Deep Night

Falling!

Black!

A vortex of a thousand rabid butterflies churned his gut and his body flailed frantically, trying to grab something, to step on something, to regain lost balance in the wake of these sudden visceral primordial sensations.  A subterranean groan grated his ears as his lungs strained to gasp in breath while screaming.  His heart ached to splitting from the electric jolt of these simultaneous realizations unified into one like a direct impact from the divine lightning hammer.

Having nothing here but himself, he made this the focus of his attention, and set about controlling it.  Trying to recount the preceding moments, partly in a feeble attempt to disprove the reality of his perplexing situation, he couldn’t remember if he’d seen the countdown timer go all the way to straight zeros before it disappeared.  In any case, it clearly had, and he was no longer there.

As his eyes adjusted to the darkness and the heralds of hypoxia, those flashing specks of phantom light receded, he saw that some dim specks remained.

For a while he watched the distant stars scroll by as he revolved slowly in weightless suspension.  None of them were familiar, he could recognize no constellations.

So this was the edge of the error range in that fundamental equation that lay at the heart of the teleportation device, he thought to himself.  The engineers who built it were all confident that this possibility lay well beyond probability.  But the physicists who’d dreamt it up, those wizards of matter and energy, knew it was there.  As one of those physicists, he had known there was a chance that the blink–the instantaneous relocation–wouldn’t land him in Lab B, the intended target, but the promise of this technology that could open up all horizons and make every place reachable was too enticing–and so too was the chance to be the first teleported man too enticing.

That same miraculous insight that allowed the technology to work, the realization that, with the right manipulation, the universe could be tricked into thinking that each point in space was the same as any other, was also its greatest flaw. With the tremendous quantities of energy concentrated to densities well beyond natural phenomena that were needed to focus the machine on the intended target, all it had taken, presumably, was a picosecond drop or disruption in that energy flow for the focus to be lost, and without focus, every single point in the universe became equally likely to be his destination as any other.

Of course, if he’d known that he’d end up marooned between the stars, far from any planet, far from any sun, in who knows what region of the galaxy, or what region of the universe, he would never have stepped into the departure chamber at Lab A.  But here he was, and regrets are useless when there’s only three minutes of oxygen left.  He forced himself to appreciate the peculiarity of the transportation method that required the departure chamber to be void of all matter but the payload, therefore necessitating that he make the trip in a sealed suit with its own oxygen supply, leaving him with a few precious breaths at the end of his life instead of having his last ripped from him in this deep vacuum of deep space.

In one sense, it was the safest place he could be.  No predators, no natural disasters, no murder, nothing to fall on him–just nothing at all.  Possibly his suit could fail, but since there was nothing to make it fail–here there was nothing to make anything do anything but himself–that was as unlikely as spontaneous heart failure.

Rescue, even if he waited a trillion years, was impossible.  Finding a fraction of a speck of a shaving from a needle in a haystack would be easier than finding him in the random spot in the universe that he’d been dropped.

There would be a short time during which he would definitely not die, and then after that he was definitely going to die.

Three minutes of fresh air left, he thought to himself, and then a few seconds of fading consciousness. And then? How long would his body drift in nowhere, radiating out his heat until it dropped to the universal 3 kelvins, and how long would his nearly absolutely frozen corpse hang, motionlessly falling, pinned to nothing, without anything at all to molest it? Perhaps it would remain mummified until the very last days of the universe, when the atoms themselves ultimately tired and fell apart.

He thought of his future there, buried between the stars, ascended to the heavens to endure eternally among the constellations.  Did that make him like the mythological gods whose great deeds in life earned them a fixed place in the firmament?  As the only solid matter in a space potentially greater than any galaxy, he was indeed by far the most powerful being in his realm, and certainly in comparison to any of the isolated helium nuclei he could call his neighbours he would be considered a god.

The god looked out at his world and the night that surrounded him.  His night stayed; there was no Sun to warm his backside, as the Earth has, and no hope for a dawn.  Only night that would pass away to yet more night as he rotated like a miniature planet.

