Flirtation Scrapbook

/ Chat /

I have more than one talent. One I’ve become extra fond of, proud of, as I’ve aged well past fifty, is the inventiveness of my flirting. I love to flirt, and I love to tell women I love about current examples. I believe Jan genuinely enjoys my flirtation stories. One or two have found their way to K.: but till now, not by habit. Now I’ll jot examples here and maybe make a menu for past examples.

  • Yesterday in Aldi I loaded my groceries from the cart to the conveyor, and, as the cashier readied herself to handle this new customer I leaned over close to her ear and said, “I deliberately chose the longer line, just to be able to flirt with you”.
    She looked startled, registered what I’d said, digested for a moment, refocused, and said, “I’ll take that as a compliment”. She was clearly pleased. Very pleased.
    The more so I believe because here she was, what? 30? And here I was 76, about to be 77, and looking every hour of it. I was just in sandles, and shorts, a bit grubby. My pocket tee shirt is riddled with holes. (No, not moths, and not wear either: exposure to Jan’s lake shore where wade-gardening I always shred my clothes from chemical veggie action. And I’d already shown her that I was paying with food stamps!) So: broke, old, tattered: and flirting, to beat the band, with the confidence of an ancient master.
    The checker made some additional I-am-pleased sound: I decided to go on:
    “Actually”, I said, “what it is: earlier I saw you go hollering after some guy in a wheel chair to help him reach for something, and I thought to myself, Not only is her hair nicely long, a little full, a little reddish, but she goes out of her way to help people: she’s something else!”
    At that she was extra pleased and murmured that the world was full of nice people.

  • I tell a long time favorite example in Reggae Islands. That’s another example of a conspicuously old man getting away with flirting with a markedly young woman.
    I hope I tell there adequately how I’d deliberately pinned that beautiful island girl against a counter full of ghastly fat women: rubbing it in, pretending they weren’t there: double compliment, double insult.

  • Let me add: in the 1990s I was fifty-something, and my beloved friend Catherine was eighty-something and headed for ninety-six very fast. Catherine had been crippled since age two, and was blind and deaf. I wasn’t the only one who loved her to pieces.
    I’d take her shopping. I didn’t have a handicapped parked pass: I offered to get one for Catherine’s sake. She rejected it. She could walk from the back of the parking lot, didn’t want privilege. (See part of why I loved her?) Inside the store fat thirty year olds in powered shopping carts expected the right of way: Catherine and I gave it to them, relishing the utter lack of awareness: of the damned!!
    Anyway: in the parking lot I’d help Catherine out of the car, lock up, offer her my arm. She’d take it.

    Catherine Kaltner on a stroll
    Catherine on a stroll

    Fine. That was common. But more than once, well more than once, some beautiful young woman would see us: and would light up! like the sky!

    That’s a form of flirtation, isn’t it? to try to make yourself attractive? It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does.

    Apropos, here’s a backfire: it occurred in the supermarket, again, Aldi as a matter of fact. And again dancing gets mentioned: not too surprising, if it’s me, and ideas of attractiveness. I’m shopping. There’s a stunning blond: not too young, certainly not old. I march up to her, I lean close, I say, We dance at the American Legion in Lake Placid, Wednesday, Friday, Sun …”
    She picks it right up. She starts to say something to the effect of “We dance at the Moose, Fridays …”
    But stupid me, I plowed right on: me, me, me. I’d rehearsed in my head an aria; she was ready for a duet. I bulled onto the wrong path.
    Having ignited instantly, she was now cooling, rapidly.
    Oh well, at least I was spared having to explain my girl friend to her. Most important I was spared having to explain this woman to my girlfriend!

  • Just before coming here to launch this module I told of a recent flirtation: in Hyper-Reading. That was neat: I made the much younger nurse want to hug me, and be hugged by me. And she had some pair of knockers on offer to sweeten the deal.

  • As a dancer, a good dancer, I get a lot of practice. Flirting. Often with much younger women.

  • Chat

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    Hyper-Reading

    / Literature /

    Hyper-reading
    2015 08 28 Yesterday I mentioned Pamela Stephenson in my Movie Scrapbook. The context was Mel Brooks’ casting stunning blonds in his History of the World (1981): Miss Florida found him; he (and studio) found Pamela Stephenson: from Auckland, the other side of the world!

