If you ever find yourself standing in line at airport security, removing your belt and shoes, and mentally undressing the cute blonde to your left, you might find yourself asking a dangerous question: why. Airport security is a most unpleasant hassle, and it doesn’t seem to be particularly effective. So why bother?
(Side note: Who knows how many “random” events were either allowed to happen or were engineered to happen by people who are ostensibly trying to prevent that sort of thing?)
All that said, it’s hard not to see how such rituals are of extreme utility to entities in a position to “see like a state”, as it were. Experiences like this operate subtly, but operate they do, whether we notice it consciously, subconsciously, or maybe even not at all. They condition you to unquestioningly accept the capricious dictates of fools LARPing as authority, they acclimate you to being treated as cattle, and they (perhaps most importantly) provide a source of employment for low-skill, low-IQ philosophical zombies that need to be kept occupied somehow. What’s not to like?
Yes, I did just suggest that the TSA and other similar agencies function as massive public works projects to keep as many people as can be influenced — employees and otherwise — docile and complacent.
There are no doubt people in this world who can be treated like cattle without thinking anything of it or taking offense. It makes my skin crawl to be treated as one of them.
Next up, because mood whiplash is amusing, we have an optimistic view on the future with LOADS OF SCI-FI FUTURE TECH PORN.
Not really, but also kind of. This is a hardcore hit of the sort of thing that the “I Fucking Love Science” crowd would enjoy if they were as intelligent and as technologically-savvy as they have deluded themselves into thinking that they are.
Come to think of it, were I being completely fair, I wouldn’t have called this an “optimistic view on the future”. “Reminder of upcoming developments that have positive potential” would have been far more accurate and far more intellectually honest.
So we’ll go with that instead.
No comment needed, save a brief critique that will also serve as throwing down an exo-semantic gang sign: #AIACC
I mentioned Iran in the last fragments, but this time around, I’ll pass the microphone to Paul Craig Roberts over at Unz. He’s got a good write-up, and he makes a few points that I wasn’t aware of.
But because this is my blog, I feel obligated to bring up some thoughts of my own: Within 10 – 15 years (likely sooner, but I’m playing conservative here), there will be a series of “popular demonstrations” in Iran with spiritual origins in the Green Movement but also with a surprising degree of funding and a strong bent towards progressivism on social issues. These movements will contend the legitimacy of the government and demand change. Things will get messy quickly, but I’ll hold back from offering any predictions on how events will play out.
Or maybe not. Maybe this time a different page from the playbook will be opened. Diplomacy would be an unexpected move at this point. But we’ll see what happens. Old dog, new tricks, and all that sort of thing.
Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience evildoing on a scale calculated in the millions. This cannot be denied, nor passed over, nor suppressed. How then, do we dare to insist that evildoers do not exist?
A human being hesitates and bobs back and forth between good and evil all his life. He slips, falls back, clambers up, repeats, things begin to darken once again. But just so long as the threshold of evildoing is not crossed, the possibility of returning remains, as he himself is within reach of our hope. But when, through the density of evil actions, the result of either their extreme degree or the absoluteness of his powers, he suddenly crosses that threshold, he has left humanity behind, and without, perhaps, the possibility of returning.
-Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
The “must-read” piece of the week is Nick Land’s Hell-Baked. And if you liked this…
Finally, to end with a bit of levity, a brief reminder that The Onion sometimes manages to hit the nail on the head more often then one might suspect.
Just take a moment and imagine the primary debates: Jeb Bush; Chris Christie; me. Of course, they’ll put me in the middle because I’m ahead in the polls—far ahead at the moment. You already know how I answer even the most basic inquiries, so just picture me staring down the barrel of a question about foreign affairs or agriculture policy or something like that. You think you won’t sit there with bated breath while I try to tackle a question about using military force, or about food stamps, or about how my faith influences my decision-making? I guarantee you that my answers will be worth watching. And we both know you wouldn’t miss them for the world. It’d be the biggest, most-watched primary debate in history, courtesy of all of you.
And if you’re into this sort of thing, you see a brief glimpse of the limitations of the brahmin mind if you look in the right places (Cruz, Christie, Trump is going to be the real trifecta of bloodshed in the republican debates).
Have a laugh or two. It’s the right thing to do.