“Joe Rogan Talks About the Biggest Unsolved Mystery Of All Time”

And then youtube went and removed the video clip in question, so in its place I’ll have to post the entire 3-hour podcast. Dammit.

The portion in question (which I’ll have to find on there later) was an excellent conversation between those three.

“Psychology of Redemption in Christianity”

A lot of truth spoken there…

“Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff”

A very interesting explanation of Karl Marx’s analysis of Capitalism:

Yes, I very much understand these critiques about modern life. Marx was a Luddite of sorts, which I can relate to (to an extent). Let me pause to state this. THIS is why I get defensive when people categorically dismiss “Marxist teachings” and lay all blame for the Leftist political ideologies we’re experiencing/witnessing now squarely on his shoulders. As if he’d likely be in full support of what’s become of the so-called Left. And as if other thinkers haven’t contributed plenty of their own to the modern “Leftism” mix.

People like to say they’ve read his “teachings.” Yeah? How much really? Most of us haven’t directly read a whole lot from the man, especially considering how incredibly much he wrote. Letter after letter between Engels and him, on top of his books on these topics. Not easy reads, hence why many aren’t directly acquainted with what Karl Marx actually said. Including plenty who claim to be fans of him. The information and ideas bandied about since his death and in his name can drift straight off the plantation of whatever he actually seemed to have in mind.

The man wasn’t terribly pro-technology, but either way he still couldn’t be expected (in the late 1800s) to foresee the industrial explosion of unprecedented proportions that the next century would usher in. People didn’t even have an imagination for what all was in store on this level or in detail. How could they? UNPRECEDENTED times we now live in in terms of technological innovations and the evolution, so far, of global economics.

This is truly an interesting time to be alive.

The man merely added to the mix his own views and analysis. So be it. I have no problem with him doing so. Though I do take issue with what’s being done in his name, as if his teachings alone are ultimately responsible, big of a contributive factor as they apparently are. Leftism =/= “Marxism.” The political Left is puppetry, “neo-liberalism,” just as the political Right is as well with its “neo-conservatism.” Somewhat different teams competing for global jockeying positions. We see this. We know political systems are rigged all around the globe. Money does obviously factor into how it’s carried out as well.

Many of us don’t want to be slaves to a new kind of slave-owner. And this is precisely why I say that slavery never truly ended, it just changed shapes. More inclusive now. Welcome to Corporatism.

The threat of Communism proved similar in certain aspects. Different strategy employed, yes, but in the end you still wind up in both cases with a ruling class with a bunch of “serfs” under their thumbs, only to a more extreme degree in the case of Corporatism since developing nations are in the running jockeying for positions since they’ll take what they can get, out of necessity.Which can and does lead to fucked up results in several notable cases. This is no longer a secret. People have good reason to express consternation over such an economic setup. Irritates me that Capitalism all unto itself winds up blamed, though I also recognize the importance of anti-trust laws, which largely haven’t been enforced in many decades, quite obviously. Which has allowed oligopoly rule across numerous sectors, though technological innovations unto themselves have also altered and created plenty of these sectors especially within the last 60 years alone.

Personally, I find Communism as it’s ever been practiced detestable. BUT, I don’t conflate Communism with socialism. Based off the same original notions, yes, but then taken to crazy extremes, particularly when the concept wound up applied to a huge society (Soviet Union) and was carried out in a top-down manner. Socialism doesn’t quite work that way, in essence. It’s a bottom-up approach, by and large, though wider federations may prove possible. Though it doesn’t translate (apparently) when applied to a massive nation-state setup. Turns into totalitarianism when attempted, as history has demonstrated thus far.

