the desert will lean towards monotheistic ideas of God because “when you're out in the desert with one sky and one world, then you might have one deity”. If a society dwells in a rainforest, however, they are more likely to practice polytheism because, as Campbell argues, the jungle is a place where “there's no horizon and you never see anything more than ten or twelve yards away from you”. Hence, we are more likely to speak of “the gods, plural, of the rainforest”.

In Campbell's view, myths are stories that are concerned with higher values and grand life aims relating to self-actualisation. This is clear when Campbell outlines what he believes are the four purposes of myths. Firstly, myths serve a mystical purpose. They assist to show humans “what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are”, as well as to evoke “awe before this mystery”. The second purpose of myths is to reveal a cosmological dimension. As Campbell explains, myths do this by showing “what the shape of the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through”. The third purpose of myths is a sociological one. Myths, according to Campbell, assist in “supporting and validating a certain social order”. Although “the main motifs of the myths are the same, and they have always been the same”, the sociological function of myths differs from society to society, and it can also change over time. The fourth purpose, the pedagogical function, is the one that pertains most to ‘gods'. Campbell elaborates by explaining that myths serve to teach us “how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances”. Important life lessons are transmitted from generation to generation through myths, and virtues are personified as gods that serve as guiding forces for the individuals and societies who follow the myths.

Campbell identifies a close relationship between myths and dreams and claims that “myths and dreams come from the same place”. Expanding further, he explains that they both “come from realisations of some kind that have then to find expression in symbolic form”. The difference between myths and dreams is that a dream is a “personal experience” whereas a myth “is the society's dream”. The contents of dreams typically concern themselves with matters that are personal to our lives. Hence, drawing from Freud, Campbell argues that a dream “is an inexhaustible source of spiritual information about yourself”. Myths, however, are more universal and although their sociological functions may differ, the mythic images remain similar across time and cultures, such that it appears as though “the same play were taken from one place to another, and at each place the local players put on local costumes and enact the same old plays”. Summarising the differences, Campbell states that “the myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth”, and that one can tell that they are in accordance with the public when their dreams coincide with the myths of society.

Campbell offers two explanations for the similarities between myths around the world. The first theory involves archetypes. In the same way that human bodies are relatively similar the world over, so too are psyches similar. Hence, “out of this common ground have come what Jung has called the archetypes”. The second explanation Campbell gives is that myths spread through diffusion. To illustrate this explanation, Campbell gives an example of an agricultural society that develops myths around agriculture. As agriculture spreads, the accompanying myths will also spread. Consequently, aspects of agricultural myths such as the killing of “a deity, cutting it up, burying its members, and having the food plants grow” will “accompany an agricultural or planting tradition” but will not appear in a hunting culture. Rather than choose one explanation over another, Campbell states that “there are historical as well as psychological aspects of this problem of the similarity of myths”.

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Death, Rebirth, and Myths

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. In several religions, as Campbell points out, “the god of death is at the same time the lord of s*x”. In this way, death and birth become intertwined concepts, and one cannot exist without the other. Giving examples, Campbell lists the death god Ghede of the Haitian Voodoo tradition who is also a s*x god, as well as the Egyptian god Osiris who is “the judge and lord of the dead, and the lord of the regeneration of life”. From this, Campbell concludes that the central lesson to be drawn is that “you have to have death in order to have life”.

To be clear, 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-actualisation. He stresses this when he states that we are all born dependent on others and are required to be obedient to our caretakers. To “evolve out of this position of psychological immaturity to the courage of self-responsibility and assurance requires a death and a resurrection”. Hence, the death and rebirth motif is a metaphor for “leaving one condition and finding the source of life to bring you forth into a richer or mature condition”. The use of death and rebirth in this manner will be found in the selected psychedelic texts that will be analysed in the subsequent chapters.

According to Campbell, psychedelic experiences can be incorporated into a ritual that induces a rebirth experienced as self-transformation within the participant. Rituals are closely related to myths because rituals are, as Campbell defines them, “an enactment of a myth” (182), and “by participating in a ritual, you are actually experiencing a mythological life”. Giving an example of how psychedelics can be used in ritual, Campbell analyses the North American natives of north-western Mexico. This group associates the peyote cacti with deer and prepares very special missions to collect the peyote and return with it. According to Campbell, these “missions are mystical journeys with all of the details of the typical mystical journey”. The mission begins with disengagement from secular life. This requires the participant to confess all their faults before beginning their journey. As they approach the area that contains the natural growth of peyote, they pass special shrines that “represent stages of mental transformation”. Once they find the peyote, they approach the cacti as though they were deer. As Campbell explains, “they sneak up on it, shoot a little arrow at it, and then perform the ritual of collecting the peyote”. All these steps are not necessary from a practical perspective. However, they are necessary in a mythical context, as the ritual is a “complete duplication of the kind of experience that is associated with the inward journey”. Replying to Moyers who asks why the process must be so intricate, Campbell elaborates by saying that “if you undergo a spiritual transformation and have not had preparation for it, you do not know how to evaluate what has happened to you, and you get the terrible experience of a bad trip, as they used to call it with LSD”. What is suggested by Campbell is that the process of self-transformation – or the psychic/spiritual death and rebirth – is not arbitrary, and some guidelines must be adhered to, lest one suffer a bad trip. Campbell looks to religion and mythology to discover what these guidelines are.

Campbell argues that Christians also experience death and rebirth through the rituals and narratives of their religion. This is done by achieving a rebirth that represents a transcendence of one's current self. To do this, however, requires one to relinquish attachments to one's self and, in this way, experience a kind of metaphorical death. As Campbell explains, “you die to your flesh and are born into your spirit”. Campbell characterises this as a metaphorical return to the garden of Eden described in the Bible which is guarded by cherubim, and which humans have been banished from. He claims that to pass the cherubim and return to the garden requires an Ego death. Hence, “if you are no longer attached to your Ego existence, but see the Ego existence as a function of a larger, eternal totality, and you favour the larger against the smaller, then you won't be afraid of those two figures, and you will go through”. To find harmony, which is represented by the garden, therefore requires not a fear of death nor an unfettered attachment to life. This view of death is at odds with modern conceptions of death. From this perspective, death is not an end that is to be avoided, nor is it seen as the antithesis of life. Rather, it is conceived of as something that must be balanced with life to achieve harmony. Without death, there is no self-actualisation and only stagnancy is possible. As Campbell writes, “you have to balance between death and life – they are two aspects of the same thing, which is being, becoming”.

The motif of death and rebirth being a process of self-transformation is not limited to shamanic cultures and Abrahamic religions. It also makes an appearance in many Eastern religions and myths in the form of reincarnation. Campbell suggests reincarnation must be understood metaphorically because a literal interpretation fails to capture what is being conveyed by the myths. The idea of reincarnation, according to Campbell, suggests “that you are more than you think you are. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realisation and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17139509990912228.webp


The Hero's Journey

The idea of death and rebirth as part of a psychological transformative process embedded in mythology is best expressed in Campbell's theory of the monomyth, which claims that in stories around the world, a recurring pattern of the Hero's Journey is present. In short, the Hero's Journey centres on an everyman who is thrust out of his ordinary world into an adventure that variously tests them, and ultimately has them facing death. By overcoming death, the hero is reborn, and they bring the treasures they gain back to their home. This story, although it may take a different archetypal form, retains the same structure, as it describes a universal psychological process. Hence, in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), Campbell claims that:

whether we listen with aloof amusement to the dreamlike mumbo jumbo of some red-eyed witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated thin translations from the sonnets of the mystic Lao-tse; now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimo fairy tale: it will always be the one, shape-shifting yet marvellously constant story that we find.