    Pamela Stephenson
    Pamela Stephenson, age 61!
    thanx dailyexpress

    And I’m sure glad he did, as I will get to in a moment. The context now is how as an old man I respond to old women. Image-Google Pamela Stephenson and delectate on pictures of this N’Zedder past age sixty! What a dance partner! Meantime appreciate the comedy she’s long gotten from her high wattage blond face, and her well-cast boobs. We’re up to here with embarrassing images of Miley Cyrus and her skinny chest, her humiliating butt; now here’s pics of an electric adult!

    When I was a kid my sister and I were sent off to church on Sunday mornings. Not only could our father thereby sleep through more of his hangover but our parents could rely on the church, Presbyterian writ o’er the door but really just another Pauline, Protestant clone. It was always the same story, the same King James cadences, the same Pauline cast. Repetition made it reverent. Kids don’t know half the words, but it’s not text to make sense; it’s text to ritualize: to hypnotize. By high school I learned to look up words I didn’t know: I don’t mean just recognize, I don’t mean just sort-of-get, I mean be-able-to-define! So, I kept a list: words to look up, when a dictionary was handy: things to research when the encyclopedia was near by. In the 1980s, while I was writing my novels, soon so broke I was living in my car, my son was off to Haverford College, his life entirely planned by his mother and financed by his mother and his grandmother, me raped out of the picture long before. You see, I’d founded the Free Learning Exchange in 1970, offered the world a local example of a possible internet, invited the world to fund it so I could really do it: before the state spoiled it too. bk got kidnapped so all ideas would come to him not via God or his father but via Fortune500-stifled institutions: colleges, universities: how kleptocrats control the human environment.
    Before his graduation Haverford hired bk to develop their campus psychology network. By the later 1980s bk was envisioning hypertext to me.
    Understand all digital developments were latent in my FLEX: given a budgeted staff who knows what would have developed: the most important detail to recognize is that FLEX was developing independent of personal computers: there was no such thing in 1970. I envisaged mainframe terminals in every neighborhood. FLEX staff familiar with the hardware and software, it all developing under our nose, guided by us, would do the data entry, no need for everyone to be a cyber-engineer. Fine. I never thought bk understood any of that, he was kidnapped to remove him from the deschooler, to force him to fit the Fortune500 universe. So bk knew next to nothing of what I said, but understood near perfectly what Haverford said, where everything was attached to a certificate, state approval, a job, an income … good-enough awareness.
    So, bk, introduced me to cypertext as it was being conceived: click on a word and it would expand. Work on a computer and not only could you read, and write, but also conveniently cross-reference.
    The Fortune500 captives had no idea that the innovators in all these things had been knocked down an gagged, so things could develop free of influence from God, Ivan Illich … pk … This is secular freedom we’ve got here, Buddy.
    I went gaga. That was a detail I had not envisioned. I’d lived among robot cooks and flying cars since 1946, in my mind; but I’d not encountered dictionaries and encyclopedias sleeping within the digital text.

    In sun: it always took me forever to read Shakespeare, longer to reread Shakespeare, because I paused, and thought, and digested, and dreamed, then read on. You can see a play in two hours, maybe three; I could read the same play in a week, or a month …

    So, these days I watched a movie: DVD or stream: and I pause it. I look up the author, the cast. The star reminds me of something I also look up. Suddenly I’ve got the play open, and the dictionary open, and Wikipedia open: and then I open a Google window and specify Images. Ah, and there’s Marilyn Monroe, or Lindsay Lohan, or Pamela Stephenson: then: and now! Or at least past age sixty! Jesus, look at those hips, look at that crotch.
    New Zealand, man. Thanx, Mel Brooks.

    Old Women
    I thrilled a nurse-case-manager a couple of weeks ago. She flirted with me from the moment she arrived, kept telling me how great looking she found me. This gal was very nicely buxom, made sure I felt her boobs against my chest before she left (I’d warned her that she wasn’t getting out without a hug). I showed her pictures of Jan, made sure she understood that though the pictures were a couple of years old Jan still looked like that: at age 84! I assured her that any male who doesn’t prefer the images of Jan to images of this months model just hadn’t matured, had no judgment, should be ignored. I told this nurse how much I loved Jan’s old-woman’s belly: how I put my hand on her belly, move it down her body, move it up her body: I told her how I caress Jan’s old-woman’s belly even more than I caress her breast, or her bottom … her thigh, etc.
    “I’m so glad you told me that,” said this not yet middle aged, or only just barely middle aged woman.

