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Chinese protectionism/censorship (they only allow 34 Hollywood movies a year) has helped incubate a domestic film industry. As Richard Hanania points out, citing a study by James McMahon, that as of now, 9 out of 10 of the highest grossing films in Chinese history are domestic, all released in the last few years.

State censors require that all films in China, both of domestic and foreign origin, adhere to “the principles of the Chinese Constitution and maintain social morality” (O’Connor & Armstrong, 2015, p. 9). These standards are maintained through the prohibition of certain images and scenes that depict “demons or supernaturalism, crime or any other illicit or illegal actions within China’s borders, disparagement of the People’s Liberation Army and police, and anything that could be perceived as anti-China–including merely damaging Chinese sites or monuments.

Something like Leviathan (2014), a depressive/cynical-for-the-sake-of-it movie with Russophobic undertones, wouldn’t have been made (or at least screened) in China and that’s probably a good thing for the Chinese.

That said, another curious finding from the author James McMahon, although it is not in the paper, is that Russia – along with India and China – has the least intersection with American cultural consumption. That is, they have the lowest correlations between films that do well in the US box office and in their own.

This seems to largely be a map of cultural closeness to the US. Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa are all in the top 5 closest countries to the US.

I suspect that the distance between the US and Russia might even start to further increase with the increasingly heavy-handed promotion of “Woke” themes in American cinema.

 
• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: China, Film, Russia, United States 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. There is (or used to be) a loophole where 3D films were counted as different from regular films, and so could get a spot in Chinese cinemas, which is why there was an avalanche of 3D gimmicks a few years ago

    Chinese censors (and to a lesser extent the Russian gay propaganda law) are also the only reason American blockbusters don’t have more overt woke shit in them, instead it’s mostly throwaway scenes that could be edited out/dubbed over for the international versions

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Korenchkin

    With this, however, I believe, and sincerely hope, this overlap reaches zero (and am deeply unhappy it can't go in the negative infinity)

    https://theupheaval.substack.com/p/intersectional-imperialism-and-the

    Yes, Wokeism is now officially the most ultra-holy ideology of the Global Cuckistan, to be enforced by utterly annihilating and outright genociding all dissenting populations. Basically, the most insane idea you think they will do, and then make it even worse.

  3. With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes”

    Were they shown in China?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Mr. Hack

    Don't know about The Last Emperor but it may be too US-centric and come across as ridiculous.

    IIRC seven years in Tibet wasn't nice about China's Tibetan landgrab so you would have to remove a few scenes.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Yevardian
    @Mr. Hack

    Can´t speak for the "Tibet" one (although the poster certainly gives a poor impression), but the last Emperor was quite mediocre, although it did have very nice cinematography and sets.
    The best Chinese film I´ve seen to date (not many) is still "Hardboiled" (SAVE THE BABIES!). The "Infernal Affairs" trilogy was good, although I actually found that for once, the Shart remake, "The Departed", was better, probably because it was Scorsese.
    In general though, I´ve found Chinese cinema very unimpressive compared to that of Korea or Japan, but then again, that´s probably more due to my own swipple taste than anything, China has the demographics for churning out endless dumb and expensive blockbusters, Japan and Korea not so much.

    Speaking of that Korean "Parasite" film a while back, it was entertaining but nothing special, not to mention many, many things about the script did not make any sense at all, not in an absurdist manner either, more a case big holes in it´s story logic. "Burning" from Korea in the same year was far, far better, although admittedly it doesn´t have as wide of an appeal.

    But I´m the sort of person who enjoys Bela Tarr´s excruciating movies, I guess reiner tor is familiar enough with him, if no one else.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    They're not trying to export at all, so that's not surprising.

    Japan has an extremely active and actually population animation movie industry right now, but you don't really hear about it much either, even with a significant American fanbase. It even has "woke"-ish themes that some in the West would like.

    https://www.avclub.com/mobile-suit-gundam-hathaway-reckons-with-the-privilege-1847228242

    But if there's no effort to localize or export, its not surprising that you won't hear it. Chinese media being exported right now are all video games, which I think is probably the right way about it, being that it hits a younger audience and generally just seems to work better(Poland's recent soft power comes from The Witcher, which was originally anchored by the game as well).

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Levtraro, @Xi-jinping

    , @Rahan
    @Mr. Hack


    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses?
     
    For centuries Europeans couldn't believe that China doesn't give a crap about them, nor the external world in general. Same for cultural offshoots like Japan and Korea. The West first had to have the industrial revolution, and then literally come to Japan and China in steampunk battle ships, press a futuristic pistol into their heads and say ''Now I'll make you notice me. Who's the barbarian now?''

    The moment external pressure abates, these Asian societies snap back to the original self-absorbed condition. Especially China, with it's separate Internet ecosphere only helping. Sure they love selling their products to the external world, and go visit it as tourists to take some prestige selfies in front of some crumbling amphitheater or castle, but otherwise not so much.

    Contemporary Russian quasi-Hollywood flicks for a good time with a brewski:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011699060/ (Inception-type adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCvHN.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmDzv1.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCxJo.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629524/ (second Inception-type adventure. Tony Banderas!!111!)
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxcok.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxrr2.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmxXiX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8664988/ (Alien-invasion/apocalypse adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmT9Hl.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmbJ3x.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdOFj.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8060328/ (Alien contact/disaster adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKb5G.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKjDR.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmMzPX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt06054874/ (Pseudo-historical barbarian sword adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdEbw.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmhd4c.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmhLZG.jpg

    Modern Russian adventure sci-fi flicks and epic adventure flicks cost on average around $4 million to make. Make of that what you will.

    Replies: @melanf, @sher singh, @Alfa158

    , @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    The best "Chinese" films of recent memory were the King Fu Panda franchise :)

    Unfortunately they were made in America (although there was a lot of input from Chinese people). It was hugely popular in China, and many Chinese lamented that a film that "got" Chinese culture so well was not made in China.

    In America they're seen as just cartoons, but in Asia animation is taken far more seriously and considered adult fare as well. The recent Demon Slayer animated film in Japan was one of the highest grossing films in Japan among adults.

    Personally, I think children's literature and films can be extremely high quality and very worthy of adult attention - C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of "growing up" and putting "nonsense" behind one and becoming "practical" leaves many people emotionally stunted - thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially - in tone and mood.

    There was a beautiful reference to the classical Chinese novel Monkey, or Journey to The West - the monk makes an arduous journey through the Western wilderness to retrieve a precious Buddhist manuscript. After successfully retrieving it, he travels halfway back to China only to discover that the paper is blank! He returns to get the "true" manuscript, and is told that the blank page is the true wisdom, but is anyways given a different manuscript with "conventional" wisdom on it to take back. Panda references this nicely.

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand - much like the monk in the story! :)

    Nezha is an amusing and good Chinese animated film available on Netflix also.

    If you want more "serious" Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc. Although there are some good films produced in mainland China as well.

    Ultimately, you simply cannot produce compelling and high quality art in a society heavy on censorship and intent on controlling and suppressing artistic freedom. A certain level of anarchy and chaos - freedom - is absolutely essential to creativity and art.

    Sparta did not produce art, Athens produced mountains of it. Rome is also not known for producing high art - and China models itself on Rome. A culture devoted to the "practical" will produce great works of engineering but not great works of imagination or intellect.

    But China is a culture going through a "practical" phase of "control". Eventually it will get past this and began producing great again.

    In the meantime for Asian art you have Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Singapore is sterile for the same reason as mainland China), India, and even Thailand has some moving and interesting films.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @songbird

    , @Supply and Demand
    @Mr. Hack

    Puyi's been the subject of rehabilitation here, so you can watch the Last Emperor on domestic streaming services. The last time I saw the film in the West was in university, but I don't remember anything really cut.

    Did Yoshiko Kawashima feature particularly prominently in the director's cut? That's about the only part of my recollection that was fuzzy.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  4. Obligatory comparison of film posters:

    Western vs Chinese Star Wars

    Chinese vs Western Black Panther

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Sick of Orcs
    @Rahan

    The expectation was Finn, the black guy in Force Awakens would be another scene-chewing buffoon like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, instead he was one of the few realistic characters, albeit with nothing to do.

    Replies: @Svevlad

  5. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    Don’t know about The Last Emperor but it may be too US-centric and come across as ridiculous.

    IIRC seven years in Tibet wasn’t nice about China’s Tibetan landgrab so you would have to remove a few scenes.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @El Dato

    "The Last Emperor" too "US-centric" coming "across as ridiculous" ?? LOL!

    I can see, however, how "Seven Years in Tibet" would have a difficult time making it past the censor's cutting board.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Servant of Gla'aki, @Hapalong Cassidy

  6. @El Dato
    @Mr. Hack

    Don't know about The Last Emperor but it may be too US-centric and come across as ridiculous.

    IIRC seven years in Tibet wasn't nice about China's Tibetan landgrab so you would have to remove a few scenes.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    “The Last Emperor” too “US-centric” coming “across as ridiculous” ?? LOL!

    I can see, however, how “Seven Years in Tibet” would have a difficult time making it past the censor’s cutting board.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Mr. Hack

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US "racist", "gun-addicted" and "not inclusive enough." It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    Being the bicycle might not be good for Americans, I am unsure on this, but it is excellent for "America" and those who gain power from it.

    The dissident right mostly wants to be a spoke, with their own distinct selves, but cut off. I don't think the mainstream right agrees. I think they prefer to bask in the glory of "America." In this context, dissident right doom prophesying is both an attempt to persuade the mainstream right and a cope.

    It isn't that the mainstream right don't understand dissident right facts and arguments, it is that they have a different priority. They want to grill and have glory, as does the mainstream left in their own way. This is why they move together, having little spats on what will accrue the most glory, but always working it out. Much to the seethe of dissidents on both sides.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @mal, @Coconuts

    , @Servant of Gla'aki
    @Mr. Hack


    “The Last Emperor” too “US-centric” coming “across as ridiculous” ?? LOL!
     
    Yeah, that's a very good film, and one that has almost nothing what-so-ever to do with the USA, lol.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Mr. Hack

    Didn’t notice too much US-centricisn in The Last Emperor but I did notice some anti-Japanese sentiment, which seems to be a running theme in many Chinese-made films. See “Lust Caution” and “Ip Man” for example.

  7. The only Chinese movies I care about are martial arts spectacle:

    Enter the Dragon.

    This is pretty decent girl on girl action:

  8. @Mr. Hack
    @El Dato

    "The Last Emperor" too "US-centric" coming "across as ridiculous" ?? LOL!

    I can see, however, how "Seven Years in Tibet" would have a difficult time making it past the censor's cutting board.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Servant of Gla'aki, @Hapalong Cassidy

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US “racist”, “gun-addicted” and “not inclusive enough.” It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    Being the bicycle might not be good for Americans, I am unsure on this, but it is excellent for “America” and those who gain power from it.

    The dissident right mostly wants to be a spoke, with their own distinct selves, but cut off. I don’t think the mainstream right agrees. I think they prefer to bask in the glory of “America.” In this context, dissident right doom prophesying is both an attempt to persuade the mainstream right and a cope.

    It isn’t that the mainstream right don’t understand dissident right facts and arguments, it is that they have a different priority. They want to grill and have glory, as does the mainstream left in their own way. This is why they move together, having little spats on what will accrue the most glory, but always working it out. Much to the seethe of dissidents on both sides.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Triteleia Laxa

    So how does your worldview, vis-à-vis "America" filter down and reflect on the two US made films that I bring up above? Do you also find them to be "US-centric" and "ridiculous" as commenter El Dato seems to do? Do you know whether either of these films were ever shown in China, even in altered forms?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    , @Coconuts
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US “racist”, “gun-addicted” and “not inclusive enough.” It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.
     
    These sound a lot like traditional Maoist arguments against the US, the Soviets had some similar ones. (That famous meme of the Statue of Liberty with a lynched black guy hanging from it comes to mind.) Here the situation could be that the US has been behind the curve on a lot of this stuff and is only following the path that countries like Russia and China already took some decades ago.

    The substack article in the link given by Svevlad in message 20 seems to have some nice examples of where the current US line is close to a retread of Communist positions from 50-60 years ago.

    Also I think each country tailors its propaganda to its target audience, China probably uses different messaging to other countries where concepts of this kind don't resonate as much.
  9. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Mr. Hack

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US "racist", "gun-addicted" and "not inclusive enough." It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    Being the bicycle might not be good for Americans, I am unsure on this, but it is excellent for "America" and those who gain power from it.

    The dissident right mostly wants to be a spoke, with their own distinct selves, but cut off. I don't think the mainstream right agrees. I think they prefer to bask in the glory of "America." In this context, dissident right doom prophesying is both an attempt to persuade the mainstream right and a cope.

    It isn't that the mainstream right don't understand dissident right facts and arguments, it is that they have a different priority. They want to grill and have glory, as does the mainstream left in their own way. This is why they move together, having little spats on what will accrue the most glory, but always working it out. Much to the seethe of dissidents on both sides.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @mal, @Coconuts

    So how does your worldview, vis-à-vis “America” filter down and reflect on the two US made films that I bring up above? Do you also find them to be “US-centric” and “ridiculous” as commenter El Dato seems to do? Do you know whether either of these films were ever shown in China, even in altered forms?

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Mr. Hack

    They're hub films. I've only seen the Brad Pitt one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Chinese government won't like it, because they are presented badly, but anyone else can enjoy it. Both have probably been watched outside of China more than any Chinese film, despite not really being popular blockbuster type films. They aren't "US-centric", they are just "centric"

  10. These standards are maintained through the prohibition of certain images and scenes that depict…crime or any other illicit or illegal actions within China’s borders

    There are plenty of crime dramas and other films that depict the criminal underworld in Chinese cinema. So I imagine there are some more specific or subjective criteria for what constitutes the “certain images and scenes” depicting crime or illicit or illegal activity.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @lavoie

    Extremely rigorous laws, only selectively applied, is the global standard for corruption done subtly.

    Replies: @lavoie, @Xi-jinping

  11. @Mr. Hack
    @Triteleia Laxa

    So how does your worldview, vis-à-vis "America" filter down and reflect on the two US made films that I bring up above? Do you also find them to be "US-centric" and "ridiculous" as commenter El Dato seems to do? Do you know whether either of these films were ever shown in China, even in altered forms?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    They’re hub films. I’ve only seen the Brad Pitt one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Chinese government won’t like it, because they are presented badly, but anyone else can enjoy it. Both have probably been watched outside of China more than any Chinese film, despite not really being popular blockbuster type films. They aren’t “US-centric”, they are just “centric”

  12. @lavoie

    These standards are maintained through the prohibition of certain images and scenes that depict...crime or any other illicit or illegal actions within China’s borders
     
    There are plenty of crime dramas and other films that depict the criminal underworld in Chinese cinema. So I imagine there are some more specific or subjective criteria for what constitutes the "certain images and scenes" depicting crime or illicit or illegal activity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2pcumduhDM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXm1XcjP13E

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Extremely rigorous laws, only selectively applied, is the global standard for corruption done subtly.

    • Replies: @lavoie
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I don't think the movies I linked to and similar ones in China are movies that were supposed to be prohibited but managed to slip through because of corruption.

    The current Chinese standard for film censorship does seem to allow for the domestic production and screening of depressive/cynical, neo-noir type films like the Russian film Leviathan that Karlin mentioned. The 2 films I linked to would be examples. Although I haven't seen Leviathan so perhaps it is Russophobic to a degree that Chinese censors wouldn't approve with respect to Sinophobia.

    , @Xi-jinping
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Not really. Those laws are nuanced and mainly meant to act as protectionist measures and to not have any directly seditious materials produced (like Leviathan).

    I've watched many similiar movies and they have even had excellent critical acclaim within China as well.

  13. The Dutch are culturally close to the US. People sometimes ask why the Dutch speak English with an American accent. They don’t.

  14. I have recently been on a binge of watching modern Russian movies, and I would say they would do fairly well at the US box office if they were allowed to be properly distributed.
    I got on this kick after being impressed by the Metro games that were made in the Ukraine and are based on a series of Russian science fiction novels. First rate graphics, compelling story line, and going by the credits, somehow made with a fraction of the staff of a Western video game.
    Through streaming services like IMDB, Tubi, Pluto etc., I am finding Russian movies, mostly science fiction, that have English overdubs or captions. Like the video games; first class CGI, a good story line that seems to assume an audience with a higher average IQ than that for Hollywood productions, attractive performers, excellent cinematography. The only thing that could be a drawback is that the dialogue can seem stilted and hokey to audiences raised on cynicism and nihilism. As a side benefit it is intriguing getting even a cinematically filtered view of Russian life since we get so little exposure to what life is really like in Russia.
    I think that if widely distributed these film could do reasonably well in fly-over Red country. The problem is that as pointed out by other commenters, these movies are fatally un-woke for the (((film distribution system))). As expected, almost every actor is white with maybe some Tartar or Siberian heritage, there are no visible gays or trannies. The female characters are often brave, resourceful and plucky, but they aren’t 110 pound Mary Sues who can punch out multiple 200 pound Commandos. The characters look like Midwestern Americans and the plots look like 1950’s movies enhanced by state of the art CGI. The American entertainment industry will burn down their companies and commit mass suicide before they would let movies like this get broad distribution and marketing in cinemas or high viewership cable channels.
    (BTW, one question I have is why do so many of these movies star Rinal Mukhametov, is he the Tom Hanks of Russian cinema or something?)

    • Disagree: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @Rahan
    @Alfa158


    I think that if widely distributed these film could do reasonably well in fly-over Red country. The problem is that as pointed out by other commenters, these movies are fatally un-woke for the (((film distribution system))). As expected, almost every actor is white with maybe some Tartar or Siberian heritage, there are no visible gays or trannies. The female characters are often brave, resourceful and plucky, but they aren’t 110 pound Mary Sues who can punch out multiple 200 pound Commandos. The characters look like Midwestern Americans and the plots look like 1950’s movies enhanced by state of the art CGI.
     
    Delightful summary, thanks!
    , @kzn
    @Alfa158

    Russian cinema, TV and pop music are still very popular in the ex USSR states, irrelevant if they do disgusting anti-russian policies. That is a good achievement considering the influx and enthusiasm for American and British cinema and music after 1991 in Russia and all the rest of USSR.

    On the issue of conquering western markets, I think the modern Russian films are too well produced, which gives an empty or artificial impression when russians do it, in a way that it isn't when Americans do these films.

  15. Interesting to see how Hong Kong is much more similar to the west in tastes compared to mainland China.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @AKAHorace

    Being in the Anglosphere (and having much laxer censorship laws) "helps".

  16. @Triteleia Laxa
    @lavoie

    Extremely rigorous laws, only selectively applied, is the global standard for corruption done subtly.

    Replies: @lavoie, @Xi-jinping

    I don’t think the movies I linked to and similar ones in China are movies that were supposed to be prohibited but managed to slip through because of corruption.

    The current Chinese standard for film censorship does seem to allow for the domestic production and screening of depressive/cynical, neo-noir type films like the Russian film Leviathan that Karlin mentioned. The 2 films I linked to would be examples. Although I haven’t seen Leviathan so perhaps it is Russophobic to a degree that Chinese censors wouldn’t approve with respect to Sinophobia.

  17. Why were Bollywood films popular in Soviet times? Was it some kind of political fix? Or do Russians really like Indian films? And why?

    I watched “Stalker” a while back. From my perspective, it felt like a very alien film. I was completely fascinated by its strangeness – its long takes – even though I don’t like that kind of film – what I would consider arthouse. It felt like I was really watching something foreign. But I have not seen very many Soviet films, with which to compare it.

    I’ve heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I’ve wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    @songbird

    I have Stalker and some other Tarkovsky movies in Criterion Blu-Rays. My take is that his work. reflects Tarkovsky himself as much as is it does Russian culture. You could plausibly see similar styles and tone in the work of other avant-garde auteurs like Goddard, Bergman, Jodorowsky, Herzog etc.

    , @mal
    @songbird


    I’ve heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I’ve wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.
     
    Are you kidding? Soviet comedy was epic.

    "Ivan Vasilievich changing profession", " Irony of Fate", "Brilliant Hand" - just off the top of my head. They will easily beat any modern Hollywood comedy, and hold the ground against all time best in the West.

    Real crowd pleasers.

    Replies: @songbird

  18. @songbird
    Why were Bollywood films popular in Soviet times? Was it some kind of political fix? Or do Russians really like Indian films? And why?

    I watched "Stalker" a while back. From my perspective, it felt like a very alien film. I was completely fascinated by its strangeness - its long takes - even though I don't like that kind of film - what I would consider arthouse. It felt like I was really watching something foreign. But I have not seen very many Soviet films, with which to compare it.

    I've heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I've wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.

    Replies: @Alfa158, @mal

    I have Stalker and some other Tarkovsky movies in Criterion Blu-Rays. My take is that his work. reflects Tarkovsky himself as much as is it does Russian culture. You could plausibly see similar styles and tone in the work of other avant-garde auteurs like Goddard, Bergman, Jodorowsky, Herzog etc.

  19. @songbird
    Why were Bollywood films popular in Soviet times? Was it some kind of political fix? Or do Russians really like Indian films? And why?

    I watched "Stalker" a while back. From my perspective, it felt like a very alien film. I was completely fascinated by its strangeness - its long takes - even though I don't like that kind of film - what I would consider arthouse. It felt like I was really watching something foreign. But I have not seen very many Soviet films, with which to compare it.

    I've heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I've wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.

    Replies: @Alfa158, @mal

    I’ve heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I’ve wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.

    Are you kidding? Soviet comedy was epic.

    “Ivan Vasilievich changing profession”, ” Irony of Fate”, “Brilliant Hand” – just off the top of my head. They will easily beat any modern Hollywood comedy, and hold the ground against all time best in the West.

    Real crowd pleasers.

    • Agree: kzn
    • Replies: @songbird
    @mal

    Must have been very difficult ideologically for the Soviet Union to compete with Hollywood blockbusters, like Star Wars or Terminator or Aliens. Of course, now the films have gotten dumber and more pozzed, so it is probably less of a problem.

    Have not yet watched a Soviet comedy, but I am very interested in it. I have heard that communist humor has certain characteristics, and I want to see how Soviet humor compares with modern Chinese humor. Rumor is that there are a few NK comedies on Youtube, but I haven't watched one yet.

  20. @Korenchkin
    There is (or used to be) a loophole where 3D films were counted as different from regular films, and so could get a spot in Chinese cinemas, which is why there was an avalanche of 3D gimmicks a few years ago

    Chinese censors (and to a lesser extent the Russian gay propaganda law) are also the only reason American blockbusters don't have more overt woke shit in them, instead it's mostly throwaway scenes that could be edited out/dubbed over for the international versions

    Replies: @Svevlad

    With this, however, I believe, and sincerely hope, this overlap reaches zero (and am deeply unhappy it can’t go in the negative infinity)

    https://theupheaval.substack.com/p/intersectional-imperialism-and-the

    Yes, Wokeism is now officially the most ultra-holy ideology of the Global Cuckistan, to be enforced by utterly annihilating and outright genociding all dissenting populations. Basically, the most insane idea you think they will do, and then make it even worse.

  21. Western cinema depicts even ordinary Soviet or Russians as cold and machine like in their actions.

    This can be seen in the recent Chernobyl series compared to the Russian although not so interesting Chernobyl 1986 that resembles more of a human story.

  22. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Mr. Hack

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US "racist", "gun-addicted" and "not inclusive enough." It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    Being the bicycle might not be good for Americans, I am unsure on this, but it is excellent for "America" and those who gain power from it.

    The dissident right mostly wants to be a spoke, with their own distinct selves, but cut off. I don't think the mainstream right agrees. I think they prefer to bask in the glory of "America." In this context, dissident right doom prophesying is both an attempt to persuade the mainstream right and a cope.

    It isn't that the mainstream right don't understand dissident right facts and arguments, it is that they have a different priority. They want to grill and have glory, as does the mainstream left in their own way. This is why they move together, having little spats on what will accrue the most glory, but always working it out. Much to the seethe of dissidents on both sides.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @mal, @Coconuts

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.

    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the “good guys” speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway – everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America – individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says ‘made in America’. But is sushi an American culture just because there’s a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don’t think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn’t.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn’t really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    @mal


    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway – everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.
     
    This is true, up to the early 2000s the US seemed like the top place to live. I still like to see a Cadillac, Lincoln, Corvette or Ram truck driving along our country roads, and when you see old US cars, and compare Chevrolet Impala or Pontiac Bonneville with Vauxhall Viva or Morris Marina.
    , @utu
    @mal

    In Spartakus good guys which were the slaves spoke with American accent and the bad guys which were slave owners in British accent. And good guys were played by Jewish American actors: Kirk Douglas and Toni Curtis.

    , @Yevardian
    @mal

    Local American culture 'peaked' around the early 20th Century, 1910-40 or so (classic Hollywood, literary activity, authentic and diverse musical traditions etc.), and even then H.L. Mencken accurately diagnosed the key, perhaps only, endearing quality and competitive point of American cultural life worldwide was that of the world´s biggest freakshow circus.

    , @inertial
    @mal

    Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ was a conscious homage to that real peak of American pop culture: the Age of Marylin Monroe. But yes, the 80s were another, smaller peak.

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @mal


    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the “good guys” speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.
     

    Wouldn't that be evidence for the opposite?

    Even though the label still says ‘made in America’. But is sushi an American culture just because there’s a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.
     
    While you're agonising over what fits your label of "Japanese" or "American", someone else is selling a lot of sushi.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally?
     
    US cultural products only seem to fail this way by being too early. Some people take this as evidence that the US is forcing everyone down the same cultural agenda, but I'd say they're just good at getting ahead of the flow.

    I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US?
     
    Bangladeshi peasants don't want "prestige" US films, but I bet they like Fast & Furious.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn’t really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision
     
    It remains a hub because it is a global vision. Or perhaps, because the people making stuff have global vision and see what is coming next.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    , @Beckow
    @mal

    Culture inevitably moves from one form to another. There was a peak period for novels, theatre, movies, TV sitcoms, etc...all are now in the past. Before that there was a peak period for radio, miniatures, sculptures, opera, lives of saints, passion plays. Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.

    US had a sweet spot in he last cultural era with Hollywood, music and TV. It is still well represented in today's culture, but no sane person would claim that it has the same level of dominance. The new genres are unformed and often not even named consistently, so there is an obvious opening for the rest of the world.

    If you look at patterns of cultural diffusion, at the beginning there is always an attempt by all players (countries big and small) to have a part in it. It only consolidates later. We are in early stages. That means that US cultural dominance is vulnerable - US will have to do better than they have so far and the silly homo-gender-racial obsessions are not helping - no matter what the ever conformist and loyal Laxa claims. It is a mud-fight and that's kind of a fun thing. The obvious fact that US seems to want to stop the rest of the world is discouraging - it suggests fear and doubt, cultures like that don't prevail.

    Replies: @Athletic and Whitesplosive

  23. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Mr. Hack

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US "racist", "gun-addicted" and "not inclusive enough." It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    Being the bicycle might not be good for Americans, I am unsure on this, but it is excellent for "America" and those who gain power from it.

    The dissident right mostly wants to be a spoke, with their own distinct selves, but cut off. I don't think the mainstream right agrees. I think they prefer to bask in the glory of "America." In this context, dissident right doom prophesying is both an attempt to persuade the mainstream right and a cope.

    It isn't that the mainstream right don't understand dissident right facts and arguments, it is that they have a different priority. They want to grill and have glory, as does the mainstream left in their own way. This is why they move together, having little spats on what will accrue the most glory, but always working it out. Much to the seethe of dissidents on both sides.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @mal, @Coconuts

    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke. Notice how Chinese propaganda calls the US “racist”, “gun-addicted” and “not inclusive enough.” It can only use US self-criticism to engage. All spokes must travel by the hub, but the US does not need to phrase its propaganda in Chinese terms. The US is the hub.

    These sound a lot like traditional Maoist arguments against the US, the Soviets had some similar ones. (That famous meme of the Statue of Liberty with a lynched black guy hanging from it comes to mind.) Here the situation could be that the US has been behind the curve on a lot of this stuff and is only following the path that countries like Russia and China already took some decades ago.

    The substack article in the link given by Svevlad in message 20 seems to have some nice examples of where the current US line is close to a retread of Communist positions from 50-60 years ago.

    Also I think each country tailors its propaganda to its target audience, China probably uses different messaging to other countries where concepts of this kind don’t resonate as much.

  24. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway – everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    This is true, up to the early 2000s the US seemed like the top place to live. I still like to see a Cadillac, Lincoln, Corvette or Ram truck driving along our country roads, and when you see old US cars, and compare Chevrolet Impala or Pontiac Bonneville with Vauxhall Viva or Morris Marina.

  25. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    Can´t speak for the “Tibet” one (although the poster certainly gives a poor impression), but the last Emperor was quite mediocre, although it did have very nice cinematography and sets.
    The best Chinese film I´ve seen to date (not many) is still “Hardboiled” (SAVE THE BABIES!). The “Infernal Affairs” trilogy was good, although I actually found that for once, the Shart remake, “The Departed”, was better, probably because it was Scorsese.
    In general though, I´ve found Chinese cinema very unimpressive compared to that of Korea or Japan, but then again, that´s probably more due to my own swipple taste than anything, China has the demographics for churning out endless dumb and expensive blockbusters, Japan and Korea not so much.

    Speaking of that Korean “Parasite” film a while back, it was entertaining but nothing special, not to mention many, many things about the script did not make any sense at all, not in an absurdist manner either, more a case big holes in it´s story logic. “Burning” from Korea in the same year was far, far better, although admittedly it doesn´t have as wide of an appeal.

    But I´m the sort of person who enjoys Bela Tarr´s excruciating movies, I guess reiner tor is familiar enough with him, if no one else.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Yevardian

    Martin Scorses heavily promoted the film "The Grandmaster" back in 2013. It was actually directed by Wong Kar-Wai and was nominated at the Academy awards in several categories. You might find it to be an enjoyble film, as I did:

    https://youtu.be/uC5amKLgnFU

  26. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    In Spartakus good guys which were the slaves spoke with American accent and the bad guys which were slave owners in British accent. And good guys were played by Jewish American actors: Kirk Douglas and Toni Curtis.

  27. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    Local American culture ‘peaked’ around the early 20th Century, 1910-40 or so (classic Hollywood, literary activity, authentic and diverse musical traditions etc.), and even then H.L. Mencken accurately diagnosed the key, perhaps only, endearing quality and competitive point of American cultural life worldwide was that of the world´s biggest freakshow circus.

  28. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ was a conscious homage to that real peak of American pop culture: the Age of Marylin Monroe. But yes, the 80s were another, smaller peak.

  29. @Mr. Hack
    @El Dato

    "The Last Emperor" too "US-centric" coming "across as ridiculous" ?? LOL!

    I can see, however, how "Seven Years in Tibet" would have a difficult time making it past the censor's cutting board.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Servant of Gla'aki, @Hapalong Cassidy

    “The Last Emperor” too “US-centric” coming “across as ridiculous” ?? LOL!

    Yeah, that’s a very good film, and one that has almost nothing what-so-ever to do with the USA, lol.

  30. The subliminal message in US movies of the last 30 years is that 99.9% of people are sheep who will run around panicking until a hero or natural leader comes to rescue them. In contrast, the message in Chinese and Russian films seems to be that by working together everyone can contribute to solving problems. The western vs asian societal response to Covid seems to offer proof of a kind.

    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author’s basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis. He assumed that society as a whole will make sacrifices and rally around to solve the problem. If it had been written by a modern western author, the story would have riots in the streets, gun toting lunatics and a flawed person (inevitably a retired and resentful special forces vet) who becomes a singular hero and rescues everyone.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Marshal Marlow

    Yes, the basic notion in a lot of Chinese stories is that while there is often a single hero or heroine, ultimately it is the entire "society" that he or she lived in that helped make it possible. There's a pretty strong "no man is an island" vibe. You often do get a single character who saves the world or the like, but there's a strong thought for parents, teachers, friends, etc who made it possible for this moment to happen, for him to be able to be as strong as he is, and for him to grateful for all that, etc.

    I did an analysis of one game's story not too long ago, in my comments. I can link it if you're interested(or might redo it with updates).

    , @Yevardian
    @Marshal Marlow


    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author’s basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis.
     
    A cousin recently talked up that series very highly, although I still wasn't sure whether it was worth checking out, as he's a physicist and (understandably) has scant interest in any event or topic outside of his field. Although he's probably smarter than I am, his total lack of curiosity about world events was pretty stunning. He didn't even know that our estranged country (several times removed), was nearly exterminated last year, sad!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Marshal Marlow

  31. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    They’re not trying to export at all, so that’s not surprising.

    Japan has an extremely active and actually population animation movie industry right now, but you don’t really hear about it much either, even with a significant American fanbase. It even has “woke”-ish themes that some in the West would like.

    https://www.avclub.com/mobile-suit-gundam-hathaway-reckons-with-the-privilege-1847228242

    But if there’s no effort to localize or export, its not surprising that you won’t hear it. Chinese media being exported right now are all video games, which I think is probably the right way about it, being that it hits a younger audience and generally just seems to work better(Poland’s recent soft power comes from The Witcher, which was originally anchored by the game as well).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    I realize how much fun and exhilarating playing videogames can be, but yet I feel that producing great films is somehow on a higher cultural plane. Creating great films is much more of a way to demonstrate to the world the high cultural level of the civilization being filmed, certainly more than video games can demonstrate. I say this as somebody who in edition to appreciating video games also enjoys pop music, come books and graphic novels. Of course crappy films abound and are just as junky as the lowest denominator pop art.

    Why do you think that the Chinese afford so little importance at self promotion (softpower) by not trying to export their films to the outside world?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad

    , @Levtraro
    @Daniel Chieh

    I think they marketed "Operation Red Sea" and "Red Cliff", both of them very good war movies, with excellent box-office results worldwide. The pace in "Operation Red Sea" is amazing.

    , @Xi-jinping
    @Daniel Chieh

    China is using its national champions like Tencent to set it up for future cultural dominance. Rather than buying up newspapers and TV stations (that would have met opposition in other countries), Tencent is buying up video game companies the world over and nobody is the wiser. This is a clever play to control the mass medium of the future - mainly video games. Tencent is making a bet that video games are the future. We will see if they made a good bet.

  32. @Marshal Marlow
    The subliminal message in US movies of the last 30 years is that 99.9% of people are sheep who will run around panicking until a hero or natural leader comes to rescue them. In contrast, the message in Chinese and Russian films seems to be that by working together everyone can contribute to solving problems. The western vs asian societal response to Covid seems to offer proof of a kind.

    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author's basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis. He assumed that society as a whole will make sacrifices and rally around to solve the problem. If it had been written by a modern western author, the story would have riots in the streets, gun toting lunatics and a flawed person (inevitably a retired and resentful special forces vet) who becomes a singular hero and rescues everyone.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Yevardian

    Yes, the basic notion in a lot of Chinese stories is that while there is often a single hero or heroine, ultimately it is the entire “society” that he or she lived in that helped make it possible. There’s a pretty strong “no man is an island” vibe. You often do get a single character who saves the world or the like, but there’s a strong thought for parents, teachers, friends, etc who made it possible for this moment to happen, for him to be able to be as strong as he is, and for him to grateful for all that, etc.

    I did an analysis of one game’s story not too long ago, in my comments. I can link it if you’re interested(or might redo it with updates).

  33. @Marshal Marlow
    The subliminal message in US movies of the last 30 years is that 99.9% of people are sheep who will run around panicking until a hero or natural leader comes to rescue them. In contrast, the message in Chinese and Russian films seems to be that by working together everyone can contribute to solving problems. The western vs asian societal response to Covid seems to offer proof of a kind.

    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author's basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis. He assumed that society as a whole will make sacrifices and rally around to solve the problem. If it had been written by a modern western author, the story would have riots in the streets, gun toting lunatics and a flawed person (inevitably a retired and resentful special forces vet) who becomes a singular hero and rescues everyone.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Yevardian

    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author’s basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis.

    A cousin recently talked up that series very highly, although I still wasn’t sure whether it was worth checking out, as he’s a physicist and (understandably) has scant interest in any event or topic outside of his field. Although he’s probably smarter than I am, his total lack of curiosity about world events was pretty stunning. He didn’t even know that our estranged country (several times removed), was nearly exterminated last year, sad!

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Yevardian

    Time is only a theoretical concept to a physicist, we haven't yet proved that it exists.

    , @Marshal Marlow
    @Yevardian

    I found the first book's opening chapters a bit hard going because I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations - especially as the tale starts in revolutionary China and naturally there are casual 'everyone knows'-style historical references about that era. However, I really enjoyed it once I got in to the rhythm of the writing and the foreign (to me) perspectives.

    Once I'd finished the first book I dived straight in to the subsequent books in the series, however by the end of the series I think the author was running out of steam.

    Recommended.

    Replies: @Rahan

  34. @Yevardian
    @Marshal Marlow


    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author’s basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis.
     
    A cousin recently talked up that series very highly, although I still wasn't sure whether it was worth checking out, as he's a physicist and (understandably) has scant interest in any event or topic outside of his field. Although he's probably smarter than I am, his total lack of curiosity about world events was pretty stunning. He didn't even know that our estranged country (several times removed), was nearly exterminated last year, sad!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Marshal Marlow

    Time is only a theoretical concept to a physicist, we haven’t yet proved that it exists.

  35. “This seems to largely be a map of cultural closeness to the US.”

    could be a language gap map. and there are english speakers in India from the British occupation, but that’s only like 10% of the population.

    listening to 3 minute american pop songs is one thing, slogging thru 2 hour movies in a foreign language is another – most people won’t do that, even if the movies are relatively good. they’d rather watch crap that they can at least understand. hence bollywood.

    a lot of the dialog in movies doesn’t translate well, even when it’s translated well. that’s why hollywood was mainly sending action movies and sci fi blockbusters abroad.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @prime noticer

    It really depends on sensibilities, I guess.

    We're infamous for subbing everything but stuff meant for kids, for example. Dubbing just makes everything sound dissonant and weird.

    On the other hand, the average westerner is way too busy, or has a way too short attention span/patience for that I guess.

    , @jimmyriddle
    @prime noticer

    American films are dubbed. In Italy, for example, every major Hollwood actor is always dubbed by the same voice actor. So Italians think John Wayne was a basso profundo.

    Replies: @prime noticer

  36. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses?

    For centuries Europeans couldn’t believe that China doesn’t give a crap about them, nor the external world in general. Same for cultural offshoots like Japan and Korea. The West first had to have the industrial revolution, and then literally come to Japan and China in steampunk battle ships, press a futuristic pistol into their heads and say ”Now I’ll make you notice me. Who’s the barbarian now?”

    The moment external pressure abates, these Asian societies snap back to the original self-absorbed condition. Especially China, with it’s separate Internet ecosphere only helping. Sure they love selling their products to the external world, and go visit it as tourists to take some prestige selfies in front of some crumbling amphitheater or castle, but otherwise not so much.

    Contemporary Russian quasi-Hollywood flicks for a good time with a brewski:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011699060/ (Inception-type adventure)https://imgpile.com/images/NmDzv1.png
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629524/ (second Inception-type adventure. Tony Banderas!!111!)https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxrr2.jpg
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8664988/ (Alien-invasion/apocalypse adventure)https://imgpile.com/images/NmbJ3x.png
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8060328/ (Alien contact/disaster adventure)https://imgpile.com/images/NmKjDR.png
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt06054874/ (Pseudo-historical barbarian sword adventure)https://imgpile.com/images/Nmhd4c.jpg
    Modern Russian adventure sci-fi flicks and epic adventure flicks cost on average around $4 million to make. Make of that what you will.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @melanf
    @Rahan

    Here is a decent Russian comic film (for two weeks it was the world leader at Netflix)

    https://www.netflix.com/ru-en/title/81438809

    https://kg-portal.ru/img/98387/main_2x.jpg

    Here is the trailer in English, I have an inverted one on my computer for unknown reasons
    https://youtu.be/cuSluHJGs9k

    The unversed version can be viewed at the link to Netflix

    , @sher singh
    @Rahan

    Furious name in Russian is Legenda o Kolovrate, or Legend of the Swastika. :)

    Replies: @Rahan

    , @Alfa158
    @Rahan

    The Attraction movie had a budget of 300 million rubles, or 4 million dollars. So the weakness of the ruble is one factor; everyone involved basically gets paid a lot less. Similarly, the Russian defense budget in dollars is a measly 46 billion.
    People who don’t have it as cushy as we do will work smarter, more efficiently and harder. When the 4A gaming studio was making the first of the superb Metro 2033 games, they had just 40 employees in a shabby office in Kiev, crowded around card tables and sitting on folding metal chairs. The employee parking lot had only four cars because almost none of the designers could afford one.

  37. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    They're not trying to export at all, so that's not surprising.

    Japan has an extremely active and actually population animation movie industry right now, but you don't really hear about it much either, even with a significant American fanbase. It even has "woke"-ish themes that some in the West would like.

    https://www.avclub.com/mobile-suit-gundam-hathaway-reckons-with-the-privilege-1847228242

    But if there's no effort to localize or export, its not surprising that you won't hear it. Chinese media being exported right now are all video games, which I think is probably the right way about it, being that it hits a younger audience and generally just seems to work better(Poland's recent soft power comes from The Witcher, which was originally anchored by the game as well).

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Levtraro, @Xi-jinping

    I realize how much fun and exhilarating playing videogames can be, but yet I feel that producing great films is somehow on a higher cultural plane. Creating great films is much more of a way to demonstrate to the world the high cultural level of the civilization being filmed, certainly more than video games can demonstrate. I say this as somebody who in edition to appreciating video games also enjoys pop music, come books and graphic novels. Of course crappy films abound and are just as junky as the lowest denominator pop art.

    Why do you think that the Chinese afford so little importance at self promotion (softpower) by not trying to export their films to the outside world?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    As Rahan already said, same reason why the Japanese don't. It's not that they don't care about the Western world, it's just of very tertiary importance to the domestic market. They'd be far more interested in selling to the Asian market first.

    I don't know about "high cultural plane", the video game difference is that it has higher fan engagement so it forms a community distinct from nationality. You're making it into a national thing but it's really more about a company and its own fanbase community; you can't do that with movies, there's not that tight communication between director and viewers.

    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it's really more about the engagement and community than anything.

    Arguably we may indeed be moving into an age of the reduced prominence of mass media, and more into smaller groups with shared niche interests. I might have to think about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Svevlad
    @Mr. Hack

    Many games are surprisingly artistic. Certainly not hyper-popular like crappy yearly shooters, but still pretty good.

    For example - American McGee's Alice franchise. The games look amazing, have intriguing plots, and are just very... unique in general. On the other hand, their unpopularity can be blamed squarely on EA trying to stuff what's probably, ironically, the only "artsy" game published by them, under the rug.

    It's a pretty young medium still, though. It will develop further, especially when the current bubble of cash-grab garbage pops.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  38. @Yevardian
    @Marshal Marlow


    I recently read a series of Chinese sci-fi novels (The Three Body Problem series), and I was surprised by the author’s basic assumption about how society would function in a crisis.
     
    A cousin recently talked up that series very highly, although I still wasn't sure whether it was worth checking out, as he's a physicist and (understandably) has scant interest in any event or topic outside of his field. Although he's probably smarter than I am, his total lack of curiosity about world events was pretty stunning. He didn't even know that our estranged country (several times removed), was nearly exterminated last year, sad!

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Marshal Marlow

    I found the first book’s opening chapters a bit hard going because I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations – especially as the tale starts in revolutionary China and naturally there are casual ‘everyone knows’-style historical references about that era. However, I really enjoyed it once I got in to the rhythm of the writing and the foreign (to me) perspectives.

    Once I’d finished the first book I dived straight in to the subsequent books in the series, however by the end of the series I think the author was running out of steam.

    Recommended.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @Marshal Marlow


    I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations
     
    Classical Western lit, including adventure lit (Ivanhoe, 3 Musketeers, Jack London etc) frequently addresses the reader, and the act of storytelling is like an interaction between equals -- the writer and the reader.

    Today there is the notion that the reader must be constantly submerged in a hypnotic state and if he ever resurfaces then "the writer is doing it wrong". Same for music appreciation and film appreciation. This is an important symptom of the overall drift of the status of the westerner from "autonomous citizen" to "semi-conscious consumer bio-unit".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  39. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    I realize how much fun and exhilarating playing videogames can be, but yet I feel that producing great films is somehow on a higher cultural plane. Creating great films is much more of a way to demonstrate to the world the high cultural level of the civilization being filmed, certainly more than video games can demonstrate. I say this as somebody who in edition to appreciating video games also enjoys pop music, come books and graphic novels. Of course crappy films abound and are just as junky as the lowest denominator pop art.

    Why do you think that the Chinese afford so little importance at self promotion (softpower) by not trying to export their films to the outside world?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad

    As Rahan already said, same reason why the Japanese don’t. It’s not that they don’t care about the Western world, it’s just of very tertiary importance to the domestic market. They’d be far more interested in selling to the Asian market first.

    I don’t know about “high cultural plane”, the video game difference is that it has higher fan engagement so it forms a community distinct from nationality. You’re making it into a national thing but it’s really more about a company and its own fanbase community; you can’t do that with movies, there’s not that tight communication between director and viewers.

    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it’s really more about the engagement and community than anything.

    Arguably we may indeed be moving into an age of the reduced prominence of mass media, and more into smaller groups with shared niche interests. I might have to think about it.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    You might be onto something. Even the way television channels are presented today, they're already broken down into many different categories, presented for a specific niche audience (sports, cooking, gaming, cars, science fiction, noir and old films, news, travel etc.).

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  40. @Yevardian
    @Mr. Hack

    Can´t speak for the "Tibet" one (although the poster certainly gives a poor impression), but the last Emperor was quite mediocre, although it did have very nice cinematography and sets.
    The best Chinese film I´ve seen to date (not many) is still "Hardboiled" (SAVE THE BABIES!). The "Infernal Affairs" trilogy was good, although I actually found that for once, the Shart remake, "The Departed", was better, probably because it was Scorsese.
    In general though, I´ve found Chinese cinema very unimpressive compared to that of Korea or Japan, but then again, that´s probably more due to my own swipple taste than anything, China has the demographics for churning out endless dumb and expensive blockbusters, Japan and Korea not so much.

    Speaking of that Korean "Parasite" film a while back, it was entertaining but nothing special, not to mention many, many things about the script did not make any sense at all, not in an absurdist manner either, more a case big holes in it´s story logic. "Burning" from Korea in the same year was far, far better, although admittedly it doesn´t have as wide of an appeal.

    But I´m the sort of person who enjoys Bela Tarr´s excruciating movies, I guess reiner tor is familiar enough with him, if no one else.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Martin Scorses heavily promoted the film “The Grandmaster” back in 2013. It was actually directed by Wong Kar-Wai and was nominated at the Academy awards in several categories. You might find it to be an enjoyble film, as I did:

  41. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    As Rahan already said, same reason why the Japanese don't. It's not that they don't care about the Western world, it's just of very tertiary importance to the domestic market. They'd be far more interested in selling to the Asian market first.

    I don't know about "high cultural plane", the video game difference is that it has higher fan engagement so it forms a community distinct from nationality. You're making it into a national thing but it's really more about a company and its own fanbase community; you can't do that with movies, there's not that tight communication between director and viewers.

    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it's really more about the engagement and community than anything.

    Arguably we may indeed be moving into an age of the reduced prominence of mass media, and more into smaller groups with shared niche interests. I might have to think about it.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    You might be onto something. Even the way television channels are presented today, they’re already broken down into many different categories, presented for a specific niche audience (sports, cooking, gaming, cars, science fiction, noir and old films, news, travel etc.).

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I find the notion of "high cultural plane" to be cringey as heck, I have to admit. I'm a writer and I spent an inordinate amount of time engaged with art in detail(in fact, I probably should start a blog, given that I actually make notes on everything), but I don't have any precise idea what "culture" should mean beyond a set of mores and expectations for solving problems in a community. Whenever art tries too hard to be "cultured," in my opinion, its pretentious and frankly, stupid.

    One of my favorite movies is probably the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its a great movie, well acted with what is basically a simple revenge story but given great significance given the Civil War context - proper appreciation of the movie ultimately requires that the viewer have some awareness of Civil War. A lot of the spaghetti Westerns were great - they had excellent key visuals: a Fistful of Dollars used facial closeups, almost like still images, which created an excellent mood. Is that "culture?"

    Is Lord of the Rings "culture" because Tolkien is an astoundingly meticulous craftmans who wrote and rewrote an universe for twenty or more years of his life? I like Robert Howard's incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers is more cultured than Lovecraft's intricate worlds?

    TV series are able to develop characters much better over a period of time than movies, which are quite time bound, but movies are able to place more effort and money in a compressed spectacle. Is the improved opportunities for character development in a series an evidence of its increased culture? Is the precision of direction and the ability to splurge a vast spectacle evidence of culture?

    I think it is ultimately a meaningless term, when used in that context.

    Ultimately, I just recognize mediums. Each medium has its strength and weaknesses. Just tell a good story and let the audience judge. If I was going to be arbitrary and difficult, then the greatest "culture plane" has to be the Greek play(Oedipus Rex is a beautiful example of a trilogy) and it is tragically playwatching seems not a very popular form of entertainment at all, despite the perishability of the performance, the interaction between audience and actors, and the depth of expression needed to convey without the advantage of pounding music or camera tricks to tell the audience what to feel.

    But yeah, just tell a story. Leave "culture" for history to judge.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Agathoklis, @Mr. Hack

  42. @Marshal Marlow
    @Yevardian

    I found the first book's opening chapters a bit hard going because I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations - especially as the tale starts in revolutionary China and naturally there are casual 'everyone knows'-style historical references about that era. However, I really enjoyed it once I got in to the rhythm of the writing and the foreign (to me) perspectives.

    Once I'd finished the first book I dived straight in to the subsequent books in the series, however by the end of the series I think the author was running out of steam.

    Recommended.

    Replies: @Rahan

    I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations

    Classical Western lit, including adventure lit (Ivanhoe, 3 Musketeers, Jack London etc) frequently addresses the reader, and the act of storytelling is like an interaction between equals — the writer and the reader.

    Today there is the notion that the reader must be constantly submerged in a hypnotic state and if he ever resurfaces then “the writer is doing it wrong”. Same for music appreciation and film appreciation. This is an important symptom of the overall drift of the status of the westerner from “autonomous citizen” to “semi-conscious consumer bio-unit”.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes), and I still think that's the way that a good book should be read; at least, that's what I think Seneca would have opined so. It should be an act of co-creation between author and reader, and in that depth of engagement, a kind of beauty.

    The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.
    - Seneca

    Replies: @Marshal Marlow, @Rahan

  43. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    You might be onto something. Even the way television channels are presented today, they're already broken down into many different categories, presented for a specific niche audience (sports, cooking, gaming, cars, science fiction, noir and old films, news, travel etc.).

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I find the notion of “high cultural plane” to be cringey as heck, I have to admit. I’m a writer and I spent an inordinate amount of time engaged with art in detail(in fact, I probably should start a blog, given that I actually make notes on everything), but I don’t have any precise idea what “culture” should mean beyond a set of mores and expectations for solving problems in a community. Whenever art tries too hard to be “cultured,” in my opinion, its pretentious and frankly, stupid.

    One of my favorite movies is probably the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its a great movie, well acted with what is basically a simple revenge story but given great significance given the Civil War context – proper appreciation of the movie ultimately requires that the viewer have some awareness of Civil War. A lot of the spaghetti Westerns were great – they had excellent key visuals: a Fistful of Dollars used facial closeups, almost like still images, which created an excellent mood. Is that “culture?”

    Is Lord of the Rings “culture” because Tolkien is an astoundingly meticulous craftmans who wrote and rewrote an universe for twenty or more years of his life? I like Robert Howard’s incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers is more cultured than Lovecraft’s intricate worlds?

    TV series are able to develop characters much better over a period of time than movies, which are quite time bound, but movies are able to place more effort and money in a compressed spectacle. Is the improved opportunities for character development in a series an evidence of its increased culture? Is the precision of direction and the ability to splurge a vast spectacle evidence of culture?

    I think it is ultimately a meaningless term, when used in that context.

    Ultimately, I just recognize mediums. Each medium has its strength and weaknesses. Just tell a good story and let the audience judge. If I was going to be arbitrary and difficult, then the greatest “culture plane” has to be the Greek play(Oedipus Rex is a beautiful example of a trilogy) and it is tragically playwatching seems not a very popular form of entertainment at all, despite the perishability of the performance, the interaction between audience and actors, and the depth of expression needed to convey without the advantage of pounding music or camera tricks to tell the audience what to feel.

    But yeah, just tell a story. Leave “culture” for history to judge.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @Daniel Chieh

    Wrote an answer, somehow posted it as an answer to another post.
    Please check out comment 47, cough.

    , @Agathoklis
    @Daniel Chieh

    Hate to be pedantic in response to an otherwise good post, the only surviving trilogy of a Greek tragedy is the Oresteia by Aeschylus performed in 458 BC where he also won the first prize. Unfortunately, we only have a few lines of the accompanying satyr play, Proteus. Sophocles's three Theban plays are often categorised as a trilogy but they were performed at different times and do not form a continuous narrative.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it’s really more about the engagement and community than anything.
     
    I'm sure that you're currently much more immersed into video gaming than I am (I'm actually not currently involved at all), but there was a time where I really "got into it" and played quite a bit. Our "go to games" were mostly from the very exciting "Need for Speed" franchise, Golf games and an occasional romp with Lara of the popular "Tomb Raider" franchise. Before this period, I had the opportunity to play some" Madden NFL Football" and the strange but addicting "Final Fantasy".

    To me, quite frankly, video games are and will probably remain in the final analysis "games", somewhere between chess and a trip to your local amusement park (very wide parameters, I'll agree!). Sure, the games have evolved into almost real visual time machines, where much attention is given to historical accuracy of period dress, furniture, clothing, buildings, weaponry etc. etc...but in the end these are all props to make the games more interesting and alluring. Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings (?)

    In contrast, for me, great films that add cultural historical value are to be located somewhere between great painting and great novels. Some of the greatest films are of the vast historical/story genre, like "War and Peace", "Cleopatra", "Ben Hur", "Qui Vadis"...even films where the plot is related to less lofty historical themes can be great, for they open up a world that explores the day to day lives of ordinary people. Many, many great novels have been adapted for screen purposes.

    Please don't feel insulted by anything that I've written here, for like you, "I still need to think about it" " I think that we're having a very interesting conversation here, and hopefully we'll continue "thinking about it". How to look at video gaming as true and great art?...

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @kzn

  44. @Rahan
    @Marshal Marlow


    I was taken out of the unfolding story by my preconditioned western expectations
     
    Classical Western lit, including adventure lit (Ivanhoe, 3 Musketeers, Jack London etc) frequently addresses the reader, and the act of storytelling is like an interaction between equals -- the writer and the reader.

    Today there is the notion that the reader must be constantly submerged in a hypnotic state and if he ever resurfaces then "the writer is doing it wrong". Same for music appreciation and film appreciation. This is an important symptom of the overall drift of the status of the westerner from "autonomous citizen" to "semi-conscious consumer bio-unit".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes), and I still think that’s the way that a good book should be read; at least, that’s what I think Seneca would have opined so. It should be an act of co-creation between author and reader, and in that depth of engagement, a kind of beauty.

    The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.
    – Seneca

    • Thanks: Rahan, Voltarde
    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
    @Daniel Chieh


    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes)
     
    I really like this idea, and wish I'd have done it as a teenager onward.
    , @Rahan
    @Daniel Chieh


    I like Robert Howard’s incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers
     
    Another reason perhaps for some people to sit down and learn Russian: to access the additional 150+ adventures of Conan, Kull, and Red Sonja which Russian writers have produced for their home market. Mostly by respected local masters of fantasy and sci-fi.

    https://imgpile.com/images/NrIUEC.jpg

    https://imgpile.com/images/NrI7Cj.jpg

    Sonja
    https://imgpile.com/images/NruIN2.jpg

    Kull
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nru4mM.jpg

    EDIT: This was supposed to be an answer to post 43

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  45. @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes), and I still think that's the way that a good book should be read; at least, that's what I think Seneca would have opined so. It should be an act of co-creation between author and reader, and in that depth of engagement, a kind of beauty.

    The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.
    - Seneca

    Replies: @Marshal Marlow, @Rahan

    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes)

    I really like this idea, and wish I’d have done it as a teenager onward.

