Thursday, December 23, 2010


Robert Anton Wilson, The tale of the tribe and Open Source Conspiracy theory.

Robert Anton Wilson lived a life dedicated to sharing. RAWs shared wisdom and information packed writings seem to me to present a special methodology and an illuminating example of comprehensive critical thinking, critical for our grasping a handle on 'what the hell is going on' as he often said. RAW had his hands on the handle or the 'tool' we know as 'language' since a remarkably early age, reading James Joyce, Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats and Semanticist Alfred Korzybski and many more heavyweights while still in his teens.

Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane - Evidence

Saturday, December 11, 2010

James Brown - Mind Power

Production Models for the 21st Century

Mark Pesce - Words.
CHU - Images.
Steve 'Fly Agaric'' - Mixing

Unevenly Distributed:

Production Models for the 21st Century

external image amsterjam_60-640x220.jpg

I. The Wheels Fall Off the Cart

In mid-1994, sometime shortly after Tony Parisi and I had
fused the new technology of the World Wide Web to a 3D
visualization engine, to create VRML, we paid a visit to the
University of Santa Cruz, about 120 kilometers south of San
Francisco. Two UCSC students wanted to pitch us on their
own web media project. The Internet Underground Music
Archive, or IUMA, featured a simple directory of artists,
complete with links to MP3 files of these artists’ recordings.
(Before I go any further, I should state that they had all the
necessary clearances to put musical works up onto the Web –
IUMA was not violating anyone’s copyrights.) The idea
behind IUMA was simple enough, the technology absolutely
straightforward – and yet, for all that, it was utterly
revolutionary. Anyone, anywhere could surf over to the
IUMA site, pick an artist, then download a track and play it.

This was in the days before broadband, so downloading a
multi-megabyte MP3 recording could take upwards of an
hour per track – something that seems ridiculous today, but
was still so potent back in 1994 that IUMA immediately
became one of the most popular sites on the still-quite-tiny
Web. The founders of IUMA – Rob Lord and Jon Luini –
wanted to create a place where unsigned or non-commercial
musicians could share their music with the public in order to
reach a larger audience, gain recognition, and perhaps even
end up with a recording deal. IUMA was always better as a
proof-of-concept than as a business opportunity, but the
founders did get venture capital, and tried to make a go of
selling music online. However, given the relative obscurity of
the musicians on IUMA, and the pre-iPod lack of pervasive
MP3 players, IUMA ran through its money by 2001,
shuttering during the dot-com implosion of the same year.
Despite that, every music site which followed IUMA, legal and
otherwise, from Napster to Rhapsody to iTunes, has walked in
its footsteps. Now, nearing the end of the first decade of the
21st century, we have a broadband infrastructure capable of
delivery MP3s, and several hundred million devices which can
play them. IUMA was a good idea, but five years too early.

Just forty-eight hours ago, a new music service, calling itself
Qtrax, aborted its international launch – though it promises
to be up “real soon now.” Qtrax also promises that anyone,
anywhere will be able to download any of its twenty-five
million songs perfectly legally, and listen to them practically
anywhere they like – along with an inserted advertisement.
Using peer-to-peer networking to relieve the burden on its
own servers, and Digital Rights Management, or DRM, Qtrax
ensures that there are no abuses of these pseudo-free

Most of the words that I used to describe Qtrax in the
preceding paragraph didn’t exist in common usage when
IUMA disappeared from the scene in the first year of this
millennium. The years between IUMA and Qtrax are a
geological age in Internet time, so it’s a good idea to walk back
through that era and have a good look at the fossils which
speak to how we evolved to where we are today.

In 1999, a curly-haired undergraduate at Boston’s
Northeastern University built a piece of software that allowed
him to share his MP3 collection with a few of his friends on
campus, and allowed him access to their MP3s. This scanned
the MP3s on each hard drive, publishing the list to a shared
database, allowing each person using the software to
download the MP3 from someone else’s hard drive to his own.
This is simple enough, technically, but Shawn Fanning’s
Napster created a dual-headed revolution. First, it was the
killer app for broadband: using Napster on a dial-up
connection was essentially impossible. Second, it completely
ignored the established systems of distribution used for
recorded music.

This second point is the one which has the most relevance to
my talk this morning; Napster had an entirely unpredicted
effect on the distribution methodologies which had been the
bedrock of the recording industry for the past hundred years.

The music industry grew up around the licensing, distribution
and sale of a physical medium – a piano roll, a wax recording,
a vinyl disk, a digital compact disc. However, when the
recording industry made the transition to CDs in the 1980s
(and reaped windfall profits as the public purchased new
copies of older recordings) they also signed their own death
warrants. Digital recordings are entirely ephemeral,
composed only of mathematics, not of matter. Any system
which transmitted the mathematics would suffice for the
distribution of music, and the compact disc met this need
only until computers were powerful enough to play the more
compact MP3 format, and broadband connections were fast
enough to allow these smaller files to be transmitted quickly.
Napster leveraged both of these criteria – the mathematical
nature of digitally-encoded music and the prevalence of
broadband connections on America’s college campuses – to
produce a sensation.

In its earliest days, Napster reflected the tastes of its collegeage
users, but, as word got out, the collection of tracks
available through Napster grew more varied and more
interesting. Many individuals took recordings that were only
available on vinyl, and digitally recorded them specifically to
post them on Napster. Napster quickly had a more complete
selection of recordings than all but the most comprehensive
music stores. This only attracted more users to Napster, who
added more oddities from their on collections, which
attracted more users, and so on, until Napster became seen as
the authoritative source for recorded music.

Given that all of this “file-sharing”, as it was termed,
happened outside of the economic systems of distribution
established by the recording industry, it was taking money out
of their pockets – probably something greater than billions of
dollars a year was lost, if all of these downloads had been
converted into sales. (Studies indicate this was unlikely –
college students have ever been poor.) The recording industry
launched a massive lawsuit against Napster in 2000, forcing
the service to shutter in 2001, just as it reached an incredible
peak of 14 million simultaneous users, out of a worldwide
broadband population of probably only 100 million. This
means that one in seven computers connected to the
broadband internet were using Napster just as it was being
shut down.

Here’s where it gets more interesting: the recording industry
thought they’d brought the horse back into the barn. What
they hadn’t realized was that the gate had burnt down. The
millions of Napster users had their appetites whet by a world
where an incredible variety of music was instantaneously
available with few clicks of the mouse. In the absence of
Napster, that pressure remained, and it only took a few weeks
for a few enterprising engineers to create a successor to
Napster, known as Gnutella, which provided the same service
as Napster, but used a profoundly different technology for its
filesharing. Where Napster had all of its users register their
tracks within a centralized database (which disappeared when
Napster was shut down) Gnutella created a vast, amorphous,
distributed database, spread out across all of the computers
running Guntella. Gnutella had no center to strike at, and
therefore could not be shut down.

It is because of the actions of the recording industry that
Gnutella was developed. If legal pressure hadn’t driven
Napster out of business, Gnutella would not have been
necessary. The recording industry turned out to be its own
worst enemy, because it turned a potentially profitable
relationship with its customers into an ever-escalating arms
race of file-sharing tools, lawsuits, and public relations

Once Gnutella and its descendants – Kazaa, Limewire, and
Acquisition – arrived on the scene, the listening public had
wholly taken control of the distribution of recorded music.
Every attempt to shut down these ever-more-invisible
darknets” has ended in failure and only spurred the
continued growth of these networks. Now, with Qtrax, the
recording industry is seeking to make an accommodation with
an audience which expects music to be both free and freely
available, falling back on advertising revenue source to
recover some of their production costs.