    CyberText Scrapbook

    Just now, typing this, I’m reminded of another hyper-text wonder: if WordPress doesn’t recognize the word (or name) I’ve typed, it puts it in red: automatic spell-checking: and so much better, so much more sophisticated than my first spell checker of 1983 or so. WordPress doesn’t just know the dictionary, it knows the celebrities.

    Scholarship

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    Bak, Per

    / Reading Notes /

    Per Bak, How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality
    2015 05 19

    Crystals and gases and orbiting planets are not complex, but landscapes are.

    History is unpredictable, but not unexplainable.

    Self-organized criticality is a new way of viewing nature. The basic picture is one where nature is perpetually out of balance, but organized in a poised state—the critical state—where anything can happen within well-defined statistical laws. The aim of the science of self-organized criticality is to yield insight into the fundamental question of why nature is complex, not simple, as the laws of physics imply.

    Good science is not necessarily expensive science.

    Things happen by revolutions, not gradually, precisely because dynamical systems are poised at the critical state. Self-organized criticality is nature’s way of making enormous transformations over short time scales. … To predict the event, one would have to measure everything everywhere with absolute accuracy, which is impossible. Then one would have to perform an accurate computation based on this information, which is equally impossible.

    Nature has no obligation to obey our ideas; our intuition could be entirely wrong.

    Recently, Vicsek has constructed a fascinating model for self-organization of a flock of birds. He showed that it was possible for the birds to fly in formation in the same direction without a leader. The individual birds would simply follow their neighbors. The flock migration is a collective effect, as is SOC.

    I once raised this issue among a group, not of geophysicists, but of cosmologists at a high table dinner at the Churchill College in Cambridge. “Why is it that you guys are so conservative in your views, in the face of the almost complete lack of understanding of what is going on in your field?” I asked. The answer was as simple as it was surprising. “If we don’t accept some common picture of the universe, however unsupported by the facts, there would be nothing to bind us together as a scientific community. Since it is unlikely that any picture that we use will be falsified in our lifetime, one theory is as good as any other.” The explanation was social, not scientific.

    You don’t get rich from doing physics, but you do get an opportunity to go to all the places the rich would go to if they had the time.

    Thus, the three models are mathematically identical; if you have studied one, you have studied them all!
    So if any of my readers should happen to have ideas of their own, don’t be shy. Go full speed ahead, and don’t let any professional scientist intimidate you.
    It seems that the human brain has not developed a language to deal with complex phenomena.
    we tend to experience phenomena as periodic even if they are not, for example, at gambling casinos and in earthquakes and volcanos.

    Complexity is a consequence of criticality.

    I really love this book. I was reminded of it as Jan and I read Tom Wolfe’s history of “Silicone Valley” in Hooking Up. First the engineers work for the exploiters: then the engineers defect, then redefect. I don’t doubt a statistical pattern is being followed, that the statistical pattern is very different from any history we develop with psychological principles: as though we know what we are doing and why.

    I’m in Chap 6, about 2/3 of the way through. It looks like some really incridible stuff is on its way, relating SOC of a range of kinds to the evolution of biological life. Yay!

    Above I quote, “You don’t get rich from doing physics, but you do get an opportunity to go to all the places the rich would go to if they had the time.” Gotta comment: I launched PK Fine Arts, Ltd. with a capital of consigned art, with trust of the artists, but no cash. So: I was a poor man peddling middle brow art in snooty communities. I had no money but I was broke in Palm Beach, on Fisherman’s Waft, in ritzy neighborhoods of Phoenix … I went hungry in luxury.

    Reading Notes A — L By Author M — Z
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    Wolf, Tom