In this work, Campbell explores his theory of the universal monomyth. The central figure, the hero, represents the idealised self as well as the highest ideals and values of a culture, and “is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations to the generally valid, normally human forms”. It is through the hero that myths illustrate that “there must be, if we are to experience long survival – a continuous ‘recurrence of birth' (palingenesia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death”. There is a similarity between the Hero's Journey and psychedelics' effect on the psyche, as they both concern shifting one from familiar states of mind to unfamiliar, often novel mental states that can result in tumultuous experiences. As Campbell explains, “the first work of the hero is to retreat from the world scene of secondary to those causal zones of the psyche where the difficulties really reside”.

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Conclusion

Nobody is going to read to this point so I can admit I'm going to try again with the girl who rejected me. I'm going to tell her I still have feelings for her and I can't get over them. Last time she rejected me, she also said she doesn't know how she feels so there's a chance if you ask me. I'm going to tell her I love her and I want to give a relationship a chance. If I fail, then it's truly over beyond belief.

Tune in next time when we discuss Richard Huckle, Peter Scully, and Daisy's Destruction.

None
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53
EFFORTPOST The Christchurch Mosque Attacks

Perhaps one of the most influential terrorist attacks of the last decade was committed by Brenton Harrison Tarrant in New Zealand where he killed 51 people at two mosques. This is his story.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17160718029663832.webp


Who is Brenton Harrison Tarrant?

Brenton was born to Rodney and Sharon Tarrant in Grafton, Australia. He has a sister named Lauren Tarrant. His parents split up when he was young and according to Sharon, this led to him being “clingy, anxious and not socialising well with others.” He and Lauren lived with Sharon and her new partner, but this was a violent household which eventually caused them to move in with Rodney instead.

Tarrant was bullied at school due to being fat. Hence, he had few friends and spent his time playing video games. Don't feel pity for him, however, as even at this age Tarrant was a racist piece of shit who expressed racist sentiments towards his mother's aboriginal partner. In class, he was aloof though he knew a lot about World War II.

In 2010, Rodney died by suicide and it was Tarrant who discovered the body. It is believed that this was organised to occur in this way. Both Lauren and Tarrant received a sizeable inheritance that could have set them up for life, but Tarrant had other plans. He continued to play video games obsessively and eventually made an online friend who shared his racist views.

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Using his inheritance, Tarrant travelled the world, including countries such as South Africa. The amount of muslims he saw in France only strengthened his racism. You see, Tarrant had no problem with people in their own “homelands” but he did have a problem with other ethnicities settling in European countries. He considered them to be “invaders”. In 2017, he made donations to far-right European groups.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17160718031379163.webp


Planning the Attack

By the time he arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand, he had plans to commit a terrorist act. According to the Royal Commission Report, he chose Dunedin because “of its climate, Scottish heritage, and low levels of immigration”. He rented a flat at 112 Somerville Street and he kept it very bare with only a computer, desk and chair, and a lounge with only a bed to sit on.

During this time he had about $57,018.03, which he used to sustain himself as he planned his terrorist attack. He stayed in contact ith his family who were concerned with his growing racist mindset. In one instance, he went out with his mother and “refused to spend money in "migrant cafés". He told his mother he wanted his money going to "white New Zealanders". They all had to find somewhere else to eat. Afterwards, they drove back to the individual's flat in silence.”

Just 15 days after arriving in New Zealand, Tarrant sought his gun licence. The former Dunedin District Arms Officer approved the licence application on 16 November 2017, and by 4 December, Tarrant had acquired his first firearm. The following firearms were used in the attack.

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  • A Mossberg 930 semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun with at least seven-shot magazine capacity, with capacity for one further shell in the breech. This firearm was fitted with a Bushnell “Red Dot” sight. The firearm contained nine “00 Buckshot” shells.

  • A Windham Weaponry WW-15 military style semi-automatic rifle fitted with a Magpul PMag D-60 magazine containing 60 rounds of ammunition. The sighting system on the rifle was a Sightmark Holographic sight. The trigger had been modified on, and the ambidextrous charging handle had been added to, this firearm. Other changes made were the addition of a buttstock, a muzzle brake and a fore grip.

  • A Ruger AR-15 .223 calibre military style semi-automatic rifle fitted with two Magpul PMag 40-round capacity magazines coupled together. The sighting system on the rifle was a VTX Strikefire “Red Dot” sight. The individual also attached the strobe light and a butt stock to this firearm.

  • A Ranger 870 pump action 12-gauge shotgun with a five-shot magazine capacity. The magazine contained four “00 Buckshot shells” with a fifth in the breech. The muzzle of the barrel was fitted with a screw-in choke.

  • An Uberti .357 Magnum lever action rifle with a tubular magazine with capacity to hold 13 rounds of .357 Magnum ammunition (12 in the magazine and one in the breech). The rifle was fitted with adjustable open sights.

  • A Mossberg Predator bolt action .223 calibre rifle which was fitted with a telescopic sight, a bipod and a Magpul PMag 30-round capacity magazine.

He also made incendiary devices which were never used.

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To practice shooting he joined the Bruce Rifle club. He did not go unnoticed, and some members noted that he preferred to shoot standing up and fired at a high rate.

This neighbor shot himself lol. While cleaning one of his firearms, a round of ammunition exploded, injuring his thigh and eye. This forced him to visit Dunedin Hospital's Emergency Department.

During his preparations for the attack, he also bulked up physically, and used steroids. This eventually gave him liver pain and when he went to the doctor, he was told he had all the hallmarks of steroid abuse, including a “moonface”.

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The Attack

By 2019, he had decided on which mosques he wanted to attack. He performed reconnaissance on Al Noor mosque using a drone to get a layout of the building.

Having decided on his devilish actions, there was no looking back. He called his parents and sister, telling them he loved them, then at 6.26 am on 15 March 2019, he posted a Tweet containing links to the file sharing sites where his manifesto could be found.

On the day of the attack, there were about 190 worshippers at Al Noor mosque. He took two semi-automatic weapons with him and entered the mosque. At that time four worshippers, Mounir Soliman, Syed Ali, Amjad Hamid and Hussein Moustafa, were at the Mosque's front entrance. Without warning, Tarrant unleashed a hail of bullets on the worshippers, killing them. As the worshippers began to realise something was wrong, Tarrant entered the prayer room and began spraying bullets at all that were present. Naeem Rashid ran at Tarrant and attempted to tackle him but was shot and killed by Tarrant. At this point, there were many worshippers lying prone on the floor, yet Tarrant continued firing at them to ensure they were dead. This included a three-year-old child, Mucaad Ibrahim, who was clinging to his father's leg.