But the Sun is just a star, special only for its proximity, and his world was filled with stars, none occluded by any planet.  If night means being in the shadow of your planet cast by the Sun, then he would declare himself his own planet, and all the multitudinous stars shining on him his suns, thereby placing him in eternal day.  It would be day more gloriously bountiful than the fleeting periods experienced by those still trapped on Earth.  Not eternal night, but a miraculous uninterrupted teeming quantity of day!

He felt hot.  Though his destiny was a deep freeze, for now his body was still metabolising, slowly burning through its food, generating heat.  His environment was neither cold nor hot: temperature is a property of matter, and his environment had no matter.  The vacuum around him instead was a barrier to heat transfer, an unfathomably thick layer of insulation.

Realizing his oxygen supply had depleted, he felt relieved to have come to terms with what he now knew was his fortunate fate.

One last thought touched his consciousness as the starfield before his eyes began to be replaced once again by the twinkling bright points of hypoxia: a billion billion sunrises every moment, and all of them utterly dim.

Human Stampede

Why do people believe silly stuff like that a man can be a woman just by saying so?

Or that marriage doesn’t have anything to do with reproduction, and that we can call any arrangement, regardless of its reproductive potential, marriage?  And ignore the blatantly obvious place that marriage has at the nexus of reproduction and civilization?

Why does everyone act as though they see no potential problem whatsoever with importing highly nepotistic groups with incompatible cultures and oppositional values into a society whose most prominent characteristics are extreme tolerance and sub-fertility reproduction?

Why do so many European people hate their ancestors and why have so many decided, consciously or otherwise, to surrender to the onslaught of comfort, luxury, and entertainment, and give up their continued existence?

Why are people just going along with taking children away from their parents for witholding from them gender-mutilating drugs and sugery?

Why are Internet corporations and governmental bodies openly collaborating to impose political censorship in public discussion spaces?

Why are massively powerful corporations exhaustively burning up millions of years worth of built-up organic energy in the span of a few 100 years, why are governments allowing nearly every square mile of the planet to be disturbed by humans, if not outright genocided into a monoculture for humans?

Why is there so little resistance to all this? These are all things that don’t have to be that way. They could easily change if people changed their behaviours; it’s not like it would be some monumental task like going to the moon.

Because everyone thinks it’s not easy, they think it’s impossible.  Everyone thinks the system is unstoppable like a runnaway train. If they have the modicum of an attention span it takes to realize what’s going on, then they simultaneously realize the futility of a single person’s actions.

Eveyone knows that if they even speak up, they’ll achieve nothing but misery.

The entire herd is out of its mind, it’s just running, sprinting, mindlessly charging in whatever direction each human thinks the herd is travelling towards.

Some people think this is going somewhere, or fleeing from something, so they constantly make frantic guesses about what will be ideologically stylish in the next moment so they can get there first.

It’s not hard to recognize a stampede, but it is hard to stop.  If every animal just stopped running, the stampede would instantly end, but every animal knows that if they stop, they’ll get trampled.  And everyone else will think they’re a moron.

For humans, that’s the worst part.  Yeah, getting trampled is bad, but the worst would be eveyone thinking you’re an idiot for getting trampled.

And so the whole herd continues the stampede, charging over the cliff into the void.

Minority Conditions

If European peoples decided they wanted to continue to exist in the future, would there be a way for them to do that without being hated? Or if, when they become a minority everywhere (globally and in each of their countries), would they be able to work together to try to prevent bad things from happening to them, like other groups do, without being hated?

Seems like they’ll be less able to prevent bad things from happening to them (like others taking their stuff, or killing or raping them) if they’re a minority that can’t defend themselves, and, looking at history, it seems pretty naive to think others wouldn’t take advantage of them like that. Assuming things would be fine in that scenario is a pretty big gamble.

Panicking is almost always a bad idea, and stuff like “racial pride” or “superiority” just doesn’t make sense to me, and feel like a weird waste of time. I think it’s a good idea to not get distracted by that kooky stuff, and think about current conditions and future trends with a clear, calm, open, honest mind.