    / Reading Notes /

    Tom Wolfe
    Own Yo Ass
    2015 06 25 I love Tom Wolfe. I’ve loved him since reading my first sentence of The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test in 1970. I then read all of his journalism, and the novels, as they came out, Man in Full still being my favorite. Now I introduce him to Jan: and just these last few weeks find a collection I’d missed: Hooking Up, 2000. Jan had known no Wolfe, now she’s crazy about him. Yesterday on her couch I read her the Hooking Up piece itself, and realized: Wolfe missed something:
    He talks, brilliantly of course, penetratingly of course, of how the rich dress. The Park Avenue doorman is dressed like an Austrian officer from centuries ago, the chaufeur is dressed similarly, but the billionaire’s kid, having the doors held for him, dressed like a homey from Harlem: and the homey from Harlem, or BedSty, dresses like any brother just out of jail. In particular I focus on the cargo pants down around the knees, the kid’s underpants exposed.
    There’s something about this detail, a key, that Wolfe doesn’t mention!
    In jail the exposed shorts has a meaning. That meaning got lost somewhere along the way. It’s a mark of ownership. In jail, yo ass isn’t yours; yo ass is the property of the alpha thug who claims you. The black alpha male signifies ownership of you, his fuck-boy, by yanking your pants down around your knees. Yo ass is now mine: exclusively.
    Like branding sheep.
    Except in this case, for the homeys in Harlem, the sheep are branding themselves! owner unknown! And the billionaire’s son is en suite branding himself.
    So many things have meanings at their outset; typically the meaning is lost by the time it becomes a fad.
    When I was in high school, girls who wanted to proclaim virginity, wore a particular kind of pin. The next thing I knew girls who definitely were not virgins were wearing that pin.
    In the Village one of my gallery owners explained to me that where the fags hooked their key ring had significance: on the left hip meant one thing, the right hip another: Where you hooked up? Available? The keys are the key.

    Wolfe Encore
    Wolfe covers some important topics in this collection: and I’m humiliated that I didn’t already know most of it. Much of it I did know, but not all of it. Shokley I knew: McLuhan, Teillard; no gap humiliates me more than Edward O. Wilson: the more so as in 1968, 1969, 1970 I was reading every word of every article in the NYReview. Apparently Wilson was there around that time. Worst: in 1979 Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature sparked an epiphany in me: but I see Wilson et alia already should have. Apparently I understood good parts of Wilson from his effect on others. Possibly of course I thought of some part of it myself.
    I thought of much through Teillard and Bateson, but I should have already been thinking it through Wilson.
    Read pk on God, religion … you’ll find lots of overlap with Wilson.

    On the Subject:
    Wilson on religion:
    Men would rather believe than know. (as phrased by Michael McGoodwin)
    Three major religions of today: Marxism, traditional religion, and scientific materialism.

    Reading Notes A — L By Author M — Z
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    Jared Diamond’s Kleptocracy

    Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
    @ K. 1999

    Lawrence of Arabia:

    How come Britain is so powerful?

    That’s what Col. Harry Brighton is asking in Prince Feisal’s tent.

    Guns! says Prince Feisal.
    Discipline! says the frustrated Col. Brighton.
    Guns! agrees T. E. Lawrence.

    Guns! is agreeing the great David Lean movie.

    Guns, Germs, & Steel, argues Jared Diamond.

    (Diamond seems to have coined the term kleptocracy. I picked it up immediately, thereby picking up a couple of first class readers as well!)
    The situation was WWI. The movie was 1962. Diamond’s book is 1998. (This module is 1999, and I’m revising it this 2004 11 29 (and resurrecting it this 2015 08 25).) (This file continues to divy up material from Knatz.coms’ original kleptocracy module.)

    God bless Jared Diamond. For years, decades, I’ve been unhappily using the word civilization to mean the juggernaut of environmental degradation, theft of the commons, and factitious hierarchical force for the sake of surplus food and damaging population levels. I’ve had to salt notes here and there to emphasize that by civilization I do not mean music, art, literature, manners … Those latter are tens of thousands of years old at the least. Citifying the biosphere is only six thousand years old at the most. For tens of millennia modern man had had culture organized in bands, occasionally in tribes. Agriculture was discovered around ten and a half thousand years ago. By six thousand years ago, the farmers had monopolized and degraded enough land for it to be becoming a problem. Chiefdoms formed and finally states. See my Tower of Babel.

    Guns, Germs, & Steel
    thanx newschoolhistory

    So how do you tell a kleptocrat from an ordinary scoundrel?

    How shall I your true love know
    From another one?
    By his cockle hat and staff.
    And his sandal shoon.

    traditional

    By their exemption from ordinary standards of accountability. The government, any government, makes a treaty. The government breaks the treaty. Does everyone pronounce the government a liar, a breaker of trust? No. Or it doesn’t matter if they do. The next day, month, year, decade, the government is making new treaties. Day after day after day of Watergate the Nixon White House was caught telling the public more lies. Did the press, the public re-gather at the White House to remove and punish the frauds? No, they reassembled, hats in hand, to hear the next day’s lies.