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He then exited the mosque, shooting worshippers in the parking lot. He retrieved more firearms from his vehicle and returned to the main prayer room where he continued to mercilessly shoot at worshippers. Once done with his evil deed, he went outside to shoot more muslims, including Ms Karippakulam Alibava who he ran over as he escaped. As he raced to Linwood mosque, he fired at anyone who did not look white on the streets.

At Linwood, he shot at muslims outside, including Mr Raza who pleaded for his life. He had trouble finding the entrance and shot through the window. He eventually found the entrance and shot at any target he could find, including Linda Armstrong. It was at this point he was approached by Mr Wahabazadah, causing Tarrant to retreat back to his vehicle. His next plan was to attack a mosque in Ashburton, but he was fortunately intercepted by police. Rekt!

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Trial and Sentencing

On 16 March he appeared in court where he flashed an “OK” sign which can be interpreted as a white supremacist sign within meme culture.

He was eventually charged with one count of terrorism, 51 counts of murder, and 40 counts of attempted murder. He fired his lawyer and pled guilty. It is believed that he was motivated by his sister to do so, so as to not cause the victims the pain of undergoing a lengthy trial.

Following the attack, Jacinda Ardern was seen wearing a hijab and echoing the now famous lines “they are us”. She also announced that gun laws would change in New Zealand, which was a controversial move. On 21 March, Ardern announced a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

The live-streamed attack has gone on to inspire other terrorist attacks, including the Buffalo shooting and the Poway synagogue shooting. These are far from the only copycats.

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conclusion

Murder is wrong, especially when it is fueled by hatred and prejudice. There are no homelands and the world belongs to us all. Thank you for reading and let's hope nothing of this magnitude ever happens again. Tune in next time when I discuss the life and times of Bill Gates.

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  • Smeggy_Dangler : /h/therapy also sneedman is a huge cute twink
  • Ubie : Boring. :marseysleep:
  • Arkham_Knight : Find a rare niche foid nobody knows instead of someone popular you butthole
32
EFFORTPOST Carl Jung, Archetypes, and Rebirths

Carl Jung is my favorite historical figure, and I've spent a lot of time reading about him. I'd like to share some of the information about him and his ideas. More specifically, I want to discuss his concept of archetypes and the act of rebirth (which parallels Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey in many ways).

Sorry for making so many longposts today. I've only had an hour of sleep, I'm having self-mutilation OCD thoughts, and writing is one thing I know that distracts me enough to stop myself from hurting myself. I've got enough scars to last a lifetime, I don't need anymore. Most of the information comes from Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.

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Carl Jung's background

Carl Gustav Jung was a psychiatrist who was born in Switzerland in 1875. Gerhard Wehr studies Jung's life and records much of it in detail in Jung, A Biography. His father, Paul Jung, was a Reformed Protestant vicar 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. Don't let this fool you into thinking Jung didn't care about religion at all because his interest in the spiritual life of human beings was 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. I wonder if he met witchcraft girls lol.

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. His foray into psychiatry brought him into contact with many other fields of study including neurology, psychology, sociology, psychotherapy, and ultimately even philosophy.

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Jung and Freud

Jung demonstrated himself to be a talented scholar, and he eventually caught the attention of Freud. Although they had their intellectual differences, Jung had great respect for Freud and Freud considered Jung one of his favourite disciples. Though Freud was usually a brisk man, he was warm toward Jung.

Despite the geniality between the two which lasted for seven years until it petered out, they had massive irreconcilable differences regarding their ideas on psychoanalysis. Jung, like many modern critics, was highly skeptical of Freud's overemphasis on the role of sexuality in human psychology (much like myself, I hate how horny Freud is). However, when Jung raised his objections, Freud refused to budge. Another point of disagreement was the fact that Jung, unlike Freud, had respect for the spiritual and paranormal realm. To Jung, there is no rational without the irrational.

It wasn't all disagreements. He, like Freud, believed in the unconscious. However, he did 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”. Let's delve deeper into this concept.

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Jung's Archetypes

Featuring prominently in Jung's works is the idea of archetypes. Historically, the word archetype has been used to denote an ideal. For example, Jung cites Corpus Hermeticum, published in the third century, which describes God as the ‘archetypal light'.

When Jung uses the term archetype, he is referring to “‘primitive images” that serve as psychic counterparts to instincts. 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. Are you still following?

These archetypes exist in the collective unconscious of the species and are not taught, meaning that they are not spread through tradition, language, or culture. What must be noted is that it is not the contents of the archetypes that are inherited, but rather it is the forms that are passed down. Thus, although similar archetypal forms can be found in disparate cultures around the world, how they manifest will differ.

Let's call this the end of part 1. In part 2, I want to discuss the rebirth archetype.




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Jung and Rebirths

When Jung talks about rebirths, he is not talking about material death and resurrection. Instead, he is referring to psychic processes, but of course you probably already knew that. We're not discussing zombies. According to Jung, there are a few different types of rebirths, but the renovatio is the purest form of rebirth according to Jung, and it is centered on the transformation of the individual. You've seen this occur in stories. The hero learns something new, transforming them and making them worthy to face the monster. Within myths and religious narratives, such a transformation may come in the form of a human turning into a divine being (such as the ascension of Christ).

Humans seem to be very attracted to renovatio rebirths. It is a central aspect of Christianity, and Christians partake in it during mass when they eat the flesh and blood of Christ during communion. The resurrected flesh and blood of Christ are consumed by the participant, making them one with the rebirthed hero. Cool, but also yuck.

So what are the consequences of rebirths? The answer lies in personality. For example, one might unlock their animus or anima. The transformation of personality gives prominence to those traits that are characteristic of the opposite s*x. Jung also 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.

Perhaps most importantly, there is the natural transformation, which Jung also refers to as individuation. He claims that there are natural transformation processes that occur to us whether we like it or not, and whether we know it or not. In quite a Freudian fashion, he argues that these transformations announce themselves in the realm of dreams and that within dreams, one can find rebirth symbolism and dream symbols of the process of individuation. This rebirth, Jung argues, is often accompanied by an inner voice. The inner voice that facilitates individuation is sometimes characterized as a friend in religious narratives and myths. Campbell would call this the Helper.

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Conclusion

I believe in Jung's theories, even the concept of racial consciousness. I love reading Jung's work and I think he is a very smart man. Next, I want to write about Stanislav Grof, a mad doctor who was inspired by Jung and gave his patients LSD. Bye for now, I'm going to go play Metal Gear Solid V.

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50
EFFORTPOST The Definitive Post on Asexuality

Let's talk about asexuality.

This is a topic dear to me, and one I struggle to write about. For years I identified as asexual. To this day, I am still trying to make sense of why I did so, and what my feelings were at the time. It was not a farce - I genuinely believed I lacked any source of sexual attraction.

I think part of it is just having a low libido. That is to say, my interest in s*x is low, but not non-existent. Secondly, Being asexual is the less painful route. To be a heterosexual male is to expose yourself to a world of rejection and of finding common ground with women. I don't think most women understand how terrifying they are, and how crippling the thought of talking to them is. It feels like a life or death situation, especially if you have social anxiety to top things off.