At first, it seemed that filmic media would be immune from
the disruptions that have plagued the recording industry –
films and TV shows, even when heavily compressed, are very
large files, on the order of hundreds of millions of bytes of
data. Systems like Gnutella, which allow you to transfer a file
directly from one computer to another are not particularly
well-suited to such large file transfers. In 2002, an
unemployed programmer named Bram Cohen solved that
problem definitively with the introduction of a new filesharing
system known as BitTorrent.

BitTorrent is a bit mysterious to most everyone not deeply
involved in technology, so a brief of explanation will help to
explain its inner workings. Suppose, for a moment, that I
have a short film, just 1000 frames in length, digitally
encoded on my hard drive. If I wanted to share this film with
each of you via Gnutella, you’d have to wait in a queue as I
served up the film, time and time again, to each of you. The
last person in the queue would wait quite a long time. But if,
instead, I gave the first ten frames of the film to the first
person in the queue, and the second ten frames to the second
person in the queue, and the third ten frames to the third
person in the queue, and so on, until I’d handed out all
thousand frames, all I need do at that point is tell each of you
that each of your “peers” has the missing frames, and that you
needed to get them from those peers. A flurry of transfers
would result, as each peer picked up the pieces it needed to
make a complete whole from other peers. From my point of
view, I only had to transmit the film once – something I can
do relatively quickly. From your point of view, none of you
had to queue to get the film – because the pieces were
scattered widely around, in little puzzle pieces, that you could
gather together on your own.

That’s how BitTorrent works. It is both incredibly efficient
and incredibly resilient – peers can come and go as they
please, yet the total number of peers guaratees that
somewhere out there is an entire copy of the film available at
all times. And, even more perversely, the more people who
want copies of my film, the easier it is for each successive
person to get a copy of the film – because there are more
peers to grab pieces from. This group of peers, known as a
“swarm”, is the most efficient system yet developed for the
distribution of digital media. In fact, a single, underpowered
computer, on a single, underpowered broadband link can, via
BitTorrent, create a swarm of peers. BitTorrent allows
anyone, anywhere, distribute any large media file at
essentially no cost.

It is estimated that upwards of 60% of all traffic on the
Internet is composed of BitTorrent transfers. Much of this
traffic is perfectly legitimate – software, such as the free
Linux operating system, is distributed using BitTorrent. Still,
it is well known that movies and television programmes are
also distributed using BitTorrent, in violation of copyright.
This became absolutely clear on the 14th of October 2003,
when Sky Broadcasting in the UK premiered the first episode
of Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore’s dark re-imagining of the
famous shlocky 1970s TV series. Because the American
distributor, SciFi Channel, had chosen to hold off until
January to broadcast the series, fans in the UK recorded the
programmes and posted them to BitTorrent for American
fans to download. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the
episodes circulated in the United States – and conventional
thinking would reckon that this would seriously impact the
ratings of the show upon its US premiere. In fact, precisely
the opposite happened: the show was so well written and
produced that the word-of-mouth engendered by all this mass
piracy created an enormous broadcast audience for the series,
making it the most successful in SciFi Channel history.
In the age of BitTorrent, piracy is not necessarily a menace.

The ability to “hyperdistribute” a programme – using
BitTorrent to send a single copy of a programme to millions of
people around the world efficiently and instantaneously –
creates an environment where the more something is shared,
the more valuable it becomes. This seems counterintuitive,
but only in the context of systems of distribution which were
part-and-parcel of the scarce exhibition outlets of theaters
and broadcasters. Once everyone, everywhere had the
capability to “tuning into” a BitTorrent broadcast, the
economics of distribution were turned on their heads. The
distributioin gatekeepers, stripped of their power, whinge
about piracy. But, as was the case with recorded music, the
audience has simply asserted its control over distribution.
This is not about piracy. This is about the audience getting
whatever it wants, by any means necessary. They have the
tools, they have the intent, and they have the power of
numbers. It is foolishness to insist that the future will be
substantially different from the world we see today. We can
not change the behavior of the audience. Instead, we must all
adapt to things as they are.

But things as the are have changed more than you might
know. This is not the story of how piracy destroyed the film
industry. This is the story how the audience became not just
the distributors but the producers of their own content, and,
in so doing, brought down the high walls which separate
professionals from amateurs.

Lies Lies Lies by CHU

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wikileaks and a new Global Epic?

Wikileaks and the new Global Epic?
By Steve 'fly agaric 23'

A global epic poem including History or 'tale of the tribe' aspires to create a planetary synthesis of symbolic information, striving for a balanced Multi-cultural 'exhibit' a tale that moves from geographical location to individual 'speech' to the global 'stage' while illuminating special details, and often therefore creating a whole new style. Is Wikileaks a whole new style?  

A global epic hopes to bring new information to the people, to inform them of a Global Picture, and to lift the general heart--that great ball of crystal--up to the light, sharing the sources and holding 'objectivity' and 'fairness' in mind, body, and speech whenever possible. Attention to the source, the root causes and the marrow.

In short, with a good editor, the Wikileaks files and their novel methods of distribution maybe a rough outline of 'the tale of the tribe' in some sense: a new global communication network of texts and speech that record a period of evolution into the information activist age. Are they a record of our trajectory towards 'open source' internet and the potential for radical political change, does Wikileaks present a model for planetary synergy? Is Wikileaks demonstrating superior intelligence and methodology that--obsoletes--what came before it? Are the texts sacred and Holy? What makes a text holy, what gives a text its security clearance level, how do secretness and sacredness relate to one another?  

Wikileaks obsoleted and changed 'secret intelligence' into public reading material, producing a new widely read—fragmented--Global Epic, (in the hands of some journalists and writers) a specially edited series of texts, and video, that change--and change utterly--the entire worlds perception of Justice, equality and fairness at the highest levels of Government and Corporate business.

May I suggest a few pointers for individuals interested in 'the tale of the tribe' as a way of interpreting Wikileks, and that may extend the possibilities of ‘poetry’. Maybe set some scenes to verse or to some music, an Opera with the strongest voices you could muster, mash-ups, theatre and stage shows, stand-up routines, photoshop jobs, paintings and tales.

1. E-Prime:
Presents an alternative way of thinking and processing languages that removes the 'essentialism' the 'isness' and the 'spooks' from writing and speech, acting as a defence system against many shades of bullshit and 'spin'; a tool for nurturing semantic hygiene and 'good sense' when interpreting messages. I’m still learning to introduce E-prime, on occasion into my own communication in 2010.

2. RAW: Dr. Robert Anton Wilson:
Continues to inspire millions of alternative thinkers and writers around the world, this article is dedicated to RAW (please see CYBERNETIC RAW SOURCE) and I hope anyone reading this who has not yet read him will READ HIM. He defined our current information explosion over 50 years in his works in a clear and witty manner. He also created a character called Hagbard Celine who influenced an entrie generation of 'information hacktivists' and 'abstractivists'. 

3. Global Village of Marshall McLuhan
Marshall McLuahn, like Dr. Robert Anton Wilson, imagined a new world of the electric man connected by Trillions of nodes in a Global Praxis of electric signals and ‘info’ clippings. His model of the Global Village and environs gives us a pre-internet 'lesson or two' in information processing sensory bias and world literature, and in ‘the tale of the tribe’ McLuhan’s ideas may synthesize all six of these pointers and has the punch line—summary’s--for understanding how Wikileaks impacts the Global Village and the electronic man.