  46. @Rahan
    @Mr. Hack


    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses?
     
    For centuries Europeans couldn't believe that China doesn't give a crap about them, nor the external world in general. Same for cultural offshoots like Japan and Korea. The West first had to have the industrial revolution, and then literally come to Japan and China in steampunk battle ships, press a futuristic pistol into their heads and say ''Now I'll make you notice me. Who's the barbarian now?''

    The moment external pressure abates, these Asian societies snap back to the original self-absorbed condition. Especially China, with it's separate Internet ecosphere only helping. Sure they love selling their products to the external world, and go visit it as tourists to take some prestige selfies in front of some crumbling amphitheater or castle, but otherwise not so much.

    Contemporary Russian quasi-Hollywood flicks for a good time with a brewski:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011699060/ (Inception-type adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCvHN.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmDzv1.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCxJo.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629524/ (second Inception-type adventure. Tony Banderas!!111!)
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxcok.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxrr2.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmxXiX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8664988/ (Alien-invasion/apocalypse adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmT9Hl.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmbJ3x.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdOFj.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8060328/ (Alien contact/disaster adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKb5G.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKjDR.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmMzPX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt06054874/ (Pseudo-historical barbarian sword adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdEbw.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmhd4c.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmhLZG.jpg

    Modern Russian adventure sci-fi flicks and epic adventure flicks cost on average around $4 million to make. Make of that what you will.

    Replies: @melanf, @sher singh, @Alfa158

    Here is a decent Russian comic film (for two weeks it was the world leader at Netflix)

    https://www.netflix.com/ru-en/title/81438809

    Here is the trailer in English, I have an inverted one on my computer for unknown reasons

    The unversed version can be viewed at the link to Netflix

    • Thanks: Rahan
  47. @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I actively make notes and comment on novels and books when I read it to this day(often I address the writer, as if talking to him, in my notes), and I still think that's the way that a good book should be read; at least, that's what I think Seneca would have opined so. It should be an act of co-creation between author and reader, and in that depth of engagement, a kind of beauty.

    The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.
    - Seneca

    Replies: @Marshal Marlow, @Rahan

    I like Robert Howard’s incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers

    Another reason perhaps for some people to sit down and learn Russian: to access the additional 150+ adventures of Conan, Kull, and Red Sonja which Russian writers have produced for their home market. Mostly by respected local masters of fantasy and sci-fi.

    Sonja
    Kull
    EDIT: This was supposed to be an answer to post 43

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I'd be curious to see how he is portrayed there. There's always been something very charming about him and the way that Howard writes his universe in general.

    Then the court waxed wroth, and the judge talked a great deal about my duty to the state, and society, and other things I did not understand, and bade me tell where my friend had flown. By this time I was becoming wrathful myself, for I had explained my position... the judge squalled that I had shown contempt for the court, and that I should be hurled into a dungeon to rot until I betrayed my friend. So then, seeing they were all mad, I drew my sword and cleft the judge's skull; then I cut my way out of the court...

    Just overall, he was outstanding, especially for a writer of his time(and I read quite a bit of pulp from his era).


    Among the trees reared a broken dome-like structure, built of gigantic blocks of the peculiar ironlike green stone found only on the islands of Vilayet. It seemed incredible that human hands could have shaped and placed them, and certainly it was beyond human power to have overthrown the structure they formed. But the thunderbolt had splintered the ton-heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.
     
    A good tell for me has been to read it aloud - there's surprisingly a lot of fiction, even good fiction, that doesn't handle it well(like Zelasky's Nine Princes in Amber), but the mark of outstanding prose is that it can convert to an oral form with not only function, but beauty. Another thing, too, is the aspect of age - he's avoided almost every idiom that we usually use(who would say "reared a broken dome-like structure" and "overthrown" in the form of "destroy" is not typically used for material circumstance), so it has this freshness, as if seeing the same language with new eyes.

    I'd love it if the Russian authors have the same degree of wordsmithing placed into their Conans. Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald's style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    Though, I remember in an interview, he said that he believes that his life's greatest legacy has be the abrupt cessation of parents, worldwide, from naming their girls Lolita.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack, @Brás Cubas

  48. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I find the notion of "high cultural plane" to be cringey as heck, I have to admit. I'm a writer and I spent an inordinate amount of time engaged with art in detail(in fact, I probably should start a blog, given that I actually make notes on everything), but I don't have any precise idea what "culture" should mean beyond a set of mores and expectations for solving problems in a community. Whenever art tries too hard to be "cultured," in my opinion, its pretentious and frankly, stupid.

    One of my favorite movies is probably the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its a great movie, well acted with what is basically a simple revenge story but given great significance given the Civil War context - proper appreciation of the movie ultimately requires that the viewer have some awareness of Civil War. A lot of the spaghetti Westerns were great - they had excellent key visuals: a Fistful of Dollars used facial closeups, almost like still images, which created an excellent mood. Is that "culture?"

    Is Lord of the Rings "culture" because Tolkien is an astoundingly meticulous craftmans who wrote and rewrote an universe for twenty or more years of his life? I like Robert Howard's incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers is more cultured than Lovecraft's intricate worlds?

    TV series are able to develop characters much better over a period of time than movies, which are quite time bound, but movies are able to place more effort and money in a compressed spectacle. Is the improved opportunities for character development in a series an evidence of its increased culture? Is the precision of direction and the ability to splurge a vast spectacle evidence of culture?

    I think it is ultimately a meaningless term, when used in that context.

    Ultimately, I just recognize mediums. Each medium has its strength and weaknesses. Just tell a good story and let the audience judge. If I was going to be arbitrary and difficult, then the greatest "culture plane" has to be the Greek play(Oedipus Rex is a beautiful example of a trilogy) and it is tragically playwatching seems not a very popular form of entertainment at all, despite the perishability of the performance, the interaction between audience and actors, and the depth of expression needed to convey without the advantage of pounding music or camera tricks to tell the audience what to feel.

    But yeah, just tell a story. Leave "culture" for history to judge.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Agathoklis, @Mr. Hack

    Wrote an answer, somehow posted it as an answer to another post.
    Please check out comment 47, cough.

  49. @Rahan
    @Mr. Hack


    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses?
     
    For centuries Europeans couldn't believe that China doesn't give a crap about them, nor the external world in general. Same for cultural offshoots like Japan and Korea. The West first had to have the industrial revolution, and then literally come to Japan and China in steampunk battle ships, press a futuristic pistol into their heads and say ''Now I'll make you notice me. Who's the barbarian now?''

    The moment external pressure abates, these Asian societies snap back to the original self-absorbed condition. Especially China, with it's separate Internet ecosphere only helping. Sure they love selling their products to the external world, and go visit it as tourists to take some prestige selfies in front of some crumbling amphitheater or castle, but otherwise not so much.

    Contemporary Russian quasi-Hollywood flicks for a good time with a brewski:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011699060/ (Inception-type adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCvHN.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmDzv1.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCxJo.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629524/ (second Inception-type adventure. Tony Banderas!!111!)
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxcok.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxrr2.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmxXiX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8664988/ (Alien-invasion/apocalypse adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmT9Hl.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmbJ3x.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdOFj.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8060328/ (Alien contact/disaster adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKb5G.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKjDR.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmMzPX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt06054874/ (Pseudo-historical barbarian sword adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdEbw.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmhd4c.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmhLZG.jpg

    Modern Russian adventure sci-fi flicks and epic adventure flicks cost on average around $4 million to make. Make of that what you will.

    Replies: @melanf, @sher singh, @Alfa158

    Furious name in Russian is Legenda o Kolovrate, or Legend of the Swastika. 🙂

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @sher singh

    You can see it on his shield, yup.

  50. @sher singh
    @Rahan

    Furious name in Russian is Legenda o Kolovrate, or Legend of the Swastika. :)

    Replies: @Rahan

    You can see it on his shield, yup.

  51. @Alfa158
    I have recently been on a binge of watching modern Russian movies, and I would say they would do fairly well at the US box office if they were allowed to be properly distributed.
    I got on this kick after being impressed by the Metro games that were made in the Ukraine and are based on a series of Russian science fiction novels. First rate graphics, compelling story line, and going by the credits, somehow made with a fraction of the staff of a Western video game.
    Through streaming services like IMDB, Tubi, Pluto etc., I am finding Russian movies, mostly science fiction, that have English overdubs or captions. Like the video games; first class CGI, a good story line that seems to assume an audience with a higher average IQ than that for Hollywood productions, attractive performers, excellent cinematography. The only thing that could be a drawback is that the dialogue can seem stilted and hokey to audiences raised on cynicism and nihilism. As a side benefit it is intriguing getting even a cinematically filtered view of Russian life since we get so little exposure to what life is really like in Russia.
    I think that if widely distributed these film could do reasonably well in fly-over Red country. The problem is that as pointed out by other commenters, these movies are fatally un-woke for the (((film distribution system))). As expected, almost every actor is white with maybe some Tartar or Siberian heritage, there are no visible gays or trannies. The female characters are often brave, resourceful and plucky, but they aren’t 110 pound Mary Sues who can punch out multiple 200 pound Commandos. The characters look like Midwestern Americans and the plots look like 1950’s movies enhanced by state of the art CGI. The American entertainment industry will burn down their companies and commit mass suicide before they would let movies like this get broad distribution and marketing in cinemas or high viewership cable channels.
    (BTW, one question I have is why do so many of these movies star Rinal Mukhametov, is he the Tom Hanks of Russian cinema or something?)

    Replies: @Rahan, @kzn

    I think that if widely distributed these film could do reasonably well in fly-over Red country. The problem is that as pointed out by other commenters, these movies are fatally un-woke for the (((film distribution system))). As expected, almost every actor is white with maybe some Tartar or Siberian heritage, there are no visible gays or trannies. The female characters are often brave, resourceful and plucky, but they aren’t 110 pound Mary Sues who can punch out multiple 200 pound Commandos. The characters look like Midwestern Americans and the plots look like 1950’s movies enhanced by state of the art CGI.

    Delightful summary, thanks!

  52. @prime noticer
    "This seems to largely be a map of cultural closeness to the US."

    could be a language gap map. and there are english speakers in India from the British occupation, but that's only like 10% of the population.

    listening to 3 minute american pop songs is one thing, slogging thru 2 hour movies in a foreign language is another - most people won't do that, even if the movies are relatively good. they'd rather watch crap that they can at least understand. hence bollywood.

    a lot of the dialog in movies doesn't translate well, even when it's translated well. that's why hollywood was mainly sending action movies and sci fi blockbusters abroad.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @jimmyriddle

    It really depends on sensibilities, I guess.

    We’re infamous for subbing everything but stuff meant for kids, for example. Dubbing just makes everything sound dissonant and weird.

    On the other hand, the average westerner is way too busy, or has a way too short attention span/patience for that I guess.

  53. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    I realize how much fun and exhilarating playing videogames can be, but yet I feel that producing great films is somehow on a higher cultural plane. Creating great films is much more of a way to demonstrate to the world the high cultural level of the civilization being filmed, certainly more than video games can demonstrate. I say this as somebody who in edition to appreciating video games also enjoys pop music, come books and graphic novels. Of course crappy films abound and are just as junky as the lowest denominator pop art.

    Why do you think that the Chinese afford so little importance at self promotion (softpower) by not trying to export their films to the outside world?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad

    Many games are surprisingly artistic. Certainly not hyper-popular like crappy yearly shooters, but still pretty good.

    For example – American McGee’s Alice franchise. The games look amazing, have intriguing plots, and are just very… unique in general. On the other hand, their unpopularity can be blamed squarely on EA trying to stuff what’s probably, ironically, the only “artsy” game published by them, under the rug.

    It’s a pretty young medium still, though. It will develop further, especially when the current bubble of cash-grab garbage pops.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Svevlad

    Planescape: Torment is a work of literary art, but something like Detroit: Become Human also shows what the media can be in terms of cinematic storytelling.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32Np9LKI1Vg&t=55s

  54. @AKAHorace
    Interesting to see how Hong Kong is much more similar to the west in tastes compared to mainland China.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Being in the Anglosphere (and having much laxer censorship laws) “helps”.

  55. Some of the distinctness in cinema is about inheriting the fruits of Hong Kong’s Cantonese film industry which stayed relevant until the mid-2000s when much of the actors, directors and writers started to approach the mainland Chinese market and ended up converging with their norms, while adding a distinct outlook that is way less influenced by American cultural trends of the last 10-15 years. The way the film industry is “earning their RMB” eventually alienated much of the younger generation who elevates identity signalling above much else, disowning anything that is suspected of “licking the Commies”. They mostly turn to Japanese/Korean pop culture (I am more of an anime-ish guy)

    I’m not much of a movie-watcher myself except for some weekend flicks shown on TV, when I was younger. Thoroly enjoyed Stephen Chow’s comedies, particularly Hail the Judge, maybe because of its social awareness. A personal observation: TVB no longer shows From Beijing with Love for obvious reasons.

  56. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I find the notion of "high cultural plane" to be cringey as heck, I have to admit. I'm a writer and I spent an inordinate amount of time engaged with art in detail(in fact, I probably should start a blog, given that I actually make notes on everything), but I don't have any precise idea what "culture" should mean beyond a set of mores and expectations for solving problems in a community. Whenever art tries too hard to be "cultured," in my opinion, its pretentious and frankly, stupid.

    One of my favorite movies is probably the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its a great movie, well acted with what is basically a simple revenge story but given great significance given the Civil War context - proper appreciation of the movie ultimately requires that the viewer have some awareness of Civil War. A lot of the spaghetti Westerns were great - they had excellent key visuals: a Fistful of Dollars used facial closeups, almost like still images, which created an excellent mood. Is that "culture?"

    Is Lord of the Rings "culture" because Tolkien is an astoundingly meticulous craftmans who wrote and rewrote an universe for twenty or more years of his life? I like Robert Howard's incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers is more cultured than Lovecraft's intricate worlds?

    TV series are able to develop characters much better over a period of time than movies, which are quite time bound, but movies are able to place more effort and money in a compressed spectacle. Is the improved opportunities for character development in a series an evidence of its increased culture? Is the precision of direction and the ability to splurge a vast spectacle evidence of culture?

    I think it is ultimately a meaningless term, when used in that context.

    Ultimately, I just recognize mediums. Each medium has its strength and weaknesses. Just tell a good story and let the audience judge. If I was going to be arbitrary and difficult, then the greatest "culture plane" has to be the Greek play(Oedipus Rex is a beautiful example of a trilogy) and it is tragically playwatching seems not a very popular form of entertainment at all, despite the perishability of the performance, the interaction between audience and actors, and the depth of expression needed to convey without the advantage of pounding music or camera tricks to tell the audience what to feel.

    But yeah, just tell a story. Leave "culture" for history to judge.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Agathoklis, @Mr. Hack

    Hate to be pedantic in response to an otherwise good post, the only surviving trilogy of a Greek tragedy is the Oresteia by Aeschylus performed in 458 BC where he also won the first prize. Unfortunately, we only have a few lines of the accompanying satyr play, Proteus. Sophocles’s three Theban plays are often categorised as a trilogy but they were performed at different times and do not form a continuous narrative.

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Agathoklis

    Yeah, "shared universe" is probably more precise. I actually read Antigone first, with no idea that it was related to Oepedius Rex and it existed perfectly fine as an independent work.

    Replies: @Agathoklis

  57. @Agathoklis
    @Daniel Chieh

    Hate to be pedantic in response to an otherwise good post, the only surviving trilogy of a Greek tragedy is the Oresteia by Aeschylus performed in 458 BC where he also won the first prize. Unfortunately, we only have a few lines of the accompanying satyr play, Proteus. Sophocles's three Theban plays are often categorised as a trilogy but they were performed at different times and do not form a continuous narrative.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Yeah, “shared universe” is probably more precise. I actually read Antigone first, with no idea that it was related to Oepedius Rex and it existed perfectly fine as an independent work.

    • Replies: @Agathoklis
    @Daniel Chieh

    Antigone is a great introduction - one of the most well known and one of the best. The famous Ode to Man sung by the Chorus is fantastic warning to Man.

    Here is a spoken translation by Paul Woodruff. It begins at 16.17 and goes to about 20.11.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSnfzgN7QfA

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  58. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    They're not trying to export at all, so that's not surprising.

    Japan has an extremely active and actually population animation movie industry right now, but you don't really hear about it much either, even with a significant American fanbase. It even has "woke"-ish themes that some in the West would like.

    https://www.avclub.com/mobile-suit-gundam-hathaway-reckons-with-the-privilege-1847228242

    But if there's no effort to localize or export, its not surprising that you won't hear it. Chinese media being exported right now are all video games, which I think is probably the right way about it, being that it hits a younger audience and generally just seems to work better(Poland's recent soft power comes from The Witcher, which was originally anchored by the game as well).

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Levtraro, @Xi-jinping

    I think they marketed “Operation Red Sea” and “Red Cliff”, both of them very good war movies, with excellent box-office results worldwide. The pace in “Operation Red Sea” is amazing.

  59. @Daniel Chieh
    @Agathoklis

    Yeah, "shared universe" is probably more precise. I actually read Antigone first, with no idea that it was related to Oepedius Rex and it existed perfectly fine as an independent work.

    Replies: @Agathoklis

    Antigone is a great introduction – one of the most well known and one of the best. The famous Ode to Man sung by the Chorus is fantastic warning to Man.

    Here is a spoken translation by Paul Woodruff. It begins at 16.17 and goes to about 20.11.

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Agathoklis

    The chorus is excellent. The exploration of Law in Antigone - the notion of the conflict between the Law of Man and the Law of Gods was probably the first introduction to the concept(I was very young, maybe 12 or 13), and its been one that has considerably influenced my thinking. It probably led me down my entire interest in storytelling, and while I promptly read the great English plays, and appreciated them, I've never found that they had quite the same sense of depth.

    Ultimately, I appreciated it enough that I went to Greece, I think in 2006 or so, I left roses at the Hill of the Muses near the Acropolis. No idea if that was the right thing to do, but it felt right.

  60. @Rahan
    @Daniel Chieh


    I like Robert Howard’s incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers
     
    Another reason perhaps for some people to sit down and learn Russian: to access the additional 150+ adventures of Conan, Kull, and Red Sonja which Russian writers have produced for their home market. Mostly by respected local masters of fantasy and sci-fi.

    https://imgpile.com/images/NrIUEC.jpg

    https://imgpile.com/images/NrI7Cj.jpg

    Sonja
    https://imgpile.com/images/NruIN2.jpg

    Kull
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nru4mM.jpg

    EDIT: This was supposed to be an answer to post 43

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I’d be curious to see how he is portrayed there. There’s always been something very charming about him and the way that Howard writes his universe in general.

    Then the court waxed wroth, and the judge talked a great deal about my duty to the state, and society, and other things I did not understand, and bade me tell where my friend had flown. By this time I was becoming wrathful myself, for I had explained my position… the judge squalled that I had shown contempt for the court, and that I should be hurled into a dungeon to rot until I betrayed my friend. So then, seeing they were all mad, I drew my sword and cleft the judge’s skull; then I cut my way out of the court…

    Just overall, he was outstanding, especially for a writer of his time(and I read quite a bit of pulp from his era).

    Among the trees reared a broken dome-like structure, built of gigantic blocks of the peculiar ironlike green stone found only on the islands of Vilayet. It seemed incredible that human hands could have shaped and placed them, and certainly it was beyond human power to have overthrown the structure they formed. But the thunderbolt had splintered the ton-heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.

    A good tell for me has been to read it aloud – there’s surprisingly a lot of fiction, even good fiction, that doesn’t handle it well(like Zelasky’s Nine Princes in Amber), but the mark of outstanding prose is that it can convert to an oral form with not only function, but beauty. Another thing, too, is the aspect of age – he’s avoided almost every idiom that we usually use(who would say “reared a broken dome-like structure” and “overthrown” in the form of “destroy” is not typically used for material circumstance), so it has this freshness, as if seeing the same language with new eyes.

    I’d love it if the Russian authors have the same degree of wordsmithing placed into their Conans. Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    Though, I remember in an interview, he said that he believes that his life’s greatest legacy has be the abrupt cessation of parents, worldwide, from naming their girls Lolita.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @Daniel Chieh

    The whole "small town dark genius trio" -- Robert E Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith -- started out as poets. And that's very very important. They--unlike some modern poet--sweated over every single word, and also how it works inside a line, and inside the larger whole.

    This was carried over later into the prose of all three.

    I am now reminded of how a character of the great and very un-PC Kingsley Amis (vastly better in an English understated way, IMO, than Tom Wolfe; not to be confused with his postmodernist son Martin Amis) describes a modern poet in the brilliant "Difficulties With Girls", set in the 1960s:


    ‘I’m fine,’ said Jenny, turning quickly away from the passenger window. ‘Is that girl’s poetry any good, you know, the one with the glasses?’

    ‘Vera’s. Christ no. It doesn’t come any more perseveringly no-good than hers. I don’t know how she does it — she must go over it word by bloody word, ready to pounce on any evidence of thought or observation or feeling for words that might have crept in while her back was turned. Do you realise,’ he went on, ‘can you believe, that when we first met I was teaching schoolboys Latin verse, poems written by Roman men in the Latin language? I sometimes wonder whether any of that’s there any more. Well, what would you, the bloody world’s moved on without consulting us, as Horace had it.’

    There was a minor traffic block ahead of them. Patrick pulled up behind a small inferior-looking van that had halted a couple of yards short of giving him room to turn right. He leant across Jenny, lowered her window and called, ‘I say, I wonder if I could just ask you to move forward enough to …‘ Almost as soon as he began speaking the van responded….. get clear of your ass, you stupid fish-faced twit? Thank you very much.’

    As he accelerated a little noisily up the side-street, he said, ‘You see, that Latin stuff, even now you can tell the fellow had to know a lot of words and a bit about how to put them together. His idea of giving you a bad time is to send you to sleep. He doesn’t make you want to ring him up and ask him who he thinks he is and what the hell he thinks he’s playing at, or go round to where he lives and give him a kicking. Well no, I mean you feel, you do feel quite cross with him for taking up your time and especially for thinking he’s a poet, which after all is still something to be. Get back to your bamboo island, you bloody savage.

    That was a driver trying to pull out in front of them, quite dangerously it had to be said, but only to people going as fast as they were. Patrick had still not completely finished with the poetry. After a false start or two he went on, ‘Actually it’s more than that. Somebody like Vera isn’t just no good herself, she makes everything else in life seem duller and more commonplace and trivial. All right, but we publish her. And others.’

    Jenny said, ‘Are all the others as bad as that, as Vera?’

    ‘All the Hammond & Sutcliffe new poets are. Mind you, there’s nobody who’s any better who hasn’t already got a publisher.’

    ‘What’s special about this lot, then?’

    ‘Well,’ we’ve got a black African millionaire Communist politician, and Vera’s a female, and you can bet one of them’s a queer, and that’s three out of the first six, so you can see there’s nothing special really. They’ll all lose money, but no more than anyone else. Oh yes, everyone knows that, Simon better than anybody.’
     

    Other books by Amis the elder I'd recommend in a flash are "Stanley and the Women", and "Girl, 20".

    So no, the Russian Conan writers aren't real poets from a hundred years ago, although with so many of them, some do get quite poetic, especially some of the female writers (damn good stuff by some of them). Mostly generic Slavic "Witcher"-tier stuff.

    Perumov has one book out in English (epic fantasy, mix of Howard, Tolkien, and Jordan as atmosphere, got voted best fantasy in Europe for the year by the Scandinavians, made a splash across the continent, totally ignored by the Anglosphere), and you can check out how his style translates, if legal in your location.
    In English it's way more clunky and dense, but still works.
    https://anonfiles.com/Z8B7I415u1/Godsdoom_-_Nick_Perumov_-_Copy_epub

    https://www.risingshadow.net/libdb_images/books/35870-godsdoom.jpg

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.
     
    I've heard of several musical composers that also sort of "channel" another composer's writing spirit when writing music. It's probably done more than we know. :-)

    Great insight!
    , @Brás Cubas
    @Daniel Chieh


    Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers.
     
    Could you provide a source for that information? It is at odds with the following passage from Brian Boyd's Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, p.204:

    Among his new neighbors were Arthur and Rosemary Mizener. Arthur Mizener had just joined the Cornell faculty after the publication of his biography of Fitzgerald. Shaking hands with him for the first time, Nabokov at once pronounced judgment: "Tender Is the Night, magnificent; The Great Gatsby, terrible."
     

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  61. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    The best “Chinese” films of recent memory were the King Fu Panda franchise 🙂

    Unfortunately they were made in America (although there was a lot of input from Chinese people). It was hugely popular in China, and many Chinese lamented that a film that “got” Chinese culture so well was not made in China.

    In America they’re seen as just cartoons, but in Asia animation is taken far more seriously and considered adult fare as well. The recent Demon Slayer animated film in Japan was one of the highest grossing films in Japan among adults.

    Personally, I think children’s literature and films can be extremely high quality and very worthy of adult attention – C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of “growing up” and putting “nonsense” behind one and becoming “practical” leaves many people emotionally stunted – thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially – in tone and mood.

    There was a beautiful reference to the classical Chinese novel Monkey, or Journey to The West – the monk makes an arduous journey through the Western wilderness to retrieve a precious Buddhist manuscript. After successfully retrieving it, he travels halfway back to China only to discover that the paper is blank! He returns to get the “true” manuscript, and is told that the blank page is the true wisdom, but is anyways given a different manuscript with “conventional” wisdom on it to take back. Panda references this nicely.

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand – much like the monk in the story! 🙂

    Nezha is an amusing and good Chinese animated film available on Netflix also.

    If you want more “serious” Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc. Although there are some good films produced in mainland China as well.

    Ultimately, you simply cannot produce compelling and high quality art in a society heavy on censorship and intent on controlling and suppressing artistic freedom. A certain level of anarchy and chaos – freedom – is absolutely essential to creativity and art.

    Sparta did not produce art, Athens produced mountains of it. Rome is also not known for producing high art – and China models itself on Rome. A culture devoted to the “practical” will produce great works of engineering but not great works of imagination or intellect.

    But China is a culture going through a “practical” phase of “control”. Eventually it will get past this and began producing great again.

    In the meantime for Asian art you have Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Singapore is sterile for the same reason as mainland China), India, and even Thailand has some moving and interesting films.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially – in tone and mood.

     

    Yeah, Disney's Anastasia is an excellent presentation of Russian themes and values and the fact that Russia doesn't have an equivalent export to the US yet is evidence of their heavy-handed censorship and spiritual repression that keeps them from producing great art. Such impeccable logic.

    Or perhaps, Americans know how to make a product for Americans. Knowing your audience, having the same cultural milestones, context and understanding as they do, allows you to present information and ideas to them in an appealing fashion, even if they were inspired from a foreign source. Thanks to the export of American values internationally, this also allows them to produce products for audiences internationally that have internalized these values, well, at least until now since wokist values aren't quite getting as exported quite as swimmingly.

    Well, this is shocking, I say! Who knew that knowing your audience was important when selling to them?

    Certainly not the person who believes he's immune from naive realism and idles himself into making grandiose statements while being constantly wrong.

    Know your audience, and you can sell to them. News at 11.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of “growing up” and putting “nonsense” behind one and becoming “practical” leaves many people emotionally stunted – thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!
     
    I couldn't agree with you, or with C.S. Lewis any more!

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand – much like the monk in the story! 🙂
     
    Our Mongolian sage seems to have galloped off into the sunset along with Bashibusuk? What's going on?

    If you want more “serious” Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc.
     
    See my comment #40 at this thread. Have you seen the "Grandmaster"?

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @songbird
    @AaronB

    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as "Chinese."

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

  62. @Svevlad
    @Mr. Hack

    Many games are surprisingly artistic. Certainly not hyper-popular like crappy yearly shooters, but still pretty good.

    For example - American McGee's Alice franchise. The games look amazing, have intriguing plots, and are just very... unique in general. On the other hand, their unpopularity can be blamed squarely on EA trying to stuff what's probably, ironically, the only "artsy" game published by them, under the rug.

    It's a pretty young medium still, though. It will develop further, especially when the current bubble of cash-grab garbage pops.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Planescape: Torment is a work of literary art, but something like Detroit: Become Human also shows what the media can be in terms of cinematic storytelling.

  63. @Agathoklis
    @Daniel Chieh

    Antigone is a great introduction - one of the most well known and one of the best. The famous Ode to Man sung by the Chorus is fantastic warning to Man.

    Here is a spoken translation by Paul Woodruff. It begins at 16.17 and goes to about 20.11.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSnfzgN7QfA

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    The chorus is excellent. The exploration of Law in Antigone – the notion of the conflict between the Law of Man and the Law of Gods was probably the first introduction to the concept(I was very young, maybe 12 or 13), and its been one that has considerably influenced my thinking. It probably led me down my entire interest in storytelling, and while I promptly read the great English plays, and appreciated them, I’ve never found that they had quite the same sense of depth.

    Ultimately, I appreciated it enough that I went to Greece, I think in 2006 or so, I left roses at the Hill of the Muses near the Acropolis. No idea if that was the right thing to do, but it felt right.

  64. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    The best "Chinese" films of recent memory were the King Fu Panda franchise :)

    Unfortunately they were made in America (although there was a lot of input from Chinese people). It was hugely popular in China, and many Chinese lamented that a film that "got" Chinese culture so well was not made in China.

    In America they're seen as just cartoons, but in Asia animation is taken far more seriously and considered adult fare as well. The recent Demon Slayer animated film in Japan was one of the highest grossing films in Japan among adults.

    Personally, I think children's literature and films can be extremely high quality and very worthy of adult attention - C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of "growing up" and putting "nonsense" behind one and becoming "practical" leaves many people emotionally stunted - thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially - in tone and mood.

    There was a beautiful reference to the classical Chinese novel Monkey, or Journey to The West - the monk makes an arduous journey through the Western wilderness to retrieve a precious Buddhist manuscript. After successfully retrieving it, he travels halfway back to China only to discover that the paper is blank! He returns to get the "true" manuscript, and is told that the blank page is the true wisdom, but is anyways given a different manuscript with "conventional" wisdom on it to take back. Panda references this nicely.

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand - much like the monk in the story! :)

    Nezha is an amusing and good Chinese animated film available on Netflix also.

    If you want more "serious" Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc. Although there are some good films produced in mainland China as well.

    Ultimately, you simply cannot produce compelling and high quality art in a society heavy on censorship and intent on controlling and suppressing artistic freedom. A certain level of anarchy and chaos - freedom - is absolutely essential to creativity and art.

    Sparta did not produce art, Athens produced mountains of it. Rome is also not known for producing high art - and China models itself on Rome. A culture devoted to the "practical" will produce great works of engineering but not great works of imagination or intellect.

    But China is a culture going through a "practical" phase of "control". Eventually it will get past this and began producing great again.

    In the meantime for Asian art you have Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Singapore is sterile for the same reason as mainland China), India, and even Thailand has some moving and interesting films.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @songbird

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially – in tone and mood.

    Yeah, Disney’s Anastasia is an excellent presentation of Russian themes and values and the fact that Russia doesn’t have an equivalent export to the US yet is evidence of their heavy-handed censorship and spiritual repression that keeps them from producing great art. Such impeccable logic.

    Or perhaps, Americans know how to make a product for Americans. Knowing your audience, having the same cultural milestones, context and understanding as they do, allows you to present information and ideas to them in an appealing fashion, even if they were inspired from a foreign source. Thanks to the export of American values internationally, this also allows them to produce products for audiences internationally that have internalized these values, well, at least until now since wokist values aren’t quite getting as exported quite as swimmingly.

    Well, this is shocking, I say! Who knew that knowing your audience was important when selling to them?

    Certainly not the person who believes he’s immune from naive realism and idles himself into making grandiose statements while being constantly wrong.

    Know your audience, and you can sell to them. News at 11.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Well, the premise of Anatoly's post that we are all discussing, is that Chinese audiences have not seriously internalized American values. The highest grossing films in China, Anatoly shows, are not those that are highest grossing in America. Clearly, then, the two audiences have different tastes, and Hollywood has not exported it's values to China and then sold it movies. That is the whole point of this post.

    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

    Finally, the scene in the Panda film that I mentioned, that the scroll containing the highest wisdom is blank (emptiness), alluding to the same scene in the classic Monkey novel, is supremely un-American, but deeply rooted in classical Chinese culture and Buddhism.

    While Panda himself may seem very "American" in his goofy, rambunctious energy, he is actually very similar to Monkey in the novel, who is depicted as a goofy, eneretic, superficial, and vain rascal who hides unsuspected depths and is the main hero, to the astonishment of everyone.

    This too is a main theme of classical Chinese culture - the fool or beggar dresses in rags is actually the sage, to the astonishment of conventional people who expect a figure of mainstream accomplishment.

    But I am quite sure you never read Monkey, and in general are unacquainted with these "reversal of conventional perspective" aspects of classical Chinese culture (or esoteric Western culture). You seem sadly to have adopted the most superficial aspects of conventional Western culture (or Chinese culture), with it's obvious, on the surface banalities that any good burgher might believe in.

    But still, the fact that you are displaying an interest in culture and works of the imagination at all, and seem to have for the time being at least abandoned you mechanistic conception of the universe, is a very promising sign, and I applaud you and watch your progress with optimism.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Coconuts

  65. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially – in tone and mood.

     

    Yeah, Disney's Anastasia is an excellent presentation of Russian themes and values and the fact that Russia doesn't have an equivalent export to the US yet is evidence of their heavy-handed censorship and spiritual repression that keeps them from producing great art. Such impeccable logic.

    Or perhaps, Americans know how to make a product for Americans. Knowing your audience, having the same cultural milestones, context and understanding as they do, allows you to present information and ideas to them in an appealing fashion, even if they were inspired from a foreign source. Thanks to the export of American values internationally, this also allows them to produce products for audiences internationally that have internalized these values, well, at least until now since wokist values aren't quite getting as exported quite as swimmingly.

    Well, this is shocking, I say! Who knew that knowing your audience was important when selling to them?

    Certainly not the person who believes he's immune from naive realism and idles himself into making grandiose statements while being constantly wrong.

    Know your audience, and you can sell to them. News at 11.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    Well, the premise of Anatoly’s post that we are all discussing, is that Chinese audiences have not seriously internalized American values. The highest grossing films in China, Anatoly shows, are not those that are highest grossing in America. Clearly, then, the two audiences have different tastes, and Hollywood has not exported it’s values to China and then sold it movies. That is the whole point of this post.

    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

    Finally, the scene in the Panda film that I mentioned, that the scroll containing the highest wisdom is blank (emptiness), alluding to the same scene in the classic Monkey novel, is supremely un-American, but deeply rooted in classical Chinese culture and Buddhism.

    While Panda himself may seem very “American” in his goofy, rambunctious energy, he is actually very similar to Monkey in the novel, who is depicted as a goofy, eneretic, superficial, and vain rascal who hides unsuspected depths and is the main hero, to the astonishment of everyone.

    This too is a main theme of classical Chinese culture – the fool or beggar dresses in rags is actually the sage, to the astonishment of conventional people who expect a figure of mainstream accomplishment.

    But I am quite sure you never read Monkey, and in general are unacquainted with these “reversal of conventional perspective” aspects of classical Chinese culture (or esoteric Western culture). You seem sadly to have adopted the most superficial aspects of conventional Western culture (or Chinese culture), with it’s obvious, on the surface banalities that any good burgher might believe in.

    But still, the fact that you are displaying an interest in culture and works of the imagination at all, and seem to have for the time being at least abandoned you mechanistic conception of the universe, is a very promising sign, and I applaud you and watch your progress with optimism.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

     

    Those are your words, not theirs. They were annoyed because they felt that it was a form of "cultural appropriation", which is basically a stupid notion, but one that plays well with people.

    While Panda himself may seem very “American” in his goofy, rambunctious energy
     
    Your presumed skill at perception fails you once again. The fundamental Americanness of it was less the goofiness than the central premise of the story: to become "who you want to be, you can do it."

    I'm pretty certain that you don't even know any traditional Chinese tales, since you've been too busy listening to yourself. You wouldn't know that Su Wukong, the Monkey King tried to challenge Buddha and failed, thus producing a hierarchy. You wouldn't understand the main point of the story of the Foolish Old Man removes the Mountain. You probably have never even heard of the Legend of the White Snake.

    Like utu said, blabbity neophyte. Try and accept your ignorance, like the Zen masters you claim you respect, it might help you learn something. Listen more, and write less.

    Replies: @AaronB

  66. @Rahan
    @Mr. Hack


    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don’t make it to Western movie houses?
     
    For centuries Europeans couldn't believe that China doesn't give a crap about them, nor the external world in general. Same for cultural offshoots like Japan and Korea. The West first had to have the industrial revolution, and then literally come to Japan and China in steampunk battle ships, press a futuristic pistol into their heads and say ''Now I'll make you notice me. Who's the barbarian now?''

    The moment external pressure abates, these Asian societies snap back to the original self-absorbed condition. Especially China, with it's separate Internet ecosphere only helping. Sure they love selling their products to the external world, and go visit it as tourists to take some prestige selfies in front of some crumbling amphitheater or castle, but otherwise not so much.

    Contemporary Russian quasi-Hollywood flicks for a good time with a brewski:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011699060/ (Inception-type adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCvHN.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmDzv1.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmCxJo.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5629524/ (second Inception-type adventure. Tony Banderas!!111!)
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxcok.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmxrr2.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmxXiX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8664988/ (Alien-invasion/apocalypse adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmT9Hl.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmbJ3x.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdOFj.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8060328/ (Alien contact/disaster adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKb5G.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmKjDR.png
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmMzPX.jpg

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt06054874/ (Pseudo-historical barbarian sword adventure)
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmdEbw.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/Nmhd4c.jpg
    https://imgpile.com/images/NmhLZG.jpg

    Modern Russian adventure sci-fi flicks and epic adventure flicks cost on average around $4 million to make. Make of that what you will.

    Replies: @melanf, @sher singh, @Alfa158

    The Attraction movie had a budget of 300 million rubles, or 4 million dollars. So the weakness of the ruble is one factor; everyone involved basically gets paid a lot less. Similarly, the Russian defense budget in dollars is a measly 46 billion.
    People who don’t have it as cushy as we do will work smarter, more efficiently and harder. When the 4A gaming studio was making the first of the superb Metro 2033 games, they had just 40 employees in a shabby office in Kiev, crowded around card tables and sitting on folding metal chairs. The employee parking lot had only four cars because almost none of the designers could afford one.

  67. @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I'd be curious to see how he is portrayed there. There's always been something very charming about him and the way that Howard writes his universe in general.

    Then the court waxed wroth, and the judge talked a great deal about my duty to the state, and society, and other things I did not understand, and bade me tell where my friend had flown. By this time I was becoming wrathful myself, for I had explained my position... the judge squalled that I had shown contempt for the court, and that I should be hurled into a dungeon to rot until I betrayed my friend. So then, seeing they were all mad, I drew my sword and cleft the judge's skull; then I cut my way out of the court...

    Just overall, he was outstanding, especially for a writer of his time(and I read quite a bit of pulp from his era).


    Among the trees reared a broken dome-like structure, built of gigantic blocks of the peculiar ironlike green stone found only on the islands of Vilayet. It seemed incredible that human hands could have shaped and placed them, and certainly it was beyond human power to have overthrown the structure they formed. But the thunderbolt had splintered the ton-heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.
     
    A good tell for me has been to read it aloud - there's surprisingly a lot of fiction, even good fiction, that doesn't handle it well(like Zelasky's Nine Princes in Amber), but the mark of outstanding prose is that it can convert to an oral form with not only function, but beauty. Another thing, too, is the aspect of age - he's avoided almost every idiom that we usually use(who would say "reared a broken dome-like structure" and "overthrown" in the form of "destroy" is not typically used for material circumstance), so it has this freshness, as if seeing the same language with new eyes.

    I'd love it if the Russian authors have the same degree of wordsmithing placed into their Conans. Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald's style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    Though, I remember in an interview, he said that he believes that his life's greatest legacy has be the abrupt cessation of parents, worldwide, from naming their girls Lolita.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack, @Brás Cubas

    The whole “small town dark genius trio” — Robert E Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith — started out as poets. And that’s very very important. They–unlike some modern poet–sweated over every single word, and also how it works inside a line, and inside the larger whole.

    This was carried over later into the prose of all three.

    I am now reminded of how a character of the great and very un-PC Kingsley Amis (vastly better in an English understated way, IMO, than Tom Wolfe; not to be confused with his postmodernist son Martin Amis) describes a modern poet in the brilliant “Difficulties With Girls”, set in the 1960s:

    ‘I’m fine,’ said Jenny, turning quickly away from the passenger window. ‘Is that girl’s poetry any good, you know, the one with the glasses?’

    ‘Vera’s. Christ no. It doesn’t come any more perseveringly no-good than hers. I don’t know how she does it — she must go over it word by bloody word, ready to pounce on any evidence of thought or observation or feeling for words that might have crept in while her back was turned. Do you realise,’ he went on, ‘can you believe, that when we first met I was teaching schoolboys Latin verse, poems written by Roman men in the Latin language? I sometimes wonder whether any of that’s there any more. Well, what would you, the bloody world’s moved on without consulting us, as Horace had it.’

    There was a minor traffic block ahead of them. Patrick pulled up behind a small inferior-looking van that had halted a couple of yards short of giving him room to turn right. He leant across Jenny, lowered her window and called, ‘I say, I wonder if I could just ask you to move forward enough to …‘ Almost as soon as he began speaking the van responded….. get clear of your ass, you stupid fish-faced twit? Thank you very much.’

    As he accelerated a little noisily up the side-street, he said, ‘You see, that Latin stuff, even now you can tell the fellow had to know a lot of words and a bit about how to put them together. His idea of giving you a bad time is to send you to sleep. He doesn’t make you want to ring him up and ask him who he thinks he is and what the hell he thinks he’s playing at, or go round to where he lives and give him a kicking. Well no, I mean you feel, you do feel quite cross with him for taking up your time and especially for thinking he’s a poet, which after all is still something to be. Get back to your bamboo island, you bloody savage.

    That was a driver trying to pull out in front of them, quite dangerously it had to be said, but only to people going as fast as they were. Patrick had still not completely finished with the poetry. After a false start or two he went on, ‘Actually it’s more than that. Somebody like Vera isn’t just no good herself, she makes everything else in life seem duller and more commonplace and trivial. All right, but we publish her. And others.’

    Jenny said, ‘Are all the others as bad as that, as Vera?’

    ‘All the Hammond & Sutcliffe new poets are. Mind you, there’s nobody who’s any better who hasn’t already got a publisher.’

    ‘What’s special about this lot, then?’

    ‘Well,’ we’ve got a black African millionaire Communist politician, and Vera’s a female, and you can bet one of them’s a queer, and that’s three out of the first six, so you can see there’s nothing special really. They’ll all lose money, but no more than anyone else. Oh yes, everyone knows that, Simon better than anybody.’

    Other books by Amis the elder I’d recommend in a flash are “Stanley and the Women”, and “Girl, 20”.

    So no, the Russian Conan writers aren’t real poets from a hundred years ago, although with so many of them, some do get quite poetic, especially some of the female writers (damn good stuff by some of them). Mostly generic Slavic “Witcher”-tier stuff.

    Perumov has one book out in English (epic fantasy, mix of Howard, Tolkien, and Jordan as atmosphere, got voted best fantasy in Europe for the year by the Scandinavians, made a splash across the continent, totally ignored by the Anglosphere), and you can check out how his style translates, if legal in your location.
    In English it’s way more clunky and dense, but still works.
    https://anonfiles.com/Z8B7I415u1/Godsdoom_-_Nick_Perumov_-_Copy_epub

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan


    They–unlike some modern poet–sweated over every single word, and also how it works inside a line, and inside the larger whole.
     
    I've never been more glad that I tried to learn to write from Howard, then. Thank you for letting me know, I'll have to look up Clark Ashton Smith more.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  68. State censors require that all films in China, both of domestic and foreign origin, adhere to “the principles of the Chinese Constitution and maintain social morality” (O’Connor & Armstrong, 2015, p. 9). These standards are maintained through the prohibition of certain images and scenes that depict “demons or supernaturalism

    Interesting that the Chinese state, officially founded on the scientific materialism of Marx, is so worried about demons and supernaturalism that those are the first things it bans on the big screen. Apparently the “scientific materialist” state doesn’t believe in its own ideology but has the exact same metaphysical concerns as explicitly religious states, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia. Lol.

    ——

    From the McMahon chart:

    It’s surprising that ethnically Chinese-dominated Singapore is so congruent with American film culture, while mainland China is not. And it’s not the Malays or Subcons in Singapore causing the difference, because Malaysia and India about as divergent as China.

    Singaporeans really are a different breed? Even the other Chinese exclave, Hong Kong, is only about halfway up the chart, next to the notoriously culturally chauvinist French.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Almost Missouri

    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK, so we could do a like comparison, but from looking at the West, I believe that diversity would also hurt it culturally. That is, it is probably ideologically incapable of making a Chinese film, though it might be technically possible.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  69. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I find the notion of "high cultural plane" to be cringey as heck, I have to admit. I'm a writer and I spent an inordinate amount of time engaged with art in detail(in fact, I probably should start a blog, given that I actually make notes on everything), but I don't have any precise idea what "culture" should mean beyond a set of mores and expectations for solving problems in a community. Whenever art tries too hard to be "cultured," in my opinion, its pretentious and frankly, stupid.

    One of my favorite movies is probably the Outlaw Josey Wales. Its a great movie, well acted with what is basically a simple revenge story but given great significance given the Civil War context - proper appreciation of the movie ultimately requires that the viewer have some awareness of Civil War. A lot of the spaghetti Westerns were great - they had excellent key visuals: a Fistful of Dollars used facial closeups, almost like still images, which created an excellent mood. Is that "culture?"

    Is Lord of the Rings "culture" because Tolkien is an astoundingly meticulous craftmans who wrote and rewrote an universe for twenty or more years of his life? I like Robert Howard's incredibly poetic writing much more so, does that mean that Conan with its big chad muscleman and virgin sorcerers is more cultured than Lovecraft's intricate worlds?

    TV series are able to develop characters much better over a period of time than movies, which are quite time bound, but movies are able to place more effort and money in a compressed spectacle. Is the improved opportunities for character development in a series an evidence of its increased culture? Is the precision of direction and the ability to splurge a vast spectacle evidence of culture?

    I think it is ultimately a meaningless term, when used in that context.

    Ultimately, I just recognize mediums. Each medium has its strength and weaknesses. Just tell a good story and let the audience judge. If I was going to be arbitrary and difficult, then the greatest "culture plane" has to be the Greek play(Oedipus Rex is a beautiful example of a trilogy) and it is tragically playwatching seems not a very popular form of entertainment at all, despite the perishability of the performance, the interaction between audience and actors, and the depth of expression needed to convey without the advantage of pounding music or camera tricks to tell the audience what to feel.

    But yeah, just tell a story. Leave "culture" for history to judge.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Agathoklis, @Mr. Hack

    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it’s really more about the engagement and community than anything.

    I’m sure that you’re currently much more immersed into video gaming than I am (I’m actually not currently involved at all), but there was a time where I really “got into it” and played quite a bit. Our “go to games” were mostly from the very exciting “Need for Speed” franchise, Golf games and an occasional romp with Lara of the popular “Tomb Raider” franchise. Before this period, I had the opportunity to play some” Madden NFL Football” and the strange but addicting “Final Fantasy”.

    To me, quite frankly, video games are and will probably remain in the final analysis “games”, somewhere between chess and a trip to your local amusement park (very wide parameters, I’ll agree!). Sure, the games have evolved into almost real visual time machines, where much attention is given to historical accuracy of period dress, furniture, clothing, buildings, weaponry etc. etc…but in the end these are all props to make the games more interesting and alluring. Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings (?)

    In contrast, for me, great films that add cultural historical value are to be located somewhere between great painting and great novels. Some of the greatest films are of the vast historical/story genre, like “War and Peace”, “Cleopatra”, “Ben Hur”, “Qui Vadis”…even films where the plot is related to less lofty historical themes can be great, for they open up a world that explores the day to day lives of ordinary people. Many, many great novels have been adapted for screen purposes.

    Please don’t feel insulted by anything that I’ve written here, for like you, “I still need to think about it” ” I think that we’re having a very interesting conversation here, and hopefully we’ll continue “thinking about it”. How to look at video gaming as true and great art?…

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack


    How to look at video gaming as true and great art?…
     
    I provided a video above which can help.

    But basically the fundamental aspect to this is the interaction element as I mentioned, in the media itself, but also in the community aspect of it, where fans discuss elements and essentially co-create something(like our discussions, in a way), but if there's also developer involvement, it means that the entire thing takes on a highly engaged and evolving role.

    That's also how a lot of "customers" get converted into "salespeople."

    It creates a common background, a common language, and a common sense of feel(plus it age-filters, I suppose). Note the regular references by AK to Deus Ex, for example.

    Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings
     
    That's not always the case, but also I think missing the point. So do novels, obviously.

    Its the themes discussed and what you take away from it. What are the themes discussed in Lord of the Rings, for example? An adventure happened, but all of the themes of God's power, the nature of good and evil, the value of hope, surprises of joy and horror, and ultimately, novels are trance-states like hypnosis(in fact, this is actual science) to transfer you into another world, a make-believe that's real for you, and in being real for you, allows you to deeply emotionally engage with events that never happened. Movies do this too, with images of people and music and whatnot. Heck, porn attempts to do too, not that it has a lot to say, but the central principle applies.

    And thus, so can games, and this is especially so because it is interactive. Even if it takes to a fixed point, its the journey there that matters, and in games, the journey can be particularly unique per playthrough, e.g. roguelikes do this in particular, where the world is randomized, and each time you play it, people mentally produce an entire story to sensemake it.

    Some games(my favorite, actually) basically are dedicated to telling a story like that:

    https://dfstories.com/the-hamlet-of-tyranny/

    With no way to save him, and with his entire clan residing in the afterlife, we debated how this should end. Should we just abandon the fort outright? Should we try and kill him somehow? What? In the end, however, we decided to let him create one more carving – one last testament to dwarfkind. This decision did not come lightly, as after such an epic climax, anything less would seem an insult. After all, maybe he would draw a picture of a plump helmet or something equally random. But still, we left him to his work.

    What did he draw? Moments before he bled to death? Alone on a cliff? The last gesture of the dwarves of The Hamlet of Tyranny?

    A picture of a demon and some dwarves. The demon was in a fetal position. The dwarves were laughing.
     

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Triteleia Laxa

    , @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Cleopatra and Quo Vadis are supposed to be rubbish films aren't they? Not seen them but know their reputation.

    Anyway no surprise that Dr Zhivago is the 6th highest earning film of all time - people throughout the west LOVE the idealism of October revolution and the beauty, imagery and style of both Tsarist and revolutionary Russia and the Russian world in general.

    For all the fake tough talk from NATO lackeys - nobody gives a f**k about idiot States like Poland, the Baltics and any other loser and liar faking moaning about Communist "repression" - that's why any films about it would earn about 3 dollars and why no Hollywood producer is bored enough to want to make these stupid types of films - but Dr Zhivago has everybody in west desperate to see it, with all the best actors and directors desperate to make it

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  70. OT as i believe it is important:

    Cognitive deficits confirmed for people who recovered from Covid 19

    They are possibly irreversible.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00324-2/fulltext

    https://ria.ru/20210725/koronavirus-1742802818.html

  71. @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I'd be curious to see how he is portrayed there. There's always been something very charming about him and the way that Howard writes his universe in general.

    Then the court waxed wroth, and the judge talked a great deal about my duty to the state, and society, and other things I did not understand, and bade me tell where my friend had flown. By this time I was becoming wrathful myself, for I had explained my position... the judge squalled that I had shown contempt for the court, and that I should be hurled into a dungeon to rot until I betrayed my friend. So then, seeing they were all mad, I drew my sword and cleft the judge's skull; then I cut my way out of the court...

    Just overall, he was outstanding, especially for a writer of his time(and I read quite a bit of pulp from his era).


    Among the trees reared a broken dome-like structure, built of gigantic blocks of the peculiar ironlike green stone found only on the islands of Vilayet. It seemed incredible that human hands could have shaped and placed them, and certainly it was beyond human power to have overthrown the structure they formed. But the thunderbolt had splintered the ton-heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.
     
    A good tell for me has been to read it aloud - there's surprisingly a lot of fiction, even good fiction, that doesn't handle it well(like Zelasky's Nine Princes in Amber), but the mark of outstanding prose is that it can convert to an oral form with not only function, but beauty. Another thing, too, is the aspect of age - he's avoided almost every idiom that we usually use(who would say "reared a broken dome-like structure" and "overthrown" in the form of "destroy" is not typically used for material circumstance), so it has this freshness, as if seeing the same language with new eyes.

    I'd love it if the Russian authors have the same degree of wordsmithing placed into their Conans. Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald's style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    Though, I remember in an interview, he said that he believes that his life's greatest legacy has be the abrupt cessation of parents, worldwide, from naming their girls Lolita.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack, @Brás Cubas

    Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    I’ve heard of several musical composers that also sort of “channel” another composer’s writing spirit when writing music. It’s probably done more than we know. 🙂

    Great insight!

  72. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    The best "Chinese" films of recent memory were the King Fu Panda franchise :)

    Unfortunately they were made in America (although there was a lot of input from Chinese people). It was hugely popular in China, and many Chinese lamented that a film that "got" Chinese culture so well was not made in China.

    In America they're seen as just cartoons, but in Asia animation is taken far more seriously and considered adult fare as well. The recent Demon Slayer animated film in Japan was one of the highest grossing films in Japan among adults.

    Personally, I think children's literature and films can be extremely high quality and very worthy of adult attention - C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of "growing up" and putting "nonsense" behind one and becoming "practical" leaves many people emotionally stunted - thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially - in tone and mood.

    There was a beautiful reference to the classical Chinese novel Monkey, or Journey to The West - the monk makes an arduous journey through the Western wilderness to retrieve a precious Buddhist manuscript. After successfully retrieving it, he travels halfway back to China only to discover that the paper is blank! He returns to get the "true" manuscript, and is told that the blank page is the true wisdom, but is anyways given a different manuscript with "conventional" wisdom on it to take back. Panda references this nicely.

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand - much like the monk in the story! :)

    Nezha is an amusing and good Chinese animated film available on Netflix also.

    If you want more "serious" Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc. Although there are some good films produced in mainland China as well.

    Ultimately, you simply cannot produce compelling and high quality art in a society heavy on censorship and intent on controlling and suppressing artistic freedom. A certain level of anarchy and chaos - freedom - is absolutely essential to creativity and art.

    Sparta did not produce art, Athens produced mountains of it. Rome is also not known for producing high art - and China models itself on Rome. A culture devoted to the "practical" will produce great works of engineering but not great works of imagination or intellect.

    But China is a culture going through a "practical" phase of "control". Eventually it will get past this and began producing great again.

    In the meantime for Asian art you have Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Singapore is sterile for the same reason as mainland China), India, and even Thailand has some moving and interesting films.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @songbird

    C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of “growing up” and putting “nonsense” behind one and becoming “practical” leaves many people emotionally stunted – thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    I couldn’t agree with you, or with C.S. Lewis any more!

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand – much like the monk in the story! 🙂

    Our Mongolian sage seems to have galloped off into the sunset along with Bashibusuk? What’s going on?

    If you want more “serious” Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc.

    See my comment #40 at this thread. Have you seen the “Grandmaster”?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    I have not seen the Grandmaster, but am a fan of Wong Kar Wai (who isn't?) so must watch it! Thanks, I remember when it came out but for some reason never got around to it.

    One of Wong's most underrated films is 2046, a strange and haunting sci-fi film that I found deeply moving - for reasons I don't fully understand (and those are the best kind :))

    I am sure I can "conjure" the good spirit AltanBakshi by saying some utterly scandalous and utterly preposterous and outrageous things about Buddhist teachings :) That's the magic spell that will do it - I am a greater magician than Daniel Chieh and can command greater spirits! :)

    As for fairly tales and fantasies, parables and myths, they are so essential to our spiritual education and such good nourishment in our parched desert of a mechanistic culture - we all hunger for them, but our culture has shamed adults into thinking they are "childish". A mature adult must attend only to the grim business of survival!

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  73. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Well, the premise of Anatoly's post that we are all discussing, is that Chinese audiences have not seriously internalized American values. The highest grossing films in China, Anatoly shows, are not those that are highest grossing in America. Clearly, then, the two audiences have different tastes, and Hollywood has not exported it's values to China and then sold it movies. That is the whole point of this post.