Lastly, I do believe that sexuality is fluid and can change over one's lifetime. I think some may disagree with me on this one. What I am arguing is that, for example, a lesbian woman might find herself developing an attraction to men in her thirties, either due to changing neurochemistry or improved self-knowledge. For others, it may be a case of sexuality influenced by trauma which, once overcome, reveals a different sexuality.

Might environment play a role? We've all heard of the concept of being prison gay? Personally, I don't believe that environment plays a significant role in sexuality, at least not outside of the womb. I think youngsters might try on different sexualities in their teens and twenties, but this does not represent their true biological sexuality. For example, a woman might experiment with another woman during her first year of university because she's in an environment where the LGBT kids seem to be the cool ones, but she never experiences true sexual attraction to women. Remember, actions are not the same as attraction.

With that out the way, I think we can begin this discussion. It's going to be a long one, but when have my posts ever been short?

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What is asexuality?

One of the earliest mentions of the term “asexual” can be found in Lisa Orlandos's Asexual Manifesto written in 1972. This is a feminist text in which women declare that they want relationships in which s*x is not a factor. As the text explains:

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Consequently, the feminist roots of the sexuality cannot be denied. Though the sexuality may have existed before 1972, the way we understand it today is almost entirely forged by feminist discourse and of course the concept of "political asexuality" where one chooses to be asexual. This concept sits alongside "political lesbianism". I reject both concepts and assert that one cannot choose their sexuality and that reducing sexuality to the theoretical political realm is to foolishly ignore the material biological realm.

Asexuality is not celibacy. One chooses to be celibate but one does not choose to be asexual and therefore is essentially asexual. Of course, as I did, one can mistakenly believe they are asexual. This is also true of women who are unable to engage in penetrative heterosexual s*x due to chronic pain, and of disabled people.

In many ways, asexuality shares commonalities with the various members of the LGBT community. Roughly 1.05% of the population claim they have never felt sexual attraction to anyone at all. Some, though not all, studies suggest that more women than men are asexual.

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So Are Asexuals Sick?

When research was done, it was found that asexual men had higher rates of mood disorders than heterosexual men; asexual women and men had higher rates of anxiety than heterosexual men and women. These researchers also provided evidence suggesting that asexuality can be conceptualized as or akin to Schizoid personality type from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 4th Edition (DSM-IV). Specifically, asexual people endorsed greater social inhibition, and coldness/social distance with vindictive and exploitable personality styles. To explain this finding, researchers postulate that asexual people have avoidant attachment styles as children that may have led to relationship issues as adults.

Thus, researchers concluded that asexuality may not be the cause of these factors but may be a product of social functioning. Specifically, “increased mental health problems may be a consequence of discrimination or a consequence of lacking sexual attraction in an environment that is arguably centered on sexuality”. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that asexual individuals may also experience psychological distress as a consequence of their marginalization.

It has been suggested that those who lack sexual attraction but have yet to find community may experience more isolation, distress, and confusion. In other words, individuals who have yet to “come out” as asexual, may be in greater distress than those who have reached an integrated asexual identity.

With that being said, Several papers have shown connections between the presence of the asexual phenotype and traits that are found in mental illness patients, specifically those with Asperger's syndrome or Schizoid personality disorder.

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The Sexual Assumption

I know those who dare to even open this post will already be sneeding, ready to assert that asexuality isn't real. This is something asexual people are used to. It is known as the sexual assumption. Humans are considered to be creatures with innate sexual desires. Consequently, one of the most pervasive social assumptions is that all humans have sexual desires. This sexual assumption manifests in various fields of knowledge such as psychology and medicine where sexuality is seen as a natural, healthy, and essential aspect of the human. Tell your doctor you're asexual, they'll probably think you're sick. The same goes for your psychiatrist. One of the people you can blame for this is Sigmund Freud who had a huge influence on psychology but assigned a sexual basis to basically every aspect of human psychology.

According to research, these are the common assumptions about asexuals:

individuals who identify as asexual cannot fall in love, do not have s*x, have been the victim of sexual abuse, have chosen to be celibate or abstinent, are not attracted to anyone, just need to find the right person, are sociopaths or nonfeeling, are sexually deviant, are sexually frustrated, are denying their feelings, do not masturbate, do not enjoy any sexual activity, will be/live single/alone forever, or that the asexual orientation is just not real

The consequences of this should not be ignored or taken. Research by Cara MacInnes et al reveals that “sexual desire is considered a key component of human nature, and those lacking it are viewed as relatively deficient, less human, and disliked”. In a questionnaire distributed among undergraduate students, “asexuals were attributed significantly lower uniquely human traits than any other sexual orientation group”. Yes, if you're asexual, you're seen as less human than others.

Thanks to folks like Freud, furthermore, asexuality is often pathologized and seen as a detrimental deviation from a normative mode of being which can cause mental health issues. Some asexuals are led to believe they are sick and have hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

As I'm sure you know, underlying the sexual assumption is the concept of compulsory heterosexuality. Compulsory heterosexuality can be defined as the assumption that heterosexuality is the default sexuality. This idea permeates society due to the manifold ways it is enforced both subtly and overtly. The assumption that all people are innately heterosexual is fraught with problems as it results in all other sexual orientations being erased, pathologized, or seen as deviancies which must be corrected.

In the next few sections, we'll have a look at whether asexuals are discriminated against. Is anyone being oppressed for not fricking?!

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The Weirdness of Asexuality

I would argue that asexuality challenges society's construction of humans as inherently sexual and hence can be thought of as anarchic. While asexual marriages have never been specifically outlawed, definitions of marriage typically assume sexual activity between spouses. In some US states, for example, nonconsummation of a marriage is a ground for voiding the marriage. Fortunately, it has never been illegal to have asexual inclinations. Thus, while asexuals may face problems in their personal lives, they have never had to counter any legally enforced oppression.

Similar religious prohibitions of asexual marriage can be found in faith systems such as Christianity where, in 1 Corinthians 7, it is written that “each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband”. The verse goes on to instruct married couples to only abstain temporarily, and for the sake of prayer, after which they should return to their marriage duties lest they be tempted by Satan.

Such laws and religious doctrines assume sexual activity as an integral part of marriage and consequently make asexual marriages anarchic.

The anarchic qualities of asexuality are not limited to State laws and their religious appendages, however. Broadly speaking, anarchy can be defined as a movement that attempts to, as Noam Chomsky writes, “dismantle […] forms of authority and oppression”. One of the forms of oppression anarchy hopes to dismantle is representation. While many view anarchism as a movement that opposes the representation of democracy, as Cohn explains, “anarchism extends its opposition to ‘any form of representation'”. Asexuality, by defying the sexual assumption, has the potential to be an identity that opposes prevailing human representations.

So how does one wield this anarchic power? We can learn from Judith Butler. She tells a story of once walking the streets and having someone, in a derogatory tone, ask her if she's a lesbian. Butler's response? Why yes I am! Don't fear to embrace your uniqueness!

In a way, asexuals are the ultimate rebels. They refuse to create new life, or even to reproduce the social and cultural continuity in the form of a heterosexual monogamous marriage. By not producing future consumers and producers of economic goods, asexuals partake in social non-productivity and take economic advantage of the well-adjusted elements of society, and this is based in my books. Anyone still reading?