    All governments are kleptocracies, but by the standards offered here many other institutions are also kleptocracies. The Church claims that God created the universe, that he owns it, that everything is his property, that he can give it, take it away, and re-give it at his pleasure. The Church further claims that it, the church, represents this God. No evidence. At least no evidence that wouldn’t be laughed out of any rational assembly. OK, let’s hypothetically accept the Church’s statements: there is just the one God, or at least he’s the boss god, he owns everything, and he told the story in a book, the Bible, there’s only one Bible and the Church has it. They understand it and can explain it to you. But then, with Greek being relearned, the possibility of reading the Septuagint, of criticizing the Vulgate emerged. What did the Church do? They tried to repress the knowledge. They made it a capital offense to learn Greek. And they, kleptocrats true, went on making claims that, if those claims hadn’t been deliberate lies before the discovery, they were certainly deliberate lies afterwards.

    And it’s not just the Church. Doctors are the second leading cause of death, but are they accountable? No. If fact their kleptocrat allies do everything in their considerable power to force you to endanger yourself at their expensive hands. Your law suit goes kablouie if, having been injured by one doctor, you don’t endanger yourself further by going to another, and another … until you find one who’ll testify against the first. (Good luck.) The evidence of your injury isn’t evidence until it’s been blessed by another killer. (And meantime, you’re now also in the hands of the lawyers!)

    Time and again school teachers are caught teaching falsehoods. Time and again evidence surfaces that the best teachers are fired while the worse get tenure.

    The Church had said that God made the universe so that everything revolved around the central earth. The Bible didn’t say so: the Church just granted itself the privilege of making up God’s mind for him. Galileo built a telescope and first thing found satellites revolving around Jupiter. Ergo, at least one thing that the Church said was false. Ah, but they were kleptocrats! Kleptocrats are not accountable to the evidence of experience. The truth is whatever they say it is. Thus Galileo’s evidence was overruled by the authority of myth. (Where the banner didn’t read “The Bible” then it read “Aristotle”: that is, the managed Aristotle: a dead man’s written word, with the dead man not available to correct his “experts.”)

    All right. The hell with history. The hell with the Caesars and the Church and with Stalin. The hell with Hitler and Nixon. Just think: what lies have you been told since Watergate? Even if you don’t go as far as I do and see for example American democracy, free trade, freedom of speech, assembly, etc. as just another set of myths, utterly unsupported by rationally reviewed evidence, and perpetrated on you by the current crop of kleptocrats so that they can have their hands in your pockets, their hands in your marriage, on your life, on your children (in fact, how can you say they’re your children when the Church takes them x number of hours and the school y number of hours, and the court, the cop, the social worker can walk in and take them from you on any pretext) … still consider what lies and interferences you do see.

    What do you do? Vote for one who promises more goodies and less interference? Did you happen to notice how many government palaces Ronald Reagan built for himself once you’d elected him on the basis on his rhetorical anarchism? I’d like to see a study of the following: chart candidates who promise more of something, monitor their term. How many actually gave more of the whatever; how many less? Do the same for those who promise less. People voted for Nixon to kill the commies. What did he do? He made treaties, nice treaties, with China. Where was the hook?
    If there ever really were a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, what people would be so stupid as not to install a recall system? There was recent news of a politician who ran for election on a platform of mandatory retirement under some condition: age, number of terms … Elected, he reached that position and announced that he’d changed his mind: he’d stay in office. If his office really were our office which we appointed him to occupy, why didn’t we change the locks on the door, bar him from the hall, clean out his locker and put the stuff on the street? Why didn’t we sue him to pay for a new election?
    (Of course there is a recall system, a mythic one. The kleptocrats are supposed to police themselves. And even the extent to which it is real and has even actually surfaced on some occasions, is still mythic so long as the media, like the lawyers, the doctors, the churches … are fellow kleptocrats in league with the political kleptocrats.)

    Kleptocracy is an Abbott and Costello routine. The kleptocrat is Abbott and we’re Costello: screwed, swindled daily. And he still says he’s our best friend. (And we say so too: if Costello didn’t have Abbott to swindle him, what would he have? He’d be, heaven forfend, alone.)

    To close this insert, I’ll say one last thing: Jesus talked about the truth. Pontius Pilate talked about the truth. The Church talks about the truth. Governments talk about … the people. Revolutionaries talk about the people. Sociopaths talk about the people. In one “Introduction” at Macroinformation I argue that the truth is another Christian universal that doesn’t exist. This statement may correspond to experience and that statement not, but there is no Platonic Form: The Truth. Similarly, here I say that there is not and never has been such a thing as The People. There’s you and me and him and her … I never signed any social contract. Did you? Isn’t it the case instead that a bunch of lawyers got together and palmed another illusion onto us? When I