    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

    Finally, the scene in the Panda film that I mentioned, that the scroll containing the highest wisdom is blank (emptiness), alluding to the same scene in the classic Monkey novel, is supremely un-American, but deeply rooted in classical Chinese culture and Buddhism.

    While Panda himself may seem very "American" in his goofy, rambunctious energy, he is actually very similar to Monkey in the novel, who is depicted as a goofy, eneretic, superficial, and vain rascal who hides unsuspected depths and is the main hero, to the astonishment of everyone.

    This too is a main theme of classical Chinese culture - the fool or beggar dresses in rags is actually the sage, to the astonishment of conventional people who expect a figure of mainstream accomplishment.

    But I am quite sure you never read Monkey, and in general are unacquainted with these "reversal of conventional perspective" aspects of classical Chinese culture (or esoteric Western culture). You seem sadly to have adopted the most superficial aspects of conventional Western culture (or Chinese culture), with it's obvious, on the surface banalities that any good burgher might believe in.

    But still, the fact that you are displaying an interest in culture and works of the imagination at all, and seem to have for the time being at least abandoned you mechanistic conception of the universe, is a very promising sign, and I applaud you and watch your progress with optimism.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

    Those are your words, not theirs. They were annoyed because they felt that it was a form of “cultural appropriation”, which is basically a stupid notion, but one that plays well with people.

    While Panda himself may seem very “American” in his goofy, rambunctious energy

    Your presumed skill at perception fails you once again. The fundamental Americanness of it was less the goofiness than the central premise of the story: to become “who you want to be, you can do it.”

    I’m pretty certain that you don’t even know any traditional Chinese tales, since you’ve been too busy listening to yourself. You wouldn’t know that Su Wukong, the Monkey King tried to challenge Buddha and failed, thus producing a hierarchy. You wouldn’t understand the main point of the story of the Foolish Old Man removes the Mountain. You probably have never even heard of the Legend of the White Snake.

    Like utu said, blabbity neophyte. Try and accept your ignorance, like the Zen masters you claim you respect, it might help you learn something. Listen more, and write less.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Do a Google search on Chinese reception Kung Fu Panda -

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSPEK34047220080705

    Far from being annoyed at cultural appropriation (an absurd Western notion), they admired and enjoyed the films - they only rued that China could not have made them. The films were some of the most highly grossing in Chinese history.

    As for Monkey, he attains to Buddhahood by the end of the novel. He is cunning, wayward, irreverent, and a thorough scamp; the opposite of a solemn monk. According to Arthur Waley, he represents "genius" (I am not convinced of this).

    He is also vain and constantly hankering after "greatness", which gets him into endless trouble and finally imprisoned by the Buddha.

    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture (and are a commonplace in martial arts movies - by contrast, Western superheros are either billionaires like Bruce Wayne or powerful aliens like Superman, or regular boys who acquire superior powers like Spiderman ) and this theme is illustrated by the climax of Monkey - after fighting off so many monsters, and braving so many dangers, the sacred scroll they sought is "empty" - only, they could not understand the profound messages. Ruefully, Buddha gives them a more conventional teaching.

    The idea that greatness does not show itself off, and is not to be found along men of conventional distinction and achievement, is also a theme of Christianity and Jesus' teaching.

    It is a key theme of genuine spirituality, you vain peacock :)

    The idea that the central theme of Monkey is something so tedious and conventional as "hierarchy" - well, only you could come up with something like that :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  74. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it’s really more about the engagement and community than anything.
     
    I'm sure that you're currently much more immersed into video gaming than I am (I'm actually not currently involved at all), but there was a time where I really "got into it" and played quite a bit. Our "go to games" were mostly from the very exciting "Need for Speed" franchise, Golf games and an occasional romp with Lara of the popular "Tomb Raider" franchise. Before this period, I had the opportunity to play some" Madden NFL Football" and the strange but addicting "Final Fantasy".

    To me, quite frankly, video games are and will probably remain in the final analysis "games", somewhere between chess and a trip to your local amusement park (very wide parameters, I'll agree!). Sure, the games have evolved into almost real visual time machines, where much attention is given to historical accuracy of period dress, furniture, clothing, buildings, weaponry etc. etc...but in the end these are all props to make the games more interesting and alluring. Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings (?)

    In contrast, for me, great films that add cultural historical value are to be located somewhere between great painting and great novels. Some of the greatest films are of the vast historical/story genre, like "War and Peace", "Cleopatra", "Ben Hur", "Qui Vadis"...even films where the plot is related to less lofty historical themes can be great, for they open up a world that explores the day to day lives of ordinary people. Many, many great novels have been adapted for screen purposes.

    Please don't feel insulted by anything that I've written here, for like you, "I still need to think about it" " I think that we're having a very interesting conversation here, and hopefully we'll continue "thinking about it". How to look at video gaming as true and great art?...

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @kzn

    How to look at video gaming as true and great art?…

    I provided a video above which can help.

    But basically the fundamental aspect to this is the interaction element as I mentioned, in the media itself, but also in the community aspect of it, where fans discuss elements and essentially co-create something(like our discussions, in a way), but if there’s also developer involvement, it means that the entire thing takes on a highly engaged and evolving role.

    That’s also how a lot of “customers” get converted into “salespeople.”

    It creates a common background, a common language, and a common sense of feel(plus it age-filters, I suppose). Note the regular references by AK to Deus Ex, for example.

    Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings

    That’s not always the case, but also I think missing the point. So do novels, obviously.

    Its the themes discussed and what you take away from it. What are the themes discussed in Lord of the Rings, for example? An adventure happened, but all of the themes of God’s power, the nature of good and evil, the value of hope, surprises of joy and horror, and ultimately, novels are trance-states like hypnosis(in fact, this is actual science) to transfer you into another world, a make-believe that’s real for you, and in being real for you, allows you to deeply emotionally engage with events that never happened. Movies do this too, with images of people and music and whatnot. Heck, porn attempts to do too, not that it has a lot to say, but the central principle applies.

    And thus, so can games, and this is especially so because it is interactive. Even if it takes to a fixed point, its the journey there that matters, and in games, the journey can be particularly unique per playthrough, e.g. roguelikes do this in particular, where the world is randomized, and each time you play it, people mentally produce an entire story to sensemake it.

    Some games(my favorite, actually) basically are dedicated to telling a story like that:

    https://dfstories.com/the-hamlet-of-tyranny/

    With no way to save him, and with his entire clan residing in the afterlife, we debated how this should end. Should we just abandon the fort outright? Should we try and kill him somehow? What? In the end, however, we decided to let him create one more carving – one last testament to dwarfkind. This decision did not come lightly, as after such an epic climax, anything less would seem an insult. After all, maybe he would draw a picture of a plump helmet or something equally random. But still, we left him to his work.

    What did he draw? Moments before he bled to death? Alone on a cliff? The last gesture of the dwarves of The Hamlet of Tyranny?

    A picture of a demon and some dwarves. The demon was in a fetal position. The dwarves were laughing.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    You've provided me with a lot of great information here to think about, helping to explain your views about video games as artwork. I need some time to mull this all over and watch the video too.

    Thanks very much!

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Have you seen the TV series Mythic Quest? I really enjoyed it. There is a sub-storyline in season two which I found particularly beautiful.

  75. Not that anyone’s planning to see this, but red china made the new Flop Gun film change patches on ” Maverick’s” flight jacket.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/top-guns-maverick-appears-changed-to-please-chinas-communist-party-2019-7%3famp

  76. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    And Chinese audiences specifically praised the Panda films for depicting traditional Chinese values, and were upset they could not produce them themselves.

     

    Those are your words, not theirs. They were annoyed because they felt that it was a form of "cultural appropriation", which is basically a stupid notion, but one that plays well with people.

    While Panda himself may seem very “American” in his goofy, rambunctious energy
     
    Your presumed skill at perception fails you once again. The fundamental Americanness of it was less the goofiness than the central premise of the story: to become "who you want to be, you can do it."

    I'm pretty certain that you don't even know any traditional Chinese tales, since you've been too busy listening to yourself. You wouldn't know that Su Wukong, the Monkey King tried to challenge Buddha and failed, thus producing a hierarchy. You wouldn't understand the main point of the story of the Foolish Old Man removes the Mountain. You probably have never even heard of the Legend of the White Snake.

    Like utu said, blabbity neophyte. Try and accept your ignorance, like the Zen masters you claim you respect, it might help you learn something. Listen more, and write less.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Do a Google search on Chinese reception Kung Fu Panda –

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSPEK34047220080705

    Far from being annoyed at cultural appropriation (an absurd Western notion), they admired and enjoyed the films – they only rued that China could not have made them. The films were some of the most highly grossing in Chinese history.

    As for Monkey, he attains to Buddhahood by the end of the novel. He is cunning, wayward, irreverent, and a thorough scamp; the opposite of a solemn monk. According to Arthur Waley, he represents “genius” (I am not convinced of this).

    He is also vain and constantly hankering after “greatness”, which gets him into endless trouble and finally imprisoned by the Buddha.

    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture (and are a commonplace in martial arts movies – by contrast, Western superheros are either billionaires like Bruce Wayne or powerful aliens like Superman, or regular boys who acquire superior powers like Spiderman ) and this theme is illustrated by the climax of Monkey – after fighting off so many monsters, and braving so many dangers, the sacred scroll they sought is “empty” – only, they could not understand the profound messages. Ruefully, Buddha gives them a more conventional teaching.

    The idea that greatness does not show itself off, and is not to be found along men of conventional distinction and achievement, is also a theme of Christianity and Jesus’ teaching.

    It is a key theme of genuine spirituality, you vain peacock 🙂

    The idea that the central theme of Monkey is something so tedious and conventional as “hierarchy” – well, only you could come up with something like that 🙂

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Yeah, if I wanted to find a Sixth Tone piece about why Chinese censorship is bad, I'd be able to find it too. Denied.


    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

     

    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture
     
    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a "foolish old man" in the story of the mountains.

    Spend more time being a quiet. It'll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.

    Congratulations on being wrong about me not having read Chinese tales to add to your many other things on being wrong on. Now, consider these other Chinese virtues: 孝/忠, 理, 仁 & 义 and do more thinking about you ramble again.

    Replies: @AaronB

  77. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack


    How to look at video gaming as true and great art?…
     
    I provided a video above which can help.

    But basically the fundamental aspect to this is the interaction element as I mentioned, in the media itself, but also in the community aspect of it, where fans discuss elements and essentially co-create something(like our discussions, in a way), but if there's also developer involvement, it means that the entire thing takes on a highly engaged and evolving role.

    That's also how a lot of "customers" get converted into "salespeople."

    It creates a common background, a common language, and a common sense of feel(plus it age-filters, I suppose). Note the regular references by AK to Deus Ex, for example.

    Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings
     
    That's not always the case, but also I think missing the point. So do novels, obviously.

    Its the themes discussed and what you take away from it. What are the themes discussed in Lord of the Rings, for example? An adventure happened, but all of the themes of God's power, the nature of good and evil, the value of hope, surprises of joy and horror, and ultimately, novels are trance-states like hypnosis(in fact, this is actual science) to transfer you into another world, a make-believe that's real for you, and in being real for you, allows you to deeply emotionally engage with events that never happened. Movies do this too, with images of people and music and whatnot. Heck, porn attempts to do too, not that it has a lot to say, but the central principle applies.

    And thus, so can games, and this is especially so because it is interactive. Even if it takes to a fixed point, its the journey there that matters, and in games, the journey can be particularly unique per playthrough, e.g. roguelikes do this in particular, where the world is randomized, and each time you play it, people mentally produce an entire story to sensemake it.

    Some games(my favorite, actually) basically are dedicated to telling a story like that:

    https://dfstories.com/the-hamlet-of-tyranny/

    With no way to save him, and with his entire clan residing in the afterlife, we debated how this should end. Should we just abandon the fort outright? Should we try and kill him somehow? What? In the end, however, we decided to let him create one more carving – one last testament to dwarfkind. This decision did not come lightly, as after such an epic climax, anything less would seem an insult. After all, maybe he would draw a picture of a plump helmet or something equally random. But still, we left him to his work.

    What did he draw? Moments before he bled to death? Alone on a cliff? The last gesture of the dwarves of The Hamlet of Tyranny?

    A picture of a demon and some dwarves. The demon was in a fetal position. The dwarves were laughing.
     

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Triteleia Laxa

    You’ve provided me with a lot of great information here to think about, helping to explain your views about video games as artwork. I need some time to mull this all over and watch the video too.

    Thanks very much!

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
  78. @Rahan
    @Daniel Chieh

    The whole "small town dark genius trio" -- Robert E Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith -- started out as poets. And that's very very important. They--unlike some modern poet--sweated over every single word, and also how it works inside a line, and inside the larger whole.

    This was carried over later into the prose of all three.

    I am now reminded of how a character of the great and very un-PC Kingsley Amis (vastly better in an English understated way, IMO, than Tom Wolfe; not to be confused with his postmodernist son Martin Amis) describes a modern poet in the brilliant "Difficulties With Girls", set in the 1960s:


    ‘I’m fine,’ said Jenny, turning quickly away from the passenger window. ‘Is that girl’s poetry any good, you know, the one with the glasses?’

    ‘Vera’s. Christ no. It doesn’t come any more perseveringly no-good than hers. I don’t know how she does it — she must go over it word by bloody word, ready to pounce on any evidence of thought or observation or feeling for words that might have crept in while her back was turned. Do you realise,’ he went on, ‘can you believe, that when we first met I was teaching schoolboys Latin verse, poems written by Roman men in the Latin language? I sometimes wonder whether any of that’s there any more. Well, what would you, the bloody world’s moved on without consulting us, as Horace had it.’

    There was a minor traffic block ahead of them. Patrick pulled up behind a small inferior-looking van that had halted a couple of yards short of giving him room to turn right. He leant across Jenny, lowered her window and called, ‘I say, I wonder if I could just ask you to move forward enough to …‘ Almost as soon as he began speaking the van responded….. get clear of your ass, you stupid fish-faced twit? Thank you very much.’

    As he accelerated a little noisily up the side-street, he said, ‘You see, that Latin stuff, even now you can tell the fellow had to know a lot of words and a bit about how to put them together. His idea of giving you a bad time is to send you to sleep. He doesn’t make you want to ring him up and ask him who he thinks he is and what the hell he thinks he’s playing at, or go round to where he lives and give him a kicking. Well no, I mean you feel, you do feel quite cross with him for taking up your time and especially for thinking he’s a poet, which after all is still something to be. Get back to your bamboo island, you bloody savage.

    That was a driver trying to pull out in front of them, quite dangerously it had to be said, but only to people going as fast as they were. Patrick had still not completely finished with the poetry. After a false start or two he went on, ‘Actually it’s more than that. Somebody like Vera isn’t just no good herself, she makes everything else in life seem duller and more commonplace and trivial. All right, but we publish her. And others.’

    Jenny said, ‘Are all the others as bad as that, as Vera?’

    ‘All the Hammond & Sutcliffe new poets are. Mind you, there’s nobody who’s any better who hasn’t already got a publisher.’

    ‘What’s special about this lot, then?’

    ‘Well,’ we’ve got a black African millionaire Communist politician, and Vera’s a female, and you can bet one of them’s a queer, and that’s three out of the first six, so you can see there’s nothing special really. They’ll all lose money, but no more than anyone else. Oh yes, everyone knows that, Simon better than anybody.’
     

    Other books by Amis the elder I'd recommend in a flash are "Stanley and the Women", and "Girl, 20".

    So no, the Russian Conan writers aren't real poets from a hundred years ago, although with so many of them, some do get quite poetic, especially some of the female writers (damn good stuff by some of them). Mostly generic Slavic "Witcher"-tier stuff.

    Perumov has one book out in English (epic fantasy, mix of Howard, Tolkien, and Jordan as atmosphere, got voted best fantasy in Europe for the year by the Scandinavians, made a splash across the continent, totally ignored by the Anglosphere), and you can check out how his style translates, if legal in your location.
    In English it's way more clunky and dense, but still works.
    https://anonfiles.com/Z8B7I415u1/Godsdoom_-_Nick_Perumov_-_Copy_epub

    https://www.risingshadow.net/libdb_images/books/35870-godsdoom.jpg

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    They–unlike some modern poet–sweated over every single word, and also how it works inside a line, and inside the larger whole.

    I’ve never been more glad that I tried to learn to write from Howard, then. Thank you for letting me know, I’ll have to look up Clark Ashton Smith more.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Daniel Chieh


    I’ll have to look up Clark Ashton Smith more.
     
    You have a treat in store for you. Lovecraft and Howard were great writers and I admire them unreservedly but Clark Ashton Smith was the greatest of the trio.

    He was also one of the great American Decadents.
  79. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of “growing up” and putting “nonsense” behind one and becoming “practical” leaves many people emotionally stunted – thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!
     
    I couldn't agree with you, or with C.S. Lewis any more!

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand – much like the monk in the story! 🙂
     
    Our Mongolian sage seems to have galloped off into the sunset along with Bashibusuk? What's going on?

    If you want more “serious” Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc.
     
    See my comment #40 at this thread. Have you seen the "Grandmaster"?

    Replies: @AaronB

    I have not seen the Grandmaster, but am a fan of Wong Kar Wai (who isn’t?) so must watch it! Thanks, I remember when it came out but for some reason never got around to it.

    One of Wong’s most underrated films is 2046, a strange and haunting sci-fi film that I found deeply moving – for reasons I don’t fully understand (and those are the best kind :))

    I am sure I can “conjure” the good spirit AltanBakshi by saying some utterly scandalous and utterly preposterous and outrageous things about Buddhist teachings 🙂 That’s the magic spell that will do it – I am a greater magician than Daniel Chieh and can command greater spirits! 🙂

    As for fairly tales and fantasies, parables and myths, they are so essential to our spiritual education and such good nourishment in our parched desert of a mechanistic culture – we all hunger for them, but our culture has shamed adults into thinking they are “childish”. A mature adult must attend only to the grim business of survival!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    I'm glad to hear that you're able to conjure up spirits better than anybody around. How about getting Bashibusuk back to reappear here? (no offense AltanBakshi). :-)

    I think that even Karlin misses the guy.

    Replies: @AaronB

  80. kzn says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    You are not of the age, I think, I appreciate what I mean but it’s really more about the engagement and community than anything.
     
    I'm sure that you're currently much more immersed into video gaming than I am (I'm actually not currently involved at all), but there was a time where I really "got into it" and played quite a bit. Our "go to games" were mostly from the very exciting "Need for Speed" franchise, Golf games and an occasional romp with Lara of the popular "Tomb Raider" franchise. Before this period, I had the opportunity to play some" Madden NFL Football" and the strange but addicting "Final Fantasy".

    To me, quite frankly, video games are and will probably remain in the final analysis "games", somewhere between chess and a trip to your local amusement park (very wide parameters, I'll agree!). Sure, the games have evolved into almost real visual time machines, where much attention is given to historical accuracy of period dress, furniture, clothing, buildings, weaponry etc. etc...but in the end these are all props to make the games more interesting and alluring. Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings (?)

    In contrast, for me, great films that add cultural historical value are to be located somewhere between great painting and great novels. Some of the greatest films are of the vast historical/story genre, like "War and Peace", "Cleopatra", "Ben Hur", "Qui Vadis"...even films where the plot is related to less lofty historical themes can be great, for they open up a world that explores the day to day lives of ordinary people. Many, many great novels have been adapted for screen purposes.

    Please don't feel insulted by anything that I've written here, for like you, "I still need to think about it" " I think that we're having a very interesting conversation here, and hopefully we'll continue "thinking about it". How to look at video gaming as true and great art?...

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @kzn

    Cleopatra and Quo Vadis are supposed to be rubbish films aren’t they? Not seen them but know their reputation.

    Anyway no surprise that Dr Zhivago is the 6th highest earning film of all time – people throughout the west LOVE the idealism of October revolution and the beauty, imagery and style of both Tsarist and revolutionary Russia and the Russian world in general.

    For all the fake tough talk from NATO lackeys – nobody gives a f**k about idiot States like Poland, the Baltics and any other loser and liar faking moaning about Communist “repression” – that’s why any films about it would earn about 3 dollars and why no Hollywood producer is bored enough to want to make these stupid types of films – but Dr Zhivago has everybody in west desperate to see it, with all the best actors and directors desperate to make it

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @kzn

    Although I agree with your assessment of the film "Dr. Zhivago" I have no idea why you're trying to denigrate great films like "Cleopatra" and "Qui Vadis"?

    Replies: @kzn

  81. kzn says:
    @Alfa158
    I have recently been on a binge of watching modern Russian movies, and I would say they would do fairly well at the US box office if they were allowed to be properly distributed.
    I got on this kick after being impressed by the Metro games that were made in the Ukraine and are based on a series of Russian science fiction novels. First rate graphics, compelling story line, and going by the credits, somehow made with a fraction of the staff of a Western video game.
    Through streaming services like IMDB, Tubi, Pluto etc., I am finding Russian movies, mostly science fiction, that have English overdubs or captions. Like the video games; first class CGI, a good story line that seems to assume an audience with a higher average IQ than that for Hollywood productions, attractive performers, excellent cinematography. The only thing that could be a drawback is that the dialogue can seem stilted and hokey to audiences raised on cynicism and nihilism. As a side benefit it is intriguing getting even a cinematically filtered view of Russian life since we get so little exposure to what life is really like in Russia.
    I think that if widely distributed these film could do reasonably well in fly-over Red country. The problem is that as pointed out by other commenters, these movies are fatally un-woke for the (((film distribution system))). As expected, almost every actor is white with maybe some Tartar or Siberian heritage, there are no visible gays or trannies. The female characters are often brave, resourceful and plucky, but they aren’t 110 pound Mary Sues who can punch out multiple 200 pound Commandos. The characters look like Midwestern Americans and the plots look like 1950’s movies enhanced by state of the art CGI. The American entertainment industry will burn down their companies and commit mass suicide before they would let movies like this get broad distribution and marketing in cinemas or high viewership cable channels.
    (BTW, one question I have is why do so many of these movies star Rinal Mukhametov, is he the Tom Hanks of Russian cinema or something?)

    Replies: @Rahan, @kzn

    Russian cinema, TV and pop music are still very popular in the ex USSR states, irrelevant if they do disgusting anti-russian policies. That is a good achievement considering the influx and enthusiasm for American and British cinema and music after 1991 in Russia and all the rest of USSR.

    On the issue of conquering western markets, I think the modern Russian films are too well produced, which gives an empty or artificial impression when russians do it, in a way that it isn’t when Americans do these films.

  82. @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Cleopatra and Quo Vadis are supposed to be rubbish films aren't they? Not seen them but know their reputation.

    Anyway no surprise that Dr Zhivago is the 6th highest earning film of all time - people throughout the west LOVE the idealism of October revolution and the beauty, imagery and style of both Tsarist and revolutionary Russia and the Russian world in general.

    For all the fake tough talk from NATO lackeys - nobody gives a f**k about idiot States like Poland, the Baltics and any other loser and liar faking moaning about Communist "repression" - that's why any films about it would earn about 3 dollars and why no Hollywood producer is bored enough to want to make these stupid types of films - but Dr Zhivago has everybody in west desperate to see it, with all the best actors and directors desperate to make it

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Although I agree with your assessment of the film “Dr. Zhivago” I have no idea why you’re trying to denigrate great films like “Cleopatra” and “Qui Vadis”?

    • Replies: @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Not seen those films, but have heard they were reviewed badly and box office failures.

    I suppose they could still be great films - Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando is supposed to have failed financially and critically......... but I thought that the first half of the film was very good, although the second half was a joke.

    On an entirely tangential note - the Hitchcock film Frenzy, which is completely unknown, is easily super ior to Psycho. Vertigo is pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Shadow of a Doubt is an excellent film but Rear Window is total trash.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack

  83. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Do a Google search on Chinese reception Kung Fu Panda -

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSPEK34047220080705

    Far from being annoyed at cultural appropriation (an absurd Western notion), they admired and enjoyed the films - they only rued that China could not have made them. The films were some of the most highly grossing in Chinese history.

    As for Monkey, he attains to Buddhahood by the end of the novel. He is cunning, wayward, irreverent, and a thorough scamp; the opposite of a solemn monk. According to Arthur Waley, he represents "genius" (I am not convinced of this).

    He is also vain and constantly hankering after "greatness", which gets him into endless trouble and finally imprisoned by the Buddha.

    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture (and are a commonplace in martial arts movies - by contrast, Western superheros are either billionaires like Bruce Wayne or powerful aliens like Superman, or regular boys who acquire superior powers like Spiderman ) and this theme is illustrated by the climax of Monkey - after fighting off so many monsters, and braving so many dangers, the sacred scroll they sought is "empty" - only, they could not understand the profound messages. Ruefully, Buddha gives them a more conventional teaching.

    The idea that greatness does not show itself off, and is not to be found along men of conventional distinction and achievement, is also a theme of Christianity and Jesus' teaching.

    It is a key theme of genuine spirituality, you vain peacock :)

    The idea that the central theme of Monkey is something so tedious and conventional as "hierarchy" - well, only you could come up with something like that :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Yeah, if I wanted to find a Sixth Tone piece about why Chinese censorship is bad, I’d be able to find it too. Denied.

    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture

    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a “foolish old man” in the story of the mountains.

    Spend more time being a quiet. It’ll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.

    Congratulations on being wrong about me not having read Chinese tales to add to your many other things on being wrong on. Now, consider these other Chinese virtues: 孝/忠, 理, 仁 & 义 and do more thinking about you ramble again.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.
     
    Yes, but all his striving for conventional greatness did not win him the top spot. Only no longer trying to be "superior" finally gained him admittance into the ranks of the Gods.

    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom - so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

    So, overall, with slight modification, I like your point. Not bad.


    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a “foolish old man” in the story of the mountains
     
    .

    So then, what could all these things mean? It seems to mean that true wisdom consists in shedding the conventional preoccupation with hierarchy and status that so afflicts the foolish common man - chimeras of the mind.

    But perhaps you will show that the true meaning is that the highest development of human wisdom is to fit into a hierarchy ruled by Daniel Chieh 😉


    Spend more time being a quiet. It’ll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.
     
    I definitely should spend more time being quiet, that's true. We all should. It is the beginning of wisdom.

    My addiction to posting on UNZ is a serious compulsion that I pray every day I will be released from.

    I just got back from a beautiful weekend in the woods and absolutely vowed to myself I won't post on this absurd site - I will just check in, briefly. Well! That didn't work out lol :)

    I blame you, Chieh - your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged :)

    As for giving my "wealth" to Karlin, it isn't much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes - if I had lots of money, I'd probably buy land out West and create "secular" monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome - bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed - so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Yellowface Anon

  84. @Almost Missouri


    State censors require that all films in China, both of domestic and foreign origin, adhere to “the principles of the Chinese Constitution and maintain social morality” (O’Connor & Armstrong, 2015, p. 9). These standards are maintained through the prohibition of certain images and scenes that depict “demons or supernaturalism
     

     
    Interesting that the Chinese state, officially founded on the scientific materialism of Marx, is so worried about demons and supernaturalism that those are the first things it bans on the big screen. Apparently the "scientific materialist" state doesn't believe in its own ideology but has the exact same metaphysical concerns as explicitly religious states, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia. Lol.

    ------

    From the McMahon chart:

    It's surprising that ethnically Chinese-dominated Singapore is so congruent with American film culture, while mainland China is not. And it's not the Malays or Subcons in Singapore causing the difference, because Malaysia and India about as divergent as China.

    Singaporeans really are a different breed? Even the other Chinese exclave, Hong Kong, is only about halfway up the chart, next to the notoriously culturally chauvinist French.

    Replies: @songbird

    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK, so we could do a like comparison, but from looking at the West, I believe that diversity would also hurt it culturally. That is, it is probably ideologically incapable of making a Chinese film, though it might be technically possible.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @songbird

    This reply isn't cultural at all but just to give you some hard data.


    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK
     
    Singapore no longer has a Chinese majority (2.7M Chinese out of a total of 5.7M). These are Straits Chinese who can go from total Americophile to Sinophile, but not having recent blood ties to China. There are already 2.2M migrants and the rest being Malays and Indians.

    Hong Kong is solidly Chinese (6.9M out of 7.5M) and more than 1M are recent immigrants from China since the 90s, with varying degrees of assimilation to the Cantonese majority culture.

    Tho I guess Singapore is on the demographic trajectory of Persian Gulf Oil States and HK is on that of the Baltics, so the sheer numbers might converge for a bit.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.
     
    HK isn't that cheap because of the housing bubble, tho a bit cheaper than Singapore. But production costs was one of the main factors HK's film industry merged with the mainland's.

    Replies: @songbird

  85. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially – in tone and mood.

     

    Yeah, Disney's Anastasia is an excellent presentation of Russian themes and values and the fact that Russia doesn't have an equivalent export to the US yet is evidence of their heavy-handed censorship and spiritual repression that keeps them from producing great art. Such impeccable logic.

    Or perhaps, Americans know how to make a product for Americans. Knowing your audience, having the same cultural milestones, context and understanding as they do, allows you to present information and ideas to them in an appealing fashion, even if they were inspired from a foreign source. Thanks to the export of American values internationally, this also allows them to produce products for audiences internationally that have internalized these values, well, at least until now since wokist values aren't quite getting as exported quite as swimmingly.

    Well, this is shocking, I say! Who knew that knowing your audience was important when selling to them?

    Certainly not the person who believes he's immune from naive realism and idles himself into making grandiose statements while being constantly wrong.

    Know your audience, and you can sell to them. News at 11.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Taken by their word, wolves just want you to be part of them.

    But more seriously, wokist values rely on certain nonsensical assumptions about reality, so eventually it'll have to break. Right now, its only working because it basically has a lot of coercion, but it is also spiraling to become more extreme to justify its own structural weaknesses.

    I suspect it won't pan out well. I guess we'll find out.

    It certainly won't help exports; I work with South Korea, for example, and if the West finds Asia alien, trust me, Asia basically finds the West just as confusingly weird to put it lightly. The "meeting of minds" gap is increasing, not decreasing.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Coconuts
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.
     
    As far as I know within Wokeness Inclusivity is a key value but it has a particular meaning; when a member of a minoritised or marginalised identity grouping has their identity validated and accepted by an oppressor group who first recognise, confess and then take steps to dismantle their systemic power and privilege.

    Woke cultural production seems to revolve around this theme to the point that it is always the main plot, but can come in certain different flavours; the exposure of white supremacy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, patriarchy, ableism, thin-normativity or healthism and so on.

    I'm not sure it truly appeals to the lowest common denominator in the same way as the US ideal of the 1990s used to (the Cadillac in the driveway, nice house with a fence, well paid job etc.), also whether the meaning of this type of content will be fully understood by a lot of audiences outside of the West (even outside of Anglo countries).

    This type of thing will explain why there are so many seemingly pointless remakes though, big films have to be remade in such a way that the problematic content of the original is exposed and deconstructed and undergoes correction.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  86. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Yeah, if I wanted to find a Sixth Tone piece about why Chinese censorship is bad, I'd be able to find it too. Denied.


    His elevation to Buddhahood occurs after his desire for foolish greatness is chastened after many misadventures.

     

    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.

    The beggar dressed in rags who is really a sage, or the utterly commonplace person with no obvious distinction who is really a sage, are regular tropes in Chinese culture
     
    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a "foolish old man" in the story of the mountains.

    Spend more time being a quiet. It'll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.

    Congratulations on being wrong about me not having read Chinese tales to add to your many other things on being wrong on. Now, consider these other Chinese virtues: 孝/忠, 理, 仁 & 义 and do more thinking about you ramble again.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.

    Yes, but all his striving for conventional greatness did not win him the top spot. Only no longer trying to be “superior” finally gained him admittance into the ranks of the Gods.

    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom – so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

    So, overall, with slight modification, I like your point. Not bad.

    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a “foolish old man” in the story of the mountains

    .

    So then, what could all these things mean? It seems to mean that true wisdom consists in shedding the conventional preoccupation with hierarchy and status that so afflicts the foolish common man – chimeras of the mind.

    But perhaps you will show that the true meaning is that the highest development of human wisdom is to fit into a hierarchy ruled by Daniel Chieh 😉

    Spend more time being a quiet. It’ll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.

    I definitely should spend more time being quiet, that’s true. We all should. It is the beginning of wisdom.

    My addiction to posting on UNZ is a serious compulsion that I pray every day I will be released from.

    I just got back from a beautiful weekend in the woods and absolutely vowed to myself I won’t post on this absurd site – I will just check in, briefly. Well! That didn’t work out lol 🙂

    I blame you, Chieh – your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged 🙂

    As for giving my “wealth” to Karlin, it isn’t much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes – if I had lots of money, I’d probably buy land out West and create “secular” monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome – bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed – so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom – so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

     

    Oh goody, you've begun to notice that letting go of your ego might be a good thing. Truly, the beginnings of wisdom.

    Try practicing it by admitting that you're wrong and don't know all things.


    So then, what could all these things mean?
     
    Why don't you try using your brain?

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

    http://www.fao.org/uploads/pics/Rice-terraces-china-banner.jpg

    Meditate on that. What could it possibly mean?


    I blame you, Chieh – your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged
     
    You can talk to this chimerical version of me of your own mind with or without me.

    As for giving my “wealth” to Karlin, it isn’t much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes [than Karlin]
     
    Since it doesn't seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @AaronB


    “secular” monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome – bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed – so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.
     
    This is one thing, and semi-agrarian communes that work out a prospective alternative to industrialism another. One provides personal relief while the other opens up possibilities of civilizational transformation.

    There are people more dedicated than me, who are either disillusioned with industrial consumerism, tradcons, Deep Ecology types, Kunstler-pilled, localists, agorists, and even those who are trying to avoid vaccination-based segregation or centralized control of production or finance.

    Replies: @AaronB

  87. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Coconuts

    Taken by their word, wolves just want you to be part of them.

    But more seriously, wokist values rely on certain nonsensical assumptions about reality, so eventually it’ll have to break. Right now, its only working because it basically has a lot of coercion, but it is also spiraling to become more extreme to justify its own structural weaknesses.

    I suspect it won’t pan out well. I guess we’ll find out.

    It certainly won’t help exports; I work with South Korea, for example, and if the West finds Asia alien, trust me, Asia basically finds the West just as confusingly weird to put it lightly. The “meeting of minds” gap is increasing, not decreasing.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    An interesting question is whether those types of people are more interested in their values or more interested in their individual pride?

    In which direction does most of their motivation flow?

    This is complicated by the fact that their values are also mediated by their pride, and may even be mistaken by them, as a surrogate for it, but their extreme success also suggests that their success, not the success of their values, is paramount to them.

    Sadly "going woke" does not seem to have resulting in "getting broke" at all. The exceptions are stupid and derivative products which may have done even worse without the Wokism.

    If creative talent is limited, then drearily formulaic woke dross seems to be the next best thing.

    I appreciate that the "if" is a big factor.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  88. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Taken by their word, wolves just want you to be part of them.

    But more seriously, wokist values rely on certain nonsensical assumptions about reality, so eventually it'll have to break. Right now, its only working because it basically has a lot of coercion, but it is also spiraling to become more extreme to justify its own structural weaknesses.

    I suspect it won't pan out well. I guess we'll find out.

    It certainly won't help exports; I work with South Korea, for example, and if the West finds Asia alien, trust me, Asia basically finds the West just as confusingly weird to put it lightly. The "meeting of minds" gap is increasing, not decreasing.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    An interesting question is whether those types of people are more interested in their values or more interested in their individual pride?

    In which direction does most of their motivation flow?

    This is complicated by the fact that their values are also mediated by their pride, and may even be mistaken by them, as a surrogate for it, but their extreme success also suggests that their success, not the success of their values, is paramount to them.

    Sadly “going woke” does not seem to have resulting in “getting broke” at all. The exceptions are stupid and derivative products which may have done even worse without the Wokism.

    If creative talent is limited, then drearily formulaic woke dross seems to be the next best thing.

    I appreciate that the “if” is a big factor.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Its two separate things.

    Those promoting "wokeness" either directly benefit from it - the Bioleninism manifesto, or are not harmed by it. They may additionally fear that reversals harm them; thus the often strong argument that pro-transexual laws are a matter of "life and death." They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being "inclusive to all," which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

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

    Going woke probably won't ever result in going broke; I had some time to think about it while dealing with chaos(walked a dog in 100 F for like an hour, found another lost dog, had to run around for another hour more plus to find the owner, etc); wokism is basically a religion, I mentioned before, so it isn't possible to "go woke go broke" any more than it is to "go Christian and go broke" in a very religious Christian nation. Its probably going to be established in the West for some time yet, overcoming its contradictions with typical hypocrisy needed for many religions.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that's why NGOs serve as missionaries. I don't think its ultimately working - along with the Great Firewall and most likely increasing Russian blocking, we're most likely going to see increasingly segmented ideological sections of the world.

    https://news.yahoo.com/russia-disconnected-itself-rest-internet-125922022.html

    So much as the native Canadians, for example, weren't able to understand Christianity at all besides, "The water sorcery that protects us from evil spirit of disease" since the entire logic of "man coming back from death means everyone now has eternal life if they pledge in his name" was lost to them, I think non-woke nations are probably just not even going to have the cognitive toolkit to even comprehend wokism. I felt that with the Japanese, when they responded to complaints about Nier having a scantily clad protagonist with, "I like girls" and other such total nonsequitor answers; I'm feeling that with South Korea right now where the creative work I'm has the government involvement prohibits any mention of drugs while drug legalization to increasingly hard drugs is the norm in the West:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JeanSwanson_/status/1415426476124491776

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities), and perhaps eventually we'll see cultures in the world without the basic cognitive toolkit to even comprehend what others consider as typical norms. And they'll just be isolated from each other until a struggle for resources happen, and then that'll be negotiated with the universe's oldest language of directed physics, applied strategically to vital spots.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad, @Triteleia Laxa

  89. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    The best "Chinese" films of recent memory were the King Fu Panda franchise :)

    Unfortunately they were made in America (although there was a lot of input from Chinese people). It was hugely popular in China, and many Chinese lamented that a film that "got" Chinese culture so well was not made in China.

    In America they're seen as just cartoons, but in Asia animation is taken far more seriously and considered adult fare as well. The recent Demon Slayer animated film in Japan was one of the highest grossing films in Japan among adults.

    Personally, I think children's literature and films can be extremely high quality and very worthy of adult attention - C.S Lewis said that he never felt the rueful nostalgia many feel for their lost childhood because he enjoyed fantasy and fairy tales into old age. The modern conception of "growing up" and putting "nonsense" behind one and becoming "practical" leaves many people emotionally stunted - thankfully, this attitude is less prevalent in Asia!

    The King Fu Panda films were really very moving depictions of Chinese cultural themes, not just in context but most crucially - in tone and mood.

    There was a beautiful reference to the classical Chinese novel Monkey, or Journey to The West - the monk makes an arduous journey through the Western wilderness to retrieve a precious Buddhist manuscript. After successfully retrieving it, he travels halfway back to China only to discover that the paper is blank! He returns to get the "true" manuscript, and is told that the blank page is the true wisdom, but is anyways given a different manuscript with "conventional" wisdom on it to take back. Panda references this nicely.

    I referenced this once to AltanBakshi, but he was completely ignorant of this famous scene from Monkey so did not understand - much like the monk in the story! :)

    Nezha is an amusing and good Chinese animated film available on Netflix also.

    If you want more "serious" Chinese films, you will likely have to turn to Hong Kong and Taiwan, to directors like Wong Kar Wai, etc. Although there are some good films produced in mainland China as well.

    Ultimately, you simply cannot produce compelling and high quality art in a society heavy on censorship and intent on controlling and suppressing artistic freedom. A certain level of anarchy and chaos - freedom - is absolutely essential to creativity and art.

    Sparta did not produce art, Athens produced mountains of it. Rome is also not known for producing high art - and China models itself on Rome. A culture devoted to the "practical" will produce great works of engineering but not great works of imagination or intellect.

    But China is a culture going through a "practical" phase of "control". Eventually it will get past this and began producing great again.

    In the meantime for Asian art you have Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Singapore is sterile for the same reason as mainland China), India, and even Thailand has some moving and interesting films.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @songbird

    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as “Chinese.”

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @songbird


    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as “Chinese.”
     
    You find that "hard?"

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.
     
    How would the conversation, where they decided to use cute animals in "an attempt to deracinate the Chinese", have proceeded among the film producers?

    Replies: @songbird

    , @AaronB
    @songbird

    Well, if it's any consolation to you, the animals are typically Chinese - a panda, a monkey, a tiger, a red panda (called Shifu, the Chinese word for red panda), a goose (I don't know why I think of goose as Chinese, but somehow I do), a praying mantis...well, the snake isn't particularly Chinese. The villains are wild boars, water buffalos, (demons in Eastern mythology frequently have boar or horned buffalo heads), cougars, etc. One of the villains is a peacock. One of the sages is a turtle.

    The architecture and natural setting are classical China, very evocatively rendered, as well as the costumes.

    Lest you see this as an attempt at multiculturalism, folk tales involving a cast of various animals have deep roots in traditional Indian and Chinese culture.

    The classic Chinese novel Monkey has a main cast of a monkey, a pig, and a monk, and features a huge variety of talking animals.

    But most importantly, the values illustrated are deeply Chinese and the atmosphere and culture are straight out of China, distinctively and overwhelmingly Chinese.

    The entire atmosphere is entirely Chinese culture, through and through and in so many ways.

    Now, if you still want to see this as propoganda for ethnic variety rather than the traditional practice of using animals to illustrate human themes that we find in all cultures, but particularly Eastern, I suppose I can't stop you - although I think you are being just a tad obsessive and humorless here :)

    But what this emphatically is not is promotion of multiculturalism - it is promotion through and through of Chinese culture.

    Replies: @songbird

  90. @songbird
    @AaronB

    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as "Chinese."

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as “Chinese.”

    You find that “hard?”

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.

    How would the conversation, where they decided to use cute animals in “an attempt to deracinate the Chinese”, have proceeded among the film producers?

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Okay, I'll bite: how is a film made outside of China, the home of the Chinese people, without any real Chinese characters "Chinese?" Is it because Jackie Chan voiced one of the characters? Because it has a panda? Or because the producers were inspired by greed to go after the Chinese market?

    Your second implies that you think Hollywood has no political orientation. Has never taken a European cultural product, with a European historical setting, and filled it non-Europeans. And that nobody has tried to subvert identity by using nonhumans.

    Who knows what the case is in this instance? But Hollywood de facto tailors for a multiracial audience. Perhaps, the motivation is mercenary, in this instance, but it carries a strong political message about race, nevertheless. And Hollywood isn't concerned with perpetuating the Chinese people, which is a moral concern all Chinese people should have.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  91. @mal
    @songbird


    I’ve heard someone say that communist films are often like plays. I’ve wondered whether any Soviet films are remembered fondly today as crowd pleasers.
     
    Are you kidding? Soviet comedy was epic.

    "Ivan Vasilievich changing profession", " Irony of Fate", "Brilliant Hand" - just off the top of my head. They will easily beat any modern Hollywood comedy, and hold the ground against all time best in the West.

    Real crowd pleasers.

    Replies: @songbird

    Must have been very difficult ideologically for the Soviet Union to compete with Hollywood blockbusters, like Star Wars or Terminator or Aliens. Of course, now the films have gotten dumber and more pozzed, so it is probably less of a problem.

    Have not yet watched a Soviet comedy, but I am very interested in it. I have heard that communist humor has certain characteristics, and I want to see how Soviet humor compares with modern Chinese humor. Rumor is that there are a few NK comedies on Youtube, but I haven’t watched one yet.

  92. kzn says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @kzn

    Although I agree with your assessment of the film "Dr. Zhivago" I have no idea why you're trying to denigrate great films like "Cleopatra" and "Qui Vadis"?

    Replies: @kzn

    Not seen those films, but have heard they were reviewed badly and box office failures.

    I suppose they could still be great films – Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando is supposed to have failed financially and critically……… but I thought that the first half of the film was very good, although the second half was a joke.

    On an entirely tangential note – the Hitchcock film Frenzy, which is completely unknown, is easily super ior to Psycho. Vertigo is pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Shadow of a Doubt is an excellent film but Rear Window is total trash.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @kzn


    Rear Window is total trash
     
    Rear Window is a delightful chamber composition from the first seconds onward.

    In a more lighthearted way--the Seven Year Itch (1955) with Monroe, the first half is terrific, until Monroe's presence becomes too prominent.
    , @Mr. Hack
    @kzn

    You heard wrong:


    Cleopatra was the highest-grossing film of 1963, earning box-office of $57.7 million in the United States and Canada, and one of the highest-grossing films of the decade at a worldwide level...It received nine nominations at the 36th Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, and won four: Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography (Color), Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design (Color).
     

    The film [Qui Vadis] was nominated for eight Academy Awards (though it won none), and it was such a huge box office success that it was credited with single-handedly rescuing MGM from the brink of bankruptcy...Edwin Schallert of the Los Angeles Times declared it "one of the most tremendous if not the greatest picture ever made ... Its pictorial lavishness has never been equaled in any other production... Harrison's Reports declared, "For sheer opulence, massiveness of sets, size of cast, and beauty of Technicolor photography, no picture ever produced matches 'Quo Vadis'. It is a super-collosal [sic] spectacle in every sense of the meaning, and on that score alone it is worth a premium price of admission."[
     
    Both excerpted from Wikipedia entries relating to these films

    Of course both films had their detractors too. I've seen both films and tend to agree with these positive reviews. You claim that both films were "box office failures" which factually, by examining ticket receipts, they were not, but in fact great successes.

    Replies: @kzn

  93. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the “good guys” speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Wouldn’t that be evidence for the opposite?

    Even though the label still says ‘made in America’. But is sushi an American culture just because there’s a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    While you’re agonising over what fits your label of “Japanese” or “American”, someone else is selling a lot of sushi.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally?

    US cultural products only seem to fail this way by being too early. Some people take this as evidence that the US is forcing everyone down the same cultural agenda, but I’d say they’re just good at getting ahead of the flow.

    I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US?

    Bangladeshi peasants don’t want “prestige” US films, but I bet they like Fast & Furious.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn’t really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision

    It remains a hub because it is a global vision. Or perhaps, because the people making stuff have global vision and see what is coming next.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @Triteleia Laxa


    It remains a hub because it is a global vision.
     
    Global vision? US doesn't have a global vision. It has momentum. Due to being the dominant cultural force for the better part of 50 years, people are accustomed to US media and it continues to use this to spread its ideas. However, at this point I think that US culture is beginning to lose appeal and is slowing down - especially with the rise of Asia and asian powers beginning to replace it (look at how Saudi Arabia allowed BTS concerts, whereas it would not allow US bands to perform. Moroever, look at how North Korea allowed a South Korean band to perform but not a US band)
  94. @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Not seen those films, but have heard they were reviewed badly and box office failures.

    I suppose they could still be great films - Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando is supposed to have failed financially and critically......... but I thought that the first half of the film was very good, although the second half was a joke.

    On an entirely tangential note - the Hitchcock film Frenzy, which is completely unknown, is easily super ior to Psycho. Vertigo is pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Shadow of a Doubt is an excellent film but Rear Window is total trash.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack

    Rear Window is total trash

    Rear Window is a delightful chamber composition from the first seconds onward.

    In a more lighthearted way–the Seven Year Itch (1955) with Monroe, the first half is terrific, until Monroe’s presence becomes too prominent.

  95. @Triteleia Laxa
    @songbird


    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as “Chinese.”
     
    You find that "hard?"

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.
     
    How would the conversation, where they decided to use cute animals in "an attempt to deracinate the Chinese", have proceeded among the film producers?

    Replies: @songbird

    Okay, I’ll bite: how is a film made outside of China, the home of the Chinese people, without any real Chinese characters “Chinese?” Is it because Jackie Chan voiced one of the characters? Because it has a panda? Or because the producers were inspired by greed to go after the Chinese market?

    Your second implies that you think Hollywood has no political orientation. Has never taken a European cultural product, with a European historical setting, and filled it non-Europeans. And that nobody has tried to subvert identity by using nonhumans.

    Who knows what the case is in this instance? But Hollywood de facto tailors for a multiracial audience. Perhaps, the motivation is mercenary, in this instance, but it carries a strong political message about race, nevertheless. And Hollywood isn’t concerned with perpetuating the Chinese people, which is a moral concern all Chinese people should have.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @songbird


    Okay, I’ll bite: how is a film
     
    I was specific in my question. You have run off on a tangent. Why?

    Your second implies that you think Hollywood has no political orientation. Has never taken a European cultural product, with a European historical setting, and filled it non-Europeans. And that nobody has tried to subvert identity by using nonhumans.
     
    Another confused tangent. It seems that's just the way your mind feels it needs to run. What is it running from?

    But Hollywood de facto tailors for a multiracial audience. Perhaps, the motivation is mercenary, in this instance, but it carries a strong political message about race, nevertheless.
     
    Hollywood's "political message" has been remarkably on trend, decade after decade. You think they're brainwashing everyone. I think they're excellent at understanding and sincerely believing in trends. These are two theories which explain the same phenomena, but mine doesn't require any of the absurdities that yours does.

    And Hollywood isn’t concerned with perpetuating the Chinese people, which is a moral concern all Chinese people should have.
     
    "Should" is a strong word.
  96. @songbird
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Okay, I'll bite: how is a film made outside of China, the home of the Chinese people, without any real Chinese characters "Chinese?" Is it because Jackie Chan voiced one of the characters? Because it has a panda? Or because the producers were inspired by greed to go after the Chinese market?

    Your second implies that you think Hollywood has no political orientation. Has never taken a European cultural product, with a European historical setting, and filled it non-Europeans. And that nobody has tried to subvert identity by using nonhumans.

    Who knows what the case is in this instance? But Hollywood de facto tailors for a multiracial audience. Perhaps, the motivation is mercenary, in this instance, but it carries a strong political message about race, nevertheless. And Hollywood isn't concerned with perpetuating the Chinese people, which is a moral concern all Chinese people should have.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Okay, I’ll bite: how is a film

    I was specific in my question. You have run off on a tangent. Why?

    Your second implies that you think Hollywood has no political orientation. Has never taken a European cultural product, with a European historical setting, and filled it non-Europeans. And that nobody has tried to subvert identity by using nonhumans.

    Another confused tangent. It seems that’s just the way your mind feels it needs to run. What is it running from?

    But Hollywood de facto tailors for a multiracial audience. Perhaps, the motivation is mercenary, in this instance, but it carries a strong political message about race, nevertheless.

    Hollywood’s “political message” has been remarkably on trend, decade after decade. You think they’re brainwashing everyone. I think they’re excellent at understanding and sincerely believing in trends. These are two theories which explain the same phenomena, but mine doesn’t require any of the absurdities that yours does.

    And Hollywood isn’t concerned with perpetuating the Chinese people, which is a moral concern all Chinese people should have.

    “Should” is a strong word.

    • Troll: songbird
  97. @songbird
    @AaronB

    IMO, it is hard to see a film without humans as "Chinese."

    Perhaps, there are reasonable commercial justifications for using cartoon animals as characters. Likely, they are easier to trademark and merchandise and appeal to very young children (an audience you can build off of). But I cannot help but feel that the movie was partly an attempt to deracinate the Chinese.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    Well, if it’s any consolation to you, the animals are typically Chinese – a panda, a monkey, a tiger, a red panda (called Shifu, the Chinese word for red panda), a goose (I don’t know why I think of goose as Chinese, but somehow I do), a praying mantis…well, the snake isn’t particularly Chinese. The villains are wild boars, water buffalos, (demons in Eastern mythology frequently have boar or horned buffalo heads), cougars, etc. One of the villains is a peacock. One of the sages is a turtle.

    The architecture and natural setting are classical China, very evocatively rendered, as well as the costumes.

    Lest you see this as an attempt at multiculturalism, folk tales involving a cast of various animals have deep roots in traditional Indian and Chinese culture.

    The classic Chinese novel Monkey has a main cast of a monkey, a pig, and a monk, and features a huge variety of talking animals.

    But most importantly, the values illustrated are deeply Chinese and the atmosphere and culture are straight out of China, distinctively and overwhelmingly Chinese.

    The entire atmosphere is entirely Chinese culture, through and through and in so many ways.

    Now, if you still want to see this as propoganda for ethnic variety rather than the traditional practice of using animals to illustrate human themes that we find in all cultures, but particularly Eastern, I suppose I can’t stop you – although I think you are being just a tad obsessive and humorless here 🙂

    But what this emphatically is not is promotion of multiculturalism – it is promotion through and through of Chinese culture.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @AaronB

    Well, I guess one could argue that animals have a certain cachet in China due to the zodiac. (Even if not all animals belong on it) and due to recent industrialization. It may also be that Christianity has in part discouraged animal fables.

    But it is also true that the Chinese have made a lot of adaptations of Journey to the West, and that they have always (as far as I know) had lots of Chinese in them, in addition to the animal characters.

    Replies: @AaronB

  98. @prime noticer
    "This seems to largely be a map of cultural closeness to the US."

    could be a language gap map. and there are english speakers in India from the British occupation, but that's only like 10% of the population.

    listening to 3 minute american pop songs is one thing, slogging thru 2 hour movies in a foreign language is another - most people won't do that, even if the movies are relatively good. they'd rather watch crap that they can at least understand. hence bollywood.

    a lot of the dialog in movies doesn't translate well, even when it's translated well. that's why hollywood was mainly sending action movies and sci fi blockbusters abroad.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @jimmyriddle

    American films are dubbed. In Italy, for example, every major Hollwood actor is always dubbed by the same voice actor. So Italians think John Wayne was a basso profundo.

    • Replies: @prime noticer
    @jimmyriddle

    "American films are dubbed."

    indeed. and like i said, most people aren't interested in that. they would rather watch crap movies in their own language than watch great foreign movies that are translated.

    this is really well studied, since the hollywood people have billions of dollars on the line. as soon as the local movie industry is able to make halfway decent movies by the local standards, movies that would still be crap by US standards, the local population switches over to watch those since they can understand them in the native language in real time.

    IMBD now has a filter for that, so when you try to look up the best movies in some year, you don't get a list that's 50% total crap foreign movies from India and China. the Chinese action and sci fi movies HAVE gotten a lot better, and are better than the Russian movies, but none of them are really all that good. at least they have 0% woke content. the Korean movies are the best, but they're still not all that good on average by US standards.

    US streaming services are flooded with these movies, so any American can easily watch most of the stuff coming out of China, India, Russia, and Korea, and observe that it's largely crap. compared to US blockbusters, it's all second rate stuff at best, third rate in general, and that's their best efforts, big budget productions.

  99. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.
     
    Yes, but all his striving for conventional greatness did not win him the top spot. Only no longer trying to be "superior" finally gained him admittance into the ranks of the Gods.

    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom - so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

    So, overall, with slight modification, I like your point. Not bad.


    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a “foolish old man” in the story of the mountains
     
    .

    So then, what could all these things mean? It seems to mean that true wisdom consists in shedding the conventional preoccupation with hierarchy and status that so afflicts the foolish common man - chimeras of the mind.

    But perhaps you will show that the true meaning is that the highest development of human wisdom is to fit into a hierarchy ruled by Daniel Chieh 😉


    Spend more time being a quiet. It’ll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.
     
    I definitely should spend more time being quiet, that's true. We all should. It is the beginning of wisdom.

    My addiction to posting on UNZ is a serious compulsion that I pray every day I will be released from.

    I just got back from a beautiful weekend in the woods and absolutely vowed to myself I won't post on this absurd site - I will just check in, briefly. Well! That didn't work out lol :)

    I blame you, Chieh - your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged :)

    As for giving my "wealth" to Karlin, it isn't much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes - if I had lots of money, I'd probably buy land out West and create "secular" monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome - bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed - so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Yellowface Anon

    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom – so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

    Oh goody, you’ve begun to notice that letting go of your ego might be a good thing. Truly, the beginnings of wisdom.

    Try practicing it by admitting that you’re wrong and don’t know all things.

    So then, what could all these things mean?

    Why don’t you try using your brain?

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

    Meditate on that. What could it possibly mean?

    I blame you, Chieh – your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged

    You can talk to this chimerical version of me of your own mind with or without me.

    As for giving my “wealth” to Karlin, it isn’t much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes [than Karlin]

    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.
     