Rulers everywhere we look. And perhaps that would be okay if they were benevolent and were actually committed to protecting our wider interests. But that won’t ever happen if the people can’t hold them accountable, which we obviously can’t (or aren’t) currently. We’re rendered at the mercy of what’s unfolding, and we may see it and feel the earth shifting beneath us. Life has gone into hyper-drive over this last century, and now we’re embarking on a new one. One where likely middle classes will begin blooming in China and India and elsewhere outside of the West where we have been abandoned by a good amount of our manufacturing base, shortly followed by experiencing record national and individual debts, all while printing paper money nonstop backed by virtually nothing. We can see this. What will become of the U.S.? We don’t know, but it doesn’t look very good at present. And the politicians running have succumbed to being caught up in a game that’s beyond most of us in terms of making much of a lasting impact and improving and preserving our society in a sustainable fashion.

While I can understand the shift in people’s hearts, I wish we’d use our minds all the more. Exercise them. Explore ideas, particularly those we may have a knee-jerk reaction away from.

I don’t see socialism and libertarianism as necessarily incompatible. Perhaps they are the new political “right” and “left” down here on the ground. Reckoning with the philosophical conundrums arising between individual vs. collective or so-called “societal” interests. So many buzzwords make it to where discussing these matters feels cheap, like people’s eyes glaze over when they happen to peruse them. I get it. Really do. But we have to somehow come to terms with the fact that we are both social beings and individuals in our own right. There’s a balancing act quite obviously called for here, yet different people will likely opt to attempt it in varying ways. Hence why I like to talk about my dream of 10,000 communities going their own ways. Let the social experiments begin…

Pipe dreams, I know. Because now we appear locked into this trajectory, whether we like it or not. Jumping into a political “camp” or movement won’t likely improve a thing. Especially not when so many have become so divided. Few of us can agree on hardly any one thing anymore it seems. If ever people did. But some of us must find a way to interact with and/or group up with those we’re capable of living and working with to the best of our ability, if only to find solace and cooperation in whatever lies in times to come.

I don’t have any answers. But I do understand the various concerns. Can also understand our Western concerns and how it may look to those most well-adapted and proven successful in our current setup. But times are a-changin’ whether we like it or not. And whether we try to prepare for it or not.

Crime will likely increase. We’re a very materialistic culture. Entertaining ourselves to death also. I’ve heard Yugoslavians basically fell prey to the same lure.

After listening to the audiobook for Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, and appreciating it to an extent (final chapter aside), I’d argue that he spoke (and wrote) prematurely. Comforting as it would be to agree with his analysis.

Lately this eerie feeling has been coming over me. Listening to all the propaganda and watching how race relations are being ramped up in our society, I get to wondering if it’s possible if an economic breakdown occurs in the U.S. if we may go the way of South Africa. At least in essence, though in our case it’s not simply two or three races/ethnic backgrounds against one another. We’re the biggest melting pot on the planet — the great human experiment in civilized living.

It’s become fashionable to talk shit about “white people” today, yet the reverse is deemed intolerable. Hmm. If we’re honest with ourselves and set aside our excuses and rationales and just pay attention — observe — we see this going on. It started with jokes and has grown noticeably more vicious with time.

Increasingly not a secret.

We should be able to examine these matters without being pigeon-holed as belonging to the political Left or Right as a result. Screw all of that nonsense. And to hell with devoting ourselves to ideologies of any sort. Better to keep an open mind since not a one of us has it all figured out. Explore. These ideological cages are just that — utopian traps sold to us by people who don’t give a damn about us, who simply rely on us and the money we spend, pandering to our psychologies so that we don’t revolt and remove them from power. Even then, another of a similar caliber would surely take their places since we don’t understand the process of power and how it can accumulate. Forming hierarchies is in our nature, but what we’ve constructed are so BIG that they’re guaranteed to fail us. We can’t reach those people anymore. Just have to accept their dictates sent down the ladder in the form of laws. Can fight them through the courts and sometimes win (still, just wait 20 years and see if the court decisions wind up reversed…), but eventually they plow on through while claiming to have enough popular support. Pandering and pretending — that’s American politics at present.

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of all of this. But we each only have one life to live, so far as we know, so we might as well make it interesting and do something with ourselves that isn’t a complete waste. Was watching another talk with Dr. Jordan Peterson earlier today (see last post) where he goes into all that and I highly recommend others hear the man out. Aligning with ideologies is a way to shirk individual responsibility and hide within a crowd. Best to opt to do something more courageous than that at least. That is too easy.