Postmodern Vertigo

Back in the day people knew what was real because they could walk on it, they could see it, everything about their world was understandable in the context of their physical surroundings. Concepts in their head were like the kinds of things that were right around them, things they could directly interact with. A motive like hunger could be directly connected to the physical world in basic steps through things like hunting or foraging.

To hunt, they might need a spear, which is made of tree and stone, just like their environment; their tools were recognizable in their source materials, and those were a regular component of their environment. The relation between a tool and its raw material was a process done with their own hands, right in front of their faces. Hunting itself is something they could readily spot in their environment: many fellow animals can be observed to hunt. The connections between the concepts in their head nicely mirrored the connections between the objects in their world. Forming that correspondence didn’t have to be a conscious process–mere observation produced it.

Now we have concepts in our head that don’t correspond to anything physical or concrete. We have things like the Internet or vaccines, where our understanding of how they work is very different from the way we interact with them. What does getting poked in the arm have to do with antigens and possibly dying 10 years from now? What does poking a bright screen to talk to a friend have to do with TCP/IP packets, RISC processors, or rare earth elements? Even many of our labels, our tokens for communication are acronyms, which are an extra layer of abstraction.

And that’s just consumer technology; the same is true with politics, for example. How, if at all, does marking a paper beside someone’s name relate to changes in wealth received from work, or to changes in what will be demanded of us in the future?

If we get hungry, we go to the store to get food, which is a processed product, which means the ingredients and their source are unknown except as abstract classification (made from apple, not any specific apple, not even any specific cultivar, and definitely not an apple that was in this hand, picked from a known, specific tree) and means we get it by giving currency (which can take many forms, made from many different materials, somehow, issued by some organization running in some unknown way, controlled by people who want to remain unknown).

Everything we interact with is just the surface layer and beneath it are layers upon layers of abstraction, and the vast majority of people, if not everyone, don’t know all the layers between the concepts we have in our heads that let us interact with it and the physical reality around us that we can see and touch. There are entire fields of knowledge, entire communities of individuals, complete layers of reality that mostly everyone is unaware of.

There is no ground to our reality. We know some tips and tricks that let us get by in this world (until new technology changes it), but without knowing all the sub-surface layers (which is probably impossible now), we can only make guesses about what’s real. We’re not even sure of what kind of things are possible.

We don’t know what’s underneath the surface, and so we have no way of knowing if or when the surface will give out or fail, so every step we make feels like a risk, as if we’re walking on thin ice, except that there’s no water underneath: we have no idea what’s underneath.

On some level, we know that at any give time, in the next moment we may be falling into an abyss, and so we have an ever-present subconscious sense of vertigo.

One attempt to adapt to this situation is to just pretend it’s not a problem, to not worry about what’s beneath the surface, to only take things at face value, and to unthinkingly accept any absurdities that this inevitably results in.

Maybe that’s what most people are doing right now–it would explain a lot.

Related

Tangential

Openness

Opening your heart to someone new is scary. Allowing yourself to love someone is dangerous because it brings with it the possibility of pain from rejection, betrayal, and loss. Love can be kept secret, and that can protect oneself from some harm, but love is more fully manifested when it’s mutual, and truly loving someone means wanting to protect them, which means taking some possibility of harm upon oneself, removing it from the loved one.

Love is inherently dangerous, it’s unavoidably a risk.

Opening your mind to new ideas is scary. Allowing yourself to question your assumptions and consider new ones is dangerous because it brings with it the possibility of pain from uncertainty, confusion, and thinking differently from those around you. Different thoughts can be kept secret, but even hidden uncertainty and confusion is stressful, and progressing beyond that state to new assumptions may lead to new conclusions and convictions that compel the public defense of newly discovered truth.

Open mindedness is inherently dangerous, it’s unavoidably a risk.

We can decide to not care about uncertainty and confusion, but that’s essentially the same as not caring about truth, which is unacceptable and unworkable to those with an internally-arising motivation for honesty.

We can boldly declare that we don’t care what others think of us, but it’s difficult to overstate how much most people value social approval. Many put it above love, some put it above life itself and kill themselves when opinion turns against them.