    Life extension is cool, but people don't actually die. Space travel is the most worthy cause.
    , @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.
     
    I sometimes feel that death may be the true revelation, the beginning of an adventure and a mystery I cannot now understand.

    I wouldn't miss it for the world :)

    I will enjoy my life heartily, and when my time comes, soon or late, in a year or 40, I will embrace it.

    You don't know what you may be denying yourself - survival, in the end, is a petty ambition, based on fear of the unknown.

    You have cut yourself from similar intimations by your cultivation of a mechanistic mindset, so it is understandable you fear the unknown.

    I wish you well.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  100. @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Not seen those films, but have heard they were reviewed badly and box office failures.

    I suppose they could still be great films - Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando is supposed to have failed financially and critically......... but I thought that the first half of the film was very good, although the second half was a joke.

    On an entirely tangential note - the Hitchcock film Frenzy, which is completely unknown, is easily super ior to Psycho. Vertigo is pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Shadow of a Doubt is an excellent film but Rear Window is total trash.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack

    You heard wrong:

    Cleopatra was the highest-grossing film of 1963, earning box-office of $57.7 million in the United States and Canada, and one of the highest-grossing films of the decade at a worldwide level…It received nine nominations at the 36th Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, and won four: Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography (Color), Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design (Color).

    The film [Qui Vadis] was nominated for eight Academy Awards (though it won none), and it was such a huge box office success that it was credited with single-handedly rescuing MGM from the brink of bankruptcy…Edwin Schallert of the Los Angeles Times declared it “one of the most tremendous if not the greatest picture ever made … Its pictorial lavishness has never been equaled in any other production… Harrison’s Reports declared, “For sheer opulence, massiveness of sets, size of cast, and beauty of Technicolor photography, no picture ever produced matches ‘Quo Vadis’. It is a super-collosal [sic] spectacle in every sense of the meaning, and on that score alone it is worth a premium price of admission.”[

    Both excerpted from Wikipedia entries relating to these films

    Of course both films had their detractors too. I’ve seen both films and tend to agree with these positive reviews. You claim that both films were “box office failures” which factually, by examining ticket receipts, they were not, but in fact great successes.

    • Replies: @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Very surprised - I have constantly read that Cleopatra nearly bankrupted MGM (if that was the studio) and brought an end to that type of historical epic film which until then, was a regular production in Hollywood.

    Again with Quo Vadis, I've never heard or read anything suggesting it was regarded as one of the top biblical "epic" films.

    Looking at what you have posted, I think I am majority correct about Cleopatra, but not so much with Quo Vadis

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @dfordoom

  101. @AaronB
    @songbird

    Well, if it's any consolation to you, the animals are typically Chinese - a panda, a monkey, a tiger, a red panda (called Shifu, the Chinese word for red panda), a goose (I don't know why I think of goose as Chinese, but somehow I do), a praying mantis...well, the snake isn't particularly Chinese. The villains are wild boars, water buffalos, (demons in Eastern mythology frequently have boar or horned buffalo heads), cougars, etc. One of the villains is a peacock. One of the sages is a turtle.

    The architecture and natural setting are classical China, very evocatively rendered, as well as the costumes.

    Lest you see this as an attempt at multiculturalism, folk tales involving a cast of various animals have deep roots in traditional Indian and Chinese culture.

    The classic Chinese novel Monkey has a main cast of a monkey, a pig, and a monk, and features a huge variety of talking animals.

    But most importantly, the values illustrated are deeply Chinese and the atmosphere and culture are straight out of China, distinctively and overwhelmingly Chinese.

    The entire atmosphere is entirely Chinese culture, through and through and in so many ways.

    Now, if you still want to see this as propoganda for ethnic variety rather than the traditional practice of using animals to illustrate human themes that we find in all cultures, but particularly Eastern, I suppose I can't stop you - although I think you are being just a tad obsessive and humorless here :)

    But what this emphatically is not is promotion of multiculturalism - it is promotion through and through of Chinese culture.

    Replies: @songbird

    Well, I guess one could argue that animals have a certain cachet in China due to the zodiac. (Even if not all animals belong on it) and due to recent industrialization. It may also be that Christianity has in part discouraged animal fables.

    But it is also true that the Chinese have made a lot of adaptations of Journey to the West, and that they have always (as far as I know) had lots of Chinese in them, in addition to the animal characters.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @songbird

    True - but this is a purely animal fable, a specific and traditional genre, so there are no place for actual humans.

    Yes, Christianity may have discouraged animal fables, which is unfortunate, but I do not believe true to the spirit of Christianity. St Francis after all was a great lover and charger of animals.

  102. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom – so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

     

    Oh goody, you've begun to notice that letting go of your ego might be a good thing. Truly, the beginnings of wisdom.

    Try practicing it by admitting that you're wrong and don't know all things.


    So then, what could all these things mean?
     
    Why don't you try using your brain?

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

    http://www.fao.org/uploads/pics/Rice-terraces-china-banner.jpg

    Meditate on that. What could it possibly mean?


    I blame you, Chieh – your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged
     
    You can talk to this chimerical version of me of your own mind with or without me.

    As for giving my “wealth” to Karlin, it isn’t much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes [than Karlin]
     
    Since it doesn't seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    Life extension is cool, but people don’t actually die. Space travel is the most worthy cause.

  103. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack


    How to look at video gaming as true and great art?…
     
    I provided a video above which can help.

    But basically the fundamental aspect to this is the interaction element as I mentioned, in the media itself, but also in the community aspect of it, where fans discuss elements and essentially co-create something(like our discussions, in a way), but if there's also developer involvement, it means that the entire thing takes on a highly engaged and evolving role.

    That's also how a lot of "customers" get converted into "salespeople."

    It creates a common background, a common language, and a common sense of feel(plus it age-filters, I suppose). Note the regular references by AK to Deus Ex, for example.

    Game storylines are preconceived and can only allow for a certain set of formulaic endings
     
    That's not always the case, but also I think missing the point. So do novels, obviously.

    Its the themes discussed and what you take away from it. What are the themes discussed in Lord of the Rings, for example? An adventure happened, but all of the themes of God's power, the nature of good and evil, the value of hope, surprises of joy and horror, and ultimately, novels are trance-states like hypnosis(in fact, this is actual science) to transfer you into another world, a make-believe that's real for you, and in being real for you, allows you to deeply emotionally engage with events that never happened. Movies do this too, with images of people and music and whatnot. Heck, porn attempts to do too, not that it has a lot to say, but the central principle applies.

    And thus, so can games, and this is especially so because it is interactive. Even if it takes to a fixed point, its the journey there that matters, and in games, the journey can be particularly unique per playthrough, e.g. roguelikes do this in particular, where the world is randomized, and each time you play it, people mentally produce an entire story to sensemake it.

    Some games(my favorite, actually) basically are dedicated to telling a story like that:

    https://dfstories.com/the-hamlet-of-tyranny/

    With no way to save him, and with his entire clan residing in the afterlife, we debated how this should end. Should we just abandon the fort outright? Should we try and kill him somehow? What? In the end, however, we decided to let him create one more carving – one last testament to dwarfkind. This decision did not come lightly, as after such an epic climax, anything less would seem an insult. After all, maybe he would draw a picture of a plump helmet or something equally random. But still, we left him to his work.

    What did he draw? Moments before he bled to death? Alone on a cliff? The last gesture of the dwarves of The Hamlet of Tyranny?

    A picture of a demon and some dwarves. The demon was in a fetal position. The dwarves were laughing.
     

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Triteleia Laxa

    Have you seen the TV series Mythic Quest? I really enjoyed it. There is a sub-storyline in season two which I found particularly beautiful.

  104. kzn says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @kzn

    You heard wrong:


    Cleopatra was the highest-grossing film of 1963, earning box-office of $57.7 million in the United States and Canada, and one of the highest-grossing films of the decade at a worldwide level...It received nine nominations at the 36th Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, and won four: Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography (Color), Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design (Color).
     

    The film [Qui Vadis] was nominated for eight Academy Awards (though it won none), and it was such a huge box office success that it was credited with single-handedly rescuing MGM from the brink of bankruptcy...Edwin Schallert of the Los Angeles Times declared it "one of the most tremendous if not the greatest picture ever made ... Its pictorial lavishness has never been equaled in any other production... Harrison's Reports declared, "For sheer opulence, massiveness of sets, size of cast, and beauty of Technicolor photography, no picture ever produced matches 'Quo Vadis'. It is a super-collosal [sic] spectacle in every sense of the meaning, and on that score alone it is worth a premium price of admission."[
     
    Both excerpted from Wikipedia entries relating to these films

    Of course both films had their detractors too. I've seen both films and tend to agree with these positive reviews. You claim that both films were "box office failures" which factually, by examining ticket receipts, they were not, but in fact great successes.

    Replies: @kzn

    Very surprised – I have constantly read that Cleopatra nearly bankrupted MGM (if that was the studio) and brought an end to that type of historical epic film which until then, was a regular production in Hollywood.

    Again with Quo Vadis, I’ve never heard or read anything suggesting it was regarded as one of the top biblical “epic” films.

    Looking at what you have posted, I think I am majority correct about Cleopatra, but not so much with Quo Vadis

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @kzn

    Why don't you try watching these films for yourself and make up your own mind? They're out there to watch for free.....

    As far as boxhouse failures/success, that's not debatable as the verifiable information clearly indicates that both films were huge moneymakers.

    , @dfordoom
    @kzn


    Very surprised – I have constantly read that Cleopatra nearly bankrupted MGM (if that was the studio) and brought an end to that type of historical epic film which until then, was a regular production in Hollywood.
     
    Cleopatra lost money because 20th Century-Fox spent an insane amount of money on it. The budget was unbelievable, partly due to Mankiewicz's incompetence as a director. It cost so much to make that no matter how well it did at the box office it was simply not possible to recoup the costs. But it was a massive massive hit.

    If you want to see a truly excellent Hollywood epic from that era watch El Cid instead. An infinitely better film.
  105. I just like Sunny Deol films.

    Border, Ma Tujhe Salaam, Gadar, Ziddi, Hero.

    Etc.

    😀

    Best of 90s Bollywood, fk the rest. Otherwise, occasional Sikh or Punjabi violent film.

  106. @kzn
    @Mr. Hack

    Very surprised - I have constantly read that Cleopatra nearly bankrupted MGM (if that was the studio) and brought an end to that type of historical epic film which until then, was a regular production in Hollywood.

    Again with Quo Vadis, I've never heard or read anything suggesting it was regarded as one of the top biblical "epic" films.

    Looking at what you have posted, I think I am majority correct about Cleopatra, but not so much with Quo Vadis

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @dfordoom

    Why don’t you try watching these films for yourself and make up your own mind? They’re out there to watch for free…..

    As far as boxhouse failures/success, that’s not debatable as the verifiable information clearly indicates that both films were huge moneymakers.

  107. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom – so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

     

    Oh goody, you've begun to notice that letting go of your ego might be a good thing. Truly, the beginnings of wisdom.

    Try practicing it by admitting that you're wrong and don't know all things.


    So then, what could all these things mean?
     
    Why don't you try using your brain?

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

    http://www.fao.org/uploads/pics/Rice-terraces-china-banner.jpg

    Meditate on that. What could it possibly mean?


    I blame you, Chieh – your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged
     
    You can talk to this chimerical version of me of your own mind with or without me.

    As for giving my “wealth” to Karlin, it isn’t much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes [than Karlin]
     
    Since it doesn't seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.

    I sometimes feel that death may be the true revelation, the beginning of an adventure and a mystery I cannot now understand.

    I wouldn’t miss it for the world 🙂

    I will enjoy my life heartily, and when my time comes, soon or late, in a year or 40, I will embrace it.

    You don’t know what you may be denying yourself – survival, in the end, is a petty ambition, based on fear of the unknown.

    You have cut yourself from similar intimations by your cultivation of a mechanistic mindset, so it is understandable you fear the unknown.

    I wish you well.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Still working on that ego, I see. Good luck with that.

    Oh, its called Journey to the West, btw. Next time before you claim to be all knowing of "Chinese culture," it might behoove you to be able to read Chinese.

  108. @songbird
    @AaronB

    Well, I guess one could argue that animals have a certain cachet in China due to the zodiac. (Even if not all animals belong on it) and due to recent industrialization. It may also be that Christianity has in part discouraged animal fables.

    But it is also true that the Chinese have made a lot of adaptations of Journey to the West, and that they have always (as far as I know) had lots of Chinese in them, in addition to the animal characters.

    Replies: @AaronB

    True – but this is a purely animal fable, a specific and traditional genre, so there are no place for actual humans.

    Yes, Christianity may have discouraged animal fables, which is unfortunate, but I do not believe true to the spirit of Christianity. St Francis after all was a great lover and charger of animals.

  109. This is incredibly encouraging, the correlation is lower than I’d have guessed. Would assume Russia would be similar to Italy, and higher than India.

    I think the “GAE” made a big mistake being so overt and reactive with their post 2014 Russophobia campaign. Could have gone easy on Russia at the superficial level, while continuing to rot out Russia’s youth with toxic memes. Instead, Russians are a little bit hostile, or weary to anything associated with America these days. The Cunning of Reason!

    Russia is in a great position. Every-stronger domestic internet, massive food exporter, now value-added specialty foods included. Super weapons. Strong, lean, army that can take casualties.

    I would like to see stronger moral messages and less sex in Russian TV shows however. Russian entertainment should be trying to make a domestic “Sopranos” or “Game of Thrones” must-watch series, but one that subtly conveys strong moral lessons, such as the Brat films.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The Sopranos was full of moral examples (it certainly never glamourised criminality) and serious themes, it just never hit you its audience over the head with it and never got preachy. I think the closest it ever got to explicitly expounding any moral message was this scene, very coldly expressed, and the more powerful for it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVeLjj6Ao8

    And please to do not compare David Chase's masterwork with trash like GoT.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Boswald Bollocksworth, @Beckow

  110. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Since it doesn’t seem that your worthier cause is life extension, you are clearly wrong.
     
    I sometimes feel that death may be the true revelation, the beginning of an adventure and a mystery I cannot now understand.

    I wouldn't miss it for the world :)

    I will enjoy my life heartily, and when my time comes, soon or late, in a year or 40, I will embrace it.

    You don't know what you may be denying yourself - survival, in the end, is a petty ambition, based on fear of the unknown.

    You have cut yourself from similar intimations by your cultivation of a mechanistic mindset, so it is understandable you fear the unknown.

    I wish you well.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Still working on that ego, I see. Good luck with that.

    Oh, its called Journey to the West, btw. Next time before you claim to be all knowing of “Chinese culture,” it might behoove you to be able to read Chinese.

  111. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    An interesting question is whether those types of people are more interested in their values or more interested in their individual pride?

    In which direction does most of their motivation flow?

    This is complicated by the fact that their values are also mediated by their pride, and may even be mistaken by them, as a surrogate for it, but their extreme success also suggests that their success, not the success of their values, is paramount to them.

    Sadly "going woke" does not seem to have resulting in "getting broke" at all. The exceptions are stupid and derivative products which may have done even worse without the Wokism.

    If creative talent is limited, then drearily formulaic woke dross seems to be the next best thing.

    I appreciate that the "if" is a big factor.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Its two separate things.

    Those promoting “wokeness” either directly benefit from it – the Bioleninism manifesto, or are not harmed by it. They may additionally fear that reversals harm them; thus the often strong argument that pro-transexual laws are a matter of “life and death.” They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being “inclusive to all,” which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

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

    Going woke probably won’t ever result in going broke; I had some time to think about it while dealing with chaos(walked a dog in 100 F for like an hour, found another lost dog, had to run around for another hour more plus to find the owner, etc); wokism is basically a religion, I mentioned before, so it isn’t possible to “go woke go broke” any more than it is to “go Christian and go broke” in a very religious Christian nation. Its probably going to be established in the West for some time yet, overcoming its contradictions with typical hypocrisy needed for many religions.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that’s why NGOs serve as missionaries. I don’t think its ultimately working – along with the Great Firewall and most likely increasing Russian blocking, we’re most likely going to see increasingly segmented ideological sections of the world.

    https://news.yahoo.com/russia-disconnected-itself-rest-internet-125922022.html

    So much as the native Canadians, for example, weren’t able to understand Christianity at all besides, “The water sorcery that protects us from evil spirit of disease” since the entire logic of “man coming back from death means everyone now has eternal life if they pledge in his name” was lost to them, I think non-woke nations are probably just not even going to have the cognitive toolkit to even comprehend wokism. I felt that with the Japanese, when they responded to complaints about Nier having a scantily clad protagonist with, “I like girls” and other such total nonsequitor answers; I’m feeling that with South Korea right now where the creative work I’m has the government involvement prohibits any mention of drugs while drug legalization to increasingly hard drugs is the norm in the West:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JeanSwanson_/status/1415426476124491776

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities), and perhaps eventually we’ll see cultures in the world without the basic cognitive toolkit to even comprehend what others consider as typical norms. And they’ll just be isolated from each other until a struggle for resources happen, and then that’ll be negotiated with the universe’s oldest language of directed physics, applied strategically to vital spots.

    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Daniel Chieh


    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities)
     
    FB and Twitter, MeWe and Gab, will collapse sooner or later. These social media used to be built on "friendship" circles and later leveling cultural influences, which becomes ideological curation (either centrally or by ghetto self-policing) after serious political polarization. We should go back to the time of 4chan and specialized forums, or move on to Discord-like chat groups with none of the centralizing authority Discord has.
    , @Svevlad
    @Daniel Chieh

    Really all this speculation of increasingly "religious" wokeism makes me want to write a satirical yet overly serious and graphic novel about increasingly absurd "ideological bantustans" the world will be divided into

    Think 1984 meets Alice in Wonderland. The hyperwoke white liberal North American zone, which practices literal human sacrifice in the form of suicide quotas to reduce racism, and raids surrounding "badwhite" statelets, an afto-islamic neo-roman hyper-we-wuzzist Europe led by autistic rightoid butthurtbelters, weird christian-pagan-muslim hybrid Africa led by a blasian Hong Xiuquan-esque figure and so on and so forth

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being “inclusive to all,” which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.
     
    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that’s why NGOs serve as missionaries.
     
    You applied the label "religion" because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. "It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do."

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized
     
    I see the globe as much less ideologically segmented and polarised, even while specific locales have been able to become more so.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis. This is exactly what you would expect from a less than fully aware impulse towards greater tolerance. Locales would be more diverse even as the globe would look more similar.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @dfordoom

  112. Since AStra took my Russian tv channels away, the only Russian films I see are courtesy of Amazon. They are all, with an exception, historical costume dramas telling the story of key events in the modern Putin approved context. One about Sophia, the last Byzantine princess is the only to really stick in memory. While they focus on aristocratic heros, their ichly clad women and their priests, there is always some inclusion of the common man playing a key role. The films are watchable but neither masterpieces of acting (more or less the same ensemble each time) nor historically accurate, in that historical attirudes were not modern ones but who ever gets that right?

    Then there is the Sci Film about a rebellious teenage girl making friends with an alien who crash lands in Moscow. Much too American. I looked for Major Grom on Amazon without success.

    When I had Russian tv channels, I used to follow a series set in a modern village about witches. It seemed a good review of modern Russian concerns.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    @Philip Owen

    Imagine living a country full of Pakis, and not knowing this costs 2 quid a month.

    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/640459736919048202/869019315159048232/unknown.png

    Full 4K reels before they hit theaters too,

    https://iptvexpress.net/iptv-channels/

    Fuckboi,

  113. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    I have not seen the Grandmaster, but am a fan of Wong Kar Wai (who isn't?) so must watch it! Thanks, I remember when it came out but for some reason never got around to it.

    One of Wong's most underrated films is 2046, a strange and haunting sci-fi film that I found deeply moving - for reasons I don't fully understand (and those are the best kind :))

    I am sure I can "conjure" the good spirit AltanBakshi by saying some utterly scandalous and utterly preposterous and outrageous things about Buddhist teachings :) That's the magic spell that will do it - I am a greater magician than Daniel Chieh and can command greater spirits! :)

    As for fairly tales and fantasies, parables and myths, they are so essential to our spiritual education and such good nourishment in our parched desert of a mechanistic culture - we all hunger for them, but our culture has shamed adults into thinking they are "childish". A mature adult must attend only to the grim business of survival!

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I’m glad to hear that you’re able to conjure up spirits better than anybody around. How about getting Bashibusuk back to reappear here? (no offense AltanBakshi). 🙂

    I think that even Karlin misses the guy.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Unfortunately Bashi is beyond even my power :)

    I have a feeling he'll be back sooner or later on his own, though.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  114. @Philip Owen
    Since AStra took my Russian tv channels away, the only Russian films I see are courtesy of Amazon. They are all, with an exception, historical costume dramas telling the story of key events in the modern Putin approved context. One about Sophia, the last Byzantine princess is the only to really stick in memory. While they focus on aristocratic heros, their ichly clad women and their priests, there is always some inclusion of the common man playing a key role. The films are watchable but neither masterpieces of acting (more or less the same ensemble each time) nor historically accurate, in that historical attirudes were not modern ones but who ever gets that right?

    Then there is the Sci Film about a rebellious teenage girl making friends with an alien who crash lands in Moscow. Much too American. I looked for Major Grom on Amazon without success.

    When I had Russian tv channels, I used to follow a series set in a modern village about witches. It seemed a good review of modern Russian concerns.

    Replies: @sher singh

    Imagine living a country full of Pakis, and not knowing this costs 2 quid a month.

    Full 4K reels before they hit theaters too,

    https://iptvexpress.net/iptv-channels/

    Fuckboi,

  115. @Mr. Hack
    With such a robust Chinese film culture, I wonder why more of their films don't make it to Western movie houses? At least to the art house circuit?

    Great films made in the West including Chinese themes"

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e5/The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg/220px-The_Last_Emperor_filmposter.jpg https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg/220px-Seven_Years_in_Tibet_cover.jpeg

    Were they shown in China?

    Replies: @El Dato, @Yevardian, @Daniel Chieh, @Rahan, @AaronB, @Supply and Demand

    Puyi’s been the subject of rehabilitation here, so you can watch the Last Emperor on domestic streaming services. The last time I saw the film in the West was in university, but I don’t remember anything really cut.

    Did Yoshiko Kawashima feature particularly prominently in the director’s cut? That’s about the only part of my recollection that was fuzzy.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Supply and Demand

    Sorry, I can't answer that one. It's actually been quite few years since I viewed this film. I'll never forget the grandeur of the buildings within the Forbidden City......

    Similarly, the scenes within the monastery at Lhasa in "7 years in Tibet" were splendid too....

  116. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    I'm glad to hear that you're able to conjure up spirits better than anybody around. How about getting Bashibusuk back to reappear here? (no offense AltanBakshi). :-)

    I think that even Karlin misses the guy.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Unfortunately Bashi is beyond even my power 🙂

    I have a feeling he’ll be back sooner or later on his own, though.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    It recently dawned upon me, but you appear to be the living embodiment of Larry Darrel, a young American who exchanges the security of a promising career in the big city, marriage to a good looking socialite from a wealthy family, and instead goes off to the confines of a mountaintop monastery to find some meaning to his life: "The Razor's Edge".


    The story begins through the eyes of Larry's friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune.
     
    At the very least, I think that you'd really enjoy this film if you haven't already viewed it. It's free on YouTube, give it a spin!

    Replies: @AaronB

  117. Destruction comes from the bottom that is on top. Cheap seats at Karlin-Stolin ceremony collapse first.

    Karlin Stolin Givat Zehev Kviat Mezuza

  118. @Supply and Demand
    @Mr. Hack

    Puyi's been the subject of rehabilitation here, so you can watch the Last Emperor on domestic streaming services. The last time I saw the film in the West was in university, but I don't remember anything really cut.

    Did Yoshiko Kawashima feature particularly prominently in the director's cut? That's about the only part of my recollection that was fuzzy.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Sorry, I can’t answer that one. It’s actually been quite few years since I viewed this film. I’ll never forget the grandeur of the buildings within the Forbidden City……

    Similarly, the scenes within the monastery at Lhasa in “7 years in Tibet” were splendid too….

  119. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Unfortunately Bashi is beyond even my power :)

    I have a feeling he'll be back sooner or later on his own, though.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    It recently dawned upon me, but you appear to be the living embodiment of Larry Darrel, a young American who exchanges the security of a promising career in the big city, marriage to a good looking socialite from a wealthy family, and instead goes off to the confines of a mountaintop monastery to find some meaning to his life: “The Razor’s Edge”.

    The story begins through the eyes of Larry’s friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune.

    At the very least, I think that you’d really enjoy this film if you haven’t already viewed it. It’s free on YouTube, give it a spin!

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Ha! Thanks, I appreciate the comparison :) I didn't see the movie but I did read the Maugham novel. Maugham is a fantastic writer, I think I've read nearly everything he's written.

    But I think I'm much less "lofty" and serious than Larry Darrel - I just want out of the dreariness of Industrial Civilization that produces so many broken people and stunted lives. We don't need to be living this way - it's only our fear that makes us trade our birthright - the glory of the world - for a mess of security and safety.

    I'm not even against technology, just the mechanistic mindset - the doltish-mechanistic mindset as Nietzsche called it - and the insane quest to dominate and control nature, based on an unnecessary fear.

    But I think the world is changing. A century again, a "primitivist" like me was looked at with pity - the dominance of science seemed so assured.

    Today, the sheer fury and alarm of people like Daniel Chieh at my ideas suggests that they are terrified and on the run.

    The world is changing :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack

  120. Are there any good Chinese films? There is the obligatory Ash is Purest White and An Elephant Sitting Still, but the other main ‘Chinese’ films of good repute are not from the mainland: Chungking Express, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love. PRC seems to have killed off the genuine artistic talent. When I think of Chinese films I think of abhorrent CGI and terrible writing e.g. The Great Wall, Viy 2: Journey to China, and the Wandering Earth. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is also overrated.

    • Replies: @Voltarde
    @Tusk

    Chinese and Korean historical TV soap operas are pretty entertaining. I liked these four, which are available in the U.S. on Amazon Prime:

    Ruyi's Royal Love in The Palace (Chinese; 87 episodes)

    Ming Dynasty (Chinese; 62 episodes)

    Empress Ki (Korean; 51 episodes)

    The Slave Hunters (Korean; 24 episodes)

    I'd say South Korea ranks first place in terms of the quantity and quality of film and TV production output relative to population. I think that there are a lot more outstanding Korean movie and TV titles that I could mention, but I'm too cheap to pay extra to watch them.

    Replies: @Tusk

    , @Philip Owen
    @Tusk

    Raise the Red Lantern has a following.

  121. @songbird
    @Almost Missouri

    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK, so we could do a like comparison, but from looking at the West, I believe that diversity would also hurt it culturally. That is, it is probably ideologically incapable of making a Chinese film, though it might be technically possible.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    This reply isn’t cultural at all but just to give you some hard data.

    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK

    Singapore no longer has a Chinese majority (2.7M Chinese out of a total of 5.7M). These are Straits Chinese who can go from total Americophile to Sinophile, but not having recent blood ties to China. There are already 2.2M migrants and the rest being Malays and Indians.

    Hong Kong is solidly Chinese (6.9M out of 7.5M) and more than 1M are recent immigrants from China since the 90s, with varying degrees of assimilation to the Cantonese majority culture.

    Tho I guess Singapore is on the demographic trajectory of Persian Gulf Oil States and HK is on that of the Baltics, so the sheer numbers might converge for a bit.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.

    HK isn’t that cheap because of the housing bubble, tho a bit cheaper than Singapore. But production costs was one of the main factors HK’s film industry merged with the mainland’s.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Yellowface Anon

    According to the 2020 census, Singapore is 75.9% Chinese. Do you think they are fudging the numbers? Wouldn't that be hard to hide? Though I understand PAP is falling.

  122. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    Yeah, its called character development. He gains humility and is elevated for service. You could learn from his example.
     
    Yes, but all his striving for conventional greatness did not win him the top spot. Only no longer trying to be "superior" finally gained him admittance into the ranks of the Gods.

    The lesson is that greatness is only won by not trying to achieve it. That is true wisdom - so contrary to conventional notions both Chinese and Western.

    So, overall, with slight modification, I like your point. Not bad.


    It is indeed a regular trope, but I do not think that you know what it means, much like you have failed to understand the meaning of a “foolish old man” in the story of the mountains
     
    .

    So then, what could all these things mean? It seems to mean that true wisdom consists in shedding the conventional preoccupation with hierarchy and status that so afflicts the foolish common man - chimeras of the mind.

    But perhaps you will show that the true meaning is that the highest development of human wisdom is to fit into a hierarchy ruled by Daniel Chieh 😉


    Spend more time being a quiet. It’ll help. And a beggar, perhaps, after you send your material wealth to Karlin.
     
    I definitely should spend more time being quiet, that's true. We all should. It is the beginning of wisdom.

    My addiction to posting on UNZ is a serious compulsion that I pray every day I will be released from.

    I just got back from a beautiful weekend in the woods and absolutely vowed to myself I won't post on this absurd site - I will just check in, briefly. Well! That didn't work out lol :)

    I blame you, Chieh - your spirit of gloom and heaviness, hierarchy and control, simply must be challenged :)

    As for giving my "wealth" to Karlin, it isn't much, and even though I like Karlin there are much worthier causes - if I had lots of money, I'd probably buy land out West and create "secular" monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome - bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed - so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Yellowface Anon

    “secular” monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome – bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed – so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.

    This is one thing, and semi-agrarian communes that work out a prospective alternative to industrialism another. One provides personal relief while the other opens up possibilities of civilizational transformation.

    There are people more dedicated than me, who are either disillusioned with industrial consumerism, tradcons, Deep Ecology types, Kunstler-pilled, localists, agorists, and even those who are trying to avoid vaccination-based segregation or centralized control of production or finance.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Yellowface Anon

    There are many alternative ways of life to the current normal, which is unsustainable and based on false metaphysical premises anyways.

    As the current paradigm collapses under it's contradictions, unsustainability - and crucially, joylessness and boredom - all sorts of interesting and beautiful experiments will be tried.

    Ultimately people want joy, creativity, life, and systems that fail to deliver this eventually collapse. Ultimately control is no fun - people want spontaneous life, risk, adventure.

    Ultimately fear is no fun, and control and hierarchy to stave off fear can only be tolerated for so long. The human in us will rebel against it.

    On another thread, in discussing two communities, one of transhumanists and one of ordinary humans with low technology, Karlin suggested that many ordinary humans would want to defect to the safety, convenience, and immortality of the transhumanists.

    In my view, it would be the opposite :) Many transhumanists would find this life of safety, convenience, and immortality unbearable, and would yearn for a life of joyous dirt, risk, adventure, and humanity - even death. Perhaps death would be a special reward for transhumanists, that they had to pay large sums of money for :)

    Res Warner wrote a beautiful book on exactly this theme called the Aerodrome, where the officer from the strict, clean, efficient, orderly, Aerodrome eventually defects to the joy, chaos, disorder, and love of the community below it.

    E.M Forster wrote a beautiful story on this theme too, the end result of the safety and convenience of technology - The Machine, I think it was actually called?

    In the early stages of technology, brilliant thinkers could see the dreary end result of the quest for safety and convenience, and wrote about it extensively.

    In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans had reached an apogee of sterile order, safety, and convenience - and found life dull (read the Stoics and Epicureans - resigned people who have given up on life). It took something radical like Christianity to break through the gloom.

    So this happens periodically. But it never lasts.

  123. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Its two separate things.

    Those promoting "wokeness" either directly benefit from it - the Bioleninism manifesto, or are not harmed by it. They may additionally fear that reversals harm them; thus the often strong argument that pro-transexual laws are a matter of "life and death." They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being "inclusive to all," which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

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

    Going woke probably won't ever result in going broke; I had some time to think about it while dealing with chaos(walked a dog in 100 F for like an hour, found another lost dog, had to run around for another hour more plus to find the owner, etc); wokism is basically a religion, I mentioned before, so it isn't possible to "go woke go broke" any more than it is to "go Christian and go broke" in a very religious Christian nation. Its probably going to be established in the West for some time yet, overcoming its contradictions with typical hypocrisy needed for many religions.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that's why NGOs serve as missionaries. I don't think its ultimately working - along with the Great Firewall and most likely increasing Russian blocking, we're most likely going to see increasingly segmented ideological sections of the world.

    https://news.yahoo.com/russia-disconnected-itself-rest-internet-125922022.html

    So much as the native Canadians, for example, weren't able to understand Christianity at all besides, "The water sorcery that protects us from evil spirit of disease" since the entire logic of "man coming back from death means everyone now has eternal life if they pledge in his name" was lost to them, I think non-woke nations are probably just not even going to have the cognitive toolkit to even comprehend wokism. I felt that with the Japanese, when they responded to complaints about Nier having a scantily clad protagonist with, "I like girls" and other such total nonsequitor answers; I'm feeling that with South Korea right now where the creative work I'm has the government involvement prohibits any mention of drugs while drug legalization to increasingly hard drugs is the norm in the West:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JeanSwanson_/status/1415426476124491776

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities), and perhaps eventually we'll see cultures in the world without the basic cognitive toolkit to even comprehend what others consider as typical norms. And they'll just be isolated from each other until a struggle for resources happen, and then that'll be negotiated with the universe's oldest language of directed physics, applied strategically to vital spots.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad, @Triteleia Laxa

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities)

    FB and Twitter, MeWe and Gab, will collapse sooner or later. These social media used to be built on “friendship” circles and later leveling cultural influences, which becomes ideological curation (either centrally or by ghetto self-policing) after serious political polarization. We should go back to the time of 4chan and specialized forums, or move on to Discord-like chat groups with none of the centralizing authority Discord has.

  124. @mal
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US is the hub of world culture and information. China is a spoke.
     
    Is it just me, but i have noticed that in a lot of American shows the "good guys" speak with British accent? Especially if they are white and male.

    If so, i think US is purposefully diminishing its role as a global culture hub.

    Personally, i think peak American culture was Madonna's 'Material Girl'. Bubble gum, jeans, sexy blonde, and a Cadillac in the driveway - everybody wanted this, from Russian warehouse worker to Bangladeshi peasant. It was aspirational. Eighties and nineties were the peak of American cultural dominance.

    In the modern culture, the essence of America - individualism and consumerism, are washed out in favor of British accent guys and weird tribals. Even though the label still says 'made in America'. But is sushi an American culture just because there's a Japanese restaurant on every corner in US? I think it would be stretching it. I would argue sushi is still Japanese culture, even if made in America.

    Will this cosmopolitan mix sell well globally? Not sure about that, at least not as well as consumerism and individualism that preceded it. I mean, do Bangladeshi peasants really care about race relations in the US? I don't think so, they still want that Cadillac in the driveway. Cadillac is aspirational, racial preaching isn't.

    So i guess i would argue US as a country isn't really a hub anymore. It has been replaced by a more global vision, and for how long this global vision remains attractive to the unwashed masses, we will see.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @utu, @Yevardian, @inertial, @Triteleia Laxa, @Beckow

    Culture inevitably moves from one form to another. There was a peak period for novels, theatre, movies, TV sitcoms, etc…all are now in the past. Before that there was a peak period for radio, miniatures, sculptures, opera, lives of saints, passion plays. Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.

    US had a sweet spot in he last cultural era with Hollywood, music and TV. It is still well represented in today’s culture, but no sane person would claim that it has the same level of dominance. The new genres are unformed and often not even named consistently, so there is an obvious opening for the rest of the world.

    If you look at patterns of cultural diffusion, at the beginning there is always an attempt by all players (countries big and small) to have a part in it. It only consolidates later. We are in early stages. That means that US cultural dominance is vulnerable – US will have to do better than they have so far and the silly homo-gender-racial obsessions are not helping – no matter what the ever conformist and loyal Laxa claims. It is a mud-fight and that’s kind of a fun thing. The obvious fact that US seems to want to stop the rest of the world is discouraging – it suggests fear and doubt, cultures like that don’t prevail.

    • Replies: @Athletic and Whitesplosive
    @Beckow


    Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.
     
    Like most everything progressivism has attached itself to the olympics just haven't got any blood left in them, completely drained of any animating spirit. I used to find it interesting to see the opening ceremonies and how the host nations would present their nation and culture to the world (the Beijing Olympics in particular I recall being an incredible spectacle). This week I was barely aware they were starting, and on happening to flip to them, the first thing I saw was a negress (who apparently doesn't speak japanese?) lighting the Olympic flame (jeez, I wonder which global hegemon put them up to giving her the most prestigious role possible).

    Whether the Olympics were in Australia, America, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, or any other of the US' imperial holdings there was no way a surly negress wasn't lighting that torch, so as somebody who is interested in seeing displays of the host nation's culture, why should I care anymore? I can see american astroturf on tv any time I like, it's nothing special.

    Replies: @Beckow

  125. @Tusk
    Are there any good Chinese films? There is the obligatory Ash is Purest White and An Elephant Sitting Still, but the other main 'Chinese' films of good repute are not from the mainland: Chungking Express, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love. PRC seems to have killed off the genuine artistic talent. When I think of Chinese films I think of abhorrent CGI and terrible writing e.g. The Great Wall, Viy 2: Journey to China, and the Wandering Earth. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is also overrated.

    Replies: @Voltarde, @Philip Owen

    Chinese and Korean historical TV soap operas are pretty entertaining. I liked these four, which are available in the U.S. on Amazon Prime:

    Ruyi’s Royal Love in The Palace (Chinese; 87 episodes)

    Ming Dynasty (Chinese; 62 episodes)

    Empress Ki (Korean; 51 episodes)

    The Slave Hunters (Korean; 24 episodes)

    I’d say South Korea ranks first place in terms of the quantity and quality of film and TV production output relative to population. I think that there are a lot more outstanding Korean movie and TV titles that I could mention, but I’m too cheap to pay extra to watch them.

    • Replies: @Tusk
    @Voltarde

    You unfortunately lost me at soap opera.

    Replies: @Voltarde

  126. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Its two separate things.

    Those promoting "wokeness" either directly benefit from it - the Bioleninism manifesto, or are not harmed by it. They may additionally fear that reversals harm them; thus the often strong argument that pro-transexual laws are a matter of "life and death." They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being "inclusive to all," which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

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

    Going woke probably won't ever result in going broke; I had some time to think about it while dealing with chaos(walked a dog in 100 F for like an hour, found another lost dog, had to run around for another hour more plus to find the owner, etc); wokism is basically a religion, I mentioned before, so it isn't possible to "go woke go broke" any more than it is to "go Christian and go broke" in a very religious Christian nation. Its probably going to be established in the West for some time yet, overcoming its contradictions with typical hypocrisy needed for many religions.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that's why NGOs serve as missionaries. I don't think its ultimately working - along with the Great Firewall and most likely increasing Russian blocking, we're most likely going to see increasingly segmented ideological sections of the world.

    https://news.yahoo.com/russia-disconnected-itself-rest-internet-125922022.html

    So much as the native Canadians, for example, weren't able to understand Christianity at all besides, "The water sorcery that protects us from evil spirit of disease" since the entire logic of "man coming back from death means everyone now has eternal life if they pledge in his name" was lost to them, I think non-woke nations are probably just not even going to have the cognitive toolkit to even comprehend wokism. I felt that with the Japanese, when they responded to complaints about Nier having a scantily clad protagonist with, "I like girls" and other such total nonsequitor answers; I'm feeling that with South Korea right now where the creative work I'm has the government involvement prohibits any mention of drugs while drug legalization to increasingly hard drugs is the norm in the West:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JeanSwanson_/status/1415426476124491776

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities), and perhaps eventually we'll see cultures in the world without the basic cognitive toolkit to even comprehend what others consider as typical norms. And they'll just be isolated from each other until a struggle for resources happen, and then that'll be negotiated with the universe's oldest language of directed physics, applied strategically to vital spots.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad, @Triteleia Laxa

    Really all this speculation of increasingly “religious” wokeism makes me want to write a satirical yet overly serious and graphic novel about increasingly absurd “ideological bantustans” the world will be divided into

    Think 1984 meets Alice in Wonderland. The hyperwoke white liberal North American zone, which practices literal human sacrifice in the form of suicide quotas to reduce racism, and raids surrounding “badwhite” statelets, an afto-islamic neo-roman hyper-we-wuzzist Europe led by autistic rightoid butthurtbelters, weird christian-pagan-muslim hybrid Africa led by a blasian Hong Xiuquan-esque figure and so on and so forth

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Svevlad

    It honestly sounds like a great seed. Go for it!

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Svevlad

    I'll be on the lookout for a copy of it at my local comic book shop. All masked up, of course. :-)

    , @Beckow
    @Svevlad

    Vaccinating children with MRNA is an early form of human sacrifice, so you are not far from reality.

    The badwhite-badmen wokism is a natural outgrowth of liberalism, it is fully dominant in the West and here to stay. As WWI changed everything hundred years ago, the Corona fever is changing everything now. When people look back in the future they will marvel at the sudden collapse of rationality - just like in 1914. The same mentality that thought it was great to machine-gun millions in muddy trenches is with us again.

  127. @Svevlad
    @Daniel Chieh

    Really all this speculation of increasingly "religious" wokeism makes me want to write a satirical yet overly serious and graphic novel about increasingly absurd "ideological bantustans" the world will be divided into

    Think 1984 meets Alice in Wonderland. The hyperwoke white liberal North American zone, which practices literal human sacrifice in the form of suicide quotas to reduce racism, and raids surrounding "badwhite" statelets, an afto-islamic neo-roman hyper-we-wuzzist Europe led by autistic rightoid butthurtbelters, weird christian-pagan-muslim hybrid Africa led by a blasian Hong Xiuquan-esque figure and so on and so forth

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    It honestly sounds like a great seed. Go for it!

  128. @Svevlad
    @Daniel Chieh

    Really all this speculation of increasingly "religious" wokeism makes me want to write a satirical yet overly serious and graphic novel about increasingly absurd "ideological bantustans" the world will be divided into

    Think 1984 meets Alice in Wonderland. The hyperwoke white liberal North American zone, which practices literal human sacrifice in the form of suicide quotas to reduce racism, and raids surrounding "badwhite" statelets, an afto-islamic neo-roman hyper-we-wuzzist Europe led by autistic rightoid butthurtbelters, weird christian-pagan-muslim hybrid Africa led by a blasian Hong Xiuquan-esque figure and so on and so forth

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    I’ll be on the lookout for a copy of it at my local comic book shop. All masked up, of course. 🙂

  129. @Yellowface Anon
    @songbird

    This reply isn't cultural at all but just to give you some hard data.


    I suspect that Singapore suffers culturally because it has a smaller pop than HK.

    It is a pity that it does not have a Chinese population that is the same size as HK
     
    Singapore no longer has a Chinese majority (2.7M Chinese out of a total of 5.7M). These are Straits Chinese who can go from total Americophile to Sinophile, but not having recent blood ties to China. There are already 2.2M migrants and the rest being Malays and Indians.

    Hong Kong is solidly Chinese (6.9M out of 7.5M) and more than 1M are recent immigrants from China since the 90s, with varying degrees of assimilation to the Cantonese majority culture.

    Tho I guess Singapore is on the demographic trajectory of Persian Gulf Oil States and HK is on that of the Baltics, so the sheer numbers might converge for a bit.

    Though no doubt cost would be another important factor, with HK being cheaper, and the mainland being cheaper still.
     
    HK isn't that cheap because of the housing bubble, tho a bit cheaper than Singapore. But production costs was one of the main factors HK's film industry merged with the mainland's.

    Replies: @songbird

    According to the 2020 census, Singapore is 75.9% Chinese. Do you think they are fudging the numbers? Wouldn’t that be hard to hide? Though I understand PAP is falling.

  130. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Its two separate things.

    Those promoting "wokeness" either directly benefit from it - the Bioleninism manifesto, or are not harmed by it. They may additionally fear that reversals harm them; thus the often strong argument that pro-transexual laws are a matter of "life and death." They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being "inclusive to all," which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

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

    Going woke probably won't ever result in going broke; I had some time to think about it while dealing with chaos(walked a dog in 100 F for like an hour, found another lost dog, had to run around for another hour more plus to find the owner, etc); wokism is basically a religion, I mentioned before, so it isn't possible to "go woke go broke" any more than it is to "go Christian and go broke" in a very religious Christian nation. Its probably going to be established in the West for some time yet, overcoming its contradictions with typical hypocrisy needed for many religions.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that's why NGOs serve as missionaries. I don't think its ultimately working - along with the Great Firewall and most likely increasing Russian blocking, we're most likely going to see increasingly segmented ideological sections of the world.

    https://news.yahoo.com/russia-disconnected-itself-rest-internet-125922022.html

    So much as the native Canadians, for example, weren't able to understand Christianity at all besides, "The water sorcery that protects us from evil spirit of disease" since the entire logic of "man coming back from death means everyone now has eternal life if they pledge in his name" was lost to them, I think non-woke nations are probably just not even going to have the cognitive toolkit to even comprehend wokism. I felt that with the Japanese, when they responded to complaints about Nier having a scantily clad protagonist with, "I like girls" and other such total nonsequitor answers; I'm feeling that with South Korea right now where the creative work I'm has the government involvement prohibits any mention of drugs while drug legalization to increasingly hard drugs is the norm in the West:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JeanSwanson_/status/1415426476124491776

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized(this has been argued, I remember, as having been seen in Facebook where increasingly people segment themselves into hidden communities), and perhaps eventually we'll see cultures in the world without the basic cognitive toolkit to even comprehend what others consider as typical norms. And they'll just be isolated from each other until a struggle for resources happen, and then that'll be negotiated with the universe's oldest language of directed physics, applied strategically to vital spots.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Svevlad, @Triteleia Laxa

    They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being “inclusive to all,” which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.

    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that’s why NGOs serve as missionaries.

    You applied the label “religion” because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. “It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do.”

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized

    I see the globe as much less ideologically segmented and polarised, even while specific locales have been able to become more so.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis. This is exactly what you would expect from a less than fully aware impulse towards greater tolerance. Locales would be more diverse even as the globe would look more similar.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

     

    We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that it is ultimately a material concern: animals form social groups(and cells organize, for that matter) because it is competitively advantageous to do so. Such social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol.

    Greater individualization has been the result of the enlargement of the pie due to increased energy availability, but ultimately there's only so much "status" or "power" to go around and unlimited wants, so its no different from any other economic consideration. Wokism isn't going to fundamentally change this nature of scarcity and infinite wants; it just is going to move around the social consensus of who's more valuable and who's less so.

    I understand your perceptive. I believe that's a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective, and I don't actually have anything against it: many religions ultimately provide a positive vision which indicates their purpose.


    You applied the label “religion” because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. “It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do.”
     
    As above. I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing. This is also part of the notion of radical conservatism, as describedin the podcast I linked you to previously.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis.
     
    It would seem self-evident if that if I accept your postulate, then your thesis is supported.

    I do not accept your postulate.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding - which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.

    This is in thanks, partly to Wokism: take, for example, the meaning of the word "woman." Each word is a word, a descriptor, but it also holds chthonic and chthonic meanings, expectations and so on. What "woman" means to me, is different from what "woman" means to you, which is different from what "woman" means to a transexual flag-waver of Wokism. And as the urge to redefine terms keeps increasing, coupled with the ease of access for individuals to choose groups that reinforce their specific form of understanding of the words will lead to increasing ideological isolation despite appearances to the contrary.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we'd have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we're not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what's true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Triteleia Laxa

    , @dfordoom
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance.
     
    They think that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. Up until the 90s they really were clumsily moving towards more tolerance.

    The problem is that they decided that the only way to have complete tolerance was to enforce tolerance. That's like guaranteeing a man's freedom by locking him up.

    Partly the change occurred because all the battles had already been won. By the 1990s tolerance had already been achieved. What do you do if you're a political activist and there are no more battles left to fight? The answer is that you invent imaginary enemies who must be defeated.

    You're in the same situation as the US military which has had no viable enemies for nearly thirty years. So they keep trying to manufacture new enemies (even if they're imaginary), otherwise the gravy train stops.

    And the political activism gravy train must never be allowed to stop.

    There's also the problem that in looking for new battles to fight they've been forced into fighting over issues that are clearly nonsensical and absurd (such as pretending that a bearded man in a frock is actually totally a woman). The only way to defend such absurdities is by adopting an ultra-aggressive approach. You can't persuade people that bearded men in frocks are women by means of rational argument. You have to threaten people to make them believe such things. There's the added problem that the trans issue is being pushed by people who are seriously mentally disturbed.

    Replies: @Coconuts, @sher singh

  131. @Mr. Hack
    @El Dato

    "The Last Emperor" too "US-centric" coming "across as ridiculous" ?? LOL!

    I can see, however, how "Seven Years in Tibet" would have a difficult time making it past the censor's cutting board.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Servant of Gla'aki, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Didn’t notice too much US-centricisn in The Last Emperor but I did notice some anti-Japanese sentiment, which seems to be a running theme in many Chinese-made films. See “Lust Caution” and “Ip Man” for example.

  132. @Daniel Chieh
    @Rahan

    I'd be curious to see how he is portrayed there. There's always been something very charming about him and the way that Howard writes his universe in general.

    Then the court waxed wroth, and the judge talked a great deal about my duty to the state, and society, and other things I did not understand, and bade me tell where my friend had flown. By this time I was becoming wrathful myself, for I had explained my position... the judge squalled that I had shown contempt for the court, and that I should be hurled into a dungeon to rot until I betrayed my friend. So then, seeing they were all mad, I drew my sword and cleft the judge's skull; then I cut my way out of the court...

    Just overall, he was outstanding, especially for a writer of his time(and I read quite a bit of pulp from his era).


    Among the trees reared a broken dome-like structure, built of gigantic blocks of the peculiar ironlike green stone found only on the islands of Vilayet. It seemed incredible that human hands could have shaped and placed them, and certainly it was beyond human power to have overthrown the structure they formed. But the thunderbolt had splintered the ton-heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.
     
    A good tell for me has been to read it aloud - there's surprisingly a lot of fiction, even good fiction, that doesn't handle it well(like Zelasky's Nine Princes in Amber), but the mark of outstanding prose is that it can convert to an oral form with not only function, but beauty. Another thing, too, is the aspect of age - he's avoided almost every idiom that we usually use(who would say "reared a broken dome-like structure" and "overthrown" in the form of "destroy" is not typically used for material circumstance), so it has this freshness, as if seeing the same language with new eyes.

    I'd love it if the Russian authors have the same degree of wordsmithing placed into their Conans. Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald's style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers. I do love that notion: a ritual dedication of love to a style and the sense of channeling; I like to think he was more than slightly successful in his effort.

    Though, I remember in an interview, he said that he believes that his life's greatest legacy has be the abrupt cessation of parents, worldwide, from naming their girls Lolita.

    Replies: @Rahan, @Mr. Hack, @Brás Cubas

    Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers.

    Could you provide a source for that information? It is at odds with the following passage from Brian Boyd’s Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, p.204:

    Among his new neighbors were Arthur and Rosemary Mizener. Arthur Mizener had just joined the Cornell faculty after the publication of his biography of Fitzgerald. Shaking hands with him for the first time, Nabokov at once pronounced judgment: “Tender Is the Night, magnificent; The Great Gatsby, terrible.”

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Brás Cubas

    My apologies, I confused him with Hunter S. Thompson.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/109apf/til_hunter_s_thompson_used_a_typewriter_to_copy_f/

  133. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    They are strongly invested in their personal causes: this only tangentially related with being “inclusive to all,” which is in fact impossible, as it is a well known paradox of tolerance.
     
    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

    Being essentially religious, however, it will not jive well with other cultures unless they adopt the same religion, and to some extent, that’s why NGOs serve as missionaries.
     
    You applied the label "religion" because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. "It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do."

    Its weird, but widespread communication may have actually made the world a lot more ideologically segmented and polarized
     
    I see the globe as much less ideologically segmented and polarised, even while specific locales have been able to become more so.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis. This is exactly what you would expect from a less than fully aware impulse towards greater tolerance. Locales would be more diverse even as the globe would look more similar.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @dfordoom

    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

    We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that it is ultimately a material concern: animals form social groups(and cells organize, for that matter) because it is competitively advantageous to do so. Such social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol.

    Greater individualization has been the result of the enlargement of the pie due to increased energy availability, but ultimately there’s only so much “status” or “power” to go around and unlimited wants, so its no different from any other economic consideration. Wokism isn’t going to fundamentally change this nature of scarcity and infinite wants; it just is going to move around the social consensus of who’s more valuable and who’s less so.

    I understand your perceptive. I believe that’s a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective, and I don’t actually have anything against it: many religions ultimately provide a positive vision which indicates their purpose.

    You applied the label “religion” because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. “It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do.”

    As above. I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing. This is also part of the notion of radical conservatism, as describedin the podcast I linked you to previously.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis.

    It would seem self-evident if that if I accept your postulate, then your thesis is supported.

    I do not accept your postulate.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding – which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.

    This is in thanks, partly to Wokism: take, for example, the meaning of the word “woman.” Each word is a word, a descriptor, but it also holds chthonic and chthonic meanings, expectations and so on. What “woman” means to me, is different from what “woman” means to you, which is different from what “woman” means to a transexual flag-waver of Wokism. And as the urge to redefine terms keeps increasing, coupled with the ease of access for individuals to choose groups that reinforce their specific form of understanding of the words will lead to increasing ideological isolation despite appearances to the contrary.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we’d have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we’re not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what’s true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    Incidentally, one of the great bridgers in spite of this is images and cinema, which I believe that our commentator utu has written about is a powerful method of spreading its values(and to our concern, wokist values):

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-witcher-goes-into-multicultural-mode/#comment-3658587

    I know nothing about the genre of fantasy fiction and do not understand what needs it actually addresses besides a simple escapism but there is no doubt that simple and rather primitive products of pop culture like the Witcher or Star Wars are the most effective conveyors of cultural change and indoctrination because they get you when you are young and when you are open and with guards down while you are busy gulping the plot.
     

    In fact, movies and other deeply immersive media very much create a kind of trance mode, similar to hypnosis and the use of images, etc help broadcast a reality to the viewer, which is the reality of the creators(or the one they wish to present).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis#Music

    This is why cultural isolation and increased wokist mangling of their cultural exports is a very positive thing.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    but ultimately there’s only so much “status” or “power” to go around and unlimited wants
     
    Humans want "status" and "power" for two things. One, as instruments to get them more of what they actually want, like healthcare, nice food and other pleasing experiences. Two, just for "power" and "status" themselves. The latter, to be enjoyed, necessitate that someone else suffers in turn.

    This distinction is crucial for my argument. I find that reifying the "instrument" over the "pleasing experience" leads to most people's problems. It is also the justification which you give for rejecting gradation.

    Status for its own sake doesn't feel good to me. I do like to recognise reality, otherwise, I feel out of tune, but feeling superior carries the extremely painful sting of loneliness, which may hurt more even than the sting of feeling inferior does. I, therefore, see competing over "status" for its own sake as essentially a stupid programme of self-harm.

    People, to me, seem to be working this out over time. They need only understand themselves better, in order to see it.

    I also see "power" in the same way. It can certainly be useful, but making people do that which they otherwise wouldn't, against their own deepest direction, makes me feel sick, literally. I can ignore this malaise by distancing myself from it through constructing abstract arguments to justify my behaviour, but the malaise remains, whether ignored or tended to.

    believe that’s a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective
     
    I hope you can see that the above is not religious.

    You might say that my observation that "people seem to be working out" that "power" and "status" are not gratifying in and of themselves, is a religious viewpoint, but I think that the world really has changed like that. You explain this as possible due to there being "greater energy". I think that is one very reasonable explanation for a phenomenon that is easy to recognise, but I also think that explanations for such a big thing will necessarily be vague, like that, and multi-factorial, and beyond me.

    I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing.
     
    It can be a useful shortcut, but it also inevitably introduces error. Perhaps the shortcut allows the thinker to hold more truth in their head than they otherwise would be able to, so the introduction of error is worth it, but I don't think this is true in this case, for the reasons which I have outlined above.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding – which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.
     
    I disagree, but this is a matter of factual observation, which, given the scale of what we are observing, cannot easily be measured in an appropriately objective way. We'll just be waiting and seeing on this one, I suppose. I do notice that conflict is down, though, and that young people across countries have much more in common than old people across countries, even if I find some of the ways in which they have things in common to be obnoxious misunderstandings of themselves.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we’d have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we’re not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what’s true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.
     