There are plenty of thought-provoking thinkers on any and all possible “sides” who are worthy of hearing out even if we wind up disagreeing. Suspend judgment for a while and just let it in and ponder. Helps in better fleshing out our own beliefs and ideas, to challenge them and thereby alter, deepen, and expand them. No shame in exploring far and wide.

Admittedly kinda surprised me initially to stumble across Abby Martin conducting that interview. Proved to be worth taking in as more food for thought. The professor explained his position very articulately, though I still don’t see a top-down approach winding up ultimately resolving this dilemma, at least not how the globally-minded may envision it. We shall see.

“Harvard Talk: Postmodernism & the Mask of Compassion”

Another great talk from Dr. Jordan Peterson:

“Alan Watts ~ Stop Competing With Yourself” (his BEST lecture!)

That was excellent. Tied together so many of his past lectures succinctly while also feeding into other reading material I’ve been pondering over time. This particular lecture cemented my respect for Alan Watts. Haven’t always understood what he was talking about, but I stuck with him and appreciate the light he’s helped provide overall. He’s right — the skill to living isn’t simply self-discipline (important as that unarguably is) but learning how to find the right balance. Differs for each of us, and the possibilities are nearly endless.

We can be snobs to one another. That’s easy enough to do. We can divvy up into separate “camps” and talk shit and focus our attention there primarily. Plenty already do. Will lead us straight to hell as a society and a species if we keep this up, but we’re free to do so obviously. Or prove incapable of not doing so if we individually remain complacent in our present forms. Life requires growth and we’re psychological beings. No escaping that truth.

But how we figure out navigating in a manner that seems worth it is the existential question of our time.

It’s a fact that much of this can’t help but come down to our own selves, impactful as external influences can’t help but be. Hence why it’s important to opt for better influences, those which can promote positive expansion. The alternative is what? Let ourselves slide into the abyss? What is our love affair with the abyss? I think Dr. Jordan Peterson is right when he’s basically said staying down there comes with the benefit of evading personal responsibility. Strikes a chord inside, rings correct. Mea culpa too.

Nobody else can change these facts for us. Only we individually can make the decision and actively plod in that direction. Even a slave-driver can’t effectively force us if we collectively and actively resist like mules. That seems obvious enough. Might murder a bunch of us, but still can’t force us to put our hearts into something against our will. Might reduce many of us to a cowardly state, but that’s largely through our own compliance, if not entirely. We as individuals actually do possess a lot more power than we commonly publicly acknowledge and demonstrate appreciation for.

We’re spoiled on modern life and the ease at which we can hide out from one another and interact behind keyboards anonymously if desired. Modern technologies allow for an atomized form of existence never before known by our species. Easy to get drunk on it and all its comforts. I know. Welcome to modern life. It’s ALL a big mystery to each and every one of us. Learn as we go. Hopefully. Maybe.

Depends on how we choose to live. Nobody else can determine that for us. Short of killing us, and all that does is extinguish us — still doesn’t force our will to ACT. Definitely can impact us seriously though. And that’s no small matter. But this is where ancient Stoics did have the right idea. We can’t control all of the variables in life, quite obviously. Never could and never will. We can’t help but be vulnerable beings, as all lifeforms are. And we can’t completely control other people, try as we might. Can to whatever extents, but that’s it. There is a sovereignty to the individual that is untouchable by others, try as we undoubtedly will. Sadists probably know this all too well in the end. There’s a private sphere within each of us that will forever remain unexplorable by all others. Fact of life. We are individuals yet we are communal. Both are true, and neither is avoidable nor alterable (at least not without massive negative consequences). Not if any balance is to be achieved. And some sense of balance is necessary for satisfaction in life.

Can’t seem to escape these truths lately. Recurring. Thanks to my reading and viewing material, which I’ve learned a lot from over time. We are blessed to have this amazing internet. Anyone who doesn’t own a desktop computer or at minimum a laptop is being left in the dark ages (and no, “smartphones” aren’t solely sufficient for exploring this medium — way too limited/limiting). But I suppose people will have to work with what they’ve got if that’s necessarily the case. Still, the information available so freely to us nowadays is unprecedented, truly amazing. We are lucky in this regard and shouldn’t take it too much for granted. So many opportunities surround us currently.

I say this all to myself more than to others, though it’s to all of you too. We need to step up our game as individual persons in however many which ways. For one’s own personal sake, if for no one else’s.

“2017 Maps of Meaning 9: Patterns of Symbolic Representation” (Dr. Jordan Peterson)

Sitting with this lecture this morning:

Dr. Peterson on Existentialism via Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag (2017 Personality course lecture)

That interesting lecture was brought to us by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, esteemed professor at the University of Toronto. Some of the material he provided there from various authors, particularly that of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I am familiar with from listening to past lectures by Dr. Peterson; plus, plenty of us internet devotees were already aware of the “Hugh Mongous” fiasco whereby Zarna Joshi made an ass of herself (and the most-modern Feminist movement she belongs to) while trying to demean a man out in public because she felt so entitled to do so. So, having viewed all of that, I personally found the most interesting portion of this lecture to begin shortly after the 1:15:45 mark where Dr. Peterson goes into the biblical story of the flood and then the Tower of Babel, followed by his thoughts on nihilism/existentialism and individual responsibility.

The latter is a topic many of us revisit time and time again as we struggle to get our lives under better control. He’s absolutely correct that a sizeable portion of the suffering we experience in this life is due to our own choices and stubbornly not following our consciences. We know this, and yet we often don’t live as if we know this. “To know and not to do is not to know” — to repeat a quote that dates back across the centuries.

He’s right that each of our lives have a ripple effect on our communities and that one’s own pathology impacts the pathological nature of wider society. It can be no other way since society is composed of individual persons — it’s an aggregate of all of us. That’s all it is and all it ever was. Though it’s very easy for us to try to hide within it, to attempt to blend in so as not to be noticed too distinctly, to shirk responsibility because we’d rather avoid the headaches that go along with that. And somewhere in that equation is where the so-called root of all evil likely resides, at least in its primordial form.

I think we know this deep down, though we like to dismiss it as somehow less relevant than continuing to go along to get along. “Don’t make waves,” some like to say. “The raised nail gets hammered down” — another proverb used to admonish us to not draw attention to ourselves by stepping out of line from the rest. And so the herd mentality gets reinforced…

The biggest problem we humans face is our own humanity and the reckoning it requires of us at this point in our psychological, spiritual, and sociopolitical development. It’s an internal struggle with external consequences, as we can clearly see.

So often we look to others to change so that we might be made happy. But that’s not how it works. Never has and never will.

That was an excellent talk by Dr. Peterson. Glad that I awoke tonight and stumbled back across his channel once again.

“Charles Murray — The Bell Curve Revisited”

From the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard (March 14, 2014).

EXCELLENT talk! Loved how Dr. Murray outlined what the book actually stated and what can reasonably be inferred from it (and what yet cannot), as well as discussing the backlash his book received. Sad about his co-writer/co-contributor not making it to see the release and response of their research in their book. Fascinating topic with so many possible implications that we really do have to be reserved in our speculations, as Murray definitely is. It’s unfortunate that so many people chose not to actually read these men’s book yet still feel the need to trash their findings. I admit to not having read it yet, but I have watched a good many lectures/speeches from Dr. Murray, including part of this one before, and grasp his findings enough to appreciate the value of them, upsetting as they may appear to some folks.

The Truth is what what is, our opinions and desires be damned. That’s how Nature rolls. There comes a point where we have to come to grips with that, my fellow social sciences enthusiasts. Because some people’s assumptions proved wrong doesn’t mean it’s all over and that more interesting inquiries don’t exist on the horizon. And this right here points to the problems with the “social sciences” — inability or unwillingness to be flexible in light of new and substantiated data. Welcome to scientific inquiry! Learn to roll with it! Quit investing yourselves in particular outcomes. That’s called an ideology. Not true empirical Science. We have no choice but to accept that fact, lest we wind up on the wrong end of the Copernican controversy, as Dr. Murray mentioned. He’s right there. Absolutely is. See more and in-depth information on biology, physics and anatomy to start grasping the larger picture. It’s necessary for human development that we all learn to grapple with the information being presented to us and to not hide or simply dismiss it because it may not conform to our prior expectations.

Very important that we come to grips with this life lesson. Much as I love aspects of the field of Sociology, I still stand firmly on what I’ve stated here.

What rights? We only have privileges.

A video of mine from a couple years back:

Felt timely, once again, at this juncture.

Pizzagate?

Hmmm…the latest conspiracy theory pertaining to Washington insiders involves a bizarre cast of characters along with claims of a child molestation ring. What can be said about this?

First off, lobbing claims against people for sexual mistreatment of children is a gravely serious matter. Not accusations to be treated willy-nilly or to be applied to people without sufficient evidence. A mere accusation of this nature can destroy a person’s life, and how does one even defend against such claims? So…no, I’m not interested in joining a witch-hunt without enough to go on, even if those being pointed at include certain politicians I’m certainly no fan of.

Secondly, pretty much everybody out here is relying on second-hand information to form their opinions. Meaning most of us didn’t access the primary source of these photos being circulated and can’t say with certainty that the pictures haven’t been doctored or taken out of relevant context or whatever else. In other words, we really don’t know what we’re looking at here or what it all represents, speculations aside. And this tends to be the problem with vigilante justice — people like to react without putting in diligent effort and time to make sure the accusations are sufficiently warranted. Which then makes them look like a bunch of hokey “conspiracy theorists” chomping at the bit for a disturbing story, nevermind the evidence available and what it may or may not indicate. People lose trust in you and your claims and then wind up side-stepping the entire issue because they don’t wish to strain themselves in sorting out fact from fiction. And what if the accusations turn out to be correct? Well, those who went on a witch-hunt too soon actually helped obscure that truth by behaving like reckless, ignorant vigilantes gearing up for a lynching spree. Hurt your own cause, in short.

However, I am intrigued by such stories and thereby started looking into it for myself, beginning with watching a few videos and following the links provided. Most weren’t what I would accept as credible sources. From there I went directly to wikileaks to peruse the Podesta and Clinton emails. Lots and lots to sort through there. Would likely take a dedicated month to do so. But I located some of the relevant emails where handkerchiefs and fund-raising pizza parties at Comet Ping Pong restaurant or at one of the Podesta’s homes were mentioned (plus this, and one about ice cream, and this about a “spirit cooking” event, and this mention of David Brock).

What do these findings suggest to me? Not what others are claiming. Doesn’t look to be a bunch of sinister code, or at least I’m not seeing it. If I felt creeped out by these correspondences, I’d say so, but it looks like the ramblings of a bunch of foodies who enjoy hosting parties. I’d call it out if it struck me any other way.

But what about James Alefantis and his Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant attracting so much attention from D.C. elites? And what about the photos purportedly uploaded to his Instagram account depicting kids in weird ways? I don’t know since his instagram account has since been marked private or deleted, so any photos I’m exposed to that are claimed to have been uploaded by him is pure hearsay by now. If I can’t locate the original source and see it with my own eyes, I’m forced to trust the words of others online, and we all know how many batty weirdos are floating around on the internet.

Apparently this photo was legitimately taken from James’ Instagram account (where he went by “jimmycomet”):

jimmycomet_kid_photo

What can we make of it? It’s creepy, sure, and probably not the kind of publicity one would want to drum up if hoping to remain in the business of offering pizza to children and their parents. Beyond that, I honestly don’t know what to think of this and would like to hear an explanation from James Alefantis himself before leaping to conclusions.

As for the artwork claimed to be on the bathroom walls within his business, I want to see the proof.

Perusing 4chan this afternoon and not finding much in the way of concrete evidence there either…

So…instead I’ll focus on what connections clearly do exist, setting aside all allegations for now.