Open mindedness requires courage. It’s easy to dismiss this as braggadocio, but dishonesty is often easy, and we could just as easily dismiss that dismissal as cowardice.

Theodore / Jupiter

During most of Kim’s pregnancy we were trying to decide if Jupiter was too crazy of a name, or if it was just crazy enough. Theodore was an easier pick; we had both independently thought of it as a possibility.

On the afternoon of November 25, 2018, more than a week after the due date, Kim wondered aloud whether Jupiter the planet was in the current zodiac sign. A few hours later I checked, and it wasn’t–Sagittarius is the current zodiac sign, and Jupiter is just entering Scorpius.

Jupiter’s position in the zodiac was not significant, but it turns out that Jupiter’s birth in Sagittarius is.

The zodiac system that is most common in the west is called the Tropical Zodiac, and traces back to Ptolemy.  In the 2nd century AD he collected astrological knowledge in his Tetrabibilo.  Book 1 Chapter 17 contains this:

The planets also have familiarity with the parts of the zodiac, through what are called their houses, triangles, exaltations, terms, and the like. The system of houses is of the following nature. Since of the twelve signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and of warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, that is, to the luminaries, as houses, Leo, which is masculine, to the sun and Cancer, feminine, to the moon. In keeping with this they assumed the semicircle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar, so that in each of the semicircles One sign might be assigned to each of the five planets as its own, One bearing aspect to the sun and the other to the moon, consistently with the spheres of their motion and the peculiarities of their natures. For to Saturn, in whose nature cold prevails, as opposed to heat, and which occupies the orbit highest and farthest from the luminaries, were assigned the signs opposite Cancer and Leo, namely Capricorn and Aquarius, with the additional reason that these signs are cold and wintry, and further that their diametrical aspect is not consistent with beneficence. To Jupiter, which is moderate and below Saturn’s sphere, were assigned the two signs next to the foregoing, windy and fecund, Sagittarius and Pisces, in triangular aspect to the luminaries, which is a harmonious and beneficent configuration.

Jupiter our boy was conceived in Pisces and born in Sagittarius.

That’s not all: early on November 26th, three days before the birth of the boy, the planet moved into conjunction with the Earth on the other side of the Sun.  You can look towards him, but you can’t really see Jupiter right now because he’s just emerging from behind the brilliance of the Sun.

To top it off, he was born on Thursday, ie Thor’s Day.  Thor is identified with Jupiter, as seen in the French name for the day: Jeudi, Jupiter Day.

Kim had also wondered whether there were any King Theodores.  The one we found, King Theodore of Corsica, was a German adventurer who in 1736 convinced a group of Corsican rebels to name him their King in return for helping them liberate their island from Genoese occupation. With military aid from the Bey of Tunis, he landed on Corsica in March and waged a war of independence for nine months until he left to secure more foreign military aid in November. These months correspond with our Theodore’s reign in his island womb.

Blue Rose


Roses red and roses white
Plucked I for my love’s delight.
She would none of all my posies–
Bade me gather her blue roses.Half the world I wandered through,
Seeking where such flowers grew.
Half the world unto my quest
Answered me with laugh and jest.

Home I came at wintertide,
But my silly love had died
Seeking with her latest breath
Roses from the arms of Death.

It may be beyond the grave
She shall find what she would have.
Mine was but an idle quest–

Roses white and red are best!

 — Rudyard Kipling

A Tangible Warmth

Deeper and deeper they went, hacking at the earth, chipping the rock into rubble. Long ago having cursed the sun for its burning light in summer and its pale cold glare in winter, they turned from its remote indifference, declaring instead their fealty and love for the Earth, only the Earth. With an aching need to be closer, to feel its solid, warm embrace they’d entered the cave, descended to the depths of its cavernous abodes, then, upon meeting the final nook, they began to tunnel.

As they descended their gratitude grew, for here they found freedom: freedom from fickle weather, freedom from cruel predators, and freedom from the changing seasons. And they found warmth growing, so they graciously shed unnecessary garments—all was laid bare as the rock of their walls, roof, and floor. When any one of them had doubts about their course and harboured thoughts of the abandoned luminous world above, these were assuaged with an assurance that “where there is warmth, there is light.”