    It can, but it requires that the force of being afraid of what they don't understand overwhelms people' curiosity and desire to understand themselves. Technology enables both of these inclinations to an ever greater degree. Humans will therefore be tested on which one really impels them. We will see!

    My "religion" comes entirely from inside. I think I see the same thing in others, but buried under a lot of darkness and fear. I could be wrong about them, and I could be deluded about myself, but I have my reasons and my experiences, and from these, come my still fragile optimism.

    People, as they are, are not the same, but there is a commonality, and a desire to tolerate others and allow them freedom and security. At the same time, it is true that "social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol."

    Technologies, physical and social, make these two facts more complimentary. It, therefore, reduces the human desire to put others down in order to feel big.
  134. @Brás Cubas
    @Daniel Chieh


    Vladimir Nabokov, of Lolita fame, is said to have loved Fitzgerald’s style so much that he typed The Great Gatsby verbatim, letter by letter, key by key on a typewriter until the notion of the spirit and flow of Fitzgerald would somehow find itself into his soul by feel of his fingers.
     
    Could you provide a source for that information? It is at odds with the following passage from Brian Boyd's Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years, p.204:

    Among his new neighbors were Arthur and Rosemary Mizener. Arthur Mizener had just joined the Cornell faculty after the publication of his biography of Fitzgerald. Shaking hands with him for the first time, Nabokov at once pronounced judgment: "Tender Is the Night, magnificent; The Great Gatsby, terrible."
     

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    • Thanks: Brás Cubas
  135. @Svevlad
    @Daniel Chieh

    Really all this speculation of increasingly "religious" wokeism makes me want to write a satirical yet overly serious and graphic novel about increasingly absurd "ideological bantustans" the world will be divided into

    Think 1984 meets Alice in Wonderland. The hyperwoke white liberal North American zone, which practices literal human sacrifice in the form of suicide quotas to reduce racism, and raids surrounding "badwhite" statelets, an afto-islamic neo-roman hyper-we-wuzzist Europe led by autistic rightoid butthurtbelters, weird christian-pagan-muslim hybrid Africa led by a blasian Hong Xiuquan-esque figure and so on and so forth

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack, @Beckow

    Vaccinating children with MRNA is an early form of human sacrifice, so you are not far from reality.

    The badwhite-badmen wokism is a natural outgrowth of liberalism, it is fully dominant in the West and here to stay. As WWI changed everything hundred years ago, the Corona fever is changing everything now. When people look back in the future they will marvel at the sudden collapse of rationality – just like in 1914. The same mentality that thought it was great to machine-gun millions in muddy trenches is with us again.

  136. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

     

    We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that it is ultimately a material concern: animals form social groups(and cells organize, for that matter) because it is competitively advantageous to do so. Such social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol.

    Greater individualization has been the result of the enlargement of the pie due to increased energy availability, but ultimately there's only so much "status" or "power" to go around and unlimited wants, so its no different from any other economic consideration. Wokism isn't going to fundamentally change this nature of scarcity and infinite wants; it just is going to move around the social consensus of who's more valuable and who's less so.

    I understand your perceptive. I believe that's a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective, and I don't actually have anything against it: many religions ultimately provide a positive vision which indicates their purpose.


    You applied the label “religion” because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. “It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do.”
     
    As above. I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing. This is also part of the notion of radical conservatism, as describedin the podcast I linked you to previously.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis.
     
    It would seem self-evident if that if I accept your postulate, then your thesis is supported.

    I do not accept your postulate.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding - which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.

    This is in thanks, partly to Wokism: take, for example, the meaning of the word "woman." Each word is a word, a descriptor, but it also holds chthonic and chthonic meanings, expectations and so on. What "woman" means to me, is different from what "woman" means to you, which is different from what "woman" means to a transexual flag-waver of Wokism. And as the urge to redefine terms keeps increasing, coupled with the ease of access for individuals to choose groups that reinforce their specific form of understanding of the words will lead to increasing ideological isolation despite appearances to the contrary.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we'd have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we're not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what's true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Triteleia Laxa

    Incidentally, one of the great bridgers in spite of this is images and cinema, which I believe that our commentator utu has written about is a powerful method of spreading its values(and to our concern, wokist values):

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-witcher-goes-into-multicultural-mode/#comment-3658587

    I know nothing about the genre of fantasy fiction and do not understand what needs it actually addresses besides a simple escapism but there is no doubt that simple and rather primitive products of pop culture like the Witcher or Star Wars are the most effective conveyors of cultural change and indoctrination because they get you when you are young and when you are open and with guards down while you are busy gulping the plot.

    In fact, movies and other deeply immersive media very much create a kind of trance mode, similar to hypnosis and the use of images, etc help broadcast a reality to the viewer, which is the reality of the creators(or the one they wish to present).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis#Music

    This is why cultural isolation and increased wokist mangling of their cultural exports is a very positive thing.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    It is a sort of hypnosis, but I see it as peeling layers off people, even if the ones that get revealed can be scary and confusing. In fact, they are likely to be scary and confusing, otherwise, that person would not have needed to pile on more layers in the first place.

    I also concede that people can have layers peeled off which they are not ready for. This can be very damaging. It can stimulate trauma, awful behaviour and a fight or flight response. Fear is there for a good reason, even if it is ultimately unnecessary.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don't need that darkness at all.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  137. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    It recently dawned upon me, but you appear to be the living embodiment of Larry Darrel, a young American who exchanges the security of a promising career in the big city, marriage to a good looking socialite from a wealthy family, and instead goes off to the confines of a mountaintop monastery to find some meaning to his life: "The Razor's Edge".


    The story begins through the eyes of Larry's friends and acquaintances as they witness his personality change after the War. His rejection of conventional life and search for meaningful experience allows him to thrive while the more materialistic characters suffer reversals of fortune.
     
    At the very least, I think that you'd really enjoy this film if you haven't already viewed it. It's free on YouTube, give it a spin!

    Replies: @AaronB

    Ha! Thanks, I appreciate the comparison 🙂 I didn’t see the movie but I did read the Maugham novel. Maugham is a fantastic writer, I think I’ve read nearly everything he’s written.

    But I think I’m much less “lofty” and serious than Larry Darrel – I just want out of the dreariness of Industrial Civilization that produces so many broken people and stunted lives. We don’t need to be living this way – it’s only our fear that makes us trade our birthright – the glory of the world – for a mess of security and safety.

    I’m not even against technology, just the mechanistic mindset – the doltish-mechanistic mindset as Nietzsche called it – and the insane quest to dominate and control nature, based on an unnecessary fear.

    But I think the world is changing. A century again, a “primitivist” like me was looked at with pity – the dominance of science seemed so assured.

    Today, the sheer fury and alarm of people like Daniel Chieh at my ideas suggests that they are terrified and on the run.

    The world is changing 🙂

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    You have confused "contempt at your ongoing stupidity" with a stronger emotion, but I do understand your deep desire for continual self-ego boosting to make up for your failures, so do continue.

    , @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    The only appreciable difference that I can discern between you and Larry Darrel, is that you seem to be more tilted towards hedonism, with all of your emphasis on having fun. But the both of you display a yearning for the metaphysical, religious and contemplative side of life, so there are definitely some similarities too.

    Maugham wrote so many novels and other types of literature, where does one start? Additionally, so many of his novels have been used as the basis of so many films too...Alas, the only book of his that I own that adorns my bookshelves is his romp into espionage literature, "Ashenden: Or The Secret Agent", a thoroughly enjoyable read. Did you know that he was a real life spy for British Intelligence, and even was sent on a high level mission to Russia during the revolutionary war period (Provisional government time)?

    Since you're the only individual that I know of who even knows about Somerset Maugham and has read some of his works, could you please recommend a few of his works that you've found to be enjoyable to read?

    And by all means, do see the film "The Razor's Edge", I'm sure that you'll thoroughly enjoy it.

    Replies: @utu, @AaronB

  138. @Beckow
    @mal

    Culture inevitably moves from one form to another. There was a peak period for novels, theatre, movies, TV sitcoms, etc...all are now in the past. Before that there was a peak period for radio, miniatures, sculptures, opera, lives of saints, passion plays. Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.

    US had a sweet spot in he last cultural era with Hollywood, music and TV. It is still well represented in today's culture, but no sane person would claim that it has the same level of dominance. The new genres are unformed and often not even named consistently, so there is an obvious opening for the rest of the world.

    If you look at patterns of cultural diffusion, at the beginning there is always an attempt by all players (countries big and small) to have a part in it. It only consolidates later. We are in early stages. That means that US cultural dominance is vulnerable - US will have to do better than they have so far and the silly homo-gender-racial obsessions are not helping - no matter what the ever conformist and loyal Laxa claims. It is a mud-fight and that's kind of a fun thing. The obvious fact that US seems to want to stop the rest of the world is discouraging - it suggests fear and doubt, cultures like that don't prevail.

    Replies: @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.

    Like most everything progressivism has attached itself to the olympics just haven’t got any blood left in them, completely drained of any animating spirit. I used to find it interesting to see the opening ceremonies and how the host nations would present their nation and culture to the world (the Beijing Olympics in particular I recall being an incredible spectacle). This week I was barely aware they were starting, and on happening to flip to them, the first thing I saw was a negress (who apparently doesn’t speak japanese?) lighting the Olympic flame (jeez, I wonder which global hegemon put them up to giving her the most prestigious role possible).

    Whether the Olympics were in Australia, America, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, or any other of the US’ imperial holdings there was no way a surly negress wasn’t lighting that torch, so as somebody who is interested in seeing displays of the host nation’s culture, why should I care anymore? I can see american astroturf on tv any time I like, it’s nothing special.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    Olympics has been politicised, and so has culture, academia and religion. The politicisation repulses most people, it is a kiss of death. Wokeness is a form of aggressive propaganda and black women are the ultimate symbol, so Ms. Tokyo had to be black. People will pay for a lot of things, but they won't pay for propaganda.

    Ms.Osaka gained some points at US Tennis Open when she left in a huff due to "referee racism" (or something like that). This is quite entertaining, a Wakanda world of anger and dreams.

  139. @Yellowface Anon
    @AaronB


    “secular” monasteries, places where anyone can go to retire from the modern world and live simply not having to worry about work, with basic food and shelter, in beautiful natural surroundings. All who wanted out would be welcome – bums, slackers, genuine spiritual contemplatives, Buddhist, Christians, people of any race, religion, or creed – so long as they want out of modern industrial civilization. They can stay for a year or a lifetime, provided they are willing to live simply.
     
    This is one thing, and semi-agrarian communes that work out a prospective alternative to industrialism another. One provides personal relief while the other opens up possibilities of civilizational transformation.

    There are people more dedicated than me, who are either disillusioned with industrial consumerism, tradcons, Deep Ecology types, Kunstler-pilled, localists, agorists, and even those who are trying to avoid vaccination-based segregation or centralized control of production or finance.

    Replies: @AaronB

    There are many alternative ways of life to the current normal, which is unsustainable and based on false metaphysical premises anyways.

    As the current paradigm collapses under it’s contradictions, unsustainability – and crucially, joylessness and boredom – all sorts of interesting and beautiful experiments will be tried.

    Ultimately people want joy, creativity, life, and systems that fail to deliver this eventually collapse. Ultimately control is no fun – people want spontaneous life, risk, adventure.

    Ultimately fear is no fun, and control and hierarchy to stave off fear can only be tolerated for so long. The human in us will rebel against it.

    On another thread, in discussing two communities, one of transhumanists and one of ordinary humans with low technology, Karlin suggested that many ordinary humans would want to defect to the safety, convenience, and immortality of the transhumanists.

    In my view, it would be the opposite 🙂 Many transhumanists would find this life of safety, convenience, and immortality unbearable, and would yearn for a life of joyous dirt, risk, adventure, and humanity – even death. Perhaps death would be a special reward for transhumanists, that they had to pay large sums of money for 🙂

    Res Warner wrote a beautiful book on exactly this theme called the Aerodrome, where the officer from the strict, clean, efficient, orderly, Aerodrome eventually defects to the joy, chaos, disorder, and love of the community below it.

    E.M Forster wrote a beautiful story on this theme too, the end result of the safety and convenience of technology – The Machine, I think it was actually called?

    In the early stages of technology, brilliant thinkers could see the dreary end result of the quest for safety and convenience, and wrote about it extensively.

    In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans had reached an apogee of sterile order, safety, and convenience – and found life dull (read the Stoics and Epicureans – resigned people who have given up on life). It took something radical like Christianity to break through the gloom.

    So this happens periodically. But it never lasts.

  140. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am saying that they are clumsily moving towards more tolerance. In reply, your argument implies the impossibility of gradation. I strongly disagree.

     

    We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that it is ultimately a material concern: animals form social groups(and cells organize, for that matter) because it is competitively advantageous to do so. Such social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol.

    Greater individualization has been the result of the enlargement of the pie due to increased energy availability, but ultimately there's only so much "status" or "power" to go around and unlimited wants, so its no different from any other economic consideration. Wokism isn't going to fundamentally change this nature of scarcity and infinite wants; it just is going to move around the social consensus of who's more valuable and who's less so.

    I understand your perceptive. I believe that's a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective, and I don't actually have anything against it: many religions ultimately provide a positive vision which indicates their purpose.


    You applied the label “religion” because Wokism roughly fits the description. You then used that label as the next stage of your argument. This appears to me as a logical sleight of hand. “It is a religion because it looks like one, it therefore acts like this specific behaviour because that is what religions do.”
     
    As above. I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing. This is also part of the notion of radical conservatism, as describedin the podcast I linked you to previously.

    You can dispute this observation, but, if we accept it, it aligns perfectly with my thesis.
     
    It would seem self-evident if that if I accept your postulate, then your thesis is supported.

    I do not accept your postulate.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding - which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.

    This is in thanks, partly to Wokism: take, for example, the meaning of the word "woman." Each word is a word, a descriptor, but it also holds chthonic and chthonic meanings, expectations and so on. What "woman" means to me, is different from what "woman" means to you, which is different from what "woman" means to a transexual flag-waver of Wokism. And as the urge to redefine terms keeps increasing, coupled with the ease of access for individuals to choose groups that reinforce their specific form of understanding of the words will lead to increasing ideological isolation despite appearances to the contrary.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we'd have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we're not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what's true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Triteleia Laxa

    but ultimately there’s only so much “status” or “power” to go around and unlimited wants

    Humans want “status” and “power” for two things. One, as instruments to get them more of what they actually want, like healthcare, nice food and other pleasing experiences. Two, just for “power” and “status” themselves. The latter, to be enjoyed, necessitate that someone else suffers in turn.

    This distinction is crucial for my argument. I find that reifying the “instrument” over the “pleasing experience” leads to most people’s problems. It is also the justification which you give for rejecting gradation.

    Status for its own sake doesn’t feel good to me. I do like to recognise reality, otherwise, I feel out of tune, but feeling superior carries the extremely painful sting of loneliness, which may hurt more even than the sting of feeling inferior does. I, therefore, see competing over “status” for its own sake as essentially a stupid programme of self-harm.

    People, to me, seem to be working this out over time. They need only understand themselves better, in order to see it.

    I also see “power” in the same way. It can certainly be useful, but making people do that which they otherwise wouldn’t, against their own deepest direction, makes me feel sick, literally. I can ignore this malaise by distancing myself from it through constructing abstract arguments to justify my behaviour, but the malaise remains, whether ignored or tended to.

    believe that’s a version of subscribing to this essentially religious perspective

    I hope you can see that the above is not religious.

    You might say that my observation that “people seem to be working out” that “power” and “status” are not gratifying in and of themselves, is a religious viewpoint, but I think that the world really has changed like that. You explain this as possible due to there being “greater energy”. I think that is one very reasonable explanation for a phenomenon that is easy to recognise, but I also think that explanations for such a big thing will necessarily be vague, like that, and multi-factorial, and beyond me.

    I think similarity is an useful method of logical processing.

    It can be a useful shortcut, but it also inevitably introduces error. Perhaps the shortcut allows the thinker to hold more truth in their head than they otherwise would be able to, so the introduction of error is worth it, but I don’t think this is true in this case, for the reasons which I have outlined above.

    I believe that certain artifacts of commonality have spread, such as the usage of English, however, this has not actually in the end promoted a common understanding – which to me, is a surprisingly pleasant thing.

    I disagree, but this is a matter of factual observation, which, given the scale of what we are observing, cannot easily be measured in an appropriately objective way. We’ll just be waiting and seeing on this one, I suppose. I do notice that conflict is down, though, and that young people across countries have much more in common than old people across countries, even if I find some of the ways in which they have things in common to be obnoxious misunderstandings of themselves.

    Take you and me, for example. If we were forced to work together, we’d have to compromise our perspectives somehow, and along that way, forced to reconcile and synchronize the actual meaning of our words in order to communicate effectively. But we’re not. Instead its easy enough thanks to technology to just find others who echo our worldview, and mostly isolate ourselves with them, and then just conflict in what occasion we do happen to encounter each other in digital space. So over time, our words ought to just keep desynchronizing further and further away; what’s true on a personal level, can thus magnify on a global level.

    It can, but it requires that the force of being afraid of what they don’t understand overwhelms people’ curiosity and desire to understand themselves. Technology enables both of these inclinations to an ever greater degree. Humans will therefore be tested on which one really impels them. We will see!

    My “religion” comes entirely from inside. I think I see the same thing in others, but buried under a lot of darkness and fear. I could be wrong about them, and I could be deluded about myself, but I have my reasons and my experiences, and from these, come my still fragile optimism.

    People, as they are, are not the same, but there is a commonality, and a desire to tolerate others and allow them freedom and security. At the same time, it is true that “social organization utilizes hierarchy and control, etc, in order to operate: cooperation requires protocol.”

    Technologies, physical and social, make these two facts more complimentary. It, therefore, reduces the human desire to put others down in order to feel big.

  141. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    Incidentally, one of the great bridgers in spite of this is images and cinema, which I believe that our commentator utu has written about is a powerful method of spreading its values(and to our concern, wokist values):

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-witcher-goes-into-multicultural-mode/#comment-3658587

    I know nothing about the genre of fantasy fiction and do not understand what needs it actually addresses besides a simple escapism but there is no doubt that simple and rather primitive products of pop culture like the Witcher or Star Wars are the most effective conveyors of cultural change and indoctrination because they get you when you are young and when you are open and with guards down while you are busy gulping the plot.
     

    In fact, movies and other deeply immersive media very much create a kind of trance mode, similar to hypnosis and the use of images, etc help broadcast a reality to the viewer, which is the reality of the creators(or the one they wish to present).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis#Music

    This is why cultural isolation and increased wokist mangling of their cultural exports is a very positive thing.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    It is a sort of hypnosis, but I see it as peeling layers off people, even if the ones that get revealed can be scary and confusing. In fact, they are likely to be scary and confusing, otherwise, that person would not have needed to pile on more layers in the first place.

    I also concede that people can have layers peeled off which they are not ready for. This can be very damaging. It can stimulate trauma, awful behaviour and a fight or flight response. Fear is there for a good reason, even if it is ultimately unnecessary.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don’t need that darkness at all.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Status for its own sake doesn’t feel good to me. I do like to recognise reality, otherwise, I feel out of tune, but feeling superior carries the extremely painful sting of loneliness, which may hurt more even than the sting of feeling inferior does. I, therefore, see competing over “status” for its own sake as essentially a stupid programme of self-harm.

     

    I believe that you seeking "status"(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don't realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled - which is a rational fear.

    I believe this competition is a fundamental - and useful - aspect of existence. I also believe that self-delusion away from it is useful, though.

    So we can have no agreement on this, indeed, I find the notion that it being "stupid" to be silly, since if it was so "stupid", how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of "darkness", then I respect it but only as a religious perspective.

    It can be a useful shortcut, but it also inevitably introduces error.
     
    It is better to begin to understand something, than not to at all. In this case, I do not believe that it has introduced error.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don’t need that darkness at all.

     

    This entire thing is essentially religious: "rise from the darkness."

    Even the idea of "peeling off layers" is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn't. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn't mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:

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

    Memory consolidation becomes a critical element of false memory and recovered memory syndromes. Once stored in the hippocampus, the memory may last for years or even for life, regardless that the memorized event never actually took place. Obsession to a particular false memory, planted memory, or indoctrinated memory can shape a person's actions or even result in delusional disorder.

     

    You can plant ideas in people with hypnosis. People can believe the ideas are true. It doesn't mean nothing in terms of spiritual wellness or anything.

    My “religion” comes entirely from inside. I think I see the same thing in others, but buried under a lot of darkness and fear.
     
    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from "inside." Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?

    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. "You" are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.

    Also, then: Robert Galbraith Heath ran an excellent experiment with deep brain stimulation which created all sorts of interesting ideas, urges and feelings in the participants; some deep seated. There's also Delgrado's experiments.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/the-man-who-fought-a-bull-with-mind-control

    So that's the big, brusque stuff: putting chips in brains, and major psychoactive influx to modify your neurotransmitters. Oh yeah, small things like hormones too. Things that cause major changes in the body, you know, also change the brain.

    So then, if you can accept that, then you can notice that smaller, more subtle effects are possible too: gut microbiota that creates or modifies hormones, altering neurotransmitters balance, the effects of hypnotic influence from consumed media, and so on and so on.

    https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-020-00884-z

    I spent much of my life studying this.

    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that's my religion, as well.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  142. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    It is a sort of hypnosis, but I see it as peeling layers off people, even if the ones that get revealed can be scary and confusing. In fact, they are likely to be scary and confusing, otherwise, that person would not have needed to pile on more layers in the first place.

    I also concede that people can have layers peeled off which they are not ready for. This can be very damaging. It can stimulate trauma, awful behaviour and a fight or flight response. Fear is there for a good reason, even if it is ultimately unnecessary.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don't need that darkness at all.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Status for its own sake doesn’t feel good to me. I do like to recognise reality, otherwise, I feel out of tune, but feeling superior carries the extremely painful sting of loneliness, which may hurt more even than the sting of feeling inferior does. I, therefore, see competing over “status” for its own sake as essentially a stupid programme of self-harm.

    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear.

    I believe this competition is a fundamental – and useful – aspect of existence. I also believe that self-delusion away from it is useful, though.

    So we can have no agreement on this, indeed, I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective.

    It can be a useful shortcut, but it also inevitably introduces error.

    It is better to begin to understand something, than not to at all. In this case, I do not believe that it has introduced error.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don’t need that darkness at all.

    This entire thing is essentially religious: “rise from the darkness.”

    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:

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

    Memory consolidation becomes a critical element of false memory and recovered memory syndromes. Once stored in the hippocampus, the memory may last for years or even for life, regardless that the memorized event never actually took place. Obsession to a particular false memory, planted memory, or indoctrinated memory can shape a person’s actions or even result in delusional disorder.

    You can plant ideas in people with hypnosis. People can believe the ideas are true. It doesn’t mean nothing in terms of spiritual wellness or anything.

    My “religion” comes entirely from inside. I think I see the same thing in others, but buried under a lot of darkness and fear.

    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?

    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.

    Also, then: Robert Galbraith Heath ran an excellent experiment with deep brain stimulation which created all sorts of interesting ideas, urges and feelings in the participants; some deep seated. There’s also Delgrado’s experiments.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/the-man-who-fought-a-bull-with-mind-control

    So that’s the big, brusque stuff: putting chips in brains, and major psychoactive influx to modify your neurotransmitters. Oh yeah, small things like hormones too. Things that cause major changes in the body, you know, also change the brain.

    So then, if you can accept that, then you can notice that smaller, more subtle effects are possible too: gut microbiota that creates or modifies hormones, altering neurotransmitters balance, the effects of hypnotic influence from consumed media, and so on and so on.

    https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-020-00884-z

    I spent much of my life studying this.

    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear.
     
    I should clarify, this is less exactly "status maximizing" but "status loss aversion", which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why "rights creep" has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.

    https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/loss-aversion/


    Loss aversion is a cognitive bias that describes why, for individuals, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. The loss felt from money, or any other valuable object, can feel worse than gaining that same thing.
     
    In summation, loss aversion is most likely going to be the cause of collapse of wokism if anything, much as cancer cells eventually kill their hosts. There's no "scaling back," there's only death, although its also possible that a relatively stable version of it can manifest, akin to AK's "critical race theory as white supremacy."

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  143. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Ha! Thanks, I appreciate the comparison :) I didn't see the movie but I did read the Maugham novel. Maugham is a fantastic writer, I think I've read nearly everything he's written.

    But I think I'm much less "lofty" and serious than Larry Darrel - I just want out of the dreariness of Industrial Civilization that produces so many broken people and stunted lives. We don't need to be living this way - it's only our fear that makes us trade our birthright - the glory of the world - for a mess of security and safety.

    I'm not even against technology, just the mechanistic mindset - the doltish-mechanistic mindset as Nietzsche called it - and the insane quest to dominate and control nature, based on an unnecessary fear.

    But I think the world is changing. A century again, a "primitivist" like me was looked at with pity - the dominance of science seemed so assured.

    Today, the sheer fury and alarm of people like Daniel Chieh at my ideas suggests that they are terrified and on the run.

    The world is changing :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack

    You have confused “contempt at your ongoing stupidity” with a stronger emotion, but I do understand your deep desire for continual self-ego boosting to make up for your failures, so do continue.

    • LOL: AaronB
  144. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Status for its own sake doesn’t feel good to me. I do like to recognise reality, otherwise, I feel out of tune, but feeling superior carries the extremely painful sting of loneliness, which may hurt more even than the sting of feeling inferior does. I, therefore, see competing over “status” for its own sake as essentially a stupid programme of self-harm.

     

    I believe that you seeking "status"(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don't realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled - which is a rational fear.

    I believe this competition is a fundamental - and useful - aspect of existence. I also believe that self-delusion away from it is useful, though.

    So we can have no agreement on this, indeed, I find the notion that it being "stupid" to be silly, since if it was so "stupid", how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of "darkness", then I respect it but only as a religious perspective.

    It can be a useful shortcut, but it also inevitably introduces error.
     
    It is better to begin to understand something, than not to at all. In this case, I do not believe that it has introduced error.

    Recognising that humans exist in the darkness which they need right now does not preclude recognising that they ultimately don’t need that darkness at all.

     

    This entire thing is essentially religious: "rise from the darkness."

    Even the idea of "peeling off layers" is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn't. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn't mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:

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

    Memory consolidation becomes a critical element of false memory and recovered memory syndromes. Once stored in the hippocampus, the memory may last for years or even for life, regardless that the memorized event never actually took place. Obsession to a particular false memory, planted memory, or indoctrinated memory can shape a person's actions or even result in delusional disorder.

     

    You can plant ideas in people with hypnosis. People can believe the ideas are true. It doesn't mean nothing in terms of spiritual wellness or anything.

    My “religion” comes entirely from inside. I think I see the same thing in others, but buried under a lot of darkness and fear.
     
    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from "inside." Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?

    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. "You" are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.

    Also, then: Robert Galbraith Heath ran an excellent experiment with deep brain stimulation which created all sorts of interesting ideas, urges and feelings in the participants; some deep seated. There's also Delgrado's experiments.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/the-man-who-fought-a-bull-with-mind-control

    So that's the big, brusque stuff: putting chips in brains, and major psychoactive influx to modify your neurotransmitters. Oh yeah, small things like hormones too. Things that cause major changes in the body, you know, also change the brain.

    So then, if you can accept that, then you can notice that smaller, more subtle effects are possible too: gut microbiota that creates or modifies hormones, altering neurotransmitters balance, the effects of hypnotic influence from consumed media, and so on and so on.

    https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-020-00884-z

    I spent much of my life studying this.

    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that's my religion, as well.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear.

    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.

    https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/loss-aversion/

    Loss aversion is a cognitive bias that describes why, for individuals, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. The loss felt from money, or any other valuable object, can feel worse than gaining that same thing.

    In summation, loss aversion is most likely going to be the cause of collapse of wokism if anything, much as cancer cells eventually kill their hosts. There’s no “scaling back,” there’s only death, although its also possible that a relatively stable version of it can manifest, akin to AK’s “critical race theory as white supremacy.”

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.
     
    My experience of winning at that game is even more unpleasant than my experience of losing at it.

    Being excellent at this lose/lose game is a tragic talent of mine.


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear
     
    Just for clarification: do you consider it a "rational" fear beyond that which brings "authentic" benefit?

    "Authentic" is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.


    I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective
     
    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be "stupid", as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned. "Darkness," in my parlance, is when a sense is switched off, as in there is some area or phenomenon which that person's consciousness cannot sense.

    Leprosy may be "strongly adaptive" if you need to pick something out of a fire and you only have your hand, but, if you're just doing it to show off, with no "authentic reward", it is kind of stupid.

    Winning at status games hurts as much as losing. Most people seem to have some form of emotional leprosy which precludes them from being aware of that.

    As a defence for your consciousness from your own sense, this "leprosy", may be necessary, for various reasons, for various people, at various times, but hopefully not forever. It is a diminishment and its comorbidities are manifold. You can see it in people's unhappiness and otherwise inexplicably bizarre behaviour.


    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:
     
    They had a layer pulled off which they didn't yet have the courage to face. The only way they could cope was by projecting it out. This is common.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists? I do appreciate that your ways of coping with that lack are different, but I think you both recognise it.


    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?
     
    Roughly, for me:

    Fears < Feelings < Intuition < Visions < Truth

    I appreciate that you probably don't believe in that last step.


    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.
     
    Drugs can switch off, or muddy "senses," or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    I recently smoked a high dose of a hallucinogen from the frog "Bufo Alvarius." I have not done any drugs for years and have little experience with hallucinogens, of which this is supposedly "by far" the strongest and most intense. It did very little to me and I was perfectly able to think and communicate lucidly. The people administering the dosage were completely confused by it, up to the point of thinking that I was somehow lying. In their status game, I had won, but, of course, their sadness at losing is extremely painful to see. They felt much less of themselves.

    I was also very anxious before trying it, but would consider doing more akin to having a cup of coffee, because I was extremely familiar with the sensory experiences which it switched on. I had an idea that this might be the case, but I am still surprised by how right that idea was. I am also trying to look for all manner of explanations alternative to the one I hold, as my own makes me feel sad.


    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.
     
    You see everyone existing in "lack", because there is no "truth."

    I see truth, but that people can only get there after a long journey through their "lack".

    I'd say "religion" is where charlatans try to impart their lack onto others.

    Other than putting my own experiences across, which are only valid to me, because I experienced them, and therefore not valid to others, I will mostly only suggest that people should not fall into a religion or ideology which causes them to ignore their own senses, which will see them stuck somewhere along their lack.

    This is why I object to the word "religion", though I understand that you think that it is fitting because my experiences are not "truth," but essentially hypnotised into me.

    I was talking with my friend yesterday. She believes that people should be protected from hearing things that they find grievous and that this limitation on experience should take priority over people's ability to express themselves. I understand why this is important for many people, at many stages of their life, as hearing something grievous can cause trauma and deep craziness, but ultimately reality is better, all experiences are better and all senses being open is better, if/when you can appreciate them. You might say that "better" is subjective, but they are better because that makes that subject more complete.

    Most people who peel a layer off, or switch a sense on, by smoking the extract from "Bufo Alvarius," find the experience very extreme and need a lot of help and support to integrate it without falling into trauma. "Better" is a matter of timing.

    You are also absolutely right when you say that we cannot agree. I would not be having this conversation with you if you were the type to take my word for what I say of "truth". It would be an unpleasant experience for me to override your needs/timing in this way.

    I can only explain my "truth" as it appears to me, while hopefully coming across as credible and even-minded, which you do, and express my clear perception that people run from things which they know and things which they sense, even to the point of turning those senses off, or removing knowledge from their awareness, and they construct grandiose excuses, which they repeat to themselves, to justify doing so.

    It is possible that you are doing that with your arguments, it is also possible that I have self-hypnotised into a "truth" because I got bored of "lack." I am not completely convinced of either, but the evidence from my experience is extraordinary.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh, @Daniel Chieh

  145. @jimmyriddle
    @prime noticer

    American films are dubbed. In Italy, for example, every major Hollwood actor is always dubbed by the same voice actor. So Italians think John Wayne was a basso profundo.

    Replies: @prime noticer

    “American films are dubbed.”

    indeed. and like i said, most people aren’t interested in that. they would rather watch crap movies in their own language than watch great foreign movies that are translated.

    this is really well studied, since the hollywood people have billions of dollars on the line. as soon as the local movie industry is able to make halfway decent movies by the local standards, movies that would still be crap by US standards, the local population switches over to watch those since they can understand them in the native language in real time.

    IMBD now has a filter for that, so when you try to look up the best movies in some year, you don’t get a list that’s 50% total crap foreign movies from India and China. the Chinese action and sci fi movies HAVE gotten a lot better, and are better than the Russian movies, but none of them are really all that good. at least they have 0% woke content. the Korean movies are the best, but they’re still not all that good on average by US standards.

    US streaming services are flooded with these movies, so any American can easily watch most of the stuff coming out of China, India, Russia, and Korea, and observe that it’s largely crap. compared to US blockbusters, it’s all second rate stuff at best, third rate in general, and that’s their best efforts, big budget productions.

  146. Is “soft power” just a phrase invented by the CIA to deter nuclear proliferation and militarization?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I mean, it is a real thing. But the first purpose at some point had to be that it helped reinforce the job viability of some CIA analyst who formualized the concept.

    There's a lot of things like that: OODA loop, killology, etc. Pentagon people have a talent for making new discoveries that make their own jobs more invaluable.

    Replies: @songbird

  147. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear.
     
    I should clarify, this is less exactly "status maximizing" but "status loss aversion", which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why "rights creep" has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.

    https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/loss-aversion/


    Loss aversion is a cognitive bias that describes why, for individuals, the pain of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. The loss felt from money, or any other valuable object, can feel worse than gaining that same thing.
     
    In summation, loss aversion is most likely going to be the cause of collapse of wokism if anything, much as cancer cells eventually kill their hosts. There's no "scaling back," there's only death, although its also possible that a relatively stable version of it can manifest, akin to AK's "critical race theory as white supremacy."

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.

    My experience of winning at that game is even more unpleasant than my experience of losing at it.

    Being excellent at this lose/lose game is a tragic talent of mine.

    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear

    Just for clarification: do you consider it a “rational” fear beyond that which brings “authentic” benefit?

    “Authentic” is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.

    I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective

    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be “stupid”, as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned. “Darkness,” in my parlance, is when a sense is switched off, as in there is some area or phenomenon which that person’s consciousness cannot sense.

    Leprosy may be “strongly adaptive” if you need to pick something out of a fire and you only have your hand, but, if you’re just doing it to show off, with no “authentic reward”, it is kind of stupid.

    Winning at status games hurts as much as losing. Most people seem to have some form of emotional leprosy which precludes them from being aware of that.

    As a defence for your consciousness from your own sense, this “leprosy”, may be necessary, for various reasons, for various people, at various times, but hopefully not forever. It is a diminishment and its comorbidities are manifold. You can see it in people’s unhappiness and otherwise inexplicably bizarre behaviour.

    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:

    They had a layer pulled off which they didn’t yet have the courage to face. The only way they could cope was by projecting it out. This is common.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists? I do appreciate that your ways of coping with that lack are different, but I think you both recognise it.

    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?

    Roughly, for me:

    Fears < Feelings < Intuition < Visions < Truth

    I appreciate that you probably don’t believe in that last step.

    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.

    Drugs can switch off, or muddy “senses,” or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    I recently smoked a high dose of a hallucinogen from the frog “Bufo Alvarius.” I have not done any drugs for years and have little experience with hallucinogens, of which this is supposedly “by far” the strongest and most intense. It did very little to me and I was perfectly able to think and communicate lucidly. The people administering the dosage were completely confused by it, up to the point of thinking that I was somehow lying. In their status game, I had won, but, of course, their sadness at losing is extremely painful to see. They felt much less of themselves.

    I was also very anxious before trying it, but would consider doing more akin to having a cup of coffee, because I was extremely familiar with the sensory experiences which it switched on. I had an idea that this might be the case, but I am still surprised by how right that idea was. I am also trying to look for all manner of explanations alternative to the one I hold, as my own makes me feel sad.

    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.

    You see everyone existing in “lack”, because there is no “truth.”

    I see truth, but that people can only get there after a long journey through their “lack”.

    I’d say “religion” is where charlatans try to impart their lack onto others.

    Other than putting my own experiences across, which are only valid to me, because I experienced them, and therefore not valid to others, I will mostly only suggest that people should not fall into a religion or ideology which causes them to ignore their own senses, which will see them stuck somewhere along their lack.

    This is why I object to the word “religion”, though I understand that you think that it is fitting because my experiences are not “truth,” but essentially hypnotised into me.

    I was talking with my friend yesterday. She believes that people should be protected from hearing things that they find grievous and that this limitation on experience should take priority over people’s ability to express themselves. I understand why this is important for many people, at many stages of their life, as hearing something grievous can cause trauma and deep craziness, but ultimately reality is better, all experiences are better and all senses being open is better, if/when you can appreciate them. You might say that “better” is subjective, but they are better because that makes that subject more complete.

    Most people who peel a layer off, or switch a sense on, by smoking the extract from “Bufo Alvarius,” find the experience very extreme and need a lot of help and support to integrate it without falling into trauma. “Better” is a matter of timing.

    You are also absolutely right when you say that we cannot agree. I would not be having this conversation with you if you were the type to take my word for what I say of “truth”. It would be an unpleasant experience for me to override your needs/timing in this way.

    I can only explain my “truth” as it appears to me, while hopefully coming across as credible and even-minded, which you do, and express my clear perception that people run from things which they know and things which they sense, even to the point of turning those senses off, or removing knowledge from their awareness, and they construct grandiose excuses, which they repeat to themselves, to justify doing so.

    It is possible that you are doing that with your arguments, it is also possible that I have self-hypnotised into a “truth” because I got bored of “lack.” I am not completely convinced of either, but the evidence from my experience is extraordinary.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists?
     
    Just curious - how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don't mind my asking. Thanks!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Not much to add, since I disagree with your basic priors.


    Just for clarification: do you consider it a “rational” fear beyond that which brings “authentic” benefit?

     

    There's also rational fear of loss, of course. It doesn't have to be an assured harm: it is rational to fear an incoming tsunami. Nothing might happen to you, but the percentage of likelihood of harm x impact is a pretty normal Bayesian inference that our brains automatically run.

    “Authentic” is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.
     
    I do not see such a concept as that meaningful. We are not islands and we have finite resources. Your exercise of a service, such as being able to get inexpensive and high quality food, requires the effort and harm of others:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Hzd__Vqms&t=117s

    I do not even believe we fully exist not in relation to others.

    https://scitechdaily.com/is-reality-a-game-of-quantum-mirrors-a-new-theory-helps-explain-schrodingers-cat/

    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be “stupid”, as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned.
     
    This is not an appropriate comparison. Lepers are not selected for; the conditions where their lack of nervous response is optimal are too rare for it to be generally useful.

    This does, however, allow me to mention that there are places where lack of sensation is indeed optimal and has been selected for. From the excellent Other Minds:

    The evolution of animals is affected by these looping causal paths in a number of ways. Often these loops lead to a problem, as an animal attempts to work out what’s going on around it. Some fish, for example, send out electric pulses for communication with other fish, and also electrically sense other things going on around them. The self-produced pulses will affect their own senses, though, and it may be difficult for a fish to distinguish the pulses it has made from electrical disturbances that are due to external things. To deal with this problem, whenever a fish emits a pulse it also sends a copy of the command around to the sensing system, enabling that system to counteract the effect of the pulse it has produced. The fish is tracking and registering the distinction between “self” and “other,” between the effects on its senses of its own actions and the effects of events going on around it...

    As the Swedish neuroscientist Björn Merker notes, it results just from being able to move. An earthworm withdraws when something touches it— the touch might be a threat. But every time the worm crawls forward, it causes part of its body to be touched in just the same way. If it withdrew at every touch, it could never move at all. The worm succeeds in moving forward by canceling the effects of those self-produced touches.

     

    And of course, we do not have deep perception of the exact internal motions of our kidneys, or the like; likewise, our body works to remove pointless sensory information from us. So yes, where it is adaptive, we've evolved against behavior as well.

    Status-gaining is not one of those.

    Drugs can switch off, or muddy “senses,” or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

     

    And if maintained, will lead us to be "different people." That's basically the point; ultimately we are an ecosystem in ourselves and our brains utilize neurochemicals to build our personality profile. To eliminate that notion ultimately takes us to the idea that Aaron had of people not needing brains, and then ignoring the existence of the brainstem for basic breathing.

    The rest is all a lot of your personal feelings about things, which discount along with the basic notion of authenticity. I appreciate that you believe in yourself.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists?
     
    I employ certain tactics, but I appreciate my own Truth which is quite distinct from it. I do recognize it as a form of religion, however.

    In this, though, Aaron and I might actually agree: I think the notion of relying on the senses of the self as truth is a really basic and silly idea of naïve realism. He handles the same idea very differently from me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFve_realism_(psychology)
    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself "they" since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?

    I'm amused by the thought if my schema for theory of mind is functional to that extent.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  148. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.
     
    My experience of winning at that game is even more unpleasant than my experience of losing at it.

    Being excellent at this lose/lose game is a tragic talent of mine.


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear
     
    Just for clarification: do you consider it a "rational" fear beyond that which brings "authentic" benefit?

    "Authentic" is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.


    I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective
     
    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be "stupid", as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned. "Darkness," in my parlance, is when a sense is switched off, as in there is some area or phenomenon which that person's consciousness cannot sense.

    Leprosy may be "strongly adaptive" if you need to pick something out of a fire and you only have your hand, but, if you're just doing it to show off, with no "authentic reward", it is kind of stupid.

    Winning at status games hurts as much as losing. Most people seem to have some form of emotional leprosy which precludes them from being aware of that.

    As a defence for your consciousness from your own sense, this "leprosy", may be necessary, for various reasons, for various people, at various times, but hopefully not forever. It is a diminishment and its comorbidities are manifold. You can see it in people's unhappiness and otherwise inexplicably bizarre behaviour.


    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:
     
    They had a layer pulled off which they didn't yet have the courage to face. The only way they could cope was by projecting it out. This is common.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists? I do appreciate that your ways of coping with that lack are different, but I think you both recognise it.


    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?
     
    Roughly, for me:

    Fears < Feelings < Intuition < Visions < Truth

    I appreciate that you probably don't believe in that last step.


    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.
     
    Drugs can switch off, or muddy "senses," or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    I recently smoked a high dose of a hallucinogen from the frog "Bufo Alvarius." I have not done any drugs for years and have little experience with hallucinogens, of which this is supposedly "by far" the strongest and most intense. It did very little to me and I was perfectly able to think and communicate lucidly. The people administering the dosage were completely confused by it, up to the point of thinking that I was somehow lying. In their status game, I had won, but, of course, their sadness at losing is extremely painful to see. They felt much less of themselves.

    I was also very anxious before trying it, but would consider doing more akin to having a cup of coffee, because I was extremely familiar with the sensory experiences which it switched on. I had an idea that this might be the case, but I am still surprised by how right that idea was. I am also trying to look for all manner of explanations alternative to the one I hold, as my own makes me feel sad.


    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.
     
    You see everyone existing in "lack", because there is no "truth."

    I see truth, but that people can only get there after a long journey through their "lack".

    I'd say "religion" is where charlatans try to impart their lack onto others.

    Other than putting my own experiences across, which are only valid to me, because I experienced them, and therefore not valid to others, I will mostly only suggest that people should not fall into a religion or ideology which causes them to ignore their own senses, which will see them stuck somewhere along their lack.

    This is why I object to the word "religion", though I understand that you think that it is fitting because my experiences are not "truth," but essentially hypnotised into me.

    I was talking with my friend yesterday. She believes that people should be protected from hearing things that they find grievous and that this limitation on experience should take priority over people's ability to express themselves. I understand why this is important for many people, at many stages of their life, as hearing something grievous can cause trauma and deep craziness, but ultimately reality is better, all experiences are better and all senses being open is better, if/when you can appreciate them. You might say that "better" is subjective, but they are better because that makes that subject more complete.

    Most people who peel a layer off, or switch a sense on, by smoking the extract from "Bufo Alvarius," find the experience very extreme and need a lot of help and support to integrate it without falling into trauma. "Better" is a matter of timing.

    You are also absolutely right when you say that we cannot agree. I would not be having this conversation with you if you were the type to take my word for what I say of "truth". It would be an unpleasant experience for me to override your needs/timing in this way.

    I can only explain my "truth" as it appears to me, while hopefully coming across as credible and even-minded, which you do, and express my clear perception that people run from things which they know and things which they sense, even to the point of turning those senses off, or removing knowledge from their awareness, and they construct grandiose excuses, which they repeat to themselves, to justify doing so.

    It is possible that you are doing that with your arguments, it is also possible that I have self-hypnotised into a "truth" because I got bored of "lack." I am not completely convinced of either, but the evidence from my experience is extraordinary.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh, @Daniel Chieh

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists?

    Just curious – how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    Just curious – how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!
     

    To summarise what I perceive is at the end of what you are saying: "the truth is that there is no truth and you can take comfort by telling yourself that nothing really matters."

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

  149. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.
     
    My experience of winning at that game is even more unpleasant than my experience of losing at it.

    Being excellent at this lose/lose game is a tragic talent of mine.


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear
     
    Just for clarification: do you consider it a "rational" fear beyond that which brings "authentic" benefit?

    "Authentic" is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.


    I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective
     
    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be "stupid", as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned. "Darkness," in my parlance, is when a sense is switched off, as in there is some area or phenomenon which that person's consciousness cannot sense.

    Leprosy may be "strongly adaptive" if you need to pick something out of a fire and you only have your hand, but, if you're just doing it to show off, with no "authentic reward", it is kind of stupid.

    Winning at status games hurts as much as losing. Most people seem to have some form of emotional leprosy which precludes them from being aware of that.

    As a defence for your consciousness from your own sense, this "leprosy", may be necessary, for various reasons, for various people, at various times, but hopefully not forever. It is a diminishment and its comorbidities are manifold. You can see it in people's unhappiness and otherwise inexplicably bizarre behaviour.


    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:
     
    They had a layer pulled off which they didn't yet have the courage to face. The only way they could cope was by projecting it out. This is common.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists? I do appreciate that your ways of coping with that lack are different, but I think you both recognise it.


    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?
     
    Roughly, for me:

    Fears < Feelings < Intuition < Visions < Truth

    I appreciate that you probably don't believe in that last step.


    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.
     
    Drugs can switch off, or muddy "senses," or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    I recently smoked a high dose of a hallucinogen from the frog "Bufo Alvarius." I have not done any drugs for years and have little experience with hallucinogens, of which this is supposedly "by far" the strongest and most intense. It did very little to me and I was perfectly able to think and communicate lucidly. The people administering the dosage were completely confused by it, up to the point of thinking that I was somehow lying. In their status game, I had won, but, of course, their sadness at losing is extremely painful to see. They felt much less of themselves.

    I was also very anxious before trying it, but would consider doing more akin to having a cup of coffee, because I was extremely familiar with the sensory experiences which it switched on. I had an idea that this might be the case, but I am still surprised by how right that idea was. I am also trying to look for all manner of explanations alternative to the one I hold, as my own makes me feel sad.


    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.
     
    You see everyone existing in "lack", because there is no "truth."

    I see truth, but that people can only get there after a long journey through their "lack".

    I'd say "religion" is where charlatans try to impart their lack onto others.

    Other than putting my own experiences across, which are only valid to me, because I experienced them, and therefore not valid to others, I will mostly only suggest that people should not fall into a religion or ideology which causes them to ignore their own senses, which will see them stuck somewhere along their lack.

    This is why I object to the word "religion", though I understand that you think that it is fitting because my experiences are not "truth," but essentially hypnotised into me.

    I was talking with my friend yesterday. She believes that people should be protected from hearing things that they find grievous and that this limitation on experience should take priority over people's ability to express themselves. I understand why this is important for many people, at many stages of their life, as hearing something grievous can cause trauma and deep craziness, but ultimately reality is better, all experiences are better and all senses being open is better, if/when you can appreciate them. You might say that "better" is subjective, but they are better because that makes that subject more complete.

    Most people who peel a layer off, or switch a sense on, by smoking the extract from "Bufo Alvarius," find the experience very extreme and need a lot of help and support to integrate it without falling into trauma. "Better" is a matter of timing.

    You are also absolutely right when you say that we cannot agree. I would not be having this conversation with you if you were the type to take my word for what I say of "truth". It would be an unpleasant experience for me to override your needs/timing in this way.

    I can only explain my "truth" as it appears to me, while hopefully coming across as credible and even-minded, which you do, and express my clear perception that people run from things which they know and things which they sense, even to the point of turning those senses off, or removing knowledge from their awareness, and they construct grandiose excuses, which they repeat to themselves, to justify doing so.

    It is possible that you are doing that with your arguments, it is also possible that I have self-hypnotised into a "truth" because I got bored of "lack." I am not completely convinced of either, but the evidence from my experience is extraordinary.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh, @Daniel Chieh

    Not much to add, since I disagree with your basic priors.

    Just for clarification: do you consider it a “rational” fear beyond that which brings “authentic” benefit?

    There’s also rational fear of loss, of course. It doesn’t have to be an assured harm: it is rational to fear an incoming tsunami. Nothing might happen to you, but the percentage of likelihood of harm x impact is a pretty normal Bayesian inference that our brains automatically run.

    “Authentic” is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.

    I do not see such a concept as that meaningful. We are not islands and we have finite resources. Your exercise of a service, such as being able to get inexpensive and high quality food, requires the effort and harm of others:

    I do not even believe we fully exist not in relation to others.

    https://scitechdaily.com/is-reality-a-game-of-quantum-mirrors-a-new-theory-helps-explain-schrodingers-cat/

    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be “stupid”, as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned.

    This is not an appropriate comparison. Lepers are not selected for; the conditions where their lack of nervous response is optimal are too rare for it to be generally useful.

    This does, however, allow me to mention that there are places where lack of sensation is indeed optimal and has been selected for. From the excellent Other Minds:

    The evolution of animals is affected by these looping causal paths in a number of ways. Often these loops lead to a problem, as an animal attempts to work out what’s going on around it. Some fish, for example, send out electric pulses for communication with other fish, and also electrically sense other things going on around them. The self-produced pulses will affect their own senses, though, and it may be difficult for a fish to distinguish the pulses it has made from electrical disturbances that are due to external things. To deal with this problem, whenever a fish emits a pulse it also sends a copy of the command around to the sensing system, enabling that system to counteract the effect of the pulse it has produced. The fish is tracking and registering the distinction between “self” and “other,” between the effects on its senses of its own actions and the effects of events going on around it…

    As the Swedish neuroscientist Björn Merker notes, it results just from being able to move. An earthworm withdraws when something touches it— the touch might be a threat. But every time the worm crawls forward, it causes part of its body to be touched in just the same way. If it withdrew at every touch, it could never move at all. The worm succeeds in moving forward by canceling the effects of those self-produced touches.

    And of course, we do not have deep perception of the exact internal motions of our kidneys, or the like; likewise, our body works to remove pointless sensory information from us. So yes, where it is adaptive, we’ve evolved against behavior as well.

    Status-gaining is not one of those.

    Drugs can switch off, or muddy “senses,” or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    And if maintained, will lead us to be “different people.” That’s basically the point; ultimately we are an ecosystem in ourselves and our brains utilize neurochemicals to build our personality profile. To eliminate that notion ultimately takes us to the idea that Aaron had of people not needing brains, and then ignoring the existence of the brainstem for basic breathing.

    The rest is all a lot of your personal feelings about things, which discount along with the basic notion of authenticity. I appreciate that you believe in yourself.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists?

    I employ certain tactics, but I appreciate my own Truth which is quite distinct from it. I do recognize it as a form of religion, however.

    In this, though, Aaron and I might actually agree: I think the notion of relying on the senses of the self as truth is a really basic and silly idea of naïve realism. He handles the same idea very differently from me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Na%C3%AFve_realism_(psychology)

  150. @songbird
    Is "soft power" just a phrase invented by the CIA to deter nuclear proliferation and militarization?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I mean, it is a real thing. But the first purpose at some point had to be that it helped reinforce the job viability of some CIA analyst who formualized the concept.

    There’s a lot of things like that: OODA loop, killology, etc. Pentagon people have a talent for making new discoveries that make their own jobs more invaluable.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh

    Well, I'm just trying to look at it from the perspective of a nationalist and through the lens of risk management, taking the unidimension of entertainment.

    With the US and the UK, there is a staggeringly common experience: going to a third world country, being in some nowhere town, and being told by young people that they want to move to your country. No doubt, it is partly a function of open borders, but I think it is also partly a function of soft power.

    Turkey produces a lot of soaps, and I get the sense that it is also true of Muslims in perceiving Turkey as a place to which they wish to migrate. From my perspective, it is bad place to live, but not to them, especially when it is romanticized.

    I'm not sure that there is a developed country with substantial soft power that hasn't at least started to dip its toe in globohomo.

    SK is at a small scale, where in order to have a domestic culture industry, it may need to export. The same probably is not true of Japan, and it is certainly not true with China.

    But as a thought experiment I wonder about this: Suppose SK could launder the "made in SK" label. Use Deepfake to automatically mask the origin of its cultural product. Replace the Koreans with Nigerians or Indonesians, as the each case might require. But still make the same amount of money. Would they really be worse off? With nobody understanding that it came from SK?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  151. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    I should clarify, this is less exactly “status maximizing” but “status loss aversion”, which is of course maximizing in its own way. Loss aversion is an extremely strong motive for behavior and I believe, is a strong reason why “rights creep” has happened and why it cannot be reversed even if demonstrates overall harm.
     
    My experience of winning at that game is even more unpleasant than my experience of losing at it.

    Being excellent at this lose/lose game is a tragic talent of mine.


    I believe that you seeking “status”(validation, rights, autonomy, etc) right at this moment, even if you don’t realize it, and insofar as you seek to remove the desire to express it over others, it is most likely because you fear being controlled – which is a rational fear
     
    Just for clarification: do you consider it a "rational" fear beyond that which brings "authentic" benefit?

    "Authentic" is defined here as that which does not exist solely as a relation to others. It can include material goods, services, freedoms, opportunities etc, but only that which does not intrinsically do another person down.


    I find the notion that it being “stupid” to be silly, since if it was so “stupid”, how did it come to existence? It at least served a purpose to evolve and is strongly adaptive. If you are to believe that it some form of “darkness”, then I respect it but only as a religious perspective
     
    A leper might repeatedly put their hand in the fire and not be "stupid", as you say. They lack the sense required to know that they are getting burned. "Darkness," in my parlance, is when a sense is switched off, as in there is some area or phenomenon which that person's consciousness cannot sense.

    Leprosy may be "strongly adaptive" if you need to pick something out of a fire and you only have your hand, but, if you're just doing it to show off, with no "authentic reward", it is kind of stupid.

    Winning at status games hurts as much as losing. Most people seem to have some form of emotional leprosy which precludes them from being aware of that.

    As a defence for your consciousness from your own sense, this "leprosy", may be necessary, for various reasons, for various people, at various times, but hopefully not forever. It is a diminishment and its comorbidities are manifold. You can see it in people's unhappiness and otherwise inexplicably bizarre behaviour.


    Even the idea of “peeling off layers” is essentially a religious notion that there is authenticity. There isn’t. Hypnosis can create all sorts of authenticity for you, it doesn’t mean that it is true in any factual way and this in fact, caused a huge amount of damage at one point, triggering the entire Satanic panic era:
     
    They had a layer pulled off which they didn't yet have the courage to face. The only way they could cope was by projecting it out. This is common.

    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists? I do appreciate that your ways of coping with that lack are different, but I think you both recognise it.


    I find this notion, as well as most notions of authenticity almost completely nonsensical. It comes from “inside.” Inside what? Your body? Your soul? Your thoughts and feelings?
     
    Roughly, for me:

    Fears < Feelings < Intuition < Visions < Truth

    I appreciate that you probably don't believe in that last step.


    Are you the same person if drunk? If I wired you up with an amphetamines drop, would you be the same person? What if it was with psychedelics, instead? I can answer that with probable effect: the first will lower inhibitions, the second will increase aggression, reaction time and decrease openness, and the third will decrease aggression, lower reaction time and increase openness. “You” are the cocktail of chemicals that can be externally altered.
     
    Drugs can switch off, or muddy "senses," or turn some on. This changes our picture of ourselves and the world. Leading to us seeming like different people. The same can be said of brain experiments.