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Asexuality and Race

I am a black man, which made it harder for me to identify as asexual. Historically, black men have been hypersexualized (think https://BLACKED.com), thus the asexual label is seen as incongruent. Associations of black males with hypersexuality can be traced back to early colonial discourse where blackness was associated with savagery and primitivity. Hence, the hypersexuality of the black male was simply another way of framing the black male as bestial, crude, and less civilized than the white colonisers. This strong association of black males with hypersexuality poses a problem for black males who are asexual, as it represents a contradiction. They are rendered illegible, as language has not created a non-contradictory means for such individuals to describe themselves.

Fortunately, as a 5 foot 1 male, I am seldom sexualized, so when I identified as asexual, it was not questioned all too much regardless of my race.

It should be noted that hypersexuality is inflicted upon all men to some degree. Hence, being an asexual male invites prejudice regardless of your race. masculinity and sexuality are so inextricably knotted together that when men face sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, they see it as a loss of manhood. Consequently, asexuality in men is much more pathologized than in women. My research reveals that "identifying as asexual (or more precisely, their disinterest in attracting a sexual partner) meant they felt they did not have to conform to particular gendered standards of appearance". As a male who wears a LOT of pink and paints his nails, yes being asexual freed me of the notion of having to look masculine.

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Asexuality and Media

As you can imagine, asexuality is seldom represented in our hypersexualized media landscape. Due to the limited awareness of asexuality, relatively few asexual characters can be found in literature and even less can be found which could be considered as examples of positive representation. The absence of positive asexual characters can have an alienating effect on those who identify as asexual and find themselves in a culture that promotes sexuality as a normal part of human existence.

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AVEN

I'd like to end off by discussing AVEN. No, not the creator of this site. I'm talking about the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network which has been pivotal in the asexuality movement. There is currently underway a small social movement, perhaps akin to the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which has brought together people who identify as asexual.

It was founded in 2001 by David Jay as a place for asexuals to interact, and for people to share resources regarding asexuality. AVEN facilitates not only asexual identities but also conveys the importance of ‘legitimizing' asexuality as a biological or innate characteristic, not as a choice like celibacy. For many asexual individuals, the internet has facilitated the discovery, not only of a language by which to describe themselves and a community that offers support and acceptance but also a way of thinking about their asexuality as an essential characteristic of themselves. No, this doesn't mean the internet is turning people ace.

According to David Jay, sexual people who identify as highly s*x-positive, after overcoming their initial skepticism about asexuality, often end up the strongest allies and supporters of asexuals, and those who are asexual find the site to be a place of solace.

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Conclusion

I deeply miss being asexual. It was safe. Women weren't scary to me. Since dropping the label, I have felt this intense pressure to fulfill heterosexual obligations such as finding a partner and having s*x. However, as a truecel, it could be the case that it'll never happen. I heard my neighbors have s*x this evening. It felt like a gut punch.

I did try to tell a girl I like her but it failed. The worst part is that we're still friends and she constantly talks about the love we share for each other and how special our friendship is. It hurts so bad. I don't want to be your friend, I want to be your boyfriend. Why do women do this? You know I have a crush on you, I literally told you and you turned me down, yet you talk about how much you love me. Do you know what that does to my emotions?!

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. Sorry for the longpost. It was either this or harm myself with something in the house. My thoughts aren't racing so much anymore and the self-harm compulsions have quietened a bit. I only slept for about an hour and a half. On Wednesday, my psychologist suspected I'm entering hypomania and it seems so. She said it's dangerous because it's followed by depression so I have to be careful and that it's exacerbated by a lack of sleep but I don't feel like I need sleep.

If you read this whole thing, I'm impressed.

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32
EFFORTPOST Interesting videos

Archaeopteryxes are about the size of a blackbird and are flying creatures that are considered the evolutionary ancestor of modern birds. They have two wide wings they use to fly and glide. However, unlike modern birds, archaeopteryxes have bony tails. They have beaks with sharp teeth which they use to tear flesh, for they are carnivorous. Prey is killed using their hyperextended second toes that hold a large claw.

We're not going to be talking about this extinct species. Instead, I'll be talking about three public freakouts. Your job is to decide if it is justified or not.

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Who will clean your pottys?

This is a favorite of mine. It takes place om The View during a fierce debate surrounding Trump's anti-immigrant stance. In a bid to prove Trump's racism, kelly osborne makes a racist statement herself. She asks "if you kick every latinx out of this country, then who will be cleaning your potty Donald Trump?!" Her comment immediately elicits gasps and the camera hilariously pans to one of the latinx hosts who admonishes her.

Do you think she was being racist, or was she making a good point?

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father spanks children for stealing

In this video we see a father whip the shit out of his kids for stealing. This is an ineffective form of parenting. As wikipedia tells us:

>Numerous studies have found increased risk of impaired child development from the use of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment by parents has been linked to increased aggression, mental health problems, impaired cognitive development, and drug and alcohol abuse.

It looks really sore and I'm sure those kids will never forget it. Imagine the damage that's been done between parent and child when violence is introduced.

Do you think the father did the right thing?

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Look who's leaving

There's some sort of awards ceremony going on at a high school. It's clearly been going on for too long and some parents are leaving. The principle says "look who's leaving, all the black people!". This causes an uproar which then does cause all the black people to leave. In a subsequent interview, the principle blamed the ordeal on Satan.

Do you think she was making a fair observation, or was she being racist?

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Conclusion

I think I got rejected by the same person twice. I'll write a long-winded post about it soon. Oh well, I think I need to learn to get over it. She doesn't have feelings for me, and that's the deal. Tune in next time when we discuss the DC Snipers.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17162701663546724.webp


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”.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1716270166714217.webp


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.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1716270166779765.webp


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.

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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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  • BWC : RWBBC snowbunnies are built 4 vantablack african BBC
  • Kang-PrimeTimeline : The TRVTH NVKE that destroyed Atlas
30
EFFORTPOST RWBY x Justice League review

Let it be known that im reviewing this because i sold out for 500 coins :marseydejected:

good thing @KinoHashira is inactive because he'd exile me from /h/kino

I'm a part time !comicshitters but I'm going into RWBY completely blind. Well not really blind, i read @carpathiantrain and @Dahl_Fook's reviews(get pinged cute twink) and watched Hbomber's video :marseyloaf:

Its a two parter, and im writing this after finishing part one. It starts with Superman waking up to R and Y fighting Grimm in a forest.

As is tradition in team up stories, Superman is powered down to give everyone else a chance. If you're wondering how they did it this time, it's because Justice League superpowers now work under RWBY rules, which is that you have to focus on it to activate it. Like its an active ability instead of a passive ability in a bibeo bame(I think)

Batman gets a power up tho. In Remnant(RWBY world) he is a Fauna(where catgirls come from :marseycatgirlandmarsey:) and has bat wings

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448729720147.webp

And he likes these wings so much he seriously considers staying in Remnant instead of returning to Gotham :marseyxd:. Idk, seems like a pretty lame thing for a guy with a futuristic jet to get hang up on.