For this devotion they were richly rewarded. An uncontainable abundance of precious metals and stones overflowed their bulging pockets, falling unheeded into the worthless pebbles of broken terrestrial skeleton. Still they drove deeper, superterranean memories becoming more remote, their senses becoming more accustomed to the dim light of their torches. In this darkness, the glint and glean of their newly discovered treasures seemed to ever brighten into dazzling attraction.

In this pursuit, they turned first from the harsh glare of their torches to the faces of those who held them, and as the fires passed away from their sight, so did they pass from their words and thoughts.  Pupils dilated wider. Then even reflecting faces too became unbearable to see, and they turned to their shadows on the walls, addressing them so that when they talked to each other, they talked to their shadows.

Downward they dug in the hot darkness, surrounded by their frantically dancing shadows.

A Nightmare Vision of the Modern World

This is the modern world
Billions upon billions of mass human fleshbags with ultimately no purpose to the obscene, mind-boggling quantity
A dying globe covered with a layer of endless writhing undifferentiated human
It desperately tries to heave off the bulk living detritus, to buck off the mindless mess, but there is too much–much too much–and the suffocation is uninterrupted
We have made a hell of Earth

Blasted Beasts

Kill ’em all, he thought.  18 of the beasts had cornered him here with all the exits blocked, and with what he’d been through, giving up was even less of an option than flight.  They sure as hell wouldn’t call it quits, not while their blood—or whatever it was that oozed out when he put holes in them—still circulated, still animated the hideous frenzied urge that enthralled them to his doom.

He probably wouldn’t make it out of this, but if he did, it would be through their dismembered corpses.  Their faces were like exit signs to him, showing him the way through fortified flesh that needed opening with his blaster.  Point there, squeeze here, and a portal would burst open in the beast, letting him walk out through the meaty mess.  The thought of myriad instant butchery provoked his hunger for killing into just the kind of madness needed to eagerly charge the deadly savagery closing in.

“Put down your weapon and reveal your empty hands!”  The audacity with which the tyrannical beast voiced this demand made his stomach churn.  Those sick freaks had no place using words—words are for humans, real, live, red-blooded humans!  The corrupted souls of these damned creatures—whatever the hell they were–could be seen a mile away through their dead eyes.  They weren’t fooling him, though they continued to try.  “If you comply willingly I am authorised to adjudicate a mitigated sentence.”

The nerve. “There’s just one thing I wanna know!”  He gripped his blaster tighter and became a coiled spring.

“What would you like to know?”

He’d been through hell—all 9 rings and a few extra epicycles to boot.  He’d pillaged a good deal of knowledge along the way, vast booty of arcane science and occult perceptions plus the usual exoteric observations on the requirements of survival: blast whatever gets in your way, keep moving, trust only self and blaster, sleep while blasting, and if blasting doesn’t work, smash it.  Don’t drop the medkit, unless you enjoy moving on perforated legs and smashing with a broken hand (he didn’t—much).  Getting a new medkit takes a lot of killing.

He also knew his blaster had 88% charge.  That would probably be enough, accounting for maybe 2 or 3 more unexpected complications.

And then there were all the things he thought he knew.  He thought he knew the layout of this facility down to the last brimstone brick.  He thought he knew that this room had access to the ventilation exhaust system.  He thought he was out.

It didn’t, and he wasn’t, and now he knew that hell had a lean-to, a 10th ring, a ring for the last finger, the trigger finger.  Lucky for him, he knew all about trigger fingers and his own was just itching to squeeze.  As he looked at the blaster in his hand a flood of countless memories of encroaching doom upon which it had rained down a cleansing fire visited him, and he smiled fondly at the intricately printed metal and energy display and glowing, murmuring hole of death at the end.

“I wanna know what kinda slimy bile’s sloshing around insida your soulless corpses!”  His brain blitzed into activity like a berserk Tesla coil, sending lightning rage through legion motor neurons to explode each harnessed muscle fibre with the motive power of undiluted centrifugally enriched bloodlust—or whatever-the-hell-lust.