1.) John Podesta was the former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and he previously served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and Counselor to President Barack Obama.

2.) Tony Podesta is John’s brother and said to be closely connected with the Barack Obama White House and has repeatedly been named one of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists and fundraisers.

To be continued…

Returning on 12/6/16: First off, sharing this: “MajesticApe celebrates Birthdays 1.20.12 — Video recorded during Sasha Lord’s birthday party at Comet Ping Pong“:

That’s undeniably some weird ass shit. Don’t even know what to think of it, first watching it about a week ago.

Finally back to this topic because I’d like to finally close out the tabs that have been open since first posting this. Don’t have much more to say. People can read and watch what’s out there and make their own assessments. I personally feel these are some creepy, weird folks, but won’t claim to have enough access to quality evidence to make any definitive assertions in regards to criminal behavior. Will say the “satanic” ritual associations conjured up by several people appeared laughable. Some of those artists do remind me of the goth kids of the ’90s who never grew up (speaking as one of the goth-ish kids of the ’90s who probably hasn’t grown up much either  reddevil ).  Anyway, the tin-foil hat-wearers appear to have taken over the conversation online and rendered it ridiculous at present. Way to go, guys. If any concern does truly exist in that situation involving Hillary and the Podestas and countless others, most won’t care to try to find out since there’s too much bullshit to wade through put out by highly-imaginative speculators. That’s what it all is: speculation. I’d rather the focus be on facts and clear connections without interjecting one’s own pet theories from the outset. But that’s just me.

So, gonna close these tabs and let it go for now. Don’t know what all is going on among those weirdos up in D.C. Power goes to the head of many (if not most) people. People like to push boundaries where they think they can get away with doing so. That’s a fact of human nature. BUT, I gotta be presented substantive proof before accepting the accusation of a person being a child molester/rapist. That’s truly a harsh allegation, and in this weird-ass case the proof of it is lacking. Disagree? Then go find better quality evidence to argue your case. Otherwise it’s just a moot point at the moment. We don’t know what all may be going on. Are the Clintons shitty people whom I wouldn’t put it past? Eh, perhaps they’re that shitty. Maybe. I wouldn’t completely doubt it. *shrugs*

But there does appear to be compelling evidence relating to her email sharing and breaching security requirements, that much is clear. Yet people would prefer to speculate about crazy child sex rings and high-level pedophiles when there just doesn’t appear to be enough to substantiate those claims right now. Not that they’re unimportant if true, just that Hillary deserves to be charged for the violations she’s much more concretely guilty of, and speculative hand-wringing over pizzagate detracts from that. Which perhaps it’s intended to do. Maybe. Wouldn’t necessarily doubt that either.

And this is why the entrenched D.C. establishment has become a cluster-fuck: it’s this cesspool of politicians most of us don’t trust, and with good reason. Yet we keep voting their sorry asses back into power, again and again. Why? We know most of those jokers are shady. The primary answer is likely that people are prone to focus on short-term interests and vote mostly for that which they hope to benefit most directly from. Not that presidential elections do much to sway efforts there — local elections are far more important albeit heavily neglected by the majority of us out here. (Myself included. Only been in once outside of a presidential election to vote in the decade I’ve lived in this state. For the record. So shame on me too.)

The most important shit is that which on the surface seems most boring. Apparently. Hence why we’re dazzled by all the drama that isn’t as important or at least where we possess the least power to make changes, yet we routinely drop the ball when it comes down to what is actually within our direct control and/or has the most direct influence on our lives. We play on the national level while ignoring the local level. Do we not? Seems we often do.

Leaving this topic here. I obviously care about child sexual abuse a great deal and speak about it on this blog fairly regularly. But I have no interest in joining a witch-hunt that lacks substantial evidence. Speculations only take us so far, entertaining as they can be. People do love salacious gossip. Sucks when it eclipses factual claims and drives the focus off of less scandalous crimes deserving investigation and prosecution. Also sucks that national politics absorb so much of our attention at a point when the local exercising of power is sorely needed.

Gotta leave if there for tonight. American politics wear on the soul…