If you are wondering why he looks like a dork, there is a plot explanation for it. The villain transported them to Remnant and made them teenagers because, and get this, because hormonal teenagers are easier prey :marseydarkxd:

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448730687387.webp

Is this plot point there to justify a shonen(with girls!) stays shonen have any consequences? Yeah they really are hormonal.

Resident cute butch gets the hots for WW. This is because she is very strong, proven by the fact that she can lift up a child, which im pretty sure Yang can do herself????

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448731419795.webp

And Batman rizzes up Weiss which makes WW all tsundere

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448822222462.webp

An Cyborg wants to BLACK Nora, which i support :marseythumbsup: :marseysnappyenraged2:

The villain didn't transport them to Remnant, it's actually a virtual reality version of Remnant and RWBY characters are there too. That's why the monster hunting school and some dead characters :wolfpyrrhanikos: return. And the villain who transported them there is Kilg%re? NGL ive never heard of this neighbor before. Apparently a Flash villain.

I'm trying not to turn this review into a recap. It's a bit of a Fortnite media soup so im trying to not get lost.

The movie itself was fun. Ive heard many times that the fighting choreography has fallen and billions must die to cat alergies, but they were good enough.

So many of the voices are squicky. I have no idea how some of you can listen to Ruby talk for 10 seasons :marseyhearnoevil:. Same is true for the JL, if you are used to their DCAU versions its not here.

I didn't like the virtual reality angle or the lame villain. Second movie's villain will be from RWBY so I wont know them.


Alright I watched the second half and im disappointed. :marseylemon: First half felt like it might go somewhere but it didnt happen. :marseysalitsnowhere:

I didnt mention this in the first half but the Grimm in the movie wasnt like the Grimm in RWBY. There, Grimm are mindless monsters that only want to attack. Here they do strategies and adapt to the powers of the heroes and dont even disappear after slain. They are just generic sludge animal monsters made by a machine. Could have been Venom for all the difference it did :marseyspiderman2:

Thing is, the first movie pulled a Matrix, but in this one theyre in the real world and Grimm still operate in the same way. Idk if its too contradictory to RWBY canon, I know theyre controlled by a human there too so idk :marseyshrug:

I dont know how strong theyre either. At one point the entire JL x RWBY team fight a Wyvern and get their asses handed to them. If its really this hard @RWBY must be right that they were never going to beat Salem :marseysalem:. Im team Salem. Id never get tired of licking her boots https://i.rdrama.net/images/1710844887904772.webp :lick: https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448880724518.webp

Oh and if youre wondering why Superman cant just launch them into orbit this time, Grimm hearts are made of Kryptonite now :marseyretardnotes:

There is this weird part where green lantern is sad she cant get BLEACHED by a teen Jaune :carpjaunearc: https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108448882414374.webp It didnt register in the first part when they were all teenagers but here JL is back to being adults :marseypedobear: Ive never seen this GL before either. I know of the white dude and the black dude, guess the final thing left to do was a brown foid

The final villain is this guy :marseyarthurwatts: who died in the show and transferred his conciousness to a computer than that to the DC universe :marseyschizowall: and he is as lame as Kilgore https://i.rdrama.net/images/17108449023603945.webp

He appears with a body only for the final 15 minutes and doesnt do anything besides summon Grimm to fight for him

The movie bamboozles the viewer by making a false setup like Kilgore is going to double cross him but that scene we see between them is just a lie.

There is an attempt for a cute rogues gallery team up against the villains towards the end, but that doesnt go anywhere either? Killer Croc, Weather Wizard and Mirror Master(literally who???) show up they do a we are in this together thing but they just spawn some mirrors and disappear from all subsequent scenes :marseywut2:

Flash's rivalry with Kilgore felt so forced.. He got mind controlled in the first movie but thats an occupational hazard. He didnt do much under the mind control either. Here he is talking as if Kilgore r*ped him :marseyhelp:

First part used side characters from RWBY well. Jaune was the breakout character for me :carpjaunearc:. Missed opportunity to not do that here. The only addition to the JL team from the first movie is Black Canary, and fricking mirror master appears ofc :marseycontemplatesuicide: Some rogues and b grade League members are mentioned but never show up. But there is like 3 seconds where we see Joker from behind so thats cool :marseysociety2:

WW never uses the lasso of truth as anything other than a normal lasso, in a story with mind control and grand conspiracy :marseygigaretard:

Final thought, Blake looked cuter with long hair. Sue me.

They fuse the two villains together and trap them in a digital world where they cant hurt continuity anymore. Lessons about friendship learned, everyone goes home happy :marseysoldemayo: the end.


Thats that. Sorry if it looks like im effort baiting. This was a passion project/a gift for a friend so i didnt want to half butt it :marseygift: Also my mind is one continous run on sentence and i dont do brevity or wit :marseyspecial:

Score

Part 1 7/10

Part 2 4/10

Too much water.

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38
EFFORTPOST Queuegate - The Time Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield jumped the queue

You don't need to see someone's face to know if they are biologically male or female. You can just watch their gait (walking manner). Women (female) take smaller steps, regardless of their height or size. The shorter female stride length is because females protruded their legs less vigorously with more hip abduction. You see, females generally have greater hip width. It would stand to reason that for comfort reasons, females would tend to focus more on hip abduction instead of taking longer steps.

This isn't the focus of the post. Instead, it's a story involving a MILF, a p-do, and a dead queen. This is the tale of queuegate.

QUEUEGATE

Remember 2022? One of the most important events of the year was the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most powerful people on Earth. Though she was 96, the death still came as a surprise, as she seemed like a workhorse that would make it to 100. Instead, she perished during her nonagenarian years. Despite this, she holds the record of having the longest reign of any British monarch. She passed away on September 8 in Scotland, and for a while, it felt like the world came to a standstill. The queen had become a constant, and now she was gone.

BBC had the rights to make the official announcement under the process known as Operation London Bridge. The announcement was made by Huw Edwards (who has a public feud with Phillip Schofield, but that's a story for another day).

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938209008453.webp


The Funeral

The event was a solemn one. Many wept, as the Queen was beloved and a symbol of the British Empire. It was also a massive event, costing an estimated $200 million, which is chump change for the Windsor family which is estimated to be worth close to $30 billion.

Around 2,000 people showed up at Westminster for the funeral where the Queen would finally be laid to rest at Windsor Castle, but not before being carried to Westminster Hall. The traditional bugle call of the British infantry rang and two minutes of silence was observed around Britain.

Of course, the event was deeply Christian as well, and there was a service headed by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner. The following prayer was recited by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk

and the Chaplain of the Royal Chapel,Windsor Great Park:

REMEMBER, O Lord, thy servant Elizabeth who has gone before us with the sign

of faith, and now rests in sleep. According to thy promises, grant unto her, and

to all who repose in Christ, refreshment, light and peace; through the same Jesus

Christ our Lord. Amen.

MERCIFUL Father and Lord of all life, we praise thee that thou hast made us in

thine image and that we reflect thy truth and light.We give special thanks for

the life of thy daughter Elizabeth, for the mercy she received from thee, and for the

example that through her life of service, love and faith, she has set before our eyes.