    I recently smoked a high dose of a hallucinogen from the frog "Bufo Alvarius." I have not done any drugs for years and have little experience with hallucinogens, of which this is supposedly "by far" the strongest and most intense. It did very little to me and I was perfectly able to think and communicate lucidly. The people administering the dosage were completely confused by it, up to the point of thinking that I was somehow lying. In their status game, I had won, but, of course, their sadness at losing is extremely painful to see. They felt much less of themselves.

    I was also very anxious before trying it, but would consider doing more akin to having a cup of coffee, because I was extremely familiar with the sensory experiences which it switched on. I had an idea that this might be the case, but I am still surprised by how right that idea was. I am also trying to look for all manner of explanations alternative to the one I hold, as my own makes me feel sad.


    So yes, I do think that you have an essentially religious perspective, however you may feel that you are grasping a Truth. It certainly may feel so to you. I certainly feel things that are Truth too. But that’s my religion, as well.
     
    You see everyone existing in "lack", because there is no "truth."

    I see truth, but that people can only get there after a long journey through their "lack".

    I'd say "religion" is where charlatans try to impart their lack onto others.

    Other than putting my own experiences across, which are only valid to me, because I experienced them, and therefore not valid to others, I will mostly only suggest that people should not fall into a religion or ideology which causes them to ignore their own senses, which will see them stuck somewhere along their lack.

    This is why I object to the word "religion", though I understand that you think that it is fitting because my experiences are not "truth," but essentially hypnotised into me.

    I was talking with my friend yesterday. She believes that people should be protected from hearing things that they find grievous and that this limitation on experience should take priority over people's ability to express themselves. I understand why this is important for many people, at many stages of their life, as hearing something grievous can cause trauma and deep craziness, but ultimately reality is better, all experiences are better and all senses being open is better, if/when you can appreciate them. You might say that "better" is subjective, but they are better because that makes that subject more complete.

    Most people who peel a layer off, or switch a sense on, by smoking the extract from "Bufo Alvarius," find the experience very extreme and need a lot of help and support to integrate it without falling into trauma. "Better" is a matter of timing.

    You are also absolutely right when you say that we cannot agree. I would not be having this conversation with you if you were the type to take my word for what I say of "truth". It would be an unpleasant experience for me to override your needs/timing in this way.

    I can only explain my "truth" as it appears to me, while hopefully coming across as credible and even-minded, which you do, and express my clear perception that people run from things which they know and things which they sense, even to the point of turning those senses off, or removing knowledge from their awareness, and they construct grandiose excuses, which they repeat to themselves, to justify doing so.

    It is possible that you are doing that with your arguments, it is also possible that I have self-hypnotised into a "truth" because I got bored of "lack." I am not completely convinced of either, but the evidence from my experience is extraordinary.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Daniel Chieh, @Daniel Chieh

    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself “they” since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?

    I’m amused by the thought if my schema for theory of mind is functional to that extent.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself “they” since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?
     
    We usefully use sex to describe our bodies and genetics. "She" and "he" are best used to denote sex, or else they denote very little; hence the Mobius Strip madness of the trillion different pronouns, which represent the temporary triumph of labels over deeper descriptions.

    Optimistically, what we're seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were "men" and "women", and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

    Now, if a woman likes trucks we are meant to tell her that she is a "man" or "genderfluid". Eventually, we may get to a point where we realise that the appropriate label is "woman who likes trucks." This would be an improvement over the beginning of the journey, even if the journey itself has some harrowing moments.

    Replies: @Svevlad

  152. This is not an appropriate comparison. Lepers are not selected for; the conditions where their lack of nervous response is optimal are too rare for it to be generally useful.

    That’s only distinct by degree, as nothing which exists now is selected for by the current set of conditions. Everything is selected for, vaguely, only by past conditions.

    I do not even believe we fully exist not in relation to others.

    Makes sense.

    And if maintained, will lead us to be “different people.” That’s basically the point; ultimately we are an ecosystem in ourselves and our brains utilize neurochemicals to build our personality profile. To eliminate that notion ultimately takes us to the idea that Aaron had of people not needing brains, and then ignoring the existence of the brainstem for basic breathing

    We are different people from moment to moment, if you explain people solely by their physicality, yet that does not accord with the balance of anyone’s experience.

    You seem to be prioritising the limited experience of the brain stem examiners when doing brain stem examining, with their full life experience and conception of themselves.

    I do not doubt that if you removed my brain stem, I would stop breathing, but I also do not think that would blot out my existence. Our experience says that we remain as a thing even though our physical form changes constantly.

    An abrupt and big change in physical form may cause a tremendous disruption, but it seems reasonable to extrapolate that what is “us” will eventually recoalesce in some form. A small shock takes such a small time to coalesce from, that we don’t even notice it.

    A huge shock may take rather more. Many first-timers who take this hallucinogen will dissociate. Needing a lot of time to coalesce after the shock. This is the same for all trauma. Perhaps it is also the same for trauma which is seemingly life ending? The shock being to your self-conception and the limited way in which you see yourself, in particular, with your attachment to your body.

    And of course, we do not have deep perception of the exact internal motions of our kidneys, or the like; likewise, our body works to remove pointless sensory information from us.

    Yes, what people are conscious of, and what people sense on some other level, do not match up.

    Some of this is because that extra information is pointless, some because it is painful, some because it is scary, but there’s a lot of fulfilling and useful stuff in the painful and scary things.

    Status-gaining is not one of those.

    It is for some people, just as the pain of hurting people is subdued for others. You have balance when you experience both, at the same time. That is having your senses open.

    I do not see such a concept as that meaningful. We are not islands and we have finite resources. Your exercise of a service, such as being able to get inexpensive and high quality food, requires the effort and harm of others:

    They are meaningful in that there are huge differences in how different things measure up according to those two scales. They are very far from a 1:1 correlation.

    There’s also rational fear of loss, of course. It doesn’t have to be an assured harm: it is rational to fear an incoming tsunami. Nothing might happen to you, but the percentage of likelihood of harm x impact is a pretty normal Bayesian inference that our brains automatically run.

    Yes.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Optimistically, what we’re seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were “men” and “women”, and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

     

    Is that a yes to you being an "they?"

    If so, I am a genius.

    Anyway...

    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn't offensive, but I did a copy paste of "layers" with "body thetans" and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.

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

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  153. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself "they" since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?

    I'm amused by the thought if my schema for theory of mind is functional to that extent.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself “they” since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?

    We usefully use sex to describe our bodies and genetics. “She” and “he” are best used to denote sex, or else they denote very little; hence the Mobius Strip madness of the trillion different pronouns, which represent the temporary triumph of labels over deeper descriptions.

    Optimistically, what we’re seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were “men” and “women”, and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

    Now, if a woman likes trucks we are meant to tell her that she is a “man” or “genderfluid”. Eventually, we may get to a point where we realise that the appropriate label is “woman who likes trucks.” This would be an improvement over the beginning of the journey, even if the journey itself has some harrowing moments.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Exactly.

    Albeit, it might take time.

    It will appear as if I'm saying one thing in different ways over and over on this site, but I am convinced that global insanity and neuroticism will only increase before the "bubble" pops, with catastrophic effects.

    On the other hand, I am also a fervent believer that in the end, everything has a place, and will be set in it, at some point. Massive tragedies are unnecessary, but I don't care about them, because in the long run, they don't matter.

  154. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Coconuts

    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.

    As far as I know within Wokeness Inclusivity is a key value but it has a particular meaning; when a member of a minoritised or marginalised identity grouping has their identity validated and accepted by an oppressor group who first recognise, confess and then take steps to dismantle their systemic power and privilege.

    Woke cultural production seems to revolve around this theme to the point that it is always the main plot, but can come in certain different flavours; the exposure of white supremacy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, patriarchy, ableism, thin-normativity or healthism and so on.

    I’m not sure it truly appeals to the lowest common denominator in the same way as the US ideal of the 1990s used to (the Cadillac in the driveway, nice house with a fence, well paid job etc.), also whether the meaning of this type of content will be fully understood by a lot of audiences outside of the West (even outside of Anglo countries).

    This type of thing will explain why there are so many seemingly pointless remakes though, big films have to be remade in such a way that the problematic content of the original is exposed and deconstructed and undergoes correction.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Coconuts


    As far as I know within Wokeness Inclusivity is a key value but it has a particular meaning; when a member of a minoritised or marginalised identity grouping has their identity validated and accepted by an oppressor group who first recognise, confess and then take steps to dismantle their systemic power and privilege.
     
    White people, including white conservatives, are, globally, far more aligned with the values which inform Wokist creations than are other peoples. It is therefore not surprising that Wokists make strenuous, if often clumsy and mistaken efforts, to try to adapt to other groups.

    You can see this in the Islamo-Woke alliance in Europe. It is, madly, a real thing. The Wokists are trying to transform themselves into something which hits all of the key needs of the Islamists, without sacrificing what allows them to be so dominant among white people.

    Woke cultural production seems to revolve around this theme to the point that it is always the main plot, but can come in certain different flavours; the exposure of white supremacy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, patriarchy, ableism, thin-normativity or healthism and so on
     
    I think this type of box ticking is a diversion from the creative process, but they think they're trying to even out an imbalance which they perceive is there. It is the same old uninspired formulaic approach, but for a global audience.

    I’m not sure it truly appeals to the lowest common denominator in the same way as the US ideal of the 1990s used to (the Cadillac in the driveway, nice house with a fence, well paid job etc.), also whether the meaning of this type of content will be fully understood by a lot of audiences outside of the West (even outside of Anglo countries
     
    They haven't fully jettisoned that. This content has also spread far beyond the West. It seems to sell extremely easily.

    This type of thing will explain why there are so many seemingly pointless remakes though, big films have to be remade in such a way that the problematic content of the original is exposed and deconstructed and undergoes correction.
     
    Yes, also, what come first - the ideological imperative or the lack of creativity?

    Replies: @Coconuts

  155. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Have you noticed that underlying it all, both you and Aaron are cynical nihilists?
     
    Just curious - how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don't mind my asking. Thanks!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Just curious – how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!

    To summarise what I perceive is at the end of what you are saying: “the truth is that there is no truth and you can take comfort by telling yourself that nothing really matters.”

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    That the world as we ordinarily perceive it - composed of seperate objects - is not the truth. The characteristic function of the human mind is to analyze the world into discrete objects - if it can be shown that we cannot rely on our minds to reveal truth, then the characteristic picture of the world our mind shows us - a world of discrete, seperate objects - is not correct.

    Therefore, these seperate objects - not being truly seperate - are not as important as we think.

    In this view, competition, strife, selfishness, war, is replaced by love and cooperation, and anxiety vanishes. A world of interrelation replaces a world of seperation.

    If we are seperate objects, it makes sense to maximize self interest at the expense of others, and it makes sense to be anxious about our death.

    If we "don't matter" - sounds so cynical and nihilistic doesn't it? - then we are not likely to be selfish, or anxious about our death.

    If "we" are parts of a larger whole, and the world of seperate objects revealed by our senses and minds is an illusion, then we stop fearing for ourselves and stop maximizing our self interest.

    Life for most of humanity is the anxious quest for survival - witness Daniel Chieh with his desire to maximize order, safety, control, and "adaptiveness". These are his supreme goals - not joy. He scorns "feelings".

    We do not take mere comfort that no "thing" (individual, discrete object) truly matters. We find ecstasy and joy in being released from the anxious quest for survival that poisons the life of most humans and from the acts of selfishness, competition, aggression, and violence we commit to safeguard our discrete, seperate selves.

    If the discrete object does not matter on its own, but only in it's relationship to the whole, then it's imperfections - cause of so much sorrow and anxiety to be "superior" and acquire status and prestige - are redeemed. The desire to be "somebody" comes from the feeling we are "nobody". But what if being "nobody" releases us into being - "everything"?

    Instead, we take our place within a larger whole, which is beautiful. Our harmony with the larger is reflected in our attitude to ourselves, where just as we no longer make war on others, we no longer war on our own nature.

    I am honestly surprised that you do not see the beauty of this vision.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    But even though I published that rather long screed, I do not think you will understand. It just restating what I have said up till now.

    If you haven't seen it up till now, it merely means we do not share the same metaphysical intuitions. Our minds are structured differently.

    And that is no big deal!

    We do not have to agree. I agree with many of your comments and your comments are worthwhile - do keep posting!

    Most people in today's age seem unable to understand this vision, though it is the mainstay of basically every spiritual vision.

    I am considering no longer writing about it, but just living it with like minded people - and thereby sending ripples through the Sheldrakian field :)

    Perhaps that is best how I can have an influence - simply living beautifully, joyfully, and well. I don't even mean that this will be an example to others, to contrast against the anxious survival-quest most people are engaged in, and the resulting cramped and depressed lifestyle.

    I mean something more mystical than that :)

    Be well. Continue the good fight.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  156. @Triteleia Laxa

    This is not an appropriate comparison. Lepers are not selected for; the conditions where their lack of nervous response is optimal are too rare for it to be generally useful.
     
    That's only distinct by degree, as nothing which exists now is selected for by the current set of conditions. Everything is selected for, vaguely, only by past conditions.

    I do not even believe we fully exist not in relation to others.
     
    Makes sense.

    And if maintained, will lead us to be “different people.” That’s basically the point; ultimately we are an ecosystem in ourselves and our brains utilize neurochemicals to build our personality profile. To eliminate that notion ultimately takes us to the idea that Aaron had of people not needing brains, and then ignoring the existence of the brainstem for basic breathing
     
    We are different people from moment to moment, if you explain people solely by their physicality, yet that does not accord with the balance of anyone's experience.

    You seem to be prioritising the limited experience of the brain stem examiners when doing brain stem examining, with their full life experience and conception of themselves.

    I do not doubt that if you removed my brain stem, I would stop breathing, but I also do not think that would blot out my existence. Our experience says that we remain as a thing even though our physical form changes constantly.

    An abrupt and big change in physical form may cause a tremendous disruption, but it seems reasonable to extrapolate that what is "us" will eventually recoalesce in some form. A small shock takes such a small time to coalesce from, that we don't even notice it.

    A huge shock may take rather more. Many first-timers who take this hallucinogen will dissociate. Needing a lot of time to coalesce after the shock. This is the same for all trauma. Perhaps it is also the same for trauma which is seemingly life ending? The shock being to your self-conception and the limited way in which you see yourself, in particular, with your attachment to your body.

    And of course, we do not have deep perception of the exact internal motions of our kidneys, or the like; likewise, our body works to remove pointless sensory information from us.
     
    Yes, what people are conscious of, and what people sense on some other level, do not match up.

    Some of this is because that extra information is pointless, some because it is painful, some because it is scary, but there's a lot of fulfilling and useful stuff in the painful and scary things.

    Status-gaining is not one of those.
     
    It is for some people, just as the pain of hurting people is subdued for others. You have balance when you experience both, at the same time. That is having your senses open.

    I do not see such a concept as that meaningful. We are not islands and we have finite resources. Your exercise of a service, such as being able to get inexpensive and high quality food, requires the effort and harm of others:
     
    They are meaningful in that there are huge differences in how different things measure up according to those two scales. They are very far from a 1:1 correlation.

    There’s also rational fear of loss, of course. It doesn’t have to be an assured harm: it is rational to fear an incoming tsunami. Nothing might happen to you, but the percentage of likelihood of harm x impact is a pretty normal Bayesian inference that our brains automatically run.
     
    Yes.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Optimistically, what we’re seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were “men” and “women”, and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

    Is that a yes to you being an “they?”

    If so, I am a genius.

    Anyway…

    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn’t offensive, but I did a copy paste of “layers” with “body thetans” and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.

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

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Is that a yes to you being an “they?”
     
    I thought that was a clear "no". On the other hand, I'm not offended by it, if that means something to you.

    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind, even if my perception, from when you have made assumptions, is that you're only half of the way there. This is partly because I'll consider any theory which explains why I feel like I come at life from the opposite direction. My own is so unreal as to be a bad idea to share.


    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.
     
    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least "Woke" person I know offline.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn’t offensive, but I did a copy paste of “layers” with “body thetans” and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.
     
    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same "find & replace" with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

    I note though, that the "Xenu idea" sounds like a whole heap of projection. They could be replaced with "white supremacy/the Jews/GloboHomo/Reptillians/Communists/Capitalism" as anyone wishes.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  157. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Ha! Thanks, I appreciate the comparison :) I didn't see the movie but I did read the Maugham novel. Maugham is a fantastic writer, I think I've read nearly everything he's written.

    But I think I'm much less "lofty" and serious than Larry Darrel - I just want out of the dreariness of Industrial Civilization that produces so many broken people and stunted lives. We don't need to be living this way - it's only our fear that makes us trade our birthright - the glory of the world - for a mess of security and safety.

    I'm not even against technology, just the mechanistic mindset - the doltish-mechanistic mindset as Nietzsche called it - and the insane quest to dominate and control nature, based on an unnecessary fear.

    But I think the world is changing. A century again, a "primitivist" like me was looked at with pity - the dominance of science seemed so assured.

    Today, the sheer fury and alarm of people like Daniel Chieh at my ideas suggests that they are terrified and on the run.

    The world is changing :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Mr. Hack

    The only appreciable difference that I can discern between you and Larry Darrel, is that you seem to be more tilted towards hedonism, with all of your emphasis on having fun. But the both of you display a yearning for the metaphysical, religious and contemplative side of life, so there are definitely some similarities too.

    Maugham wrote so many novels and other types of literature, where does one start? Additionally, so many of his novels have been used as the basis of so many films too…Alas, the only book of his that I own that adorns my bookshelves is his romp into espionage literature, “Ashenden: Or The Secret Agent”, a thoroughly enjoyable read. Did you know that he was a real life spy for British Intelligence, and even was sent on a high level mission to Russia during the revolutionary war period (Provisional government time)?

    Since you’re the only individual that I know of who even knows about Somerset Maugham and has read some of his works, could you please recommend a few of his works that you’ve found to be enjoyable to read?

    And by all means, do see the film “The Razor’s Edge”, I’m sure that you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

    • Replies: @utu
    @Mr. Hack

    I liked the move and I also read the book but now I do not remember differences too much. I also remember reading Of Human Bondage from which I remember two themes. One it was the character of physician as a throorughhy educated man that is not uncommon in late 19th and early 20th century literature when quite a few physicians were indeed educated and could be good conversationalists. The second is his pivot or pitch for Spain as apposed to Italy. Spain is great, go there and appreciate its greatness which was a hard sell because since Spanish Armada Brits when thinking of Spain felt contempt and fear. They still do - mostly contempt.

    I have read somewhere that Maugham is appreciated more by foreigners in translation than by native English speakers because his style - and I forgot exactly why - was somehow not pleasant to English ear. I read him in English as a foreigners and I was not able to discern such a nuance.

    , @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    I oppose hedonism to what I regard as the anti-spiritual "gravity" of taking this earthly realm too seriously :) In other contexts I support a simple life with few comforts, like when I go camping!

    G.K Chesterton the great Catholic writer - no stranger to the pleasures of food - also mightily opposed the spirit of gravity as anti-Christian and anti-spiritual, and wrote very beautifully on the spirit of lightness to be found in Christianity and spiritually in general.

    But I hear what you are saying.

    As for Maugham, I particularly enjoyed his collection of short stories. I believe Penguin released them in four volumes - they are superb! The Ashenden stories are I believe volume three, they are quite amusing yes :)

    Beyond that his intellectual autobiography A Writers Notebook is very good, and his travelogue through Southeast Asia, A Gentleman In the Parlour, is excellent. Pico Iyer - a superb travel essayist worth reading in his own right - loved this.

    Of his novels, I read them all and enjoyed them all, but none stand out in my memory. The Moon and Sixpence, The Painted Veil, and Liza of Lambeth, perhaps (in addition to the Razors Edge) Of Human Bondage is of course his magnum opus - it's good. The title comes from a line from Spinoza, who was referring to the bondage of the emotions - and the way out :)

    The Magician is an atmospheric and enjoyable tale, but suggests more than it achieves. You keep on expecting more, but it never comes. Still enjoyable.

    I did know he was a real life spy! In that era one could be a suave British gentleman and a spy! Perhaps partly responsible for the James Bond archetype?

    I will watch the movie thanks!

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  158. @Athletic and Whitesplosive
    @Beckow


    Even Olympics today seems a thing of the past.
     
    Like most everything progressivism has attached itself to the olympics just haven't got any blood left in them, completely drained of any animating spirit. I used to find it interesting to see the opening ceremonies and how the host nations would present their nation and culture to the world (the Beijing Olympics in particular I recall being an incredible spectacle). This week I was barely aware they were starting, and on happening to flip to them, the first thing I saw was a negress (who apparently doesn't speak japanese?) lighting the Olympic flame (jeez, I wonder which global hegemon put them up to giving her the most prestigious role possible).

    Whether the Olympics were in Australia, America, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, or any other of the US' imperial holdings there was no way a surly negress wasn't lighting that torch, so as somebody who is interested in seeing displays of the host nation's culture, why should I care anymore? I can see american astroturf on tv any time I like, it's nothing special.

    Replies: @Beckow

    Olympics has been politicised, and so has culture, academia and religion. The politicisation repulses most people, it is a kiss of death. Wokeness is a form of aggressive propaganda and black women are the ultimate symbol, so Ms. Tokyo had to be black. People will pay for a lot of things, but they won’t pay for propaganda.

    Ms.Osaka gained some points at US Tennis Open when she left in a huff due to “referee racism” (or something like that). This is quite entertaining, a Wakanda world of anger and dreams.

  159. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Optimistically, what we’re seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were “men” and “women”, and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

     

    Is that a yes to you being an "they?"

    If so, I am a genius.

    Anyway...

    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn't offensive, but I did a copy paste of "layers" with "body thetans" and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.

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

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Is that a yes to you being an “they?”

    I thought that was a clear “no”. On the other hand, I’m not offended by it, if that means something to you.

    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind, even if my perception, from when you have made assumptions, is that you’re only half of the way there. This is partly because I’ll consider any theory which explains why I feel like I come at life from the opposite direction. My own is so unreal as to be a bad idea to share.

    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.

    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least “Woke” person I know offline.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn’t offensive, but I did a copy paste of “layers” with “body thetans” and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.

    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same “find & replace” with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

    I note though, that the “Xenu idea” sounds like a whole heap of projection. They could be replaced with “white supremacy/the Jews/GloboHomo/Reptillians/Communists/Capitalism” as anyone wishes.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind,
     
    We classify the world with schema. Your schema implied a "they." The vagueness of answer, which is usually a "yes" or "no", implies a "yes."

    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least “Woke” person I know offline.

     

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West. Little wonder "woke" does not go "broke"(though the gradual decline of living standard will be amusing to watch, but that rarely discourages religion). Its where it exits its immediate regions where it runs into some problems.

    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same “find & replace” with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

     

    Yes, the principle of similarity. As such, you can see how wokism is a religion with its own set of moral principles, language, and vision of utopia(the last which you share). And missionaries!

    I note though, that the “Xenu idea” sounds like a whole heap of projection
     
    You would not be immune from this, even if you think you are special. I think Sylvia Plath had a beautiful quote about that.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  160. @Boswald Bollocksworth
    This is incredibly encouraging, the correlation is lower than I'd have guessed. Would assume Russia would be similar to Italy, and higher than India.

    I think the "GAE" made a big mistake being so overt and reactive with their post 2014 Russophobia campaign. Could have gone easy on Russia at the superficial level, while continuing to rot out Russia's youth with toxic memes. Instead, Russians are a little bit hostile, or weary to anything associated with America these days. The Cunning of Reason!

    Russia is in a great position. Every-stronger domestic internet, massive food exporter, now value-added specialty foods included. Super weapons. Strong, lean, army that can take casualties.

    I would like to see stronger moral messages and less sex in Russian TV shows however. Russian entertainment should be trying to make a domestic "Sopranos" or "Game of Thrones" must-watch series, but one that subtly conveys strong moral lessons, such as the Brat films.

    Replies: @Yevardian

    The Sopranos was full of moral examples (it certainly never glamourised criminality) and serious themes, it just never hit you its audience over the head with it and never got preachy. I think the closest it ever got to explicitly expounding any moral message was this scene, very coldly expressed, and the more powerful for it.

    And please to do not compare David Chase’s masterwork with trash like GoT.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Yevardian

    That was beautiful.

    , @Boswald Bollocksworth
    @Yevardian

    Yes, certainly I agree. I should have made my comment clearer. I mean merely that Russia should make must-watch TV shows, and use that as a vehicle to model proper behavior, promote virtue. I would consider Breaking Bad also a semi-model here. Something people can't help but watch.

    , @Beckow
    @Yevardian

    GoT had its issues, but it had an attractive scenery and ambiance. Sopranos had the unfixable problem of taking place in a very ugly New Jersey-like environment. With all the wakandization that D. Chase tried, there was no way to escape the ugly people in an ugly environment dealing with ugly issues.

    This whole milieu is of limited interest to outsiders - Americans don't understand that their thugs, whether Sicilian, Irish or black are of little interest to others. Their lives are boring and they are in real life very stupid, so any story about them will reflect that stupidity. Plus the fat, houses made out of cardboard, endless driving...give me GoT any day, at least the scenery was good.

  161. @Yevardian
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The Sopranos was full of moral examples (it certainly never glamourised criminality) and serious themes, it just never hit you its audience over the head with it and never got preachy. I think the closest it ever got to explicitly expounding any moral message was this scene, very coldly expressed, and the more powerful for it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVeLjj6Ao8

    And please to do not compare David Chase's masterwork with trash like GoT.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Boswald Bollocksworth, @Beckow

    That was beautiful.

  162. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    Just curious – how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!
     

    To summarise what I perceive is at the end of what you are saying: "the truth is that there is no truth and you can take comfort by telling yourself that nothing really matters."

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

    That the world as we ordinarily perceive it – composed of seperate objects – is not the truth. The characteristic function of the human mind is to analyze the world into discrete objects – if it can be shown that we cannot rely on our minds to reveal truth, then the characteristic picture of the world our mind shows us – a world of discrete, seperate objects – is not correct.

    Therefore, these seperate objects – not being truly seperate – are not as important as we think.

    In this view, competition, strife, selfishness, war, is replaced by love and cooperation, and anxiety vanishes. A world of interrelation replaces a world of seperation.

    If we are seperate objects, it makes sense to maximize self interest at the expense of others, and it makes sense to be anxious about our death.

    If we “don’t matter” – sounds so cynical and nihilistic doesn’t it? – then we are not likely to be selfish, or anxious about our death.

    If “we” are parts of a larger whole, and the world of seperate objects revealed by our senses and minds is an illusion, then we stop fearing for ourselves and stop maximizing our self interest.

    Life for most of humanity is the anxious quest for survival – witness Daniel Chieh with his desire to maximize order, safety, control, and “adaptiveness”. These are his supreme goals – not joy. He scorns “feelings”.

    We do not take mere comfort that no “thing” (individual, discrete object) truly matters. We find ecstasy and joy in being released from the anxious quest for survival that poisons the life of most humans and from the acts of selfishness, competition, aggression, and violence we commit to safeguard our discrete, seperate selves.

    If the discrete object does not matter on its own, but only in it’s relationship to the whole, then it’s imperfections – cause of so much sorrow and anxiety to be “superior” and acquire status and prestige – are redeemed. The desire to be “somebody” comes from the feeling we are “nobody”. But what if being “nobody” releases us into being – “everything”?

    Instead, we take our place within a larger whole, which is beautiful. Our harmony with the larger is reflected in our attitude to ourselves, where just as we no longer make war on others, we no longer war on our own nature.

    I am honestly surprised that you do not see the beauty of this vision.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    You feel like you're "nobody". You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of "you" go from there?

    This is why I used the term "cynical nihilism".

    Daniel's answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    What's next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you'd be crazy?

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn't solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

  163. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    Just curious – how would you characterize my cynical nihilism?

    If you don’t mind my asking. Thanks!
     

    To summarise what I perceive is at the end of what you are saying: "the truth is that there is no truth and you can take comfort by telling yourself that nothing really matters."

    Replies: @AaronB, @AaronB

    But even though I published that rather long screed, I do not think you will understand. It just restating what I have said up till now.

    If you haven’t seen it up till now, it merely means we do not share the same metaphysical intuitions. Our minds are structured differently.

    And that is no big deal!

    We do not have to agree. I agree with many of your comments and your comments are worthwhile – do keep posting!

    Most people in today’s age seem unable to understand this vision, though it is the mainstay of basically every spiritual vision.

    I am considering no longer writing about it, but just living it with like minded people – and thereby sending ripples through the Sheldrakian field 🙂

    Perhaps that is best how I can have an influence – simply living beautifully, joyfully, and well. I don’t even mean that this will be an example to others, to contrast against the anxious survival-quest most people are engaged in, and the resulting cramped and depressed lifestyle.

    I mean something more mystical than that 🙂

    Be well. Continue the good fight.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    I am considering no longer writing about it, but just living it with like minded people – and thereby sending ripples through the Sheldrakian field 🙂


     

    Oh no, you won't stay away. Your masochistic little heart goes pitter patter at the notion of getting more verbal abuse and so you'll come back.

    It'd be wonderful if you weren't so ugly.

  164. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I mean, it is a real thing. But the first purpose at some point had to be that it helped reinforce the job viability of some CIA analyst who formualized the concept.

    There's a lot of things like that: OODA loop, killology, etc. Pentagon people have a talent for making new discoveries that make their own jobs more invaluable.

    Replies: @songbird

    Well, I’m just trying to look at it from the perspective of a nationalist and through the lens of risk management, taking the unidimension of entertainment.

    [MORE]

    With the US and the UK, there is a staggeringly common experience: going to a third world country, being in some nowhere town, and being told by young people that they want to move to your country. No doubt, it is partly a function of open borders, but I think it is also partly a function of soft power.

    Turkey produces a lot of soaps, and I get the sense that it is also true of Muslims in perceiving Turkey as a place to which they wish to migrate. From my perspective, it is bad place to live, but not to them, especially when it is romanticized.

    I’m not sure that there is a developed country with substantial soft power that hasn’t at least started to dip its toe in globohomo.

    SK is at a small scale, where in order to have a domestic culture industry, it may need to export. The same probably is not true of Japan, and it is certainly not true with China.

    But as a thought experiment I wonder about this: Suppose SK could launder the “made in SK” label. Use Deepfake to automatically mask the origin of its cultural product. Replace the Koreans with Nigerians or Indonesians, as the each case might require. But still make the same amount of money. Would they really be worse off? With nobody understanding that it came from SK?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I think that you're conflating a bunch of different things which produce soft power.

    1) Part of soft power is just artistry and the entire "entertainment complex.". The overall trance state created by good media is often just a function of skill, talent and capital investment. This is why in the US, even if wokism gets extremely annoying and turns off people, its unlikely that media can become "not woke," since the central repositories of talent have been fully converged. The barriers to entry for competitive entry within the US are just too large now. Literally, conservatives have no access to capital.

    Like pop songstresses, this has become a winner-take-all category - people, even worldwide, have only limited money and time for entertainment; the Schelling Point up to this point of, "what's high quality produced entertainment" has been American.

    2) Some degree of globohomo has been the norm in the entertainment industry since time immemorial; actresses are expected to be whores, for starters. They do not typically get to market their values to the entire society, though. This might be part of some ongoing issue in the US were celebrities have acquired a certain degree of status and real power, and so their values(and various virtue signaling measures), so they get to increasingly eat out the brains of the entertainment industry. Disney, etc, getting their brains eaten out is a sign of young society as a whole getting their brains eaten out, and then the young artists transferring over their values.

    You seem about my age. Do you remember all of the otherkin people and so on? Yeah. They grew up and now are othergendered, etc.

    3) Using animal characters, etc, to de-ethnicize individuals. Well, yeah, I think that's probably true and self-evident, but that's also not that weird as a whole. Part of fiction is that you want your audience to identify and if you use ethnic individuals, you may lose part of your audience. So its been common increasingly to animal or other nonethnic substitutes. I don't think its a conspiracy, its just a good artistic strategy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-WO-z-QuWI


    SK will be fine, ultimately.

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/why-did-young-south-koreans-ditch-the-democratic-party-and-president-moon/



    Among the younger voting bloc, male voters in their 20s withdrew their support for Moon and the DP early on. This group has been the weakest youth link for the DP since the beginning of the Moon administration; just 47.7 percent of the group voted for the DP in the 2020 legislative election, while 40.5 percent voted for the conservative UFP, compared to 65 percent of male voters in their 40s voting for the DP. Many young men pointed to recent discussions on gender and feminism sparked by the #MeToo Movement in South Korea to explain their move away from the DP and Moon.
     
    Once wokism weakens its host countries enough that they cease to be the "strong horse," they will also lose a huge catchet of soft power. Hard to be "the place that everyone wants to be" when you get bullied by hard power.

    Replies: @songbird

  165. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Is that a yes to you being an “they?”
     
    I thought that was a clear "no". On the other hand, I'm not offended by it, if that means something to you.

    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind, even if my perception, from when you have made assumptions, is that you're only half of the way there. This is partly because I'll consider any theory which explains why I feel like I come at life from the opposite direction. My own is so unreal as to be a bad idea to share.


    I had an entire set post about how it was excellent that you believe that brainstems are not important, but unfortunately the post was lost. Well, rest assured, I am happy that you think so and hope that this becomes a widespread and integral part of the wokist religion, as I think this will be helpful for future conflict resolution once applied physics is needed.
     
    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least "Woke" person I know offline.

    Incidentally, and I hope it isn’t offensive, but I did a copy paste of “layers” with “body thetans” and found that it worked, possibly worked even better as the Xenu idea provides a reasonably excellent means of distribution of negative external agents in the population. I found this greatly amusing.
     
    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same "find & replace" with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

    I note though, that the "Xenu idea" sounds like a whole heap of projection. They could be replaced with "white supremacy/the Jews/GloboHomo/Reptillians/Communists/Capitalism" as anyone wishes.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind,

    We classify the world with schema. Your schema implied a “they.” The vagueness of answer, which is usually a “yes” or “no”, implies a “yes.”

    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least “Woke” person I know offline.

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West. Little wonder “woke” does not go “broke”(though the gradual decline of living standard will be amusing to watch, but that rarely discourages religion). Its where it exits its immediate regions where it runs into some problems.

    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same “find & replace” with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

    Yes, the principle of similarity. As such, you can see how wokism is a religion with its own set of moral principles, language, and vision of utopia(the last which you share). And missionaries!

    I note though, that the “Xenu idea” sounds like a whole heap of projection

    You would not be immune from this, even if you think you are special. I think Sylvia Plath had a beautiful quote about that.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    We classify the world with schema
     
    Ideally not, and less is better.

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West.
     
    I know a lot of people in and from a lot of countries.

    You would not be immune from this
     
    No, but I did it in the opposite way.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  166. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    I am also interested in you elaborating on your theory of the mind,
     
    We classify the world with schema. Your schema implied a "they." The vagueness of answer, which is usually a "yes" or "no", implies a "yes."

    This makes me sad to inform you that I am easily the least “Woke” person I know offline.

     

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West. Little wonder "woke" does not go "broke"(though the gradual decline of living standard will be amusing to watch, but that rarely discourages religion). Its where it exits its immediate regions where it runs into some problems.

    No, it is flattering. Ideas promulgate because they contain kernels of truth. I am sure you could do the same “find & replace” with many sets of beliefs, across cultures and history.

     

    Yes, the principle of similarity. As such, you can see how wokism is a religion with its own set of moral principles, language, and vision of utopia(the last which you share). And missionaries!

    I note though, that the “Xenu idea” sounds like a whole heap of projection
     
    You would not be immune from this, even if you think you are special. I think Sylvia Plath had a beautiful quote about that.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    We classify the world with schema

    Ideally not, and less is better.

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West.

    I know a lot of people in and from a lot of countries.

    You would not be immune from this

    No, but I did it in the opposite way.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You might find this interesting in terms of synch, and I do think this echoes what I mentioned about synchronization(though it suggests a much deeper level, at consciousness itself). I don't know about the dramatic proclamations, but I do like and agree with the suggested notion that cooperation leads to almost a blending effect.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/brains-might-sync-as-people-interact-and-that-could-upend-consciousness


    Researchers have observed people’s neural activity while they complete cognitive tasks with techniques like EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is a machine that detects where oxygenated blood is flowing in the brain. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) also detects blood flow in the brain. With these techniques, scientists have peered into people’s minds as they complete tasks in pairs and groups.

    They noticed something unexpected: Functional links appeared across people’s brains when they cooperated during certain tasks. In other words, different people’s neural oscillations aligned when they cooperated.

    ...

    A potential explanation: Functional links across brains increase when people work together, but not for those who are competing or taking on identical tasks simultaneously.

     

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  167. @Coconuts
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Taken at their word, Wokist values are an attempt to be as inclusive as possible; to be the lowest common denominator. The attempt is not to convert the world to US values, but to permanently place the US on the ever-shifting centre ground.
     
    As far as I know within Wokeness Inclusivity is a key value but it has a particular meaning; when a member of a minoritised or marginalised identity grouping has their identity validated and accepted by an oppressor group who first recognise, confess and then take steps to dismantle their systemic power and privilege.

    Woke cultural production seems to revolve around this theme to the point that it is always the main plot, but can come in certain different flavours; the exposure of white supremacy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, patriarchy, ableism, thin-normativity or healthism and so on.

    I'm not sure it truly appeals to the lowest common denominator in the same way as the US ideal of the 1990s used to (the Cadillac in the driveway, nice house with a fence, well paid job etc.), also whether the meaning of this type of content will be fully understood by a lot of audiences outside of the West (even outside of Anglo countries).

    This type of thing will explain why there are so many seemingly pointless remakes though, big films have to be remade in such a way that the problematic content of the original is exposed and deconstructed and undergoes correction.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    As far as I know within Wokeness Inclusivity is a key value but it has a particular meaning; when a member of a minoritised or marginalised identity grouping has their identity validated and accepted by an oppressor group who first recognise, confess and then take steps to dismantle their systemic power and privilege.

    White people, including white conservatives, are, globally, far more aligned with the values which inform Wokist creations than are other peoples. It is therefore not surprising that Wokists make strenuous, if often clumsy and mistaken efforts, to try to adapt to other groups.

    You can see this in the Islamo-Woke alliance in Europe. It is, madly, a real thing. The Wokists are trying to transform themselves into something which hits all of the key needs of the Islamists, without sacrificing what allows them to be so dominant among white people.

    Woke cultural production seems to revolve around this theme to the point that it is always the main plot, but can come in certain different flavours; the exposure of white supremacy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, patriarchy, ableism, thin-normativity or healthism and so on

    I think this type of box ticking is a diversion from the creative process, but they think they’re trying to even out an imbalance which they perceive is there. It is the same old uninspired formulaic approach, but for a global audience.

    I’m not sure it truly appeals to the lowest common denominator in the same way as the US ideal of the 1990s used to (the Cadillac in the driveway, nice house with a fence, well paid job etc.), also whether the meaning of this type of content will be fully understood by a lot of audiences outside of the West (even outside of Anglo countries

    They haven’t fully jettisoned that. This content has also spread far beyond the West. It seems to sell extremely easily.

    This type of thing will explain why there are so many seemingly pointless remakes though, big films have to be remade in such a way that the problematic content of the original is exposed and deconstructed and undergoes correction.

    Yes, also, what come first – the ideological imperative or the lack of creativity?

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    @Triteleia Laxa


    White people, including white conservatives, are, globally, far more aligned with the values which inform Wokist creations than are other peoples. It is therefore not surprising that Wokists make strenuous, if often clumsy and mistaken efforts, to try to adapt to other groups.
     
    I think this is true up to a point but from what I can tell the Woke only make efforts to adapt to certain identities that they themselves have defined, and in particular ways they have determined to be appropriate, beyond this it is the job of the world to conform itself (or be conformed) to the Woke definitions and worldview. In Woke terms this will be understood as liberating the world and its peoples from ignorance and false consciousness and allowing them to enjoy an authentic state of existence.

    You can see this in the Islamo-Woke alliance in Europe. It is, madly, a real thing. The Wokists are trying to transform themselves into something which hits all of the key needs of the Islamists, without sacrificing what allows them to be so dominant among white people.
     

    Perhaps another way of seeing this is as something akin to the 1939-41 Nazi-Soviet pact, both the Woke and the Islamists in Western countries have something to gain from an alliance at the moment and, while attacking a common enemy they can also try to build up their strength for a predictable future conflict with each other.

    But while maintaining the pact, it is still the case that Wokism has to redefine Islam and Muslims into its own categories and particular vision, which has little to nothing to do with the content of Islam (much of their worldview will probably qualify as Satanic from an Islamic point of view) and Islamists have to do the same in reverse with the Woke.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  168. @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh

    Well, I'm just trying to look at it from the perspective of a nationalist and through the lens of risk management, taking the unidimension of entertainment.

    With the US and the UK, there is a staggeringly common experience: going to a third world country, being in some nowhere town, and being told by young people that they want to move to your country. No doubt, it is partly a function of open borders, but I think it is also partly a function of soft power.

    Turkey produces a lot of soaps, and I get the sense that it is also true of Muslims in perceiving Turkey as a place to which they wish to migrate. From my perspective, it is bad place to live, but not to them, especially when it is romanticized.

    I'm not sure that there is a developed country with substantial soft power that hasn't at least started to dip its toe in globohomo.

    SK is at a small scale, where in order to have a domestic culture industry, it may need to export. The same probably is not true of Japan, and it is certainly not true with China.

    But as a thought experiment I wonder about this: Suppose SK could launder the "made in SK" label. Use Deepfake to automatically mask the origin of its cultural product. Replace the Koreans with Nigerians or Indonesians, as the each case might require. But still make the same amount of money. Would they really be worse off? With nobody understanding that it came from SK?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I think that you’re conflating a bunch of different things which produce soft power.

    1) Part of soft power is just artistry and the entire “entertainment complex.”. The overall trance state created by good media is often just a function of skill, talent and capital investment. This is why in the US, even if wokism gets extremely annoying and turns off people, its unlikely that media can become “not woke,” since the central repositories of talent have been fully converged. The barriers to entry for competitive entry within the US are just too large now. Literally, conservatives have no access to capital.

    Like pop songstresses, this has become a winner-take-all category – people, even worldwide, have only limited money and time for entertainment; the Schelling Point up to this point of, “what’s high quality produced entertainment” has been American.

    2) Some degree of globohomo has been the norm in the entertainment industry since time immemorial; actresses are expected to be whores, for starters. They do not typically get to market their values to the entire society, though. This might be part of some ongoing issue in the US were celebrities have acquired a certain degree of status and real power, and so their values(and various virtue signaling measures), so they get to increasingly eat out the brains of the entertainment industry. Disney, etc, getting their brains eaten out is a sign of young society as a whole getting their brains eaten out, and then the young artists transferring over their values.

    You seem about my age. Do you remember all of the otherkin people and so on? Yeah. They grew up and now are othergendered, etc.

    3) Using animal characters, etc, to de-ethnicize individuals. Well, yeah, I think that’s probably true and self-evident, but that’s also not that weird as a whole. Part of fiction is that you want your audience to identify and if you use ethnic individuals, you may lose part of your audience. So its been common increasingly to animal or other nonethnic substitutes. I don’t think its a conspiracy, its just a good artistic strategy:

    SK will be fine, ultimately.

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/why-did-young-south-koreans-ditch-the-democratic-party-and-president-moon/

    Among the younger voting bloc, male voters in their 20s withdrew their support for Moon and the DP early on. This group has been the weakest youth link for the DP since the beginning of the Moon administration; just 47.7 percent of the group voted for the DP in the 2020 legislative election, while 40.5 percent voted for the conservative UFP, compared to 65 percent of male voters in their 40s voting for the DP. Many young men pointed to recent discussions on gender and feminism sparked by the #MeToo Movement in South Korea to explain their move away from the DP and Moon.

    Once wokism weakens its host countries enough that they cease to be the “strong horse,” they will also lose a huge catchet of soft power. Hard to be “the place that everyone wants to be” when you get bullied by hard power.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh

    Not sure if there is a real national strategic value to cultivating status in the Global South. SK for instance entered markets where Hollywood had no serious presence. It is not unreasonable to suppose that in some of them, it makes SK a more appealing destination than America - I think it could win on aesthetics alone. But perhaps, I'm overestimating the dangers, when film and TV is the last thing migration stems from.

    As to politics, I'm pessimistic when it comes to parliamentary democracy being able to address the challenges of modern invasion. SK and Japan, while being nowhere near as in trouble as the West, are both much further along, than the West was in the early stages of border erosion, when the English were complaining about the French coming over to use their health service. First black olympian in UK was 1968. I'm not sure politics has an easy solution to address the problem of foreign brides in SK, which seems likely to erode national identity.

    Never knew any "otherkind", but theater kids can be pretty weird. In some sense Hollywood is theater kids writ large, but with a lot of money and sex. I.e., some of cultural poz is self-organizing, directly from psychological profiles of actors and writers, without any need for powerful figures to lead the subversion. That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I'm not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  169. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    That the world as we ordinarily perceive it - composed of seperate objects - is not the truth. The characteristic function of the human mind is to analyze the world into discrete objects - if it can be shown that we cannot rely on our minds to reveal truth, then the characteristic picture of the world our mind shows us - a world of discrete, seperate objects - is not correct.

    Therefore, these seperate objects - not being truly seperate - are not as important as we think.

    In this view, competition, strife, selfishness, war, is replaced by love and cooperation, and anxiety vanishes. A world of interrelation replaces a world of seperation.

    If we are seperate objects, it makes sense to maximize self interest at the expense of others, and it makes sense to be anxious about our death.

    If we "don't matter" - sounds so cynical and nihilistic doesn't it? - then we are not likely to be selfish, or anxious about our death.

    If "we" are parts of a larger whole, and the world of seperate objects revealed by our senses and minds is an illusion, then we stop fearing for ourselves and stop maximizing our self interest.

    Life for most of humanity is the anxious quest for survival - witness Daniel Chieh with his desire to maximize order, safety, control, and "adaptiveness". These are his supreme goals - not joy. He scorns "feelings".

    We do not take mere comfort that no "thing" (individual, discrete object) truly matters. We find ecstasy and joy in being released from the anxious quest for survival that poisons the life of most humans and from the acts of selfishness, competition, aggression, and violence we commit to safeguard our discrete, seperate selves.

    If the discrete object does not matter on its own, but only in it's relationship to the whole, then it's imperfections - cause of so much sorrow and anxiety to be "superior" and acquire status and prestige - are redeemed. The desire to be "somebody" comes from the feeling we are "nobody". But what if being "nobody" releases us into being - "everything"?

    Instead, we take our place within a larger whole, which is beautiful. Our harmony with the larger is reflected in our attitude to ourselves, where just as we no longer make war on others, we no longer war on our own nature.

    I am honestly surprised that you do not see the beauty of this vision.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    You feel like you’re “nobody”. You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of “you” go from there?

    This is why I used the term “cynical nihilism”.

    Daniel’s answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    What’s next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you’d be crazy?

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn’t solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Why this need to "go somewhere", and why this need for what's "next"? Why so restless and dissatisfied?

    Once you can honestly answer this question - and not for me, but for yourself - you will understand my position.

    Until then, I fear there is "nowhere" for us to go, as it were :)

    I would suggest that you are much closer to Daniels metaphysics than you are to mine, and like him, need to "get" somewhere. Only, you two disagree on where exactly.

    I am outside this circle, and cannot participate.

    Good luck, and keep on posting.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You've chosen the path of "ego negation" for this stage of your life. I admire your resilience in attempting to stick to it, but your occasional lapses into boasting demonstrate to me that you need something more.

    Daniel Chieh seems to have chosen a path of "ego inflation." He sees your unwillingness to play his game as not only weakness, but a weak lie.

    In return, you see his position, as if it comes from a desperate inferiority, even as you self-conceptionalise as "nothing."

    Daniel copes by trying to balance his inflated ego by immersing himself in the epic wonders of the universe. It reduces that inflated state by relation. His self-conception therefore also doesn't fulfill what he needs.

    In these two ways, you can see the ingenuity with which the human psyche will jerry-rig whatever is available to make up for the gaping hole where "truth" is supposed to be.

    They both work, and suit your purposes, for now.

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Ok, I will give you a fuller answer, because, who knows?


    You feel like you’re “nobody”. You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of “you” go from there?
     
    Being nobody is the same as being everybody and everything - where is there left for "me" to go then? I have arrived. I am where I need to be :)

    Or rather, I haven't arrived. I have always been here, I just didn't know it.

    This is why I used the term “cynical nihilism”
     
    The idea that if there is nowhere to "go", life has no value (nihilism), presupposes that life - now, just as it is - is insufficient.

    Is it? What is wrong with how you are - how life is - right now? What are you lacking?

    Daniel’s answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.
     
    I agree. There are no "wrong" answers. Each answer is appropriate to people on different levels of insight.

    Daniels answer is just as right for him as mine is for me. I only oppose him when he tries to monopolize the answer, and claim his is right for everyone - and mine must be suppressed because it's dangerous!

    Otherwise, let a thousand flowers bloom!

    What’s next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you’d be crazy?
     
    Finding my rightful place in the Whole, "next" loses all urgency. Where is there to go? Can it be that everything is perfect as it is - or do we lack the courage for this insight?

    Odd signs of things and strange patterns that may drive me crazy? Once one approaches the universe with an attitude of acceptance, patterns appear beautiful and benign - they no longer appear strange, disturbing, and mad.

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn’t solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?
     
    Do I have a viewpoint? Or have I been released from all "specific" vantage points (that is what a viewpoint is)?

    Once you no longer see yourself as a seperate objects, cut off from everything else, you no longer occupy any "specific" place from to have a viewpoint :) You are like empty space - what is the viewpoint of empty space?

    And what is truth - can we know it?

    :)
  170. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    You feel like you're "nobody". You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of "you" go from there?

    This is why I used the term "cynical nihilism".

    Daniel's answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    What's next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you'd be crazy?

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn't solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    Why this need to “go somewhere”, and why this need for what’s “next”? Why so restless and dissatisfied?

    Once you can honestly answer this question – and not for me, but for yourself – you will understand my position.

    Until then, I fear there is “nowhere” for us to go, as it were 🙂

    I would suggest that you are much closer to Daniels metaphysics than you are to mine, and like him, need to “get” somewhere. Only, you two disagree on where exactly.

    I am outside this circle, and cannot participate.

    Good luck, and keep on posting.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    Why so restless and dissatisfied?
     
    This is exactly how you come across as soon as the tremendous effort you have to make to remain "nobody" gets too much.

    Can you see this pattern in your own behaviour? If not, know yourself.

    "But I am nobody!"

    No, not in your actions, you're not. There's a distinct pattern of somebody within them and you just haven't worked it out yet.

    One question you need to answer is "why, me being me, would I have chosen everything that I have done and has happened to me in my life?"

    That realisation will lead to a nice feeling.

    Then, with that deep level of self-knowledge, you can move onto answering that same question for others in your life, though I don't think it is possible to get all the way there on their behalf, or desirable.

    This is helping people. Not to be "nobody", or to be just "somebody", but to be them.

    "But I am one with everything!" Not while you have a body, you're not.

    Replies: @AaronB

  171. @Rahan
    Obligatory comparison of film posters:

    Western vs Chinese Star Wars

    https://imgpile.com/images/NlxrEb.jpg

    Chinese vs Western Black Panther

    https://imgpile.com/images/NlxkX4.jpg

    Replies: @Sick of Orcs

    The expectation was Finn, the black guy in Force Awakens would be another scene-chewing buffoon like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, instead he was one of the few realistic characters, albeit with nothing to do.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Sick of Orcs

    I watched Star Wars simply because a girl I like liked it. Always thought it was somehow a "childish" franchise, and after watching all of it, I haven't changed my mind. It's not bad, sans the sequel trilogy which feels soulless like a lot of things today, but I like my media to have a little more... edge. Which to people here probably won't be a surprise hehe.

    Anyways, I digress. Finn, indeed, caused quite a controversy - remember, this was the absolute peak of mutual leftoid-rightoid butthurt, when blackwashing and shoehorning coloreds into everything for no particular reasons was at it's peak, or at least, people weren't used to it like now. So I didn't expect much from him.

    Cue, he is one of the most realistic characters in the whole movie, yet despite being supposed to be a secondary protagonist of sorts, he is sidelined and barely used. That annoying fighter pilot buddy of his gets all the spotlight, and suffers from the ancient American Mandatory Hero Complex, making him incredibly bone-headed and insufferable (though I must admit, the subversion of this for the sake of strategy is quite nice). What a shame.

    Replies: @Sick of Orcs

  172. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    You feel like you're "nobody". You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of "you" go from there?

    This is why I used the term "cynical nihilism".

    Daniel's answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    What's next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you'd be crazy?

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn't solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    You’ve chosen the path of “ego negation” for this stage of your life. I admire your resilience in attempting to stick to it, but your occasional lapses into boasting demonstrate to me that you need something more.

    Daniel Chieh seems to have chosen a path of “ego inflation.” He sees your unwillingness to play his game as not only weakness, but a weak lie.

    In return, you see his position, as if it comes from a desperate inferiority, even as you self-conceptionalise as “nothing.”

    Daniel copes by trying to balance his inflated ego by immersing himself in the epic wonders of the universe. It reduces that inflated state by relation. His self-conception therefore also doesn’t fulfill what he needs.

    In these two ways, you can see the ingenuity with which the human psyche will jerry-rig whatever is available to make up for the gaping hole where “truth” is supposed to be.

    They both work, and suit your purposes, for now.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Not ego negation!

    That is a trap - one I have admittedly fallen into before!

    You plot two points on your graph - ego negation, and ego inflation. This is well done and insightful!

    But this commits the fallacy of the excluded middle. Might there be a Middle Way, to quote a certain ancient sage of much renown? 😉

    Might one occupy the "still center" between extremes? Not negating the ego, but as it were - letting it lapse.

    Ego negation is, in the end, effort - and all work on ego builds ego. But what if we simply let the ego lapse, as it were, simply let our membership expire without renewing :)

    Even that could be put better. The goal is not to negate an illusion. That only reinforces it. Why even need the illusion to disappear?

    As for Daniels path of ego inflation, why does he feel himself inadequate? What aspect of his metaphysics makes him see himself as "not enough"? I think Daniel is perfect just as he is :)

    As far as I understand, Daniel seeks out the wonders of the universe in order to be their master - to tame them. He does not stop at wonder. No, he desires intellectual understanding. What we understand, we master.

    Ultimately, he sees wonders as dragons to be slain - not magical creatures to be appreciated. What he wants, in the end, is a world without wonder - on that is fully understood. But - tout comprendre c'est tout mepriser!

    And why is to understand fully to despise? Because we know our intellects are simplification machines - by nature, they cannot capture the Whole. They abstract limited features - leaving simplicity in the wake of richness.

    But Daniel can do no other, if his metaphysics are those of discrete, seperate objects.

    Perhaps this metaphysics is what is at the root of wars, violence, aggression?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  173. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    You feel like you're "nobody". You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of "you" go from there?

    This is why I used the term "cynical nihilism".

    Daniel's answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    What's next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you'd be crazy?

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn't solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

    Ok, I will give you a fuller answer, because, who knows?

    You feel like you’re “nobody”. You might have experienced a release when you came to this realisation, but where does your conception of “you” go from there?

    Being nobody is the same as being everybody and everything – where is there left for “me” to go then? I have arrived. I am where I need to be 🙂

    Or rather, I haven’t arrived. I have always been here, I just didn’t know it.

    This is why I used the term “cynical nihilism”

    The idea that if there is nowhere to “go”, life has no value (nihilism), presupposes that life – now, just as it is – is insufficient.

    Is it? What is wrong with how you are – how life is – right now? What are you lacking?

    Daniel’s answer to the same problem is no less valid than yours. It may even be more practical, though I suppose, if it were that way for you, you would have adopted it, and vice versa.

    I agree. There are no “wrong” answers. Each answer is appropriate to people on different levels of insight.

    Daniels answer is just as right for him as mine is for me. I only oppose him when he tries to monopolize the answer, and claim his is right for everyone – and mine must be suppressed because it’s dangerous!

    Otherwise, let a thousand flowers bloom!

    What’s next? Ever get odd signs of things? Strange patterns you ignore because otherwise you’d be crazy?

    Finding my rightful place in the Whole, “next” loses all urgency. Where is there to go? Can it be that everything is perfect as it is – or do we lack the courage for this insight?