4. Planetary Synergetics of Bucky Fuller
Buckminster Fuller teaches us with a Planetary ‘synergy’ model, also pre-internet; that exhibits evidence for an all-around-the-world revolution in information processing, design science, nano-technology and further semantic hygiene, a design science and ‘language’ revolution. Bucky's World Game can show players the impact and difference between what he calls 'Killingry' 'Livingry' essential differentials in any 'Wikileaks' equation, I think.

5. The Cantos of Ezra Pound.
Ezra Pound's ‘Cantos’ maybe a blue-print for a poetic presentation of the 'illuminated' details of history re-illuminated by Wikileaks. The Cantos exhibit a wonderfully Global mixture of ‘tales’ and show us the possibilities of poetry and history copulating. To hang speech next to speech so as to compare and reflect, the Cantos help us distinguish information from noise, I think, read them and study Pound’s ‘Juxtaposition’ and ‘Ideogrammic Method’.  

6. Finnegans Wake and James Joyce.
Finnegans Wake can teach us information processing on every page. What does it mean, what does it refer too, who is speaking, where is the action taking place? James Joyce can teach everybody to read and hopefully to also write and speak with a critically balanced perception, a Celtic Taoist sensibility, and to never ever forget the bawdy comedy of leaking secret letters and telling tales and spreading gossip and what’s holy.

--Steven 'fly agaric 23' Pratt.

Wikileaks and Umberto Eco

For the celebrated novelist and intellectual Umberto Eco, the Wikileaks affair or "Cablegate" not only shows up the hypocrisy that governs relations between states, citizens and the press, but also presages a return to more archaic forms of communication.
The WikiLeaks affair has twofold value. On the one hand, it turns out to be a bogus scandal, a scandal that only appears to be a scandal against the backdrop of the hypocrisy governing relations between the state, the citizenry and the press. On the other hand, it heralds a sea change in international communication – and prefigures a regressive future of “crabwise” progress.

But let’s take it one step at a time. First off, the WikiLeaks confirm the fact that every file put together by a secret service (of any nation you like) is exclusively made up of press clippings. The “extraordinary” American revelations about Berlusconi’s sex habits merely relay what could already be read for months in any newspaper (except those owned by Berlusconi himself, needless to say), and the sinister caricature of Gaddafi has long been the stuff of cabaret farce.

Embassies have morphed into espionage centres

The rule that says secret files must only contain news that is already common knowledge is essential to the dynamic of secret services, and not only in the present century. Go to an esoteric book shop and you’ll find that every book on the shelf (on the Holy Grail, the “mystery” of Rennes-le-Château [a hoax theory concocted to draw tourists to a French town], on the Templars or the Rosicrucians) is a point-by-point rehash of what is already written in older books. And it’s not just because occult authors are averse to doing original research (or don’t know where to look for news about the non-existent), but because those given to the occult only believe what they already know and what corroborates what they’ve already heard. That happens to be Dan Brown’s success formula.

The same goes for secret files. The informant is lazy. So is the head of the secret service (or at least he’s limited – otherwise he could be, what do I know, an editor at Libération): he only regards as true what he recognises. The top-secret dope on Berlusconi that the US embassy in Rome beamed to the Department of State was the same story that had come out in Newsweek the week before.

So why so much ado about these leaks? For one thing, they say what any savvy observer already knows: that the embassies, at least since the end of World War II, and since heads of state can call each other up or fly over to meet for dinner, have lost their diplomatic function and, but for the occasional ceremonial function, have morphed into espionage centres. Anyone who watches investigative documentaries knows that full well, and it is only out of hypocrisy that we feign ignorance. Still, repeating that in public constitutes a breach of the duty of hypocrisy, and puts American diplomacy in a lousy light.

A real secret is an empty secret

Secondly, the very notion that any old hacker can delve into the most secret secrets of the most powerful country in the world has dealt a hefty blow to the State Department’s prestige. So the scandal actually hurts the “perpetrators” more than the “victims”.

But let’s turn to the more profound significance of what has occurred. Formerly, back in the days of Orwell, every power could be conceived of as a Big Brother watching over its subjects’ every move. The Orwellian prophecy came completely true once the powers that be could monitor every phone call made by the citizen, every hotel he stayed in, every toll road he took and so on and so forth. The citizen became the total victim of the watchful eye of the state. But when it transpires, as it has now, that even the crypts of state secrets are not beyond the hacker’s grasp, the surveillance ceases to work only one-way and becomes circular. The state has its eye on every citizen, but every citizen, or at least every hacker – the citizens’ self-appointed avenger – can pry into the state’s every secret.

How can a power hold up if it can’t even keep its own secrets anymore? It is true, as Georg Simmel once remarked, that a real secret is an empty secret (which can never be unearthed); it is also true that anything known about Berlusconi or Merkel’s character is essentially an empty secret, a secret without a secret, because it’s public domain. But to actually reveal, as WikiLeaks has done, that Hillary Clinton’s secrets were empty secrets amounts to taking away all her power. WikiLeaks didn’t do any harm to Sarkozy or Merkel, but did irreparable damage to Clinton and Obama.

Technology now advances crabwise

What will be the consequences of this wound inflicted on a very mighty power? It’s obvious that in future, states won’t be able to put any restricted information on line anymore: that would be tantamount to posting it on a street corner. But it is equally clear that, given today’s technologies, it is pointless to hope to have confidential dealings over the phone. Nothing is easier than finding out whether a head of state flew in or out or contacted one of his counterparts. So how can privy matters be conducted in future? Now I know that for the time being, my forecast is still science fiction and therefore fantastic, but I can’t help imagining state agents riding discreetly in stagecoaches along untrackable routes, bearing only memorised messages or, at most, the occasional document concealed in the heel of a shoe. Only a single copy thereof will be kept – in locked drawers. Ultimately, the attempted Watergate break-in was less successful than WikiLeaks.

I once had occasion to observe that technology now advances crabwise, i.e. backwards. A century after the wireless telegraph revolutionised communications, the Internet has re-established a telegraph that runs on (telephone) wires. (Analog) video cassettes enabled film buffs to peruse a movie frame by frame, by fast-forwarding and rewinding to lay bare all the secrets of the editing process, but (digital) CDs now only allow us quantum leaps from one chapter to another. High-speed trains take us from Rome to Milan in three hours, but flying there, if you include transfers to and from the airports, takes three and a half hours. So it wouldn’t be extraordinary if politics and communications technologies were to revert to the horse-drawn carriage.

One last observation: In days of yore, the press would try to figure out what was hatching sub rosa inside the embassies. Nowadays, it’s the embassies that are asking the press for the inside story.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations...

"Whereas in the United States to a large degree, and in other Western countries, the basic elements of society have been so heavily fiscalized through contractual obligations that political change doesn't seem to result in economic change, which in other words means that political change doesn't result in change.

Read more:,8599,2034040-2,00.html#ixzz17WNUa6u7

Thanks to Stein' for the John Lennon video link.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Schneier's modest proposal: Close the Washington monument!

Terrorists use the media to magnify their actions and further spread fear. And when we react out of fear, when we change our policy to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed -- even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail -- even if their attacks succeed.  --

No price is to high to pay for security:
The empty monument would symbolize our war on the unexpected, -- our overreaction to anything different or unusual -- our harassment of photographers, and our probing of airline passengers. It would symbolize our "show me your papers" society, rife with ID checks and security cameras. As long as we're willing to sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety, we should keep the Washington Monument empty.

Terrorism isn't a crime against people or property. It's a crime against our minds, using the death of innocents and destruction of property to make us fearful. Terrorists use the media to magnify their actions and further spread fear. And when we react out of fear, when we change our policy to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed -- even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail -- even if their attacks succeed.

We can reopen the monument when every foiled or failed terrorist plot causes us to praise our security, instead of redoubling it. When the occasional terrorist attack succeeds, as it inevitably will, we accept it, as we accept the murder rate and automobile-related death rate; and redouble our efforts to remain a free and open society.
Close the Washington Monument

Monday, November 29, 2010


  • Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil.--Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger II : Down to Earth (1991)

WASHINGTON: The mother of all leaks has engendered the mother of all debates.

The US government says by putting in public domain about 250,000 documents, nearly half of them classified and secret, Wikileaks is putting at risk lives of innocent individuals, endangering ongoing military and counterterrorism operations and jeopardizing ties between countries who are partners, allies and stakeholders in confronting common challenges.

Wikileaks says the release of the documents "reveals the contradictions between the US's public persona and what it says behind closed doors - and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what's going on behind the scenes."

The cables, Wikileaks maintains, "show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in "client states"; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them."

In sometimes angry and bitter correspondence, the two sides slugged it out in the days and hours before Wikileaks ignored pressures and threats to go ahead with the publication through select print media, causing worldwide convulsions that may reverberate for weeks and months to come.

Amid mounting pressure from Washington to back down from publishing a trove of documents leaked to it by a disgruntled and anarchy-loving US soldier, Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange wrote to the US ambassador in London Louis Susman on 26 November, asking "the United States Government to privately nominate any specific instances (record numbers or names) where it considers the publication of information would put individual persons at significant risk of harm."

Washington's snippy response came the very next day from Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser to the State Department. Ignoring Assange's request for citing cases of risk and endangerment, Koh told him that "Despite your stated desire to protect those lives, you have done the opposite and endangered the lives of countless individuals."

"You have undermined your stated objective by disseminating this material widely, without redaction, and without regard to the security and sanctity of the lives your actions endanger," he said, adding, "We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US. Government classified materials."

Assange's response: "Either there is a risk or there is not. You have chosen to respond in a manner which leads me to conclude that the supposed risks are entirely fanciful and you are instead concerned to suppress evidence of human rights abuse and other criminal behaviour."

The deadlock resulted in Administration officials, from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton down, scrambling to get in touch with their counterparts across the world to assure them of Washington's sensitivity to the situation even as Wikileaks parceled out the trove of information to the New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel.

The primary concern in Washington is that many of the US internal deliberations and assessment will be taken as policy. There are also fears that US diplomats, including ambassadors, CIA station chiefs and political counselors, will lose access to sources and trust of their foreign counterparts.

Washington's new ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter led the effort to salvage US credibility, writing in an Op-ed in a Pakistani newspaper that "people of good faith recognise that diplomats' internal reports do not represent a government's official foreign policy. In the United States, they are one element out of many that shape our policies, which are ultimately set by the president and the secretary of state."

But Wikileaks has been unsparing in its critique of US practices. In a preamble to its expose, it taunted the United States, saying, "Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington - the country's first President - could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today's document flood would be a mere embarrassment."

Instead, it said, "the US Government has been warning governments - even the most corrupt - around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures."

The embassy cables, it warned, will be released in stages over the next few months, adding. "The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice."

Read more: US vs Wikileaks whose side are you on? - The Times of India

Conspiracy is just another name for coalition--Robert Anton Wilson, The Historical Illuminatus as spoken by Luigi Duccio

Bavarian Serbian Spanish Dutch American English Nazi Hunt

"BERLIN — Germany’s justice minister suggested Friday that a Nazi wanted by the Netherlands could serve his sentence in Germany but Bavaria, where the 88-year-old lives, said it needed significant new evidence.
Dutch prosecutors on Thursday issued a European arrest warrant for SS assassin Klaas Carel Faber, who has been living freely in Germany since escaping from a Dutch prison in 1952 where he was serving a life sentence.
Three previous attempts to bring him to justice have failed, and German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, amid pressure from Israel, called Friday on the state of Bavaria, which has jurisdiction on the case, "to look for alternative solutions."--LINK

"Serbia is seeking extradition from the United States of a naturalized American citizen who is suspected of serving in a Nazi unit that killed about 17,000 Jewish and other civilians during World War II, the justice minister said Friday. The American, Peter Egner, 88, was born in Yugoslavia but emigrated to the United States in 1960, gaining citizenship six years later. He has lived in a retirement community outside Seattle, fighting federal government efforts to strip him of his American citizenship, which would pave the way for his extradition. --

"It is possible that within a short time a court in the United States will prohibit the publication of the account before us. In the meantime, Haaretz has obtained the testimony given last month by William Gowen, a former intelligence officer in the United States Army, at a federal court in San Francisco. The testimony contains historical and political explosives. It links Giovanni Battista Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI, to the theft of property of Jewish, Serb, Russian, Ukrainian and Roma victims during World War II in Yugoslavia. Many studies and stories have already been written about the thundering silence of Pope Pius XII, who reigned in the Vatican during World War II.

Now the former intelligence officer's testimony has revealed that after the war, Montini, who during the war served as the Vatican's deputy secretary of state under the pope, helped hide and launder property that had been stolen from, among others, Jews and was involved in the sheltering and smuggling of Croatian war criminals, such as the leader of the Ustashe movement, Ante Pavelic.

The smuggling and hiding of Croatian war criminals was part of the extensive network known as the Rat Lines. Senior officials at the Vatican were involved in hiding and smuggling Nazi war criminals and their collaborators so they would not be arrested and tried. Hundreds of war criminals were provided with church and Red Cross papers that enabled them to hide in safe houses and then flee from Europe, mainly to the Middle East and South America. Among them were Klaus Barbie ("the butcher of Lyon"), Adolf Eichmann, Dr. Josef Mengele and Franz Stengel, the commander of the Treblinka death camp.

The Vatican network was also used by leaders of the Ustashe - the nationalist Croatian Catholic movement that was active in Croatia and collaborated with the Nazi occupation. "The Reverend Dr. Prof. Krunoslav Draganovic seemed to be in cooperation with the Ustasha network. And he was given a Vatican assignment as the apostolic visitator for Croatians, which meant he reported directly to Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini," states an American document based on a report from the Italian police; the document was recently placed in evidence at the court in San Francisco where Gowen testified.

The leaders of the Ustashe headed by Pavelic are the ones who stole the victims' property: art and jewelry - silver and mostly gold. After the war they fled with the treasure and laundered it with the help of Vatican institutions. According to Gowen's testimony, Montini, who in 1964 became the first pope to visit the State of Israel, was also involved in the Vatican's help in laundering the wealth.--

"Ratlines were systems of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Chile. Other destinations included the United States and perhaps Canada and the Middle East. There were two primary routes: the first went from Germany to Spain, then Argentina; the second from Germany to Rome to Genoa, then South America; the two routes "developed independently" but eventually came together to collaborate.[1]

One ratline, made famous by the Frederick Forsyth thriller The Odessa File, was run by the ODESSA (Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen; "Organization of Former SS-Members") network organized by Otto Skorzeny.[citation needed]--

Spain, not Rome, was the "first center of ratline activity that facilitated the escape of Nazi fascists", although the exodus itself was planned within the Vatican.[4] Charles Lescat, a French Catholic member of Action Française (an organization suppressed by Pius XI and rehabilitated by Pius XII), and Pierre Daye, a Belgian with contacts in the Spanish government, were among the primary organizers.[5] Lescat and Daye were the first able to flee Europe, with the help of French cardinal Eugene Tisserant and Argentine cardinal Antonio Caggiano.[5]
By 1946, there were probably hundreds of war criminals in Spain, and thousands of former Nazis and fascists.[6] According to US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Vatican cooperation in turning over asylum-seekers was "negligible".[6] According to Phayer, Pius XII "preferred to see fascist war criminals on board ships sailing to the New World rather than seeing them rotting in POW camps in zonal Germany".[7] Unlike the Vatican emigration operation in Italy, centered on Vatican City, the ratlines of Spain, although "fostered by the Vatican" were relatively independent of the hierarchy of the Vatican Emigration Bureau.[8]--

Vatican Banking CIA Coke Bail Out?

Vatican Bank 'investigated over money-laundering'

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, file image  
The inquiry into Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has surprised the Vatican
The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry, police sources say.--

"For Professor Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, economist and banker, and president of the Vatican bank, the main cause of the economic crisis in the West is the collapse in the birth rate. Gotti Tedeschi has been maintaining this thesis for some time, with great vigour. And he argues for it frequently at conferences and in articles in L'Osservatore Romano. Some, however, continue to think that what is blocking economic development is not a reduction, but an uncontrolled rise in the birth rate.--

"Gen. Gehlen and Gen. Vlassov formed what became the Gehlenapparat, the CIA's main source of info on Soviet affairs; Gehlen became the fulcrum of the CIA's "Soviet penetration" sector, working under James Jesus Angleton, Chief of Counter-Intelligence, breeder of prize orchids, lover of the arts, and a devout Catholic.

Since the U.S. government based its foreign policies on CIA reports, and the CIA based its Soviet reports on Gehlen and some other former Nazis, plus a crew of Mystical Tsarists, as filtered and interpreted by a Papist intellectual, the U.S. government's ideas and actions became increasingly "weird, " bizarre and frightening, in the view of the rest of the world. The results are very sad and very funny. In a nutshell, most of the world thinks we've gone batshit crazy. "Tsarists and Nazis and spooks, oh my!"--

The Future of the Future by RAW

The Future of the Future by Robert Anton Wilson, excerpt from Chaos and Beyond.

There was a Fundamentalist Futurist back in the 1890's who demonstrated that New York City would be abandoned as unfit for habitation by the 1930s. His argument was based on projection forward of population trends, and he correctly estimated that population would grow from 4 million to over 7 million in 40 years. (He didn't guess it would reach over 12 million by now.) It was then obvious, he said, that the amount of horses necessary to provide transportation for that many people would result in a public health hazard of incredible dimensions: there would be horse manure up to the third floor windows everywhere in Manhattan. This illustrates the most frequent fallacy found in Future projections: the "elementalistic fallacy" named by Alfred Korzybski. The elementalistic fallacy as Korzybski noted, seems to be built into our very language. We can talk about Joe Smith in isolation from his (or any) environment; we can therefore think about Mr. Smith in such fictitious isolation; and in such "elementalistic fallacy" we will always draw wrong conclusions, because Mr. Smith cannot exist without some environment. (He will explode in a vacuum, and without a social world his mind will similarly explode -- or implode -- or at least mutate shockingly, as isolation experiments have shown. )
Projecting population forward without projecting other factors forward has produced numerous elementalistic fallacies similar to thinking of Joe Smith without an environment. Malthus, for instance, "proved" that population will always increase faster than resources, but this was disproven by technological history, and we now understand that "resources" only exist when identified by analysis and each new discovery in pure science shows us new resources everywhere.
One example: the Newtonian system allowed us to tap 0.001 per cent of the energy in a glass of water; 19th Century thermodynamics showed us how to tap 0.01 per cent of that energy; we can now tap 1.0 per cent. Nobody knows how much we'll be able to tap in 50 years.
Elementalistic fallacies abound in Future projections (including my own). We are only gradually and gropingly learning to think "non-elementalistically" (in Korzybski's phrase) or "synergetically" as Bucky Fuller liked to say. I have found one quick way to avoid the more obvious elementalistic and Fundamentalistic errors, which is this:
Whenever I project one trend forward, I then re-analyze the situation, projecting at minimum five other trends forward also.
For instance, lifespan and population have both been increasing in the past 200 years. Projecting these trends forward elementalistically (in isolation) has led to some notable Doomsday scenarios in which humanity overcrowds itself to death. An entirely different picture emerges, however, if one projects these trends synergetically along with five other trends, such as:
The effect of industrialism on population. As documented by Fuller (Critical Path) a nation's population only rises rapidly in the transition from feudalism to industrialism, then levels off when industrialism is well established in a country.
The emergence of Feminism and self-choice among women, beginning with the 18th century radicalism of Mary Wollstonecraft and now including Women's Liberation movements in all parts of the world -- even dawningly in Islamic nations.
The movement of communication technology into space, with clear trends indicating that "industrial" (or more likely, post-industrial) technology will follow, with workers and then families and then schools and grocers and museums, etc. moving into space colonies.
The continued improvement in birth control technology and the fading line between contraception and abortion. There is already a heated debate, for instance, about whether certain devices -- e.g. the IUD -- "are" or "are not" abortifacients.
The neuroscience revolution (or H.E.A.D. Revolution -- Hedonic Engineering And Development) with its increasing promise that humans in the near future will achieve more freedom from mechanical conditioned reflexes (both "physical" and "mental") than ever before.
Whenever I try to project all five of these trends even 40 years into the future, I find the "overcrowding" problem seems less likely than New York being buried in horse manure. To get a feel for synergetic thinking, try your own projection, "guestimating" what the next decade will bring in each of these fields, and the decade after that, and so on, to 2029.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TSOG: Inspired by The Tale of the Tribe MLA class 2007.

"The true patriot does not love his government. The true patriot loves his country and watches his government," Darryl Eberhart.

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies - Winston Churchill to Joseph Stalin

In some of the unforgettable courses led by Dr. Wilson at Maybelogic Academy such as Non-Euclidean politics, Illuminatus and The Tale of the Tribe we were presented - for class course-work - his insightful essay TSOG [march 2001] also the title of his book TSOG: [The thing that ate the Constitution] published by New Falcon. The essay seems to me a condensed overview of some of RAW's general concerns: The Tsarist Occupation Government - it's infestations and historical lineage throughout the 20th century, with a focus upon the United States of America. i.e The CIA-Nazi-Tsarist aliegence.

Not surprisingly to many, some parts of RAW's repertoire often get buried, ignored and shrugged off. Fewer folk seem to have looked further into the conspianoid world of TSOG and fewer still dare publish their findings, at least without direct reference to RAW's essay TSOG. This essay is an attempt at just that. 

RAW has this TSOG theme running throughout most of his works as a neurolinguistic hook, one single colour in his rainbow of themes, a part of his general method that i like to call holographic prose - orienting the readers nervous system into a more balanced, awake state. A Maybe state.

My interpretation of maybelogic and E-prime are under development and I hope the reader will be gentle with any assertions i make. Writing about RAW and his works seems like writing about Einstein or Alfred Korzybski sometimes, such is his genius and complexity that i often wonder what words can possibly simplify his ideas, yet contributing at the maybelogic academy and upon the various courses with RAW i feel inclined to simply write out my subjective experiences and share them with others.

I wish more people from the Maybelogic Academy would feedback their experiences, we need every bright bard and mystic and Discordian to help turn the tide. Maybelogic Quarterly is such a vehicle, and so i choose to write about RAW explicitly riding the seat of my pants. I aim to provide something of interest to the Maybelogicians and also the general public who may not have read a book since leaving school. I also strive to provide something that RAW himself might enjoy, as he has provided such pleasure and insight and brevity with his own work.

I have re-read the TSOG essay and gone back over some of my posts from the various courses in which this essay was set as the foundation for a weekly assignment, adding a few of my own personal experiences and independent research, guided by lady synchronicity and her band of rapscalions; bringing them up to date and into timespace. Within the last few months [october-December 2006] i have noticed an upsurge of faith based political ideologies and the kind of spooky government behavior that RAW's TSOG essay [March 2001] warns us about so passionately and urgently. I therefore also find an urgency in bringing TSOG and my own interpretations of it to the public - crossing the Atlantic to share this wisdom with Britain and the United States of Europe seems critical if we are to better understand the forces at work within this conspiracy.

I tackle this challenging subject by spinning quotes [mostly from Pound's Cantos] as orienteering tools that help the images connect and take root.

I'll synthesize unconsciously--the quotes--into my own musings about TSOG, hopefully turning hash browns into roast beef. My aims and objectives are to produce an original revisionist historical research investigation that thinks globally and acts locally. It is Conducted and spun by a working class but unemployed British DJ, poet, drummer and swimactivist for the express purpose of drawing attention to the TSOG as described by RAW and including my own 5 penny contributions and weird feedback - something RAW encouraged upon the courses.

Ezra Pound writes: "Peace comes of communication".  So pick up your pens and do it. Keep thinking. Asking questions and conducting research.  

Fly Agaric 23.

Everybody who has ever worked for a corporation knows that corporations conspire all the time. Politicians conspire all the time, pot-dealers conspire not to get caught by the narcs, the world is full of conspiracies. Conspiracy is natural primate behavior.
--ROBERT ANTON WILSON.The I in the Triangle, speech held at a bookstore in Santa Cruz, California (1990).

For more info on the Gehlenapparat, see The Yankee and Cowboy War by Carl Oglesby, Berkeley Medallion, NY, 1977; and Everything Is Under Control by RAWilson,
Harper, NY, 1998. The best overview of TSOG/CIA operations in general is Norman Mailer's docu-novel
Harlot's Ghost, Random House, NY, 1991, in which Angleton appears as "Hugh Montague" and Gehlen has a walk-on under his own name.
On the Gladio/P2 side of the TSOG, excellent books include The Strange Death of God's Banker, Foot and della Torre, Orbis, London, 1984; The Calvi Affair, by Larry Gurwin, Pan, London, 1984; The Brotherhood, by Stephen Knight, Grenada, London, 1984. The Calvi "ghost banks" and their strange links with real banks, including Chase Manhattan, are discussed amply in In Banks We Trust, Doubleday, NY, 1984, by Penny Lernoux, who leaves open the question of how many of the real banks were unwitting accomplices and how many knew what was going on and just kept mum while raking in the profits.
In God's Name, by David Yallop, Cape, London 1984, covers all this in greater depth, and also explores Licio Gelli's role in creating fake ID for Nazi war criminals, whom he later farmed out to the CIA death squads. It also adds Pope John Paul I to the list of mysterious deaths involving the Vatican Bank, along with Pecorelli, Moro, Calvi et. al.
My current acceptance that the Mafia killed Calvi [in previous writings I was unsure] rests on the confession of Calogero Ganci, a Mafia hitman turned informant, who says he strangled Calvi himself. See London Times, 20 June 1996. Ganci was never told why the mob wanted "God's banker" dead; his job was to kill people, not to ask rude questions. Mrs. Calvi, the widow, still claims the orders came from the Vatican.
Our current Tsar's war crimes are documented in "Overwhelming Force," by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, 22 May 2000.
The best depth analysis of Mystical Tsarism remains The Mass Psychology of Fascism, by Wilhelm Reich, M.D. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, 1970. Although Dr Reich doesn't analyze Tsarism in particular, he relates Fascism to the dogmatic religions, faith in "leaders" ["little Fathers"]and sexual misery of all the "Patriarchal Authoritarian" regimes throughout history, and his major bio-psychological theorems describe both Russian and American Tsarism as neatly as they fit the Holy Inquisition or German-Italian Fascism.
Or -- you can find most of this data, in one form or another by simply surfing the web. Set your search engine for "Rheinhold Gehlen," "Cisalpine Bank,""Licio Gelli," "Gladio" and all the other individual and group names in this synopsis, and you'll be astounded at how many Dirty Secrets are now open to the light of day.

No more rage against the machine - In Depth - Al Jazeera English

No more rage against the machine - In Depth - Al Jazeera English

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Robert Anton Wilson - TSOG Maybe


Joyce and Tao

By Robert Anton Wilson

From The James Joyce Review, vol. 3, 1959, pp. 8-16

   Throughout the long day of Ulysses the thoughts of Stephen Dedalus and Mr. Bloom repeatedly return to the East; and this is not without reason. Ulysses is so profoundly Oriental in mood and conception that Carl Jung has recommended it as a new Bible for the white race. Molly Bloom's fervent "Yes" mirrors the author's acceptance of life in its entirety - an acceptance that transcends the dualisms of light and dark, good and evil, beautiful and sordid.
   But every sensitive reader of Ulysses knows that this "acceptance" involved only part of the author's sensibility. The agony, the misanthropy, the (at times) neurotic satire, all testify to Joyce's incomplete realization of what his instincts were trying to tell him. Only in Finnegans Wake does the true Oriental note sing uninterruptedly from beginning to end. The morbid rebel against the most morbid Church in Christendom had to go the long way round to reach the shortest way home. The affirmation of Ulysses is forced (not "insincere" any more than the neurotic's desire to be cured is "insincere"); the affirmation of the Wake engages every level of the author's sensibility, from cortex to cojones - the whole man affirms, as in Nietzsche's Zarathustra.

   The purpose of this present brief essay is to show that the Chinese philosophy of the Tao contributed largely to the shape of Joyce's affirmation. "Laotsey taotsey" (page 242), or Lao-Tse's doctrine of the Tao, explains a great many things about Finnegans Wake: the river -woman symbol, the Shem-Shaun dualism, the special quality of Joyce's humor, the "time" philosophy underlying its form.

   Chapter 6 of the Tao Te Ching says:

                                    The valley spirit never dies
                                    It is called the Eternal Female.

Some Sinologists trace this "Eternal Female" back to a Chinese "Urmutter" myth of pre-Chou times, but Lao-Tse was far beyond primitive mythology. He was using this myth as a pointer, to indicate the values that must have been in the society which created the myth. The distinction between Patrist and Matrist cultures made in such books as Ian Suttie's The Origins of Love and Hate and G. Rattray Taylor's Sex in History (not to mention Robert Graves' The White Goddess ) places the Taoists as representatives of a Matrist social-ethical system living in Confucian Patrist China. The "Golden Age" of the Taoists did actually exist, whether or not it deserves to called Golden: it was the Matriarchal. pre-Feudal China destroyed by the Chou State and official Confucian philosophy. Chapter 28 of the Tao Te Ching defines the psychology and ethics of Taoism:

                              He who knows the male, yet clings to the female,
                              Becomes like a valley, receiving all things under heaven

The female qualities of receptivity, acceptance, passivity, etc. are preferred to the masculine ethical rigor of Confucianism. Kuan Tzu explains this in its simplest terms: "The sage follows after things, therefore he can control them." Every married man knows how typically feminine  - and how effective - this is. What is not so obvious is that this is, really, the philosophy of modern science. Bacon says: "We cannot command nature except by obeying her." (Cf. the Marxian "freedom as the recognition of necessity.") A letter by - of all people - Thomas Henry Huxley drives home the point, showing the innate connection between religious humility and scientific method.

         Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner the great
         truth which is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the
         will of God. Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every
         preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses Nature
         leads, or you shall learn nothing.

   The Taoists saw this attitude represented most clearly by women and by water, and made these the chief symbols of their religion. Orthodox Christians can understand why this approach is valuable to the scientist, but that it is the highest form of religion also, is certainly difficult for anyone conditioned to dogmatisms to accept. The Taoists put "acceptance" where the West puts "faith."

   The female also stands, in Taoist thought, for those two forces regarded with most suspicion in Patrist societies: sex and love. The orthodox Freudians have said enough to familiarize us all with the neurotic illness that has come into Western culture with the triumph of anti-sex religions; what is not so obvious is how love, also, is under a pall in our society - see the chapter on "The Taboo on Tenderness" in Ian Suttie's The Origins of Love and Hate.

   Water is, as we have said, the second great symbol of Taoism. It is, of course, the receptivity and yieldingness of water that recommends it to Lao-Tse and Chuang Chou. The philosophy of Judo (a Taoist invention) has come out of the observation of water, it is said. Judo co-operates with the attacking force, as water molds itself to its environment. Water and the Judo student bend and survive where bamboo and the ordinary man stand firm and break.

   The values that Taoism sees in woman and water are their harmony with the Tao. I have not translated this key term, and I do not intend to; but Ezra Pound's translation - "the process" - seems to me more adequate than "the Way," "the Path" and most of the other attempts. Students of General Semantics might understand if I say that the "Tao" comes very close to meaning what they mean when they say "the process-world." The Tao is the flux, the constant change, amid which we live and in the nature of which we partake; or it is the "law" of this change. (But, of course, the "law" and the "change" itself are not different in reality, only in our grammar and philosophy.) A Zen master asked how to get in harmony with the Tao, replied, "Walk on!" Water and woman represent adjustment to the Law of Change, which "man, proud man, dressed in his little brief authority," and his abstract dogmas, tries to resist.

   Anna Livia Plurabelle, the water woman, represents the values of the Tao in Finnegans Wake . The very first word of the book, "riverrun" - not the river and the running of the river, but "riverrun" - places us firmly in the "process-world" of modern physics, which is the world of the Tao. As Molly Bloom in Ulysses, Anna gets the last word in Finnegans Wake, and it is a word that transcends the dualisms (Bloom and Stephen, Shem and Shaun, Mookse and Gripes) and affirms the unity behind them.

   The parable of the Mookse and the Gripes expresses this characteristic Taoist attitude with a quite characteristic Taoist humorous exaggeration. Adrian, the Papal Mookse, takes his stand on space, dogma and aristotelian logic; the mystic Gripes verbally affirms time, relativity and the flux; but both are equally emneshed in abstractions and both wither away in futile opposition to each other. Both, in short, are caprives of the dualistic System they ahve themselves created. Nuvolettam the avatar of ALP in this episode, is the Taoist female, unimpressed by the "dogmad" behaviour of the male. With Molly Bloom's resignation, she says:

                         ---I see...there are menner. (page 158)

   It is important to grasp the distinction between the Gripes and Nuvoletta. Seemingly, they represent affirmation of the same cluster of things: time, the river, flux, mysticism, relativity, sex, love, the earth, Nature. Actually, the Gripes' affirmation is verbal only, whereas Nuvoletta's affirmation is anything but verbal. None of Joyce's great Earth-Mother figures are given to philosophizing about "affirmation of Nature," etc. - they just do it. This is a crucial difference. As Lao-Tse says:

                                 Those who speak do not know;
                                 Those who know do not speak.

   Shem is a "sham and a low sham" because he is a "forger." Stephen Dedalus wanted to "forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race;" but Shem merely seeks "to utter an epochal forged cheque on the public." Shem is one of those who speak but do not know; that his career is a satire on Joyce's own is the kind of irony implied in Christ's "Why callest thou me good? None is good but the Father," or the Sixth Patriarch's "I do not understand Buddhism." Probably everyone who ever gains any experience with the Tao begins by faking a little; it is really so much easier to verbalize about this affirmation that to live it. Joyce's portrait of the artist as a young forger is a self-confession that does penance for the whole race; "you and I are in him."

   ALP, the river-woman, does not have any such confession to make. Like the hen Belinda in Chapter Four, who "just feels she was kind of born to lay and love eggs" (p.112), ALP lives in the Tao without question and without making a fuss about it (wu-shih). Her polar opposite is that figure whom Joyce describes as "Delude of Israel," "Gun, the Father," or "Swiney Tod, ye Demon Barber" - the "phallic-destructive" Hangman God whose "criminal thumbprint" on the rock hangs over Ulysses and makes one realize that Molly Bloom's affirmation was something Joyce had not yet quite experienced when he wrote that saturnine masterpiece. In Finnegans Wake the Hangman God is securely put in his place and from the first word, "riverrun," to the last dying murmur "a way a lone a last a loved a long the," the female figure of affirmation dominates the book.


   Putting the Hangman God in his places does not mean abolishing him; it means transcending him, in sweat and blood, rising above the dualistic delusion that makes Him seem credible. Nietzsche's "I write in blood, I will be read in blood," is testimony as to the superhuman effort required for an Occidental to make this transcendence.

   Earwicker, as typical a product of Western dualism in its advanced stages as was Melville's Ahab, is, like Ahab, split down the middle by his own dualistic thinking. Joyce does not symbolize this as Melville did - by the scar from crown to toe that disfigures Ahab - but by projecting the two sides of Earwicker as Shem and Shaun, the Mookse and the Gripes, Butt and Taff, the Ondt and the Gracehoper. The Taoist orientation of Joyce's treatment of these dualities is indicated, on page 246, by the distortion of "Shem and Shaun" to "Yem and Yan." Yin and Yang are the Taoist terms for the paired opposites whose innate connectedness generates the entire world-process. Yin is feminine, dark, intuitive, etc.; Yang is masculine, light, rationalistic, etc. Neither can exist without the other, and both are parts of the Tao, and hence parts of each other.

   The identity of the opposites, a central theme of Taoist thought, is indicated early in Finnegans Wake. The very first appearance of Shem and Shaun is as "the Hindoo, Shimar Shin," (p.10) a single figure. Through the rest of the book they are split into two figures, but they are constantly changing roles and merging into each other (for instance, in the "Geometry Lesson" chapter, where the Shem-type notes, left side of the page, leap suddenly to the right side, and the Shaun-type notes leap from right to left.) Again, in the Mercius and Justius dispute, Shem and Shaun are picked up at the end and carried off together by ALP. "Sonnies had a scrap," she says with feminine equanimity.

   The two philosophers most frequently mentioned in the Wake, Nicholas of Cusa and Bruno of Nola, taught a dialectic of resolution of opposites. Joseph Needham in his monumental Science and Civilization in China, repeatedly mentions both Bruno and Nicholas as the only two Occidental philosophers before Liebnitz to have a basically Taoist outlook.

   Every sensitive reader has noted the difference between the humor of Ulysses and the humor of Finnegans Wake . In writing Ulysses, Joyce's intention seems to have still contained a large element of the motive expressed to this publisher when describing Dubliners: "to show Ireland its own ugly face in a mirror." The humor in Ulysses is mostly satiric and negative, Swiftian; the joyous, Rabelaisian element is comparatively small. But in Finnegans Wake the humor is not only Rabelaisian, but Carrollian: it has that element of nonsense and childishness which only the well-integrated can sustain for long.

   But this humor is also Taoistic. It is now suspected by scholars that the chapter of the Confucian Analects (Lun Yu) which contains a description of the Taoists as a band of madmen was interpolated by a Taoist writer! The mad, jolly, very un-selfconscious parody of Joyce himself in the "Shem the Penman" chapter has the same type of humor. Probably only an Irishman could understand that text about making oneself a fool for Christ's sake as a Taoist would understand it. Joyce, bending his incredible genius to the concoction of place names like "Wazwollenzie Haven" and "Havva-ban-Annah" (not to mention "the bridge called Tilt-Ass") is exemplifying something that exists outside the Wake only in Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and the Sacred Scriptures of the Taoists.

              ("The Tao is in the dung," said Chuang Chou.)

   To the Taoists, humor was what paradox is to Chesterton: a manifestation of divinity. Tao fa tsu-jan: "The Tao just happens." (Footnote to this: The entire passage reads: Jen fa ti, ti fa ti'en, ti'en fa Tao, Tao fa tsu-jan. "Man is subject to earth, earth is subject to heaven, heaven is subject to Tao, Tao is subject to spontaneity." In short, determinism on one level results from chance on another level, as in thermodynamics.) Whether you call this Organicism and wax as self-consciously profound as Whithead, or call it Materialism and get as self-righteously priggish as the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, you still miss the point. That the Tao just happens, that it has no purpose or goal, no regard for man's self-importance ("Heaven treats us like straw dogs," Lao-Tse says) - this is not a gloomy philosophy at all. When one understands this fully, on all levels of one's being, the only possible response is to have a good laugh. Taoist humor results from realization that the recognition of the most joyous truth of all seems to the egocentric man (you and I) frightening and gloomy.

   Joyce is nowhere more thoroughly Taoist then when he answers all the paradoxes and tragedies of life with the brief, koan-ish "Such me." Genial bewilderment ("Search me!") and calm acceptance ("Such I am") meet here as they meet nowhere else but in Taoism, and its intellectual heirs, Zen and Shinshu Buddhism and the neo-Confucianism of Chu Hsi. We cannot understand; neither can we escape - "Such me." (page 597)

   It is this attitude  - which women seem to be able to grasp much more easily than men - that gives Finnegans Wake its air of goofy impartiality. The Buddhist (outside of the Zen school) labors strenuously to rise over the opposites; the Taoist dissolves them into a good horse-laugh. Joyce's method is Taoistic. "Sonnies had a scrap;" "Now a muss was the little face;" "You were only dreamond, dear" - the tolerant, existentialist female voice, vastly unimpressed by masculine abstractions and ideologies, breaks in at every point where a Big Question is being debated. The Zen Patriarch who said, when he was asked for religious instruction, "When you finish your meal, wash your plates," had this attitude.


   Wyndham Lewis saw in Ulysses an implicit acceptance of Bergson's time-philosophy and denounced Joyce, in his Time and Western Man, for contributing to what he called "the Time Cult" (other members: Einstein, Ezra Pound, Picasso, Whitehead, the Futurist painters, Gertrude Stein.) Lewis, a classicist, set up the dualism of space philosophies (aristotelian, rational, conservative, masculine, etc.) against time philosophies (oriental, intuitive, radical, feminine, etc.) Joyce wrote the Wake from "the Haunted Inkbottle, no number Brimstone Walk, Asia in Ireland" (page 182) placidly, even eagerly, accepting the non-aristotelian position Lewis had attributed to him.

   As is well known, the events of the Wake occur "at no spatial time" and cannot be sharply defined because "every parson, place and thing in the chaosmos anywhere at all connected with it was moving and changing all the time" (page 118). In short, we are within the Einsteinian universe; and Joyce realizes, as did Alfred Korzybski, that the aristotelian "laws of thought" cannot hold in such a universe: "The sword of certainty which would identified the body never falls" (page 51). The Law of Identity, that is, cannot hold in a process-world "where," as the mathematical physicist says, "every electron has a date and is not identical to itself from one second to another."

   The Taoists were familiar with these relativistic considerations long before Einstein.
Chuang Chou writes:

             There is nothing under the canopy of heaven greater than the tip of an autumn
             spikelet. A vast mountain is a small thing. Neither is there any age greater than
             that of a small child cut off in infancy. P'eng Tsu himself died young. The universe
             and I came into being together; and I, and everything therein, are one.

A better description anywhere of the "inner logic" of Finnegans Wake can hardly be found. To ask what "is really happening" on any page is like asking a physicist whether light "is really" waves or particles. Shaun's sermon to the leap-year girls is confession of Earwicker's incestuous desires; is a barrel rolling down the Liffey river; is a postman making his rounds. Anna Livia Plurabelle is a woman, and she is also a river. Earwicker is a man, a mountain, an insect, the current Pope, the Urvater of Freudian theory, Finn MacCool, and he is also both Shem and Shaun. He is, as a matter of fact, every person, place and thing in the Wake - just as every man "is" the sum total of his own perceptions and evaluations. Earwicker is finally able to accept and affirm his world, Joyce is finally able to accept and affirm his world, because they recognize that "I, and everything therein, are one." "Such me." (Footnote to this: Physics, psychology, semantics an several other sciences have entirely rejected the view which sees the universe as a collection of block-like entities. WE now think in terms of relations and functions: iron rod A has no absolute "length," but only length = 1, length = 2, length = 3, etc., as it moves through the space-time continuum. Smith has no absolute "self" but only a succession of roles in a succession of socio-psychological fields. A world of such inter-related processes is a seamless unity, and every perceiver is that unity at every second. That is why Emerson could write - and Joyce could demonstrate - that "The sphinx must solve his own riddle. All of history is in one man.")

   To the space-consciousness of a Wyndham Lewis a chair is a static "thing" out there, apart from the observer; given, concrete, identifiable. To the time-mind of Joyce, the chair is revealed as a process, a joint phenomenon of observer and observed, a stage in the transmutation of energy: "My cold cher's gone ashley," he writes, (page 213) seeing the future ashes in the present object. (Cf. Hiu Shih's paradox, "Ann egg has feathers.") Zen Buddhist teachers make this point, somewhat obliquely, by pointing to a picture of Bodhidharma (who was bearded), and asking the puzzled student, "Why doesn't that fellow have a beard?"

   The answer of the witty Gracehoper to the conservative Ondt: (page 419)

                    Your genus is worldwide, your spacest sublime,
                    But Holy Saltmartin, why can't you beat time?
is Joyce's answer to Wyndham Lewis and the entire Western Tradition back to Aristotle which backs him up. The Gracehoper had "jingled through a jungle of life in debts and jumbled through a jingle of love in doubts" but, as the rhythm and vocabulary suggest, he had vastly enjoyed himself doing so. Time, which strikes him down, will eventually strike down the "anal-acquisitive" Ondt also. All the abstractions man invents to give himself control over events and stave off doubt, all the preparations man makes to stay out of debt, are as nothing before the inscrutable workings-out of the Tao; the search for security, Alan Watts has frequently observed, is the main cause of insecurity. As Nuvoletta says, "Ise so silly to be flowing, but I no canna stay." (page 159) The secret of Taoism, the secret of Finnegans Wake, is very simply expressed in Poe's "Descent Into the Maelstrom," whose hero saved himself by "studying the action of the whirlpool and co-operating with it."

   This is the trick that explains Judo. It also explains Anna Livia Plurabelle's calm acceptance of her own end as she flows out to sea:

                        The keys to. Given. Lps. A way a lone a last
                         a loved a long the

   The only word that can possibly complete that sentence is the "riverrun" at the beginning. We can find ourselves only by losing ourselves, all mystics testify. Anna loses herself into the ocean, but what she becomes is the true self she has always been: "riverrun," the process.

                                                                                                   -New York City

copyright: Robert Anton Wilson