Above all, we rejoice at thy gracious promise to all thy servants, living and departed,

that we shall rise again at the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.We pray that, in due

time, we may share with our sister that clearer vision when we shall see thy face in

the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O FATHER of all, we pray to thee for those whom we love, but see no longer.

Grant them peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and, in thy loving

wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purposes of thy perfect will;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O LORD, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades

lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is

over and our work is done; then Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest,

and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

LORD God Almighty, King of creation, bless our King and all Members of the

Royal Family. May godliness be their guidance, may sanctity be their strength,

may peace on earth be the fruit of their labours, and their joy in heaven thine eternal

gift; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

GOD save our gracious Sovereign and all the Companions, living and departed,

of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. Amen.

The Queen was buried beside Prince Philip, the two reunited in death. The end of era. She was succeeded by King Charles III.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938191136734.webp


The Controversy

In addition to various world leaders, a select few media organizations were given special access to Westminster Hall to see the Queen in lying. This included ITV who were represented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. Trouble began when The Mail argued that the two presenters were not cleared to enter Westminster Hall, but used the weight of ITV's name to gain entrance. ITV gave the following response:

“Phillip and Holly had full accreditation which was organised by the This Morning production team. Any claims otherwise are untrue.”

The trouble this caused is nothing compared to Queuegate. Soon came the allegation that Phillip and Holly committed the worst crime possible you can as a Brit - they NSFW ahead Skipped the queue in the procession entering Westminster Hall! This caused outrage, as there people waiting up to 24 hours to see the Queen while it appears the stars got to see her at will! Things get worse. One person on Twitter posted images of their mother in a wheelchair along with the claim that she was pushed aside for Philip and Holly!

The accusations caused a massive stir, not just with the general public but also with corporations who decided to make the most of the backlash.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938180158393.webp

According to the Daily Mail, the duo was heckled as they skipped the quote, with one person saying, I kid you not, "Oi, Phil, Holly, get to the back of the queue!"

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1711293821099264.webp

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938213108387.webp

ITV defended its stars and denied all the claims. Furthermore, it assured the public that Holly and Phillip would face no repercussions nor were their jobs in danger. It seems, in the eyes of ITV, the whole furor was the product of a rumor run amock. Schofield gave the following response:

“The rules were that we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform to the back. In contrast, those paying respects walked along a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause. None of the broadcasters and journ*lists there took anyone's place in the queue and no-one filed past the Queen. We of course respected those rules however we realize it may have looked like something else and therefore totally understand the reaction. Please know that we would never jump a queue.”

This did not quell the outrage, because there was video footage of them appearing to bypass the queue altogether! Holly was hit hard, and for the next few episodes of This Morning, she appeared crestfallen. She had reason to be. At the National Televisions Awards, she was booed as she collected her award. It seemed the public had turned against her and she had become a villain.

Of course, time heals all, and eventually the controversy passed. Who could hate an angel like her?!

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938189183648.webp


Did Phillip and Holly Skip the Queue

Yes, they absolutely did. In addition to the footage and the first-person accounts of the transgression, the now disgraced Phillip has discussed the matter and how the two panicked when the scandal broke out and has pretty much confessed.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/17112938180772502.webp

They had no VIP access, they were not given permission, and they did not have media privileges. They just skipped the queue to see the Queen in lying.

https://i.rdrama.net/images/1711293818163082.webp


Conclusion

Metal Gear Solid V has reignited my love for video games. Holy shit, now I try to get things done quickly so I can sneak in a mission of pure basedness. This is a PS3 game and it still sits as one of the best-looking games on the PS5. It also has some of, if not the, best gameplay of any game ever. This is my second playthrough and I'm still finding out little tricks and features I didn't know about the first time around. And don't get me started on the story and the visuals - only one person in the world could have imagined that up - Hideo Kojima.

I love the narcissism that shines through. How his name pops up on screen every ten minutes. It gives the feeling that you're experiencing one person's vision whereas video games usually feel like they were made by a soulless committee. There's so many little touches, bits and pieces of story that directly tie into the gameplay, like Snake's horn, and it all comes together so beautifully. It's like Kojima knitted a sweater of based gameplay and narrative. My top three games are: MGSV, The Last of Us Part 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2.

It's very, very clear that TLOU2 was heavily inspired by MGSV. In both games you're sucked into the dark cycle of violence, making the gameplay experience an exhilarating test of morality and empathy. I think TLOU2 does the cycle of violence story better, but MGSV is the overall better game.

Why do I say this? Well, The Last of Us Part 2 is centered around the idea of justice and how retributive justice can lead to cycles of violence. In short, one man's justice is another man's revenge. This leaves the player to consider how differently two people can view the same situation. It also brings to question the validity of retributive justice and the role of reconciliation. These are all intensely complex themes, but the game manages to tackle them with outstanding finesse, forcing players to consider both sides of a conflict and stretching their ability to rethink their worldviews in a medium that often presents the world as one of easily identifiable heroes and villains. MGSV tries to do the same, but on a wider scale - nations warring. The revenge becomes impersonal, the moral a platitude. Though there is the personal revenge between Snake (Ahab) and Skullface, it sits behind the historic larger world conflicts that sit at the forefront.

I have been a fan of Naughty Dog for many years and it has been interesting to see the studio evolve and improve all aspects of its games, including the visuals, narratives, and gameplay. The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered feels like a culmination of all of this, and the result is a gameplay experience that is simply too impactful to ignore. However, MGSV's gameplay still excels. It's beautifully intricate, testing your creativity in just the right way.

I finally crashed and fell asleep last night. I don't feel like hurting myself anymore, but I'm seeing my psychiatrist and psychologist tomorrow (at the same time). I may need a dosage adjustment of my meds. I hope they don't take away my ADHD medication because it's based.

Sorry for the repeated Holly's. I'm hungry and I'm not in the mood to creep through Pinterest and Instagram looking for more.

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53
EFFORTPOST David Reimer - The Circumcision That Changed Everything

Circumcision is a controversial issue. For some, it is a form of hygiene that protects men against STDs. For others, it is a form of mutilation that decreases sexual sensitivity. If only we let adults decide for themselves, it would be less of an issue. Today I wish to discuss David Reimer and how a botched circumcision changed his life forever.

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The Botched Circumcision

Janet and Ron Reimer were two Mennonites who married in December 1964. Ron was a quiet yet industrious man who supported his family through his job as a coffee truck operator. On 22 August 1965, Janet gave birth to a set of identical twins. She was eighteen at the time, while Ron was nineteen.

The boys were named Bruce and Brian, and they were so identical that it was impossible to tell them apart, even for the parents. Bruce, the older of the two, had been born underweight and had to stay in the hospital for a little while, but when he was discharged, both children took to life with energy and vigor. All seemed to be going well until Janet noticed that the two boys were always in distress after urinating. She took the boys to a pediatrician who declared that the boys had phimosis. The cure? Circumcision. The operation would be administered at St Boniface Hospital by Dr Jean-Marie Huot.

Neither parent was worried about the operation. Circumcision seemed like a routine, minor operation that would heal quickly and be forgotten by the boys. Oh how wrong they were. Bruce was the first twin to be operated. He was put to sleep by anaesthesiologist Dr Max Cham. To remove the foreskin, a knife would not be used. Instead, a cautery machine would be made use of. What happened next is too harrowing to write, so I'll just copy and paste from his biography, As Nature Made Him.