    Odd signs of things and strange patterns that may drive me crazy? Once one approaches the universe with an attitude of acceptance, patterns appear beautiful and benign – they no longer appear strange, disturbing, and mad.

    Are you sure your viewpoint hasn’t solidified into an ideology and become a layer separating you from truth?

    Do I have a viewpoint? Or have I been released from all “specific” vantage points (that is what a viewpoint is)?

    Once you no longer see yourself as a seperate objects, cut off from everything else, you no longer occupy any “specific” place from to have a viewpoint 🙂 You are like empty space – what is the viewpoint of empty space?

    And what is truth – can we know it?

    🙂

  174. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    But even though I published that rather long screed, I do not think you will understand. It just restating what I have said up till now.

    If you haven't seen it up till now, it merely means we do not share the same metaphysical intuitions. Our minds are structured differently.

    And that is no big deal!

    We do not have to agree. I agree with many of your comments and your comments are worthwhile - do keep posting!

    Most people in today's age seem unable to understand this vision, though it is the mainstay of basically every spiritual vision.

    I am considering no longer writing about it, but just living it with like minded people - and thereby sending ripples through the Sheldrakian field :)

    Perhaps that is best how I can have an influence - simply living beautifully, joyfully, and well. I don't even mean that this will be an example to others, to contrast against the anxious survival-quest most people are engaged in, and the resulting cramped and depressed lifestyle.

    I mean something more mystical than that :)

    Be well. Continue the good fight.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I am considering no longer writing about it, but just living it with like minded people – and thereby sending ripples through the Sheldrakian field 🙂

    Oh no, you won’t stay away. Your masochistic little heart goes pitter patter at the notion of getting more verbal abuse and so you’ll come back.

    It’d be wonderful if you weren’t so ugly.

    • Thanks: AaronB
  175. @Yevardian
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The Sopranos was full of moral examples (it certainly never glamourised criminality) and serious themes, it just never hit you its audience over the head with it and never got preachy. I think the closest it ever got to explicitly expounding any moral message was this scene, very coldly expressed, and the more powerful for it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzVeLjj6Ao8

    And please to do not compare David Chase's masterwork with trash like GoT.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Boswald Bollocksworth, @Beckow

    Yes, certainly I agree. I should have made my comment clearer. I mean merely that Russia should make must-watch TV shows, and use that as a vehicle to model proper behavior, promote virtue. I would consider Breaking Bad also a semi-model here. Something people can’t help but watch.

  176. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Why this need to "go somewhere", and why this need for what's "next"? Why so restless and dissatisfied?

    Once you can honestly answer this question - and not for me, but for yourself - you will understand my position.

    Until then, I fear there is "nowhere" for us to go, as it were :)

    I would suggest that you are much closer to Daniels metaphysics than you are to mine, and like him, need to "get" somewhere. Only, you two disagree on where exactly.

    I am outside this circle, and cannot participate.

    Good luck, and keep on posting.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Why so restless and dissatisfied?

    This is exactly how you come across as soon as the tremendous effort you have to make to remain “nobody” gets too much.

    Can you see this pattern in your own behaviour? If not, know yourself.

    “But I am nobody!”

    No, not in your actions, you’re not. There’s a distinct pattern of somebody within them and you just haven’t worked it out yet.

    One question you need to answer is “why, me being me, would I have chosen everything that I have done and has happened to me in my life?”

    That realisation will lead to a nice feeling.

    Then, with that deep level of self-knowledge, you can move onto answering that same question for others in your life, though I don’t think it is possible to get all the way there on their behalf, or desirable.

    This is helping people. Not to be “nobody”, or to be just “somebody”, but to be them.

    “But I am one with everything!” Not while you have a body, you’re not.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Of course - I am nobody, but also somebody :)

    I am human, and each human occupies particular space - therefore he has a "viewpoint". As you say, as long as I have a body, I am "somebody" (do I have a body though - a discrete, seperate body?)

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?

    It would mean occupying a sort of "dual viewpoint".

    Immersed in being somebody, I inevitably and naturally feel anxiety, selfishness, aggression. One cannot escape this while in a human body. But does it increase our suffering - and the suffering we inflict on others - to be totally and absolutely immersed in this viewpoint?

    Is it possible to at the same time to "realize", or "wake up" to, the perspective that I am also nobody - and therefore, everybody?

    One remains oneself, but one develops a sense of humor :) And a beautiful sense of lightness. A sense of humor is perhaps the most profound thing.

    As a great man once said, being "enlightened" (I hate that pompous word, so misleading!) - is exactly like ordinary life, just two feet off the ground.

    You say helping people is to be them - I agree! But to be no "one", is to be everyone - is that not clear?

    The Buddhist Diamond Sutra says you should adopt the perspective of "nowhere", think a thought that has no supports.

    When you are every "where", you are nowhere. When you are no "one", you are everyone.

    But to be everyone, is also to be yourself! Just differently, lightly, with a sense of humor :)

    And people with a sense of humor don't go to wars, or rape the planet, or amass riches while others starve - much less people who are everyone.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

  177. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You've chosen the path of "ego negation" for this stage of your life. I admire your resilience in attempting to stick to it, but your occasional lapses into boasting demonstrate to me that you need something more.

    Daniel Chieh seems to have chosen a path of "ego inflation." He sees your unwillingness to play his game as not only weakness, but a weak lie.

    In return, you see his position, as if it comes from a desperate inferiority, even as you self-conceptionalise as "nothing."

    Daniel copes by trying to balance his inflated ego by immersing himself in the epic wonders of the universe. It reduces that inflated state by relation. His self-conception therefore also doesn't fulfill what he needs.

    In these two ways, you can see the ingenuity with which the human psyche will jerry-rig whatever is available to make up for the gaping hole where "truth" is supposed to be.

    They both work, and suit your purposes, for now.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Not ego negation!

    That is a trap – one I have admittedly fallen into before!

    You plot two points on your graph – ego negation, and ego inflation. This is well done and insightful!

    But this commits the fallacy of the excluded middle. Might there be a Middle Way, to quote a certain ancient sage of much renown? 😉

    Might one occupy the “still center” between extremes? Not negating the ego, but as it were – letting it lapse.

    Ego negation is, in the end, effort – and all work on ego builds ego. But what if we simply let the ego lapse, as it were, simply let our membership expire without renewing 🙂

    Even that could be put better. The goal is not to negate an illusion. That only reinforces it. Why even need the illusion to disappear?

    As for Daniels path of ego inflation, why does he feel himself inadequate? What aspect of his metaphysics makes him see himself as “not enough”? I think Daniel is perfect just as he is 🙂

    As far as I understand, Daniel seeks out the wonders of the universe in order to be their master – to tame them. He does not stop at wonder. No, he desires intellectual understanding. What we understand, we master.

    Ultimately, he sees wonders as dragons to be slain – not magical creatures to be appreciated. What he wants, in the end, is a world without wonder – on that is fully understood. But – tout comprendre c’est tout mepriser!

    And why is to understand fully to despise? Because we know our intellects are simplification machines – by nature, they cannot capture the Whole. They abstract limited features – leaving simplicity in the wake of richness.

    But Daniel can do no other, if his metaphysics are those of discrete, seperate objects.

    Perhaps this metaphysics is what is at the root of wars, violence, aggression?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    You need not be concerned with my metaphysics at all. Everything is exactly as it should be.

    Aggression is part of existence, after all, and this is why you deserve to experience pain.

    All is as it should be, and I'm glad to be part of it :)

    Replies: @AaronB

  178. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    Why so restless and dissatisfied?
     
    This is exactly how you come across as soon as the tremendous effort you have to make to remain "nobody" gets too much.

    Can you see this pattern in your own behaviour? If not, know yourself.

    "But I am nobody!"

    No, not in your actions, you're not. There's a distinct pattern of somebody within them and you just haven't worked it out yet.

    One question you need to answer is "why, me being me, would I have chosen everything that I have done and has happened to me in my life?"

    That realisation will lead to a nice feeling.

    Then, with that deep level of self-knowledge, you can move onto answering that same question for others in your life, though I don't think it is possible to get all the way there on their behalf, or desirable.

    This is helping people. Not to be "nobody", or to be just "somebody", but to be them.

    "But I am one with everything!" Not while you have a body, you're not.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Of course – I am nobody, but also somebody 🙂

    I am human, and each human occupies particular space – therefore he has a “viewpoint”. As you say, as long as I have a body, I am “somebody” (do I have a body though – a discrete, seperate body?)

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?

    It would mean occupying a sort of “dual viewpoint”.

    Immersed in being somebody, I inevitably and naturally feel anxiety, selfishness, aggression. One cannot escape this while in a human body. But does it increase our suffering – and the suffering we inflict on others – to be totally and absolutely immersed in this viewpoint?

    Is it possible to at the same time to “realize”, or “wake up” to, the perspective that I am also nobody – and therefore, everybody?

    One remains oneself, but one develops a sense of humor 🙂 And a beautiful sense of lightness. A sense of humor is perhaps the most profound thing.

    As a great man once said, being “enlightened” (I hate that pompous word, so misleading!) – is exactly like ordinary life, just two feet off the ground.

    You say helping people is to be them – I agree! But to be no “one”, is to be everyone – is that not clear?

    The Buddhist Diamond Sutra says you should adopt the perspective of “nowhere”, think a thought that has no supports.

    When you are every “where”, you are nowhere. When you are no “one”, you are everyone.

    But to be everyone, is also to be yourself! Just differently, lightly, with a sense of humor 🙂

    And people with a sense of humor don’t go to wars, or rape the planet, or amass riches while others starve – much less people who are everyone.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    I don't believe you.

    Why, you being you, would you have chosen everything that you have done and has happened to you in your life?

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    As you say, as long as I have a body, I am “somebody” (do I have a body though – a discrete, seperate body?)
     
    Modern psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists are thoroughly fascinated by the "out of body" experiences of those who experience near death, which seems to strongly suggest that there is indeed a body/spirit separation. So many thousands of these sorts of experiences have been recorded, and they all seem to point to certain trends and consistencies.

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?
     
    As a Christian, I am daily reminded that I was made in God's image, therefore a very important "somebody". That Christ laid down his life for the multitudes in order that all have the opportunity to experience Theosis, also reminds me of everybody's possible immortality and metamorphosis into becoming a god.

    Replies: @AaronB

  179. utu says:
    @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    The only appreciable difference that I can discern between you and Larry Darrel, is that you seem to be more tilted towards hedonism, with all of your emphasis on having fun. But the both of you display a yearning for the metaphysical, religious and contemplative side of life, so there are definitely some similarities too.

    Maugham wrote so many novels and other types of literature, where does one start? Additionally, so many of his novels have been used as the basis of so many films too...Alas, the only book of his that I own that adorns my bookshelves is his romp into espionage literature, "Ashenden: Or The Secret Agent", a thoroughly enjoyable read. Did you know that he was a real life spy for British Intelligence, and even was sent on a high level mission to Russia during the revolutionary war period (Provisional government time)?

    Since you're the only individual that I know of who even knows about Somerset Maugham and has read some of his works, could you please recommend a few of his works that you've found to be enjoyable to read?

    And by all means, do see the film "The Razor's Edge", I'm sure that you'll thoroughly enjoy it.

    Replies: @utu, @AaronB

    I liked the move and I also read the book but now I do not remember differences too much. I also remember reading Of Human Bondage from which I remember two themes. One it was the character of physician as a throorughhy educated man that is not uncommon in late 19th and early 20th century literature when quite a few physicians were indeed educated and could be good conversationalists. The second is his pivot or pitch for Spain as apposed to Italy. Spain is great, go there and appreciate its greatness which was a hard sell because since Spanish Armada Brits when thinking of Spain felt contempt and fear. They still do – mostly contempt.

    I have read somewhere that Maugham is appreciated more by foreigners in translation than by native English speakers because his style – and I forgot exactly why – was somehow not pleasant to English ear. I read him in English as a foreigners and I was not able to discern such a nuance.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  180. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Of course - I am nobody, but also somebody :)

    I am human, and each human occupies particular space - therefore he has a "viewpoint". As you say, as long as I have a body, I am "somebody" (do I have a body though - a discrete, seperate body?)

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?

    It would mean occupying a sort of "dual viewpoint".

    Immersed in being somebody, I inevitably and naturally feel anxiety, selfishness, aggression. One cannot escape this while in a human body. But does it increase our suffering - and the suffering we inflict on others - to be totally and absolutely immersed in this viewpoint?

    Is it possible to at the same time to "realize", or "wake up" to, the perspective that I am also nobody - and therefore, everybody?

    One remains oneself, but one develops a sense of humor :) And a beautiful sense of lightness. A sense of humor is perhaps the most profound thing.

    As a great man once said, being "enlightened" (I hate that pompous word, so misleading!) - is exactly like ordinary life, just two feet off the ground.

    You say helping people is to be them - I agree! But to be no "one", is to be everyone - is that not clear?

    The Buddhist Diamond Sutra says you should adopt the perspective of "nowhere", think a thought that has no supports.

    When you are every "where", you are nowhere. When you are no "one", you are everyone.

    But to be everyone, is also to be yourself! Just differently, lightly, with a sense of humor :)

    And people with a sense of humor don't go to wars, or rape the planet, or amass riches while others starve - much less people who are everyone.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

    I don’t believe you.

    Why, you being you, would you have chosen everything that you have done and has happened to you in your life?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I didn't think you would believe me :)

    If you were to believe me, you would have done so already. Are my ideas really so wild as all that :)

    Well, since I think the discrete "me" is an illusion, the question is really - why has everything chosen to be what it is? Which is the same as to ask - why is the world as it is? The question, why have *I* chosen, cannot be disentangled from the question of why the world is as it is.

    The question of me - or you - is not seperate from the question of All.

    On another thread, you mentioned the idea God is experiencing what it is like to be a human being.

    You may or may not know, but this is the basis of Hindu theology. The Atman, split himself into countless shards, in order to experience the adventure of being human (and a rock, a tree, etc).

    The Nataraj statue, the statue of dancing Shiva, wreathed in a circle of flame, representing Shiva dancing the destruction of the world, holds her hand up in the classic gesture of "do not be afraid".

    Why should one not fear, at the end of the world? Because in the end we are all God playing at being human, and at the close of the last age, the Kali Yuga, the age of darkness and decline, the circle of experience is finally complete. It has all been done, the good, and the bad.

    The Atman then gathers up the splintered shards into himself again, and eons pass. But just as we wake from sleep, the world is reborn again in all it's fresh splendor. The Golden Age starts again, and the eternal cycle continues.

    Therefore there is no cause for fear - both because we are not discrete objects, and because non-existence cannot be final, as existence and non-existence imply each other - are in fact two terms of one thing.

    It is all a brilliant and intensely absorbing play - lilla - where we think the stakes are so high, but in the end as every mystic says - Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian - all is well. Do not fear.

    It is a myth - a beautiful one, and all myth express truth in some form even if they are not quite literal.

    Might I have chosen to be me, and do what I do, and have happen to me what has happened, because we are all splinters of God, experiencing what it is to be human?

    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  181. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    I don't believe you.

    Why, you being you, would you have chosen everything that you have done and has happened to you in your life?

    Replies: @AaronB

    I didn’t think you would believe me 🙂

    If you were to believe me, you would have done so already. Are my ideas really so wild as all that 🙂

    Well, since I think the discrete “me” is an illusion, the question is really – why has everything chosen to be what it is? Which is the same as to ask – why is the world as it is? The question, why have *I* chosen, cannot be disentangled from the question of why the world is as it is.

    The question of me – or you – is not seperate from the question of All.

    On another thread, you mentioned the idea God is experiencing what it is like to be a human being.

    You may or may not know, but this is the basis of Hindu theology. The Atman, split himself into countless shards, in order to experience the adventure of being human (and a rock, a tree, etc).

    The Nataraj statue, the statue of dancing Shiva, wreathed in a circle of flame, representing Shiva dancing the destruction of the world, holds her hand up in the classic gesture of “do not be afraid”.

    Why should one not fear, at the end of the world? Because in the end we are all God playing at being human, and at the close of the last age, the Kali Yuga, the age of darkness and decline, the circle of experience is finally complete. It has all been done, the good, and the bad.

    The Atman then gathers up the splintered shards into himself again, and eons pass. But just as we wake from sleep, the world is reborn again in all it’s fresh splendor. The Golden Age starts again, and the eternal cycle continues.

    Therefore there is no cause for fear – both because we are not discrete objects, and because non-existence cannot be final, as existence and non-existence imply each other – are in fact two terms of one thing.

    It is all a brilliant and intensely absorbing play – lilla – where we think the stakes are so high, but in the end as every mystic says – Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian – all is well. Do not fear.

    It is a myth – a beautiful one, and all myth express truth in some form even if they are not quite literal.

    Might I have chosen to be me, and do what I do, and have happen to me what has happened, because we are all splinters of God, experiencing what it is to be human?

    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.
     
    What's your experience?

    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you.

    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.

    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.

    More directness would be more conducive to more clarity.

    Replies: @AaronB

  182. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    The only appreciable difference that I can discern between you and Larry Darrel, is that you seem to be more tilted towards hedonism, with all of your emphasis on having fun. But the both of you display a yearning for the metaphysical, religious and contemplative side of life, so there are definitely some similarities too.

    Maugham wrote so many novels and other types of literature, where does one start? Additionally, so many of his novels have been used as the basis of so many films too...Alas, the only book of his that I own that adorns my bookshelves is his romp into espionage literature, "Ashenden: Or The Secret Agent", a thoroughly enjoyable read. Did you know that he was a real life spy for British Intelligence, and even was sent on a high level mission to Russia during the revolutionary war period (Provisional government time)?

    Since you're the only individual that I know of who even knows about Somerset Maugham and has read some of his works, could you please recommend a few of his works that you've found to be enjoyable to read?

    And by all means, do see the film "The Razor's Edge", I'm sure that you'll thoroughly enjoy it.

    Replies: @utu, @AaronB

    I oppose hedonism to what I regard as the anti-spiritual “gravity” of taking this earthly realm too seriously 🙂 In other contexts I support a simple life with few comforts, like when I go camping!

    G.K Chesterton the great Catholic writer – no stranger to the pleasures of food – also mightily opposed the spirit of gravity as anti-Christian and anti-spiritual, and wrote very beautifully on the spirit of lightness to be found in Christianity and spiritually in general.

    But I hear what you are saying.

    As for Maugham, I particularly enjoyed his collection of short stories. I believe Penguin released them in four volumes – they are superb! The Ashenden stories are I believe volume three, they are quite amusing yes 🙂

    Beyond that his intellectual autobiography A Writers Notebook is very good, and his travelogue through Southeast Asia, A Gentleman In the Parlour, is excellent. Pico Iyer – a superb travel essayist worth reading in his own right – loved this.

    Of his novels, I read them all and enjoyed them all, but none stand out in my memory. The Moon and Sixpence, The Painted Veil, and Liza of Lambeth, perhaps (in addition to the Razors Edge) Of Human Bondage is of course his magnum opus – it’s good. The title comes from a line from Spinoza, who was referring to the bondage of the emotions – and the way out 🙂

    The Magician is an atmospheric and enjoyable tale, but suggests more than it achieves. You keep on expecting more, but it never comes. Still enjoyable.

    I did know he was a real life spy! In that era one could be a suave British gentleman and a spy! Perhaps partly responsible for the James Bond archetype?

    I will watch the movie thanks!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB

    I hope that you weren't offended by my suggesting that you might have some hedonistic proclivities. I know that I sometimes am when my 89 year old roommate calls me a hedonist, as I like to cook with a bit of flair and zesty spices, and like Chesterton, enjoy a good after dinner smoke and a glass of sherry. He has his own "vices" too - but we're all prone to see these "vices" in others and not in ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing your reading experiences of Maugham's work. I've also seen two other films based on his short stories, "Trio" and "Quartet" both quite delightful entertainment. I counted up 46 films based on his literary output, mostly produced in the late 1920's - early 1940's, that is a testament as to how popular he was during the first half of the 20th century. I'm itching to get my hands on his travelogues about his trips to the Far East.

  183. @Voltarde
    @Tusk

    Chinese and Korean historical TV soap operas are pretty entertaining. I liked these four, which are available in the U.S. on Amazon Prime:

    Ruyi's Royal Love in The Palace (Chinese; 87 episodes)

    Ming Dynasty (Chinese; 62 episodes)

    Empress Ki (Korean; 51 episodes)

    The Slave Hunters (Korean; 24 episodes)

    I'd say South Korea ranks first place in terms of the quantity and quality of film and TV production output relative to population. I think that there are a lot more outstanding Korean movie and TV titles that I could mention, but I'm too cheap to pay extra to watch them.

    Replies: @Tusk

    You unfortunately lost me at soap opera.

    • Replies: @Voltarde
    @Tusk

    Here's a definition of the American term "soap opera":

    "a serial drama performed originally on a daytime radio or television program and chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment"

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soap%20opera

    The etymology (origin) of the term "soap opera" (sometimes simply called "soaps") is due to the type of commercials (advertisements) that were shown during daytime TV "soap operas" during the 1950s when many American housewives stayed at home raising their children. These TV advertisements were often for laundry detergent (i.e., laundry soap), because product marketers knew their target audience would likely find "soap opera" content appealing. The term "soap opera" is also somewhat derogatory; regular opera is considered high-class, but "soap operas" are considered middle-to-lower-class.

    "Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace" is based on a historical figure: it chronicles the marriage of the Qianlong Emperor and Ula-Nara, the eventual Step-Empress:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruyi%27s_Royal_Love_in_the_Palace

    It's mainly about intrigue of the most intricate and malevolent sort among members of the imperial harem. That's why I used the term "soap opera".

    "Empress Ki" is also based on a historical figure: it chronicles Gi Seungnyang, a Korean woman who eventually marries Toghon Temür to become a Grand Empress of the Yuan dynasty.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Ki_(TV_series)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Gi

    The "Empress Ki" and the "Ming Dynasty" series have more interesting and dramatic plot development, but there's still quite a bit of interpersonal melodrama. The "Slave Hunters" series is interesting as a dramatization about slavery in Korean history, with an interesting plot line as well. These last three series also have more "action" scenes (fighting, battles, etc.).

    Replies: @Tusk

  184. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    I oppose hedonism to what I regard as the anti-spiritual "gravity" of taking this earthly realm too seriously :) In other contexts I support a simple life with few comforts, like when I go camping!

    G.K Chesterton the great Catholic writer - no stranger to the pleasures of food - also mightily opposed the spirit of gravity as anti-Christian and anti-spiritual, and wrote very beautifully on the spirit of lightness to be found in Christianity and spiritually in general.

    But I hear what you are saying.

    As for Maugham, I particularly enjoyed his collection of short stories. I believe Penguin released them in four volumes - they are superb! The Ashenden stories are I believe volume three, they are quite amusing yes :)

    Beyond that his intellectual autobiography A Writers Notebook is very good, and his travelogue through Southeast Asia, A Gentleman In the Parlour, is excellent. Pico Iyer - a superb travel essayist worth reading in his own right - loved this.

    Of his novels, I read them all and enjoyed them all, but none stand out in my memory. The Moon and Sixpence, The Painted Veil, and Liza of Lambeth, perhaps (in addition to the Razors Edge) Of Human Bondage is of course his magnum opus - it's good. The title comes from a line from Spinoza, who was referring to the bondage of the emotions - and the way out :)

    The Magician is an atmospheric and enjoyable tale, but suggests more than it achieves. You keep on expecting more, but it never comes. Still enjoyable.

    I did know he was a real life spy! In that era one could be a suave British gentleman and a spy! Perhaps partly responsible for the James Bond archetype?

    I will watch the movie thanks!

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I hope that you weren’t offended by my suggesting that you might have some hedonistic proclivities. I know that I sometimes am when my 89 year old roommate calls me a hedonist, as I like to cook with a bit of flair and zesty spices, and like Chesterton, enjoy a good after dinner smoke and a glass of sherry. He has his own “vices” too – but we’re all prone to see these “vices” in others and not in ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing your reading experiences of Maugham’s work. I’ve also seen two other films based on his short stories, “Trio” and “Quartet” both quite delightful entertainment. I counted up 46 films based on his literary output, mostly produced in the late 1920’s – early 1940’s, that is a testament as to how popular he was during the first half of the 20th century. I’m itching to get my hands on his travelogues about his trips to the Far East.

  185. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Not ego negation!

    That is a trap - one I have admittedly fallen into before!

    You plot two points on your graph - ego negation, and ego inflation. This is well done and insightful!

    But this commits the fallacy of the excluded middle. Might there be a Middle Way, to quote a certain ancient sage of much renown? 😉

    Might one occupy the "still center" between extremes? Not negating the ego, but as it were - letting it lapse.

    Ego negation is, in the end, effort - and all work on ego builds ego. But what if we simply let the ego lapse, as it were, simply let our membership expire without renewing :)

    Even that could be put better. The goal is not to negate an illusion. That only reinforces it. Why even need the illusion to disappear?

    As for Daniels path of ego inflation, why does he feel himself inadequate? What aspect of his metaphysics makes him see himself as "not enough"? I think Daniel is perfect just as he is :)

    As far as I understand, Daniel seeks out the wonders of the universe in order to be their master - to tame them. He does not stop at wonder. No, he desires intellectual understanding. What we understand, we master.

    Ultimately, he sees wonders as dragons to be slain - not magical creatures to be appreciated. What he wants, in the end, is a world without wonder - on that is fully understood. But - tout comprendre c'est tout mepriser!

    And why is to understand fully to despise? Because we know our intellects are simplification machines - by nature, they cannot capture the Whole. They abstract limited features - leaving simplicity in the wake of richness.

    But Daniel can do no other, if his metaphysics are those of discrete, seperate objects.

    Perhaps this metaphysics is what is at the root of wars, violence, aggression?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    You need not be concerned with my metaphysics at all. Everything is exactly as it should be.

    Aggression is part of existence, after all, and this is why you deserve to experience pain.

    All is as it should be, and I’m glad to be part of it 🙂

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    I have no choice but to endure the tongue lashings of formidable fellow like yourself, Daniel, o Defender of the Conventional View :)

    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full - it is good to be an instrument of education to a fellow soul.

    Yes, all is well :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  186. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Out of curiousity, is your personal pronoun for yourself “they” since you are open, inclusive and welcoming?
     
    We usefully use sex to describe our bodies and genetics. "She" and "he" are best used to denote sex, or else they denote very little; hence the Mobius Strip madness of the trillion different pronouns, which represent the temporary triumph of labels over deeper descriptions.

    Optimistically, what we're seeing is such a proliferation of labels that it eventually returns to the beginning, but with more self-awareness. People were "men" and "women", and men had to like trucks and women had to like dolls.

    Now, if a woman likes trucks we are meant to tell her that she is a "man" or "genderfluid". Eventually, we may get to a point where we realise that the appropriate label is "woman who likes trucks." This would be an improvement over the beginning of the journey, even if the journey itself has some harrowing moments.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    Exactly.

    Albeit, it might take time.

    It will appear as if I’m saying one thing in different ways over and over on this site, but I am convinced that global insanity and neuroticism will only increase before the “bubble” pops, with catastrophic effects.

    On the other hand, I am also a fervent believer that in the end, everything has a place, and will be set in it, at some point. Massive tragedies are unnecessary, but I don’t care about them, because in the long run, they don’t matter.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  187. @Sick of Orcs
    @Rahan

    The expectation was Finn, the black guy in Force Awakens would be another scene-chewing buffoon like Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element, instead he was one of the few realistic characters, albeit with nothing to do.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    I watched Star Wars simply because a girl I like liked it. Always thought it was somehow a “childish” franchise, and after watching all of it, I haven’t changed my mind. It’s not bad, sans the sequel trilogy which feels soulless like a lot of things today, but I like my media to have a little more… edge. Which to people here probably won’t be a surprise hehe.

    Anyways, I digress. Finn, indeed, caused quite a controversy – remember, this was the absolute peak of mutual leftoid-rightoid butthurt, when blackwashing and shoehorning coloreds into everything for no particular reasons was at it’s peak, or at least, people weren’t used to it like now. So I didn’t expect much from him.

    Cue, he is one of the most realistic characters in the whole movie, yet despite being supposed to be a secondary protagonist of sorts, he is sidelined and barely used. That annoying fighter pilot buddy of his gets all the spotlight, and suffers from the ancient American Mandatory Hero Complex, making him incredibly bone-headed and insufferable (though I must admit, the subversion of this for the sake of strategy is quite nice). What a shame.

    • Replies: @Sick of Orcs
    @Svevlad


    Finn, indeed, caused quite a controversy – remember, this was the absolute peak of mutual leftoid-rightoid butthurt
     
    "Finn hate" was a Shlomo-manufactured, anti-White nontroversy to get free advertising, while ignoring red chinkos who are actively hostile against blacks in their movies.

    when blackwashing and shoehorning coloreds into everything for no particular reasons was at it’s peak, or at least, people weren’t used to it like now. 
     
    We're nowhere near Peak Orc.

    Ever since common thug Saint Meganose of Fentanyl overdosed, it's non-stop negroids on screens, with no signs of slowing.

    Whether anyone White is "used to" the (((planned assault))) of these noxious negroes remains to be seen. Whitecotts are needed.
  188. @Tusk
    @Voltarde

    You unfortunately lost me at soap opera.

    Replies: @Voltarde

    Here’s a definition of the American term “soap opera”:

    “a serial drama performed originally on a daytime radio or television program and chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment”

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soap%20opera

    The etymology (origin) of the term “soap opera” (sometimes simply called “soaps”) is due to the type of commercials (advertisements) that were shown during daytime TV “soap operas” during the 1950s when many American housewives stayed at home raising their children. These TV advertisements were often for laundry detergent (i.e., laundry soap), because product marketers knew their target audience would likely find “soap opera” content appealing. The term “soap opera” is also somewhat derogatory; regular opera is considered high-class, but “soap operas” are considered middle-to-lower-class.

    “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” is based on a historical figure: it chronicles the marriage of the Qianlong Emperor and Ula-Nara, the eventual Step-Empress:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruyi%27s_Royal_Love_in_the_Palace

    It’s mainly about intrigue of the most intricate and malevolent sort among members of the imperial harem. That’s why I used the term “soap opera”.

    “Empress Ki” is also based on a historical figure: it chronicles Gi Seungnyang, a Korean woman who eventually marries Toghon Temür to become a Grand Empress of the Yuan dynasty.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Ki_(TV_series)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Gi

    The “Empress Ki” and the “Ming Dynasty” series have more interesting and dramatic plot development, but there’s still quite a bit of interpersonal melodrama. The “Slave Hunters” series is interesting as a dramatization about slavery in Korean history, with an interesting plot line as well. These last three series also have more “action” scenes (fighting, battles, etc.).

    • Replies: @Tusk
    @Voltarde

    I don't need a definition. I abhor all soap operas, in fact the corrupting touch of soap operas is what made shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones boring.

  189. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Of course - I am nobody, but also somebody :)

    I am human, and each human occupies particular space - therefore he has a "viewpoint". As you say, as long as I have a body, I am "somebody" (do I have a body though - a discrete, seperate body?)

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?

    It would mean occupying a sort of "dual viewpoint".

    Immersed in being somebody, I inevitably and naturally feel anxiety, selfishness, aggression. One cannot escape this while in a human body. But does it increase our suffering - and the suffering we inflict on others - to be totally and absolutely immersed in this viewpoint?

    Is it possible to at the same time to "realize", or "wake up" to, the perspective that I am also nobody - and therefore, everybody?

    One remains oneself, but one develops a sense of humor :) And a beautiful sense of lightness. A sense of humor is perhaps the most profound thing.

    As a great man once said, being "enlightened" (I hate that pompous word, so misleading!) - is exactly like ordinary life, just two feet off the ground.

    You say helping people is to be them - I agree! But to be no "one", is to be everyone - is that not clear?

    The Buddhist Diamond Sutra says you should adopt the perspective of "nowhere", think a thought that has no supports.

    When you are every "where", you are nowhere. When you are no "one", you are everyone.

    But to be everyone, is also to be yourself! Just differently, lightly, with a sense of humor :)

    And people with a sense of humor don't go to wars, or rape the planet, or amass riches while others starve - much less people who are everyone.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

    As you say, as long as I have a body, I am “somebody” (do I have a body though – a discrete, seperate body?)

    Modern psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists are thoroughly fascinated by the “out of body” experiences of those who experience near death, which seems to strongly suggest that there is indeed a body/spirit separation. So many thousands of these sorts of experiences have been recorded, and they all seem to point to certain trends and consistencies.

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?

    As a Christian, I am daily reminded that I was made in God’s image, therefore a very important “somebody”. That Christ laid down his life for the multitudes in order that all have the opportunity to experience Theosis, also reminds me of everybody’s possible immortality and metamorphosis into becoming a god.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Yes, I do believe there is enough evidence, physical as well as philosophical, to say we are not merely our physical, discrete bodies.

    Personally, I wouldn't put it that soul and body are two seperate things, but two aspects of an underlying energy. But perhaps that's just difference in expression, and I respect your way of putting it.

    One thing I have learned in reading about religion and spiritually is that seemingly opposite words are often different ways of saying the same thing.

    So, to be "everything and everyone" is to be a very important"somebody" indeed - no less than God! But it is the same as being "nobody", no "one" (as discrete, individual object).

    That is how I understand to be made in God's image. At the same time, Orthodoxy speaks of Kenosis - emptying ourselves out, as God did. Becoming "nobody".

    So there is this dual message in Christianity - on the one hand, you are of supreme importance! On the other, you must become "nobody", empty yourself out.

    To me, the two things are really saying the same thing but from different perspectives :)

    The problem with humans is that we become too immersed in being "somebody" (a rather frail, finite, small somebody), and forget our connection to everything else and everyone else, that we are much larger. This creates alienation, modern anomie, anxiety, meaninglessness, aggression, selfishness, etc.

    Best, is to hold both perspectives in our minds. But religion only emphasizes the seemingly "negative" to counteract our innate tendency to emphasize our being exclusively somebody.

    As for Theosis - I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism - and there is nothing wrong with that. Bruce Charlton has also crafted a version of Christianity that believes this.

    I was not at all offended by you describing me as a hedonist - on a certain level, I am! And unashamedly :) Only, I feel there is a neglected spiritual dimension to hedonism - God made the world and saw it was good - in certain contexts, that could be rehabilitated, and usefully opposed to the grim "work" culture.

    That's an incredible number of films - I will try and watch some for sure.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Mr. Hack

  190. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I didn't think you would believe me :)

    If you were to believe me, you would have done so already. Are my ideas really so wild as all that :)

    Well, since I think the discrete "me" is an illusion, the question is really - why has everything chosen to be what it is? Which is the same as to ask - why is the world as it is? The question, why have *I* chosen, cannot be disentangled from the question of why the world is as it is.

    The question of me - or you - is not seperate from the question of All.

    On another thread, you mentioned the idea God is experiencing what it is like to be a human being.

    You may or may not know, but this is the basis of Hindu theology. The Atman, split himself into countless shards, in order to experience the adventure of being human (and a rock, a tree, etc).

    The Nataraj statue, the statue of dancing Shiva, wreathed in a circle of flame, representing Shiva dancing the destruction of the world, holds her hand up in the classic gesture of "do not be afraid".

    Why should one not fear, at the end of the world? Because in the end we are all God playing at being human, and at the close of the last age, the Kali Yuga, the age of darkness and decline, the circle of experience is finally complete. It has all been done, the good, and the bad.

    The Atman then gathers up the splintered shards into himself again, and eons pass. But just as we wake from sleep, the world is reborn again in all it's fresh splendor. The Golden Age starts again, and the eternal cycle continues.

    Therefore there is no cause for fear - both because we are not discrete objects, and because non-existence cannot be final, as existence and non-existence imply each other - are in fact two terms of one thing.

    It is all a brilliant and intensely absorbing play - lilla - where we think the stakes are so high, but in the end as every mystic says - Hindu, Buddhist, or Christian - all is well. Do not fear.

    It is a myth - a beautiful one, and all myth express truth in some form even if they are not quite literal.

    Might I have chosen to be me, and do what I do, and have happen to me what has happened, because we are all splinters of God, experiencing what it is to be human?

    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.

    What’s your experience?

    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you.

    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.

    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.

    More directness would be more conducive to more clarity.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.
     
    I don't think it's possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I've been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts - they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition - and not novelty. It's always, Yes! That's what I always thought!


    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.
     
    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.

    What do we all fear?

    It is our fears that launch us on the quest for religion, philosophy, science.

    That is why I don't believe anyone is "bad" - the seemingly worst person is merely trying to avoid suffering and find meaning.


    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you
     
    Yes. And is this not the basis for my philosophy of acceptance?

    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself?

    That is an absolutely valid and intelligent point. Thanks for making it.

    Ultimately, all I can answer is - because God also wants to transcend that perspective, in me :)

    Utimately, it isn't essential that people "wake up". If it is your time, you will.

    I awake to find myself troubled by suffering and meaninglessness. Motivated by inner promptings, I search for a solution. It is God in me impelling me.

    I then try and ease the path of those who are similarly troubled by sharing the fruits of my experience and search, as others have eased my path by sharing with me.

    But as for those not yet ready to "wake up", like Daniel Chieh - I recognize God is still having his - mine! - adventure of Seperation through him.

    Please understand - I am not trying to persuade Chieh, or those like him. It is impossible, it is not their time yet to wake up.

    Moreover, it would be wrong to prematurely wake someone up when they are not yet ready. Thankfully it is also impossible.

    Chieh is a foil to show the path only to those who are ready.

    Sorry for once again quoting ancient philosophies, but there is another Hindu idea that seems to have drawn forth from within me the shock of recognition and familiarity.

    In this idea, humans society is divided into castes, the priest, the warrior, the merchant, the craftsman, etc. A single way of life is not appropriate for everyone. Some must first taste the extremes of aggression and wealth, before seeing their futility. Souls are born to the position that is best for their education.

    Eventually, though, everyone wakes up - but not till they have had their fill of Separation.

    Again, a myth - a myth may not be literal, but it is more than just a myth.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  191. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    As you say, as long as I have a body, I am “somebody” (do I have a body though – a discrete, seperate body?)
     
    Modern psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists are thoroughly fascinated by the "out of body" experiences of those who experience near death, which seems to strongly suggest that there is indeed a body/spirit separation. So many thousands of these sorts of experiences have been recorded, and they all seem to point to certain trends and consistencies.

    But it might be possible to also realize one is nobody? Can one be somebody and nobody at the same time?
     
    As a Christian, I am daily reminded that I was made in God's image, therefore a very important "somebody". That Christ laid down his life for the multitudes in order that all have the opportunity to experience Theosis, also reminds me of everybody's possible immortality and metamorphosis into becoming a god.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Yes, I do believe there is enough evidence, physical as well as philosophical, to say we are not merely our physical, discrete bodies.

    Personally, I wouldn’t put it that soul and body are two seperate things, but two aspects of an underlying energy. But perhaps that’s just difference in expression, and I respect your way of putting it.

    One thing I have learned in reading about religion and spiritually is that seemingly opposite words are often different ways of saying the same thing.

    So, to be “everything and everyone” is to be a very important”somebody” indeed – no less than God! But it is the same as being “nobody”, no “one” (as discrete, individual object).

    That is how I understand to be made in God’s image. At the same time, Orthodoxy speaks of Kenosis – emptying ourselves out, as God did. Becoming “nobody”.

    So there is this dual message in Christianity – on the one hand, you are of supreme importance! On the other, you must become “nobody”, empty yourself out.

    To me, the two things are really saying the same thing but from different perspectives 🙂

    The problem with humans is that we become too immersed in being “somebody” (a rather frail, finite, small somebody), and forget our connection to everything else and everyone else, that we are much larger. This creates alienation, modern anomie, anxiety, meaninglessness, aggression, selfishness, etc.

    Best, is to hold both perspectives in our minds. But religion only emphasizes the seemingly “negative” to counteract our innate tendency to emphasize our being exclusively somebody.

    As for Theosis – I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism – and there is nothing wrong with that. Bruce Charlton has also crafted a version of Christianity that believes this.

    I was not at all offended by you describing me as a hedonist – on a certain level, I am! And unashamedly 🙂 Only, I feel there is a neglected spiritual dimension to hedonism – God made the world and saw it was good – in certain contexts, that could be rehabilitated, and usefully opposed to the grim “work” culture.

    That’s an incredible number of films – I will try and watch some for sure.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    As for Theosis – I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?
     

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism – and there is nothing wrong with that.
     
    I think that your first quotation is closer to Orthodox teaching than your second one. We'll never become "separate Gods" unconnected to God. God will finally fill our beings totally with his spirit, and our godlike natures will insure our immortality. The gospels are clear that we will become as gods, written with a small "g" and not with a capitol "G". We can never totally unite with God in some sort of pantheistic process, but only with his uncreated energies that you've already mentioned. Only Christ himself was ever able to totally unite with his Father (see the Gospel of John for a clearer definition of this relationship). In my own human and childlike manner, sometimes I use the relationships of the minor gods on Mt, Olympus or Asgard with Zeus or Odin as an analogy. Of course this viewpoint isn't biblical, but it serves its purpose for me. :-)

    Replies: @AaronB

    , @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    So, to be “everything and everyone” is to be a very important”somebody” indeed – no less than God! But it is the same as being “nobody”, no “one” (as discrete, individual object).

    That is how I understand to be made in God’s image. At the same time, Orthodoxy speaks of Kenosis – emptying ourselves out, as God did. Becoming “nobody”.
     

    Kenosis is only a stage of Theosis that presupposes that one seeks union with God, not an end in itself. It's good to sometimes empty oneself of all of our turbulence, fears and anxiety that we often feel deep down, before meditating on Holy things and the Trinity. One does not make the "emptying out" phase the sole purpose of ones existence, as it might be in some forms of Buddhism, but only a temporary starting point. If one is empty in his spirit for too long, one risks the chance of becoming lonely. As one whose thinking process is much further evolved than mine as regards to Theosis* puts it:

    Since man is “called to be a god” (i.e. was created to become a god), as long as he does not find himself on the path of Theosis he feels an emptiness within himself... he feels that something is not going right, so he is not joyful even when he is trying to cover the emptiness with other activities. He may numb himself, create a glamorous world, or cage and imprison himself within this world, yet at the same time he remains poor, small, limited. He may organise his life in such a way that he is almost never at peace, never alone with himself. Surrounded by noise, tension, television, radio, continuous information about this and that, he may seek to forget with drugs; not to think, not to worry, not to remember that he is on the wrong path and has strayed from his purpose.
     
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    *However, Theosis should never be looked upon as some kind of a race where certain individuals may excel in conquering some of the passions that lead away from Theosis, and therefore be considered as "more advanced" and closer to union or of a higher status. The most important thing is to be involved with the process itself, somewhere on the pathway.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @AaronB

  192. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    We classify the world with schema
     
    Ideally not, and less is better.

    Its a popular religion, widespread religion in the West.
     
    I know a lot of people in and from a lot of countries.

    You would not be immune from this
     
    No, but I did it in the opposite way.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    You might find this interesting in terms of synch, and I do think this echoes what I mentioned about synchronization(though it suggests a much deeper level, at consciousness itself). I don’t know about the dramatic proclamations, but I do like and agree with the suggested notion that cooperation leads to almost a blending effect.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/brains-might-sync-as-people-interact-and-that-could-upend-consciousness

    Researchers have observed people’s neural activity while they complete cognitive tasks with techniques like EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is a machine that detects where oxygenated blood is flowing in the brain. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) also detects blood flow in the brain. With these techniques, scientists have peered into people’s minds as they complete tasks in pairs and groups.

    They noticed something unexpected: Functional links appeared across people’s brains when they cooperated during certain tasks. In other words, different people’s neural oscillations aligned when they cooperated.

    A potential explanation: Functional links across brains increase when people work together, but not for those who are competing or taking on identical tasks simultaneously.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    This is a really fun link for me to read, thank you! I have tremendously different internal experiences when I choose to engage in a process like that described, either with people or other phenomena. It also pays measurable dividends, that others quickly remark upon.

    Since my conceptual framework for this is almost entirely built on me trying to put into words what I see, I fear it does not communicate easily, so I really appreciate other terminologies which cover the same ground.

    One visual which I just saw when trying to reflect on this: imagine a lighthouse out on a rock at night, surrounded by a stormy dark ocean. It emits two beams horizontally, out of its top, in opposite directions, as it spins.

    The faster it spins, due to lower internal friction, the more of the dark it will illuminate, and the more ships it will help bring safely to shore.

    But the faster it spins, the more motion sick will get the lighthouse keeper, until perhaps he passes out, or needs to turn the whole thing off.

    A lighthouse's success will be determined by the courage and resilience of the lighthouse keeper, his humility in recognising his limits, and the lack of internal friction in the lighthouse. Whether the lighthouse keeper will direct the ships to where they need to go, where they want to go or where he wants to get them to go, is a complicating factor.

  193. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    The Kabbalah, too, says that God needs humans to experience what it is like through us.
     
    What's your experience?

    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you.

    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.

    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.

    More directness would be more conducive to more clarity.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.

    I don’t think it’s possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I’ve been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts – they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition – and not novelty. It’s always, Yes! That’s what I always thought!

    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.

    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.

    What do we all fear?

    It is our fears that launch us on the quest for religion, philosophy, science.

    That is why I don’t believe anyone is “bad” – the seemingly worst person is merely trying to avoid suffering and find meaning.

    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you

    Yes. And is this not the basis for my philosophy of acceptance?

    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself?

    That is an absolutely valid and intelligent point. Thanks for making it.

    Ultimately, all I can answer is – because God also wants to transcend that perspective, in me 🙂

    Utimately, it isn’t essential that people “wake up”. If it is your time, you will.

    I awake to find myself troubled by suffering and meaninglessness. Motivated by inner promptings, I search for a solution. It is God in me impelling me.

    I then try and ease the path of those who are similarly troubled by sharing the fruits of my experience and search, as others have eased my path by sharing with me.

    But as for those not yet ready to “wake up”, like Daniel Chieh – I recognize God is still having his – mine! – adventure of Seperation through him.

    Please understand – I am not trying to persuade Chieh, or those like him. It is impossible, it is not their time yet to wake up.

    Moreover, it would be wrong to prematurely wake someone up when they are not yet ready. Thankfully it is also impossible.

    Chieh is a foil to show the path only to those who are ready.

    Sorry for once again quoting ancient philosophies, but there is another Hindu idea that seems to have drawn forth from within me the shock of recognition and familiarity.

    In this idea, humans society is divided into castes, the priest, the warrior, the merchant, the craftsman, etc. A single way of life is not appropriate for everyone. Some must first taste the extremes of aggression and wealth, before seeing their futility. Souls are born to the position that is best for their education.

    Eventually, though, everyone wakes up – but not till they have had their fill of Separation.

    Again, a myth – a myth may not be literal, but it is more than just a myth.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    I don’t think it’s possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I’ve been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts – they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition – and not novelty. It’s always, Yes! That’s what I always thought!
     

    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.

    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.
     
    You're generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.


    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself
     
    No, I am saying "make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from."

    *Know yourself.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!

    Have you seen "40 Year Old Virgin" with Steve Carrell?

    You can catch it on Netflix.

    In it, he plays the eponymous 40 year old virgin, who works at an electronics store.

    One day he is playing cards after work with Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, some really funny old Indian guy and maybe another. They are sharing stories of what they did that weekend, each one gets more and more extreme.

    Eventually the attention moves to Steve Carrell and he talks about his experience with a woman at the weekend. He makes references to other people's opinion on women and hides in generalisations, but, when pushed, he describes touching a breast as just so good, "it is like touching a beanbag full of sand."

    Everyone bursts out laughing and he is outed as the film title declares him.

    Don't be the 40 Year Old Virgin, up to that point in his life. Be him after that experience, he is living so much more.

    I don't disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance, I just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness and that you really need to get back on that platform.

    The same beliefs can be held by different people for radically different reasons. I don't know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can't yet fully understand, because they haven't experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person's reality.

    It is certainly a form of hiding if that theory isn't actually built on their own visceral experience.

    This wouldn't make what you've done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don't get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn't mean that you're in the light, it probably means that you've retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for "ignorance is bliss." It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going "wow, they sure are bright." But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

  194. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    You need not be concerned with my metaphysics at all. Everything is exactly as it should be.

    Aggression is part of existence, after all, and this is why you deserve to experience pain.

    All is as it should be, and I'm glad to be part of it :)

    Replies: @AaronB

    I have no choice but to endure the tongue lashings of formidable fellow like yourself, Daniel, o Defender of the Conventional View 🙂

    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full – it is good to be an instrument of education to a fellow soul.

    Yes, all is well 🙂

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full
     
    Once again, you are wrong, though I'm glad that your stupidity is painful, like it should be.

    Replies: @AaronB

  195. @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    Yes, I do believe there is enough evidence, physical as well as philosophical, to say we are not merely our physical, discrete bodies.

    Personally, I wouldn't put it that soul and body are two seperate things, but two aspects of an underlying energy. But perhaps that's just difference in expression, and I respect your way of putting it.

    One thing I have learned in reading about religion and spiritually is that seemingly opposite words are often different ways of saying the same thing.

    So, to be "everything and everyone" is to be a very important"somebody" indeed - no less than God! But it is the same as being "nobody", no "one" (as discrete, individual object).

    That is how I understand to be made in God's image. At the same time, Orthodoxy speaks of Kenosis - emptying ourselves out, as God did. Becoming "nobody".

    So there is this dual message in Christianity - on the one hand, you are of supreme importance! On the other, you must become "nobody", empty yourself out.

    To me, the two things are really saying the same thing but from different perspectives :)

    The problem with humans is that we become too immersed in being "somebody" (a rather frail, finite, small somebody), and forget our connection to everything else and everyone else, that we are much larger. This creates alienation, modern anomie, anxiety, meaninglessness, aggression, selfishness, etc.

    Best, is to hold both perspectives in our minds. But religion only emphasizes the seemingly "negative" to counteract our innate tendency to emphasize our being exclusively somebody.

    As for Theosis - I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism - and there is nothing wrong with that. Bruce Charlton has also crafted a version of Christianity that believes this.

    I was not at all offended by you describing me as a hedonist - on a certain level, I am! And unashamedly :) Only, I feel there is a neglected spiritual dimension to hedonism - God made the world and saw it was good - in certain contexts, that could be rehabilitated, and usefully opposed to the grim "work" culture.

    That's an incredible number of films - I will try and watch some for sure.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack, @Mr. Hack

    As for Theosis – I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism – and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I think that your first quotation is closer to Orthodox teaching than your second one. We’ll never become “separate Gods” unconnected to God. God will finally fill our beings totally with his spirit, and our godlike natures will insure our immortality. The gospels are clear that we will become as gods, written with a small “g” and not with a capitol “G”. We can never totally unite with God in some sort of pantheistic process, but only with his uncreated energies that you’ve already mentioned. Only Christ himself was ever able to totally unite with his Father (see the Gospel of John for a clearer definition of this relationship). In my own human and childlike manner, sometimes I use the relationships of the minor gods on Mt, Olympus or Asgard with Zeus or Odin as an analogy. Of course this viewpoint isn’t biblical, but it serves its purpose for me. 🙂

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Mr. Hack

    That's a very nice vision, thank you!

    It's funny, because to the modern mind taking our "rightful place" within a larger Whole seems rather weak and pathetic compared to the prospect of dominating and mastering the Whole.

    It seems like a counsel of servitude, rather than being the Master! And who doesn't want to be the Master?

    However, connecting to the All is quite literally - by definition - to be as "big" and as powerful as it is possible to be.

    When you establish a relationship of domination, you are still only a "part", a "fragment", however grandiose a fragment - there is still room to get "bigger" - that is why even total domination of nature would not satisfy the modern mind. It would still need "more".

    As long as we see ourselves as seperate "fragments", we cannot dispense with the philosophy of "endless growth" so characteristic of the modern mind.

    Because humans can be satisfied with nothing less than the All :) Only that is our true home.

    So dominating nature is actually a much less "glorious" position to be in that to take our rightful part within it - which connects us to the All.

    But modern metaphysics rests on the notion of Seperation, so the highest level of glory it can conceive is merely to establish a relationship of domination.

  196. sher singh says:

    Laxa, you’re a woman stfu. Men build harems with status, women use it to shrink them.

    Chieh, the bifurcation or splitting you’re positing ignores use of immigration to drive centralization.

    Immigrants shore up the capital against the provinces, similar work would be at play in Woke Empire.

    Demographics. Svevlad, the tragedies themselves are part of the path to the outcome. Hukam,

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @sher singh


    Immigrants shore up the capital against the provinces, similar work would be at play in Woke Empire.

     

    I believe that immigrants form into ghettos that have separate ideas, thus the strangeness of Wokeness is Islam at times, but on top of that, even fully absorbed entrants into the Wokism religion proceed to seek for gibs for themselves - and since Wokism is essentially a pro-individualist, "authenticity" philosophy that disregards the notion of common sacrifice and valorizes the idea of victimization as virtue, such individuals are essentially in complete congruence with its principles and so you just get increasingly little turf battles of "who really deserves sympathy" like TERF vs transexuals or the ever spiraling weirdness of Brazil:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/29/495665329/for-affirmative-action-brazil-sets-up-controversial-boards-to-determine-race


    And that's when this story gets even more complicated. Because in order to "prove" that he was Afro-Brazilian, his lawyers needed to find some criteria. He went to seven dermatologists who used something called the Fitzpatrick scale that grades skin tone from one to seven, or whitest to darkest. The last doctor even had a special machine.

    "Apparently on my face I'm a Type 4. Which would be like Jennifer Lopez or Dev Patel, Frida Pinto or John Stamos. On my limbs I would be Type 5, which is Halle Berry, Will Smith, Beyonce and Tiger Woods," he said.
     
    As one could imagine, their advanced degree of wokism does not produce a highly effective nation, indeed, not one that even had a lot of control of its own territory.

    Replies: @sher singh

  197. @sher singh
    Laxa, you're a woman stfu. Men build harems with status, women use it to shrink them.

    Chieh, the bifurcation or splitting you're positing ignores use of immigration to drive centralization.

    Immigrants shore up the capital against the provinces, similar work would be at play in Woke Empire.

    Demographics. Svevlad, the tragedies themselves are part of the path to the outcome. Hukam,

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Immigrants shore up the capital against the provinces, similar work would be at play in Woke Empire.

    I believe that immigrants form into ghettos that have separate ideas, thus the strangeness of Wokeness is Islam at times, but on top of that, even fully absorbed entrants into the Wokism religion proceed to seek for gibs for themselves – and since Wokism is essentially a pro-individualist, “authenticity” philosophy that disregards the notion of common sacrifice and valorizes the idea of victimization as virtue, such individuals are essentially in complete congruence with its principles and so you just get increasingly little turf battles of “who really deserves sympathy” like TERF vs transexuals or the ever spiraling weirdness of Brazil:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/29/495665329/for-affirmative-action-brazil-sets-up-controversial-boards-to-determine-race

    And that’s when this story gets even more complicated. Because in order to “prove” that he was Afro-Brazilian, his lawyers needed to find some criteria. He went to seven dermatologists who used something called the Fitzpatrick scale that grades skin tone from one to seven, or whitest to darkest. The last doctor even had a special machine.

    “Apparently on my face I’m a Type 4. Which would be like Jennifer Lopez or Dev Patel, Frida Pinto or John Stamos. On my limbs I would be Type 5, which is Halle Berry, Will Smith, Beyonce and Tiger Woods,” he said.

    As one could imagine, their advanced degree of wokism does not produce a highly effective nation, indeed, not one that even had a lot of control of its own territory.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'm more thinking of the dominant minority type, and ghettos aren't as unfamiliar as you describe.
    You basically get the woke types paving the way for more normal or trad Muslims or w/e later on.

    An internal virtue spiral where authenticity to the roots instead of wokeness becomes the status signal.
    Terf v Trans or Brazil skin tone are all Western, I mean foreign culture using Woke state to entrench.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  198. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    I have no choice but to endure the tongue lashings of formidable fellow like yourself, Daniel, o Defender of the Conventional View :)

    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full - it is good to be an instrument of education to a fellow soul.

    Yes, all is well :)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full

    Once again, you are wrong, though I’m glad that your stupidity is painful, like it should be.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    In the conventional view you represent, as a finite, frail being, being wrong is the worst thing one can be.