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It was decided that Brian would not be circumcised. His phimosis cleared on its own - the procedure had been useless. Ron and Janet were called to the hospital where they described Bruce's genitals as looking like charcoal. It was obvious there was no coming back from an injury of this nature. Over the next few days, pieces of Bruce's peepee dried and crumbled away.

At the time, peepee restoration surgery was in its infancy, so there were limited options for the Reimers. Thus, Bruce continued life without a peepee. One doctor gave the following harrowing diagnosis:

he will be unable to live a normal sexual life from the time of adolescence: that he will be unable to consummate marriage or to have normal heterosexual relations, in that he will have to recognise that he is incomplete, physically defective, and that he must live apart

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Finding Help for Bruce

The Reimers were transferred to the Mayo Clinic where they recommended a prosthetic phallus. However, this would be a primitive peepee requiring several surgeries throughout childhood. This was not promising to the Reimers who resigned themselves to the fact that they would have to raise a mutilated son.

A cloud of misery fell over the Reimer household. Rob had nightmares of strangling Dr Huot. Janet was stuck at home because she was afraid of hiring a babysitter who would gossip about the child's missing genitals. Overall, the Reimers' peaceful life was disrupted beyond repair.

Things would take a turn when, while watching television one evening, the Reimers saw Dr John Money. The doctor was at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore talking about the wonders of s*x reassignment surgery. The Reimers had received advice that they might want to raise Bruce as a girl, so it caught their attention. They decided to write Dr Money a letter describing what happened to Bruce. It did not take long for the Reimers to get a reply. Dr Money was very, very interested and he invited the family to Baltimore.

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Dr John Money

Dr John Money was born in 1921 in New Zealand, and he moved to the USA when he was twenty-five. He achieved his Ph.D. from Harvard before going on to work at Johns Hopkins. It is this man who coined the term "gender identity", and he was deeply interested in the nature vs nurture debate surrounding gender and s*x. By the time the Reimers found him, he was a worldclass expert on the psychological effects of ambiguous genitalia and he was a pioneer of transexual surgeries.

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Notes from Holly!

So what motivated Dr John Money to focus on s*x and genitalia so much? One reason has to do with his upbringing. He had a bad relationship with his strict dad, which gave him a negative view of masculinity and manhood. This led him to wonder "if the world might really be a better place for women if not only farm animals but human males also were gelded at birth."

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It was also a form of rebellion against his religious upbringing and a form of devotion to the ongoing sexual revolution at the time. He championed bisexuality, open marriages, and nudism. He also promoted pedophilia, arguing that it was not necessarily damaging to children.

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It was Dr. Money's belief that hermaphroditic children could be raised either male or female, and that gender was socially constructed. In other words, infants were psychosocial blank slates. Hence with surgeries, a lot of hermaphroditic children were turned into girls. The reason for this is that it was easier to make a prosthetic vagina than a fake phallus. According to Dr Money, all that was required was that the surgery take place before the child turns 2, and that the doctor and parents are unwavering in implementing the assigned gender.

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The Reimers Meet Dr John Money

Janet and Ron were twenty and twenty-one years old respectively when they first met Dr Money. Thanks to his professional mannerisms and confident aura, the Reimers were taken in by him and believed everything he had to say. Using theory, diagrams, and fancy words, he explained to the Reimers why it would be best for Bruce to undergo s*x reassignment. Despite their faith in Dr Money, the Reimers were hesitant to go through with the surgery, and they told the doctor they needed some time to think about it. They were rushed forward by the doctor who claimed the procedure needed to be done as soon as possible.

Eventually, the Reimers agreed to the procedure and on Monday 3 July 1967, Bruce was castrated. The boy was turned into a girl and renamed Brenda Lee Reimer. Janet and Ron were given strict instructions not to tell Brenda of the circumstances of her birth, and to keep up the facade that she is a female in every way. The parents abided, and raised Brenda as a girl, giving her dolls and dresses.

Despite all the effort taken, there was still something remarkably masculine about Brenda. Her teachers noted that she moved, spoke, and gestured like a boy. Her twin brother also noticed that Brenda was a tomboy who preferred playing with boys' toys and male hobbies. Though she would be given dolls at Christmas and birthdays, she never wanted to play with them. Perhaps most notably, Brenda would always pee standing, a fact that weirded out her peers.

The Reimers brought their concerns to Dr Money who assured them that all was normal. There were just some girls who displayed tomboyisms, and Brenda was one of them. Furthermore, it was not unheard of for girls to insist on peeing standing.

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Notes from Holly!

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While Brenda was struggling psychosocially, Dr Money was representing the case as a success in his scientific papers in which Brenda was referred to as John/Joan. Dr Money argued that Brenda had adapted well to his female identity and gender reassignment. This could not be further from the truth. Regardless, the papers were used in the burgeoning feminist movement to demonstrate that gender was socially constructed.

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When Brenda hit her teen years, she was given female hormones to induce female puberty. However, this did nothing to change Brenda's tomboyish behaviour.

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Brenda Turns Into David

In Brenda's teen years, things began to unravel. She still needed two major s*x reassignment surgeries, but she absolutely refused to get them. Dr Money, seeing his research hang in the balance, set out to try and convince Brenda to get the surgery.

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Notes from Holly!

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During the visits to Dr Money's office, Dr Money would sexually assault the twins. He forced them to simulate s*x acts with each other and inspect each other's genitals. This caused the twins great distress.

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Janet and Ron began having doubts about the success of the gender transition. No matter how many dresses she wore and how many dolls she was given, Brenda would just not give up her boyish nature. At school, Brenda would be teased for her boyish nature. Furthermore, she expressed no sexual desire for boys, and showed interest in women instead. Dr Money just suggested that Brenda is a lesbian.

On 14 March 1980, the Reimers spilled the beans to Brenda and explained everything that happened since that cursed circumcision. Brenda felt relief upon hearing the news, because all she ever wanted to be was a boy. The revelation that she had been born a boy made everything make sense! Immediately, Brenda decided to revert to her birth gender - male. He chose the name David for himself. He liked it because it conjured imagery of having the odds stacked against you and conquering like the Biblical David against Goliath.

He had a double mastectomy done to remove his breasts, and he no longer saw Dr Money. Instead, he developed homicidal thoughts regarding the doctor who had started the s*x reassignment process. In 1981, he underwent surgery to create a rudimentary peepee. He also received a fake scrotum. Over three years, he was hospitalized eighteen times for blockages and infections in his artificial urethra franklin.

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Conclusion

This is the story of David Reimer and how a simple circumcision led to a lifetime of pain. There are some good parts in the ending. David married a woman named Jane Fontane and they adopted three children. After discovering Dr Money's research, David went public with his story in a bid to disprove Dr Money's theories. Unfortunately, David Reimer died from suicide on 4 May 2004. He was 38 years old.

When discussing David Reimer, many use his case to delve into trans theory. I, instead, wish to highlight the damage that a botched circumcision brought about. CIRCUMCISION BAD.

Tune in next time when I discuss Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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