    But in my view, a God would be rich enough to revel in being wrong :)

    Yours is the mindset of inadequacy, mine the mindset of plenitude.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  199. @Mr. Hack
    @AaronB


    As for Theosis – I always understood this to mean that we become connected to God (to Gods uncreated energies), as a branch to a tree, and not as becoming seperate Gods?
     

    Do you feel it means we become seperate Gods in our own right? If yes, this is quite similar to Mormonism – and there is nothing wrong with that.
     
    I think that your first quotation is closer to Orthodox teaching than your second one. We'll never become "separate Gods" unconnected to God. God will finally fill our beings totally with his spirit, and our godlike natures will insure our immortality. The gospels are clear that we will become as gods, written with a small "g" and not with a capitol "G". We can never totally unite with God in some sort of pantheistic process, but only with his uncreated energies that you've already mentioned. Only Christ himself was ever able to totally unite with his Father (see the Gospel of John for a clearer definition of this relationship). In my own human and childlike manner, sometimes I use the relationships of the minor gods on Mt, Olympus or Asgard with Zeus or Odin as an analogy. Of course this viewpoint isn't biblical, but it serves its purpose for me. :-)

    Replies: @AaronB

    That’s a very nice vision, thank you!

    It’s funny, because to the modern mind taking our “rightful place” within a larger Whole seems rather weak and pathetic compared to the prospect of dominating and mastering the Whole.

    It seems like a counsel of servitude, rather than being the Master! And who doesn’t want to be the Master?

    However, connecting to the All is quite literally – by definition – to be as “big” and as powerful as it is possible to be.

    When you establish a relationship of domination, you are still only a “part”, a “fragment”, however grandiose a fragment – there is still room to get “bigger” – that is why even total domination of nature would not satisfy the modern mind. It would still need “more”.

    As long as we see ourselves as seperate “fragments”, we cannot dispense with the philosophy of “endless growth” so characteristic of the modern mind.

    Because humans can be satisfied with nothing less than the All 🙂 Only that is our true home.

    So dominating nature is actually a much less “glorious” position to be in that to take our rightful part within it – which connects us to the All.

    But modern metaphysics rests on the notion of Seperation, so the highest level of glory it can conceive is merely to establish a relationship of domination.

  200. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You might find this interesting in terms of synch, and I do think this echoes what I mentioned about synchronization(though it suggests a much deeper level, at consciousness itself). I don't know about the dramatic proclamations, but I do like and agree with the suggested notion that cooperation leads to almost a blending effect.

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/brains-might-sync-as-people-interact-and-that-could-upend-consciousness


    Researchers have observed people’s neural activity while they complete cognitive tasks with techniques like EEG, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is a machine that detects where oxygenated blood is flowing in the brain. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) also detects blood flow in the brain. With these techniques, scientists have peered into people’s minds as they complete tasks in pairs and groups.

    They noticed something unexpected: Functional links appeared across people’s brains when they cooperated during certain tasks. In other words, different people’s neural oscillations aligned when they cooperated.

    ...

    A potential explanation: Functional links across brains increase when people work together, but not for those who are competing or taking on identical tasks simultaneously.

     

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    This is a really fun link for me to read, thank you! I have tremendously different internal experiences when I choose to engage in a process like that described, either with people or other phenomena. It also pays measurable dividends, that others quickly remark upon.

    Since my conceptual framework for this is almost entirely built on me trying to put into words what I see, I fear it does not communicate easily, so I really appreciate other terminologies which cover the same ground.

    One visual which I just saw when trying to reflect on this: imagine a lighthouse out on a rock at night, surrounded by a stormy dark ocean. It emits two beams horizontally, out of its top, in opposite directions, as it spins.

    The faster it spins, due to lower internal friction, the more of the dark it will illuminate, and the more ships it will help bring safely to shore.

    But the faster it spins, the more motion sick will get the lighthouse keeper, until perhaps he passes out, or needs to turn the whole thing off.

    A lighthouse’s success will be determined by the courage and resilience of the lighthouse keeper, his humility in recognising his limits, and the lack of internal friction in the lighthouse. Whether the lighthouse keeper will direct the ships to where they need to go, where they want to go or where he wants to get them to go, is a complicating factor.

  201. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB


    I, too, am glad to be the occasion for you to taste aggression to the full
     
    Once again, you are wrong, though I'm glad that your stupidity is painful, like it should be.

    Replies: @AaronB

    In the conventional view you represent, as a finite, frail being, being wrong is the worst thing one can be.

    But in my view, a God would be rich enough to revel in being wrong 🙂

    Yours is the mindset of inadequacy, mine the mindset of plenitude.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    You would be wrong about this too.

    But your ego wouldn't let you admit it, of course.

  202. sher singh says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    @sher singh


    Immigrants shore up the capital against the provinces, similar work would be at play in Woke Empire.

     

    I believe that immigrants form into ghettos that have separate ideas, thus the strangeness of Wokeness is Islam at times, but on top of that, even fully absorbed entrants into the Wokism religion proceed to seek for gibs for themselves - and since Wokism is essentially a pro-individualist, "authenticity" philosophy that disregards the notion of common sacrifice and valorizes the idea of victimization as virtue, such individuals are essentially in complete congruence with its principles and so you just get increasingly little turf battles of "who really deserves sympathy" like TERF vs transexuals or the ever spiraling weirdness of Brazil:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/09/29/495665329/for-affirmative-action-brazil-sets-up-controversial-boards-to-determine-race


    And that's when this story gets even more complicated. Because in order to "prove" that he was Afro-Brazilian, his lawyers needed to find some criteria. He went to seven dermatologists who used something called the Fitzpatrick scale that grades skin tone from one to seven, or whitest to darkest. The last doctor even had a special machine.

    "Apparently on my face I'm a Type 4. Which would be like Jennifer Lopez or Dev Patel, Frida Pinto or John Stamos. On my limbs I would be Type 5, which is Halle Berry, Will Smith, Beyonce and Tiger Woods," he said.
     
    As one could imagine, their advanced degree of wokism does not produce a highly effective nation, indeed, not one that even had a lot of control of its own territory.

    Replies: @sher singh

    I’m more thinking of the dominant minority type, and ghettos aren’t as unfamiliar as you describe.
    You basically get the woke types paving the way for more normal or trad Muslims or w/e later on.

    An internal virtue spiral where authenticity to the roots instead of wokeness becomes the status signal.
    Terf v Trans or Brazil skin tone are all Western, I mean foreign culture using Woke state to entrench.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @sher singh

    Well, it's all about jockeying for status and resources, so it's the oldest human game in the universe, just with different rules for this game.

    So the way I see it, either you get alien ghettos that don't synch well or you get integrated immigrants who now participate in the spoils-seeking.

    Neither of the above improves the coordination of the system. There's some capability in it but I think it's ultimately a train heading off the rails. The question is if it has self correction mechanisms.

    Odds are yes, unfortunately. But less dominance of the narrative is good.

  203. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    In the conventional view you represent, as a finite, frail being, being wrong is the worst thing one can be.

    But in my view, a God would be rich enough to revel in being wrong :)

    Yours is the mindset of inadequacy, mine the mindset of plenitude.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    You would be wrong about this too.

    But your ego wouldn’t let you admit it, of course.

    • Agree: AaronB
  204. @sher singh
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'm more thinking of the dominant minority type, and ghettos aren't as unfamiliar as you describe.
    You basically get the woke types paving the way for more normal or trad Muslims or w/e later on.

    An internal virtue spiral where authenticity to the roots instead of wokeness becomes the status signal.
    Terf v Trans or Brazil skin tone are all Western, I mean foreign culture using Woke state to entrench.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Well, it’s all about jockeying for status and resources, so it’s the oldest human game in the universe, just with different rules for this game.

    So the way I see it, either you get alien ghettos that don’t synch well or you get integrated immigrants who now participate in the spoils-seeking.

    Neither of the above improves the coordination of the system. There’s some capability in it but I think it’s ultimately a train heading off the rails. The question is if it has self correction mechanisms.

    Odds are yes, unfortunately. But less dominance of the narrative is good.

  205. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Please, no references to long-dead sages when you are speaking about yourself to yourself. They might stimulate your thought, but you seem to have used your interpretation of them as a proxy for your thought. It is strange, when you think about it.
     
    I don't think it's possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I've been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts - they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition - and not novelty. It's always, Yes! That's what I always thought!


    Perhaps start by identifying your fears, if only to yourself.
     
    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.

    What do we all fear?

    It is our fears that launch us on the quest for religion, philosophy, science.

    That is why I don't believe anyone is "bad" - the seemingly worst person is merely trying to avoid suffering and find meaning.


    If it is good enough for God then it must be good enough for you
     
    Yes. And is this not the basis for my philosophy of acceptance?

    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself?

    That is an absolutely valid and intelligent point. Thanks for making it.

    Ultimately, all I can answer is - because God also wants to transcend that perspective, in me :)

    Utimately, it isn't essential that people "wake up". If it is your time, you will.

    I awake to find myself troubled by suffering and meaninglessness. Motivated by inner promptings, I search for a solution. It is God in me impelling me.

    I then try and ease the path of those who are similarly troubled by sharing the fruits of my experience and search, as others have eased my path by sharing with me.

    But as for those not yet ready to "wake up", like Daniel Chieh - I recognize God is still having his - mine! - adventure of Seperation through him.

    Please understand - I am not trying to persuade Chieh, or those like him. It is impossible, it is not their time yet to wake up.

    Moreover, it would be wrong to prematurely wake someone up when they are not yet ready. Thankfully it is also impossible.

    Chieh is a foil to show the path only to those who are ready.

    Sorry for once again quoting ancient philosophies, but there is another Hindu idea that seems to have drawn forth from within me the shock of recognition and familiarity.

    In this idea, humans society is divided into castes, the priest, the warrior, the merchant, the craftsman, etc. A single way of life is not appropriate for everyone. Some must first taste the extremes of aggression and wealth, before seeing their futility. Souls are born to the position that is best for their education.

    Eventually, though, everyone wakes up - but not till they have had their fill of Separation.

    Again, a myth - a myth may not be literal, but it is more than just a myth.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    I don’t think it’s possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I’ve been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts – they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition – and not novelty. It’s always, Yes! That’s what I always thought!

    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.

    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.

    You’re generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.

    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself

    No, I am saying “make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from.”

    *Know yourself.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!

    Have you seen “40 Year Old Virgin” with Steve Carrell?

    You can catch it on Netflix.

    In it, he plays the eponymous 40 year old virgin, who works at an electronics store.

    One day he is playing cards after work with Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, some really funny old Indian guy and maybe another. They are sharing stories of what they did that weekend, each one gets more and more extreme.

    Eventually the attention moves to Steve Carrell and he talks about his experience with a woman at the weekend. He makes references to other people’s opinion on women and hides in generalisations, but, when pushed, he describes touching a breast as just so good, “it is like touching a beanbag full of sand.”

    Everyone bursts out laughing and he is outed as the film title declares him.

    Don’t be the 40 Year Old Virgin, up to that point in his life. Be him after that experience, he is living so much more.

    [MORE]

    I don’t disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance, I just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness and that you really need to get back on that platform.

    The same beliefs can be held by different people for radically different reasons. I don’t know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can’t yet fully understand, because they haven’t experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person’s reality.

    It is certainly a form of hiding if that theory isn’t actually built on their own visceral experience.

    This wouldn’t make what you’ve done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don’t get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the light, it probably means that you’ve retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for “ignorance is bliss.” It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.” But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.”
     
    Don't be. Another one of his avowed beliefs is that hypocrisy is a good thing.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants. The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.

    He doesn't think it'll work, of course. But he knows very little, having no imagination.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    , @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.
     
    You seem to want to establish the existence of a discrete, seperate self, that can have thoughts completely separate from those of others.

    I think this is an illusion, and I prefer the metaphysics of relationship.

    Moreover, it is important to show that my thinking does not exist in isolation, but is related to the thinking of others.

    The context of my thoughts, the relationships and connections they exist within, are part of them.

    So I apologize, but I reject your notion of the importance of - even the existence of - "ones own thoughts" :) Since we are not isolated islands, to understand ourselves, we must understand others, up to, the whole.

    You seek to "personalize" everything - but the personal cannot be understood apart of the universal. To take large issues of universal import, and reduce them entirely to petty, transient issues of personal life, is to misunderstand them. Not that our trivial personal issues are unimportant - but one must "zoom out" and see them in their universal context, to understand them.

    I think this comes from the metaphysics of radical Separation, which I have rejected.

    You’re generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.
     
    In the same vein, I do not think our fears are unique, and I believe they can only be understood in relation to the collective fears of humanity.

    Once again, you seem to want establish unique, discrete self that exists suspended in a "void". I think one cannot understand oneself outside of ones relationship to the Whole.

    You say "know thyself" - seeming to think ones "self" is a discrete entity suspended in a "void", unrelated to anything else.

    I believe "know thyself" means knowing our place and relationship within the whole, in the context of others, what they feel, suffered, and thought.

    I cannot know myself without knowing the whole. I am not seperate.

    Again, a fundamental metaphysical difference between us. I have already explained this, but you have not, it seems, understood.

    No, I am saying “make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from.
     
    You have not understood me. I do not believe we can be "fixed" - that is the metaphysics of Seperation, where our flaws are seperate from the larger whole.

    In my view, our perfection lies in the fact that we are a total mess :)

    There is no "making ones ned" - this ideal of "self-perfection" is the metaphysics of Separation, of inadequacy.

    We remain total messes - and have a sense of humor about it :)

    I don’t disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance
     
    I am happy to hear it!

    But your tone of hostility and defensiveness suggests something in me threatens you as well, on a very, very deep level, the level of baseline assumptions :)

    just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness
     
    This notion of learned helplessness, means your implicit assumption is that something must be done, must be "fixed" - and that I am inventing "excuses" to not do this urgent, important something.

    You are certainly entitled to your view - but you have merely restated your metaphysics here. You have simply assumed what we set out to discuss and ascertain the truth of. In the form of a conclusion, you have smuggled in the assumption.

    If at this point in our discussion, you can simply assume the very bone of contention in this fashion, means you cannot understand my metaphysics.

    "Learned helplessness" (not in personal life, but in metaphysics) has a rich religious pedigree, and "passivity" or "quietism" is a frequent religious injunction.

    Yes, I know you want me to see my issues as entirely personal and not examine them in relation to universal themes, but this kind of "contraction" of consciousness promotes misunderstanding. One must "expand" ones consciousness.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!
     
    It would be wonderful if you could expand your consciousness and examine your personal issues in the context of universal human themes!

    I would heartily recommend this. Break out of the narrow circle of the merely personal and see what is truly at stake!

    It will shed immense light on yourself and your personal problems.

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can’t yet fully understand, because they haven’t experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person’s reality.
     
    I don't accept this radical bifurcation between theory and experience.

    They are intimately related. Theories are but epiphenomenon of our emotions. And one cannot hold a theory without experiencing it's emotional and physical implications in our deepest selves!

    One may well prefer theory to life - like when one buries oneself in chemistry or math to not deal with emotional issues.

    But theories about life are intertwined with life.

    And if we ignore theory, we become slaves to unconscious metaphysics that may be doing us harm.

    I don’t know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?
     
    This is "folk Buddhism" - magical tales like this have their place, and they "symbolize" the profound philosophy and metaphysics.

    The philosophy and metaphysics of Buddhism are simple and clear, and do not involve dissolving into anything.

    I have tried above to explain what it might mean to "dissolve" oneself while remaining oneself - and it is nothing magical or mysterious, just a radical shift in perspective.

    This wouldn’t make what you’ve done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don’t get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the light, it probably means that you’ve retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for “ignorance is bliss.” It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.” But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin
     
    If you have understood from my philosophy that I retreat from life, then I don't know what to say.

    In fact, my philosophy releases me to live life to it's intense fullness, creatively and joyously, rather than live it as an anxious quest for survival or "self-improvement" (anxious desire to be superior) :)

    But Alas! Laxa, I do not think our minds are enough in sympathy to really understand each other. The gap is too wide!

    I think your comments with their talk of wholeness, integration, and acceptance have misled me. It is not uncommon for what one really cares about to not be what one says.

    However, you are entitled to your positions and to your metaphysics and values, and I respect them.

    Good luck - and keep on posting!

    Cheers.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  206. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    I don’t think it’s possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I’ve been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts – they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition – and not novelty. It’s always, Yes! That’s what I always thought!
     

    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.

    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.
     
    You're generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.


    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself
     
    No, I am saying "make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from."

    *Know yourself.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!

    Have you seen "40 Year Old Virgin" with Steve Carrell?

    You can catch it on Netflix.

    In it, he plays the eponymous 40 year old virgin, who works at an electronics store.

    One day he is playing cards after work with Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, some really funny old Indian guy and maybe another. They are sharing stories of what they did that weekend, each one gets more and more extreme.

    Eventually the attention moves to Steve Carrell and he talks about his experience with a woman at the weekend. He makes references to other people's opinion on women and hides in generalisations, but, when pushed, he describes touching a breast as just so good, "it is like touching a beanbag full of sand."

    Everyone bursts out laughing and he is outed as the film title declares him.

    Don't be the 40 Year Old Virgin, up to that point in his life. Be him after that experience, he is living so much more.

    I don't disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance, I just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness and that you really need to get back on that platform.

    The same beliefs can be held by different people for radically different reasons. I don't know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can't yet fully understand, because they haven't experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person's reality.

    It is certainly a form of hiding if that theory isn't actually built on their own visceral experience.

    This wouldn't make what you've done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don't get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn't mean that you're in the light, it probably means that you've retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for "ignorance is bliss." It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going "wow, they sure are bright." But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

    It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.”

    Don’t be. Another one of his avowed beliefs is that hypocrisy is a good thing.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants. The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.

    He doesn’t think it’ll work, of course. But he knows very little, having no imagination.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Pain has already liberated me, my friend :) It is the great educator. I think you have only waded in the shallows of pain, so you still think superficial treatments like "control" can solve the problem of pain. You merely try and deal with the symptoms of pain - I try and deal with their causes.

    And the world would be a better place, and humanity happier, if we were taught to do "what we want". Why distrust your nature so? Is this war against yourself and the world really necessary?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.
     
    I disagree. A surplus of pain is what pushed him to hide in this box, or, hopefully cocoon.

    He needs a hug, understanding, some cheering on and a reminder that the platform does actually exist for him to swim to.

    Pulsing electric shocks through the water, in which someone is drowning, might help them to swim to safety by providing extra motivation, but it would be my last resort.

    Perhaps electric shocks and coaxing will prove the most successful.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants.
     
    I disagree with this also. The entire thing is just an excuse for him to hide from his wants.
  207. AaronB says:
    @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB


    I don’t think it’s possible to make an absolute distinction between my thought and the thought of thinkers I’ve been inspired by.

    I believe that books do not give us any new thoughts – they merely articulate what we have always thought but could not quite say.

    That is why when you read a thinker you like, you have a shock of familiarity and recognition – and not novelty. It’s always, Yes! That’s what I always thought!
     

    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.

    My fears are like those of everyone; suffering, death, lovelessness, meaninglessness, insignificance.
     
    You're generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.


    I think what you are saying here, is than why even search for a philosophy that transcends the perspective of a discrete self if that is how God wants to experience himself
     
    No, I am saying "make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from."

    *Know yourself.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!

    Have you seen "40 Year Old Virgin" with Steve Carrell?

    You can catch it on Netflix.

    In it, he plays the eponymous 40 year old virgin, who works at an electronics store.

    One day he is playing cards after work with Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, some really funny old Indian guy and maybe another. They are sharing stories of what they did that weekend, each one gets more and more extreme.

    Eventually the attention moves to Steve Carrell and he talks about his experience with a woman at the weekend. He makes references to other people's opinion on women and hides in generalisations, but, when pushed, he describes touching a breast as just so good, "it is like touching a beanbag full of sand."

    Everyone bursts out laughing and he is outed as the film title declares him.

    Don't be the 40 Year Old Virgin, up to that point in his life. Be him after that experience, he is living so much more.

    I don't disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance, I just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness and that you really need to get back on that platform.

    The same beliefs can be held by different people for radically different reasons. I don't know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can't yet fully understand, because they haven't experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person's reality.

    It is certainly a form of hiding if that theory isn't actually built on their own visceral experience.

    This wouldn't make what you've done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don't get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn't mean that you're in the light, it probably means that you've retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for "ignorance is bliss." It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going "wow, they sure are bright." But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AaronB

    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.

    You seem to want to establish the existence of a discrete, seperate self, that can have thoughts completely separate from those of others.

    I think this is an illusion, and I prefer the metaphysics of relationship.

    Moreover, it is important to show that my thinking does not exist in isolation, but is related to the thinking of others.

    The context of my thoughts, the relationships and connections they exist within, are part of them.

    So I apologize, but I reject your notion of the importance of – even the existence of – “ones own thoughts” 🙂 Since we are not isolated islands, to understand ourselves, we must understand others, up to, the whole.

    You seek to “personalize” everything – but the personal cannot be understood apart of the universal. To take large issues of universal import, and reduce them entirely to petty, transient issues of personal life, is to misunderstand them. Not that our trivial personal issues are unimportant – but one must “zoom out” and see them in their universal context, to understand them.

    I think this comes from the metaphysics of radical Separation, which I have rejected.

    You’re generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.

    In the same vein, I do not think our fears are unique, and I believe they can only be understood in relation to the collective fears of humanity.

    Once again, you seem to want establish unique, discrete self that exists suspended in a “void”. I think one cannot understand oneself outside of ones relationship to the Whole.

    You say “know thyself” – seeming to think ones “self” is a discrete entity suspended in a “void”, unrelated to anything else.

    I believe “know thyself” means knowing our place and relationship within the whole, in the context of others, what they feel, suffered, and thought.

    I cannot know myself without knowing the whole. I am not seperate.

    Again, a fundamental metaphysical difference between us. I have already explained this, but you have not, it seems, understood.

    No, I am saying “make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from.

    You have not understood me. I do not believe we can be “fixed” – that is the metaphysics of Seperation, where our flaws are seperate from the larger whole.

    In my view, our perfection lies in the fact that we are a total mess 🙂

    There is no “making ones ned” – this ideal of “self-perfection” is the metaphysics of Separation, of inadequacy.

    We remain total messes – and have a sense of humor about it 🙂

    I don’t disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance

    I am happy to hear it!

    But your tone of hostility and defensiveness suggests something in me threatens you as well, on a very, very deep level, the level of baseline assumptions 🙂

    just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness

    This notion of learned helplessness, means your implicit assumption is that something must be done, must be “fixed” – and that I am inventing “excuses” to not do this urgent, important something.

    You are certainly entitled to your view – but you have merely restated your metaphysics here. You have simply assumed what we set out to discuss and ascertain the truth of. In the form of a conclusion, you have smuggled in the assumption.

    If at this point in our discussion, you can simply assume the very bone of contention in this fashion, means you cannot understand my metaphysics.

    “Learned helplessness” (not in personal life, but in metaphysics) has a rich religious pedigree, and “passivity” or “quietism” is a frequent religious injunction.

    Yes, I know you want me to see my issues as entirely personal and not examine them in relation to universal themes, but this kind of “contraction” of consciousness promotes misunderstanding. One must “expand” ones consciousness.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!

    It would be wonderful if you could expand your consciousness and examine your personal issues in the context of universal human themes!

    I would heartily recommend this. Break out of the narrow circle of the merely personal and see what is truly at stake!

    It will shed immense light on yourself and your personal problems.

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can’t yet fully understand, because they haven’t experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person’s reality.

    I don’t accept this radical bifurcation between theory and experience.

    They are intimately related. Theories are but epiphenomenon of our emotions. And one cannot hold a theory without experiencing it’s emotional and physical implications in our deepest selves!

    One may well prefer theory to life – like when one buries oneself in chemistry or math to not deal with emotional issues.

    But theories about life are intertwined with life.

    And if we ignore theory, we become slaves to unconscious metaphysics that may be doing us harm.

    I don’t know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?

    This is “folk Buddhism” – magical tales like this have their place, and they “symbolize” the profound philosophy and metaphysics.

    The philosophy and metaphysics of Buddhism are simple and clear, and do not involve dissolving into anything.

    I have tried above to explain what it might mean to “dissolve” oneself while remaining oneself – and it is nothing magical or mysterious, just a radical shift in perspective.

    This wouldn’t make what you’ve done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don’t get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the light, it probably means that you’ve retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for “ignorance is bliss.” It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.” But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin

    If you have understood from my philosophy that I retreat from life, then I don’t know what to say.

    In fact, my philosophy releases me to live life to it’s intense fullness, creatively and joyously, rather than live it as an anxious quest for survival or “self-improvement” (anxious desire to be superior) 🙂

    But Alas! Laxa, I do not think our minds are enough in sympathy to really understand each other. The gap is too wide!

    I think your comments with their talk of wholeness, integration, and acceptance have misled me. It is not uncommon for what one really cares about to not be what one says.

    However, you are entitled to your positions and to your metaphysics and values, and I respect them.

    Good luck – and keep on posting!

    Cheers.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    Don't worry, let me affirm your persona for you:

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/arni-italian-figurine-goofy-hobo-tall-1792280023

    Are you truly satisfied with this self-conception? The trillion words you hide behind says not.

    Replies: @AaronB

  208. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.”
     
    Don't be. Another one of his avowed beliefs is that hypocrisy is a good thing.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants. The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.

    He doesn't think it'll work, of course. But he knows very little, having no imagination.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    Pain has already liberated me, my friend 🙂 It is the great educator. I think you have only waded in the shallows of pain, so you still think superficial treatments like “control” can solve the problem of pain. You merely try and deal with the symptoms of pain – I try and deal with their causes.

    And the world would be a better place, and humanity happier, if we were taught to do “what we want”. Why distrust your nature so? Is this war against yourself and the world really necessary?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Your imagination is yet remains limited. I look forward to furthering your education, just as you have learned that I was right that your masochistic little heart couldn't tear yourself away.

    As for the rest of your rambles, you don't even have any idea what I want or do, so you're talking only to yourself and you have wasted enough of my time.

    Replies: @AaronB

  209. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Good, then have the courage to say your own thoughts in your own voice, rather than ventriloquising others.
     
    You seem to want to establish the existence of a discrete, seperate self, that can have thoughts completely separate from those of others.

    I think this is an illusion, and I prefer the metaphysics of relationship.

    Moreover, it is important to show that my thinking does not exist in isolation, but is related to the thinking of others.

    The context of my thoughts, the relationships and connections they exist within, are part of them.

    So I apologize, but I reject your notion of the importance of - even the existence of - "ones own thoughts" :) Since we are not isolated islands, to understand ourselves, we must understand others, up to, the whole.

    You seek to "personalize" everything - but the personal cannot be understood apart of the universal. To take large issues of universal import, and reduce them entirely to petty, transient issues of personal life, is to misunderstand them. Not that our trivial personal issues are unimportant - but one must "zoom out" and see them in their universal context, to understand them.

    I think this comes from the metaphysics of radical Separation, which I have rejected.

    You’re generalising your fears into nothing, rather than addressing them specifically. This is a common coping mechanism.

    It is also usually the result of someone hiding from their fears, rather than having faced them.
     
    In the same vein, I do not think our fears are unique, and I believe they can only be understood in relation to the collective fears of humanity.

    Once again, you seem to want establish unique, discrete self that exists suspended in a "void". I think one cannot understand oneself outside of ones relationship to the Whole.

    You say "know thyself" - seeming to think ones "self" is a discrete entity suspended in a "void", unrelated to anything else.

    I believe "know thyself" means knowing our place and relationship within the whole, in the context of others, what they feel, suffered, and thought.

    I cannot know myself without knowing the whole. I am not seperate.

    Again, a fundamental metaphysical difference between us. I have already explained this, but you have not, it seems, understood.

    No, I am saying “make your bed, before you go gallivanting around town, pretending to have transcended your own experience and fixed your own mess*, which you are merely hiding from.
     
    You have not understood me. I do not believe we can be "fixed" - that is the metaphysics of Seperation, where our flaws are seperate from the larger whole.

    In my view, our perfection lies in the fact that we are a total mess :)

    There is no "making ones ned" - this ideal of "self-perfection" is the metaphysics of Separation, of inadequacy.

    We remain total messes - and have a sense of humor about it :)

    I don’t disagree with a lot of the philosophy you advance
     
    I am happy to hear it!

    But your tone of hostility and defensiveness suggests something in me threatens you as well, on a very, very deep level, the level of baseline assumptions :)

    just feel that too much of it is a cover for learned helplessness
     
    This notion of learned helplessness, means your implicit assumption is that something must be done, must be "fixed" - and that I am inventing "excuses" to not do this urgent, important something.

    You are certainly entitled to your view - but you have merely restated your metaphysics here. You have simply assumed what we set out to discuss and ascertain the truth of. In the form of a conclusion, you have smuggled in the assumption.

    If at this point in our discussion, you can simply assume the very bone of contention in this fashion, means you cannot understand my metaphysics.

    "Learned helplessness" (not in personal life, but in metaphysics) has a rich religious pedigree, and "passivity" or "quietism" is a frequent religious injunction.

    Yes, I know you want me to see my issues as entirely personal and not examine them in relation to universal themes, but this kind of "contraction" of consciousness promotes misunderstanding. One must "expand" ones consciousness.

    I too can quote famous people and wise stories!!!
     
    It would be wonderful if you could expand your consciousness and examine your personal issues in the context of universal human themes!

    I would heartily recommend this. Break out of the narrow circle of the merely personal and see what is truly at stake!

    It will shed immense light on yourself and your personal problems.

    Intelligent, perpispacious people need to be careful of cargo culting that which they can’t yet fully understand, because they haven’t experienced it. Theorising is usually a way of hiding from a person’s reality.
     
    I don't accept this radical bifurcation between theory and experience.

    They are intimately related. Theories are but epiphenomenon of our emotions. And one cannot hold a theory without experiencing it's emotional and physical implications in our deepest selves!

    One may well prefer theory to life - like when one buries oneself in chemistry or math to not deal with emotional issues.

    But theories about life are intertwined with life.

    And if we ignore theory, we become slaves to unconscious metaphysics that may be doing us harm.

    I don’t know much about the Buddha, but I believe he could dissolve himself in the light of the universe at will, while remaining fully aware. Can you?
     
    This is "folk Buddhism" - magical tales like this have their place, and they "symbolize" the profound philosophy and metaphysics.

    The philosophy and metaphysics of Buddhism are simple and clear, and do not involve dissolving into anything.

    I have tried above to explain what it might mean to "dissolve" oneself while remaining oneself - and it is nothing magical or mysterious, just a radical shift in perspective.

    This wouldn’t make what you’ve done a loss. It was an experience in itself, but don’t get stuck in it. Just because it has no particular colour, it doesn’t mean that you’re in the light, it probably means that you’ve retreated into the dark. Cynical nihilism all too easily turns into an excuse for “ignorance is bliss.” It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.” But it is cold in the dark, and draining. Step back into life, and see how the full spectrum feels on your skin
     
    If you have understood from my philosophy that I retreat from life, then I don't know what to say.

    In fact, my philosophy releases me to live life to it's intense fullness, creatively and joyously, rather than live it as an anxious quest for survival or "self-improvement" (anxious desire to be superior) :)

    But Alas! Laxa, I do not think our minds are enough in sympathy to really understand each other. The gap is too wide!

    I think your comments with their talk of wholeness, integration, and acceptance have misled me. It is not uncommon for what one really cares about to not be what one says.

    However, you are entitled to your positions and to your metaphysics and values, and I respect them.

    Good luck - and keep on posting!

    Cheers.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Don’t worry, let me affirm your persona for you:

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/arni-italian-figurine-goofy-hobo-tall-1792280023

    Are you truly satisfied with this self-conception? The trillion words you hide behind says not.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Lol, I'm going to buy that, and put it on my desk :)

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  210. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    Don't worry, let me affirm your persona for you:

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/arni-italian-figurine-goofy-hobo-tall-1792280023

    Are you truly satisfied with this self-conception? The trillion words you hide behind says not.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Lol, I’m going to buy that, and put it on my desk 🙂

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    If I had to pick a prison for myself, that's not the one I would pick.

    Replies: @AaronB

  211. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    It is impressive that you have survived in this way for so long, merely looking at the colours in you, and the world, and going “wow, they sure are bright.”
     
    Don't be. Another one of his avowed beliefs is that hypocrisy is a good thing.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants. The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.

    He doesn't think it'll work, of course. But he knows very little, having no imagination.

    Replies: @AaronB, @Triteleia Laxa

    The only way to get through it is via the most universal language of the universe of all: pain.

    I disagree. A surplus of pain is what pushed him to hide in this box, or, hopefully cocoon.

    He needs a hug, understanding, some cheering on and a reminder that the platform does actually exist for him to swim to.

    Pulsing electric shocks through the water, in which someone is drowning, might help them to swim to safety by providing extra motivation, but it would be my last resort.

    Perhaps electric shocks and coaxing will prove the most successful.

    The entire thing is just a ramble for his license to do whatever he wants.

    I disagree with this also. The entire thing is just an excuse for him to hide from his wants.

    • Thanks: AaronB
    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  212. @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh

    Pain has already liberated me, my friend :) It is the great educator. I think you have only waded in the shallows of pain, so you still think superficial treatments like "control" can solve the problem of pain. You merely try and deal with the symptoms of pain - I try and deal with their causes.

    And the world would be a better place, and humanity happier, if we were taught to do "what we want". Why distrust your nature so? Is this war against yourself and the world really necessary?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Your imagination is yet remains limited. I look forward to furthering your education, just as you have learned that I was right that your masochistic little heart couldn’t tear yourself away.

    As for the rest of your rambles, you don’t even have any idea what I want or do, so you’re talking only to yourself and you have wasted enough of my time.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Daniel Chieh


    I look forward to furthering your education,
     
    I have indeed learned much from you, Daniel, and look forward to learning more. Thank you.
  213. @Daniel Chieh
    @AaronB

    Your imagination is yet remains limited. I look forward to furthering your education, just as you have learned that I was right that your masochistic little heart couldn't tear yourself away.

    As for the rest of your rambles, you don't even have any idea what I want or do, so you're talking only to yourself and you have wasted enough of my time.

    Replies: @AaronB

    I look forward to furthering your education,

    I have indeed learned much from you, Daniel, and look forward to learning more. Thank you.

  214. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I think that you're conflating a bunch of different things which produce soft power.

    1) Part of soft power is just artistry and the entire "entertainment complex.". The overall trance state created by good media is often just a function of skill, talent and capital investment. This is why in the US, even if wokism gets extremely annoying and turns off people, its unlikely that media can become "not woke," since the central repositories of talent have been fully converged. The barriers to entry for competitive entry within the US are just too large now. Literally, conservatives have no access to capital.

    Like pop songstresses, this has become a winner-take-all category - people, even worldwide, have only limited money and time for entertainment; the Schelling Point up to this point of, "what's high quality produced entertainment" has been American.

    2) Some degree of globohomo has been the norm in the entertainment industry since time immemorial; actresses are expected to be whores, for starters. They do not typically get to market their values to the entire society, though. This might be part of some ongoing issue in the US were celebrities have acquired a certain degree of status and real power, and so their values(and various virtue signaling measures), so they get to increasingly eat out the brains of the entertainment industry. Disney, etc, getting their brains eaten out is a sign of young society as a whole getting their brains eaten out, and then the young artists transferring over their values.

    You seem about my age. Do you remember all of the otherkin people and so on? Yeah. They grew up and now are othergendered, etc.

    3) Using animal characters, etc, to de-ethnicize individuals. Well, yeah, I think that's probably true and self-evident, but that's also not that weird as a whole. Part of fiction is that you want your audience to identify and if you use ethnic individuals, you may lose part of your audience. So its been common increasingly to animal or other nonethnic substitutes. I don't think its a conspiracy, its just a good artistic strategy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-WO-z-QuWI


    SK will be fine, ultimately.

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/04/why-did-young-south-koreans-ditch-the-democratic-party-and-president-moon/



    Among the younger voting bloc, male voters in their 20s withdrew their support for Moon and the DP early on. This group has been the weakest youth link for the DP since the beginning of the Moon administration; just 47.7 percent of the group voted for the DP in the 2020 legislative election, while 40.5 percent voted for the conservative UFP, compared to 65 percent of male voters in their 40s voting for the DP. Many young men pointed to recent discussions on gender and feminism sparked by the #MeToo Movement in South Korea to explain their move away from the DP and Moon.
     
    Once wokism weakens its host countries enough that they cease to be the "strong horse," they will also lose a huge catchet of soft power. Hard to be "the place that everyone wants to be" when you get bullied by hard power.

    Replies: @songbird

    Not sure if there is a real national strategic value to cultivating status in the Global South. SK for instance entered markets where Hollywood had no serious presence. It is not unreasonable to suppose that in some of them, it makes SK a more appealing destination than America – I think it could win on aesthetics alone. But perhaps, I’m overestimating the dangers, when film and TV is the last thing migration stems from.

    [MORE]

    As to politics, I’m pessimistic when it comes to parliamentary democracy being able to address the challenges of modern invasion. SK and Japan, while being nowhere near as in trouble as the West, are both much further along, than the West was in the early stages of border erosion, when the English were complaining about the French coming over to use their health service. First black olympian in UK was 1968. I’m not sure politics has an easy solution to address the problem of foreign brides in SK, which seems likely to erode national identity.

    Never knew any “otherkind”, but theater kids can be pretty weird. In some sense Hollywood is theater kids writ large, but with a lot of money and sex. I.e., some of cultural poz is self-organizing, directly from psychological profiles of actors and writers, without any need for powerful figures to lead the subversion. That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I’m not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I don't know enough people in the Global South to answer your question, though I can give you a very mundane reason why they cultivate "status" anywhere they can: money. The entertainment industry is an industry at the end of the day, and BTS was almost 2% of South Korean GDP.

    https://shadow-twts.medium.com/the-bts-effect-on-south-koreas-economy-industry-and-culture-975e8933da56

    Money is pretty motivating for them to continue to want to be of status.



    That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.
     
    I generally agree with this. I don't even think that censorship has a significant influence on art, so as long as it is evenly applied and the rules are clear. That's the tricky part to be consistent about. If you want to discourage artists from certain themes, make it obvious what it is. Certain creative types will probably try to evade around the words, but that's still okay. Just work with it.

    If you let artists create work - putting in months of their life - and then rugpull them, people will soon stop producing art. That's probably not what you want.

    That latter part is what China has had issues with, and needs to be careful about.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I’m not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

     

    I don't know about the Global South, but I did know at least two girls who surprisingly became extremely drawn toward Asian culture basically because of the pop culture. The first one was Finnish, who based on Korean pop music, went down a rabbit hole via Korean drama, games, and eventually sought to learn the language, to emigrate from Finland which she found boring. As extensive as that is, I found that more "normal" as it is the typical form of ever-increasing engagement and admiration of a place broadcast via soft power.

    Another Canadian girl(also white, if that matters) I know just now has a much more interesting version of this: I've known her for a long time, back when she was a teenager, and she was always a bit more girly than the Western norm expects, though back then she was more "excitable and bubbly." I recently began to talk to her again to find that she has really rather extensively bought into Chinese soft power such as mihiyo games and religiously watches a couple of Asian idol and variety shows.

    Unlike the first girl, she doesn't rabbit hole the same way: she doesn't want to move from Canada yet, and she has only tried to learn Japanese. However, she has extensively shifted her personality from the "excitable and bubbly" to the "cute, cheerful and innocently docile" ideal she sees, and very much internalized it, along with a steadfast refusal to talk about politics, replacing most such talk with supportive giggling instead of voiced opinions. Its so very Chinese in some ways.

    I find it fond, but I also find it interesting in a sense of "water finding its level." Of course she is influenced by the media she's viewing, but its also media she is seeking, because the West's portrayal of women are not something that she feels for(conservatives basically bash women, even ones seeking to be feminine as she is; liberals basically tell her that she's not right). So she found the media that fits better, and then, allows herself to synchronize with it.

    So yes, I think that there's defections already. Maybe not at the level of big budget movies, etc yet, which take a lot of capital expenditure and so on, but wokism is allowing holes to happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  215. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Lol, I'm going to buy that, and put it on my desk :)

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    If I had to pick a prison for myself, that’s not the one I would pick.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Why not? Goofy hobo seems rather carefree and happy to me :)

    Perhaps, you are afraid of freedom and happiness. It sounds strange, but many people are afraid of happiness. And fear of freedom is classic.

    Yes, Goofy Hobo is my emblem. I love it. Thank you!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  216. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    If I had to pick a prison for myself, that's not the one I would pick.

    Replies: @AaronB

    Why not? Goofy hobo seems rather carefree and happy to me 🙂

    Perhaps, you are afraid of freedom and happiness. It sounds strange, but many people are afraid of happiness. And fear of freedom is classic.

    Yes, Goofy Hobo is my emblem. I love it. Thank you!

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    I feel sorry for this:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/ziT8Aa1rsBhm5mNM6

    Replies: @AaronB

  217. @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh

    Not sure if there is a real national strategic value to cultivating status in the Global South. SK for instance entered markets where Hollywood had no serious presence. It is not unreasonable to suppose that in some of them, it makes SK a more appealing destination than America - I think it could win on aesthetics alone. But perhaps, I'm overestimating the dangers, when film and TV is the last thing migration stems from.

    As to politics, I'm pessimistic when it comes to parliamentary democracy being able to address the challenges of modern invasion. SK and Japan, while being nowhere near as in trouble as the West, are both much further along, than the West was in the early stages of border erosion, when the English were complaining about the French coming over to use their health service. First black olympian in UK was 1968. I'm not sure politics has an easy solution to address the problem of foreign brides in SK, which seems likely to erode national identity.

    Never knew any "otherkind", but theater kids can be pretty weird. In some sense Hollywood is theater kids writ large, but with a lot of money and sex. I.e., some of cultural poz is self-organizing, directly from psychological profiles of actors and writers, without any need for powerful figures to lead the subversion. That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I'm not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I don’t know enough people in the Global South to answer your question, though I can give you a very mundane reason why they cultivate “status” anywhere they can: money. The entertainment industry is an industry at the end of the day, and BTS was almost 2% of South Korean GDP.

    https://shadow-twts.medium.com/the-bts-effect-on-south-koreas-economy-industry-and-culture-975e8933da56

    Money is pretty motivating for them to continue to want to be of status.

    That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.

    I generally agree with this. I don’t even think that censorship has a significant influence on art, so as long as it is evenly applied and the rules are clear. That’s the tricky part to be consistent about. If you want to discourage artists from certain themes, make it obvious what it is. Certain creative types will probably try to evade around the words, but that’s still okay. Just work with it.

    If you let artists create work – putting in months of their life – and then rugpull them, people will soon stop producing art. That’s probably not what you want.

    That latter part is what China has had issues with, and needs to be careful about.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I’m not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

    I don’t know about the Global South, but I did know at least two girls who surprisingly became extremely drawn toward Asian culture basically because of the pop culture. The first one was Finnish, who based on Korean pop music, went down a rabbit hole via Korean drama, games, and eventually sought to learn the language, to emigrate from Finland which she found boring. As extensive as that is, I found that more “normal” as it is the typical form of ever-increasing engagement and admiration of a place broadcast via soft power.

    Another Canadian girl(also white, if that matters) I know just now has a much more interesting version of this: I’ve known her for a long time, back when she was a teenager, and she was always a bit more girly than the Western norm expects, though back then she was more “excitable and bubbly.” I recently began to talk to her again to find that she has really rather extensively bought into Chinese soft power such as mihiyo games and religiously watches a couple of Asian idol and variety shows.

    Unlike the first girl, she doesn’t rabbit hole the same way: she doesn’t want to move from Canada yet, and she has only tried to learn Japanese. However, she has extensively shifted her personality from the “excitable and bubbly” to the “cute, cheerful and innocently docile” ideal she sees, and very much internalized it, along with a steadfast refusal to talk about politics, replacing most such talk with supportive giggling instead of voiced opinions. Its so very Chinese in some ways.

    I find it fond, but I also find it interesting in a sense of “water finding its level.” Of course she is influenced by the media she’s viewing, but its also media she is seeking, because the West’s portrayal of women are not something that she feels for(conservatives basically bash women, even ones seeking to be feminine as she is; liberals basically tell her that she’s not right). So she found the media that fits better, and then, allows herself to synchronize with it.

    So yes, I think that there’s defections already. Maybe not at the level of big budget movies, etc yet, which take a lot of capital expenditure and so on, but wokism is allowing holes to happen.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    Incidentally, I suppose the second type may very well be what one considers a "5th columnist" since she has internalized foreign values, but doesn't want to move.

    The values she's internalizing: "endurance/silence is a woman's strength", "men should and are expected to be relied upon for material worries", "women are expected to provide validation and emotional support for men", "the art of cuteness is important", "talking about politics is for cringe unhappy people and certainly not for women" are almost directly opposed to the Canadian values of "speaking out is important," "people are responsible for their own emotional state," "no one has obligations, especially not because of sex", "be yourself, don't act cute if you don't feel it", "strength is beauty", "politics is personal, especially for women", etc.

    Her best option for self-preservation the further her values move away from local ones is to promote foreign values as local. Amusingly, in her own way, she's not conservative at all: she's very much a radical in her society.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  218. @Tusk
    Are there any good Chinese films? There is the obligatory Ash is Purest White and An Elephant Sitting Still, but the other main 'Chinese' films of good repute are not from the mainland: Chungking Express, Yi Yi, In the Mood for Love. PRC seems to have killed off the genuine artistic talent. When I think of Chinese films I think of abhorrent CGI and terrible writing e.g. The Great Wall, Viy 2: Journey to China, and the Wandering Earth. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is also overrated.

    Replies: @Voltarde, @Philip Owen

    Raise the Red Lantern has a following.

  219. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Why not? Goofy hobo seems rather carefree and happy to me :)

    Perhaps, you are afraid of freedom and happiness. It sounds strange, but many people are afraid of happiness. And fear of freedom is classic.

    Yes, Goofy Hobo is my emblem. I love it. Thank you!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Don't feel sorry! You're doing very well on this forum.

    The gap between me and the rightoids here is too great for me to have any impact. But someone like you, who is intermediate between me and them, might actually reach them. Your attacks on me increase your credibility.

    Rightoids are also deeply in thrall to women (despite all the macho bravado, and perhaps because they suppress the feminine within them), and your gentle, soothing, motherly ways are perfectly adapted to this audience. It is very healing to them.

    Please continue.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  220. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    I feel sorry for this:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/ziT8Aa1rsBhm5mNM6

    Replies: @AaronB

    Don’t feel sorry! You’re doing very well on this forum.

    The gap between me and the rightoids here is too great for me to have any impact. But someone like you, who is intermediate between me and them, might actually reach them. Your attacks on me increase your credibility.

    Rightoids are also deeply in thrall to women (despite all the macho bravado, and perhaps because they suppress the feminine within them), and your gentle, soothing, motherly ways are perfectly adapted to this audience. It is very healing to them.

    Please continue.

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    What is your understanding of my previous comment?

    Replies: @AaronB

  221. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    I don't know enough people in the Global South to answer your question, though I can give you a very mundane reason why they cultivate "status" anywhere they can: money. The entertainment industry is an industry at the end of the day, and BTS was almost 2% of South Korean GDP.

    https://shadow-twts.medium.com/the-bts-effect-on-south-koreas-economy-industry-and-culture-975e8933da56

    Money is pretty motivating for them to continue to want to be of status.



    That is why I am a big believer in censorship. I think creative types often suffer from a lack of inhibitions, and some external inhibitory mechanism needs to be added to balance things out.
     
    I generally agree with this. I don't even think that censorship has a significant influence on art, so as long as it is evenly applied and the rules are clear. That's the tricky part to be consistent about. If you want to discourage artists from certain themes, make it obvious what it is. Certain creative types will probably try to evade around the words, but that's still okay. Just work with it.

    If you let artists create work - putting in months of their life - and then rugpull them, people will soon stop producing art. That's probably not what you want.

    That latter part is what China has had issues with, and needs to be careful about.

    I expect that the US will continue to lose status. But I’m not sure I see Hollywood being displaced for the most part, without some competitor state to the US having a strategic vision to damage it.

     

    I don't know about the Global South, but I did know at least two girls who surprisingly became extremely drawn toward Asian culture basically because of the pop culture. The first one was Finnish, who based on Korean pop music, went down a rabbit hole via Korean drama, games, and eventually sought to learn the language, to emigrate from Finland which she found boring. As extensive as that is, I found that more "normal" as it is the typical form of ever-increasing engagement and admiration of a place broadcast via soft power.

    Another Canadian girl(also white, if that matters) I know just now has a much more interesting version of this: I've known her for a long time, back when she was a teenager, and she was always a bit more girly than the Western norm expects, though back then she was more "excitable and bubbly." I recently began to talk to her again to find that she has really rather extensively bought into Chinese soft power such as mihiyo games and religiously watches a couple of Asian idol and variety shows.

    Unlike the first girl, she doesn't rabbit hole the same way: she doesn't want to move from Canada yet, and she has only tried to learn Japanese. However, she has extensively shifted her personality from the "excitable and bubbly" to the "cute, cheerful and innocently docile" ideal she sees, and very much internalized it, along with a steadfast refusal to talk about politics, replacing most such talk with supportive giggling instead of voiced opinions. Its so very Chinese in some ways.

    I find it fond, but I also find it interesting in a sense of "water finding its level." Of course she is influenced by the media she's viewing, but its also media she is seeking, because the West's portrayal of women are not something that she feels for(conservatives basically bash women, even ones seeking to be feminine as she is; liberals basically tell her that she's not right). So she found the media that fits better, and then, allows herself to synchronize with it.

    So yes, I think that there's defections already. Maybe not at the level of big budget movies, etc yet, which take a lot of capital expenditure and so on, but wokism is allowing holes to happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Incidentally, I suppose the second type may very well be what one considers a “5th columnist” since she has internalized foreign values, but doesn’t want to move.

    [MORE]

    The values she’s internalizing: “endurance/silence is a woman’s strength”, “men should and are expected to be relied upon for material worries”, “women are expected to provide validation and emotional support for men”, “the art of cuteness is important”, “talking about politics is for cringe unhappy people and certainly not for women” are almost directly opposed to the Canadian values of “speaking out is important,” “people are responsible for their own emotional state,” “no one has obligations, especially not because of sex”, “be yourself, don’t act cute if you don’t feel it”, “strength is beauty”, “politics is personal, especially for women”, etc.

    Her best option for self-preservation the further her values move away from local ones is to promote foreign values as local. Amusingly, in her own way, she’s not conservative at all: she’s very much a radical in her society.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Or she is just being who she feels she needs to be?

    Does the concept of a non-political 5th columnist make any sense at all?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad

  222. @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Don't feel sorry! You're doing very well on this forum.

    The gap between me and the rightoids here is too great for me to have any impact. But someone like you, who is intermediate between me and them, might actually reach them. Your attacks on me increase your credibility.

    Rightoids are also deeply in thrall to women (despite all the macho bravado, and perhaps because they suppress the feminine within them), and your gentle, soothing, motherly ways are perfectly adapted to this audience. It is very healing to them.

    Please continue.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    What is your understanding of my previous comment?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Now that I clicked on your link, I don't think I understood it at all. I skimmed too quickly.

    What is the meaning of your comment? I don't understand it.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  223. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh

    Incidentally, I suppose the second type may very well be what one considers a "5th columnist" since she has internalized foreign values, but doesn't want to move.

    The values she's internalizing: "endurance/silence is a woman's strength", "men should and are expected to be relied upon for material worries", "women are expected to provide validation and emotional support for men", "the art of cuteness is important", "talking about politics is for cringe unhappy people and certainly not for women" are almost directly opposed to the Canadian values of "speaking out is important," "people are responsible for their own emotional state," "no one has obligations, especially not because of sex", "be yourself, don't act cute if you don't feel it", "strength is beauty", "politics is personal, especially for women", etc.

    Her best option for self-preservation the further her values move away from local ones is to promote foreign values as local. Amusingly, in her own way, she's not conservative at all: she's very much a radical in her society.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Or she is just being who she feels she needs to be?

    Does the concept of a non-political 5th columnist make any sense at all?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Yes, I think it can.

    First, there's the refusal to oppose what appears to be foreign influence - negligence is an action as well. But even nonpolitical people can serve as forces for political change, such as via supporting people who are political or by promoting what appears to them as nonpolitical art - which she certainly does, heavily and overtly. Its particularly meaningful since she in Vancouever, a place with heavy Chinese influence, and theoretically she'd be someone who'd not be bothered by further increase in Chinese power and population and indeed, cheerlead for it, however quietly she does so.

    It allows her to build a new mental schema around dislike of Americans, which a lot of Canadians have. For many, the dislike of Americans is to be actualized by trying to be more woke than Americans. She has another strategy, and introduce this idea to others, even if its subtle.

    I do think that everything has influence, in a way. It doesn't have to be dramatic or shocking, but everything has influence.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Svevlad
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Yes, it does, thanks to the indistinguishable-in-effect nature of malice and incompetence. Sabotage and accidentally breaking something have the same effect, but their natures differ.

    She might not be politically active as a person, voluntarily, but she certainly has become a political object, more than the usual person in a democracy.

    You know that, "deal with politics, otherwise, politics will deal with you?" Well, that sort of thing.

    But, it will be a good test to see how deracinated Canada is. If they start hounding on her out for blood, then maybe Canada isn't lost and merely needs a cultural change to survive. On the other hand, if they allow her to indirectly espouse foreign values, especially since a lot of them are also espoused by an "enemy country," maybe the Canadians really stooped down to retardation and can't even defend their own self-destructive values.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  224. @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    What is your understanding of my previous comment?

    Replies: @AaronB

    Now that I clicked on your link, I don’t think I understood it at all. I skimmed too quickly.

    What is the meaning of your comment? I don’t understand it.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AaronB

    Defence mechanisms you use include clogging your ears with theory, blindfolding yourself with faux self-deprecation and wrapping yourself in a black shroud which you pretend is "nothingness", so you can't pay attention.

    You are defending yourself against discovery, from both others, but, most importantly, from your own awareness.

    I'd go back and read my comments to you in this thread.

    Go through one paragraph, put your phone down, sit and reflect on what it brings up, how it makes you feel and what notions come to your mind. Then sit longer and continue to reflect.

    We can get to my last comment after that.

    If you're only using the very surface of you to engage, the "Hobo Goofy", then you will only understand yourself at the surface and your understanding of what others say will remain superficial.

    I am being invasive, in a way, but I am not "attacking" you. I am showing you more care, in my attempt to notice you and understand, than you show yourself. This is not of great credit to me as I am taking my own value, but it is an indictment of how "Hobo Goofy" treats the rest of you.

    Replies: @AaronB

  225. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Or she is just being who she feels she needs to be?

    Does the concept of a non-political 5th columnist make any sense at all?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad

    Yes, I think it can.

    First, there’s the refusal to oppose what appears to be foreign influence – negligence is an action as well. But even nonpolitical people can serve as forces for political change, such as via supporting people who are political or by promoting what appears to them as nonpolitical art – which she certainly does, heavily and overtly. Its particularly meaningful since she in Vancouever, a place with heavy Chinese influence, and theoretically she’d be someone who’d not be bothered by further increase in Chinese power and population and indeed, cheerlead for it, however quietly she does so.

    It allows her to build a new mental schema around dislike of Americans, which a lot of Canadians have. For many, the dislike of Americans is to be actualized by trying to be more woke than Americans. She has another strategy, and introduce this idea to others, even if its subtle.

    I do think that everything has influence, in a way. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or shocking, but everything has influence.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'd bet that she'd pick the rough attempt at tolerance that she lives in, over forcing her own particular rhythm over those around her.

    Taking the Woke at their word again, they are attempting to examine and deconstruct the underlying assumptions of whiteness, heteronormativity and so on. The underlying motivation, shorn of all the shadow-born intolerance* and hatreds, is to make the culture as easy for her as possible, while making it as easy as possible for her friends and family, who no doubt differ from her.

    There are also two types of Chinese in Vancouver. Those who arrive to spend their parent's/boyfriend's credit cards in Nordstrom, while they live in their parents' safety deposit boxes in the sky, should China go weird again, before returning home, and those who despise all of that, preferring to deeply engage with the locale.


    “women are expected to provide validation and emotional support for men”
     
    Commenter Xi-Jinping, who sees this, in the worst possible way for himself, as the other way around, should balance off with your advice.

    *When people are constantly talking like they need serious therapeutic intervention. It is probably because they do. Crazier people have always seemed more sensitive to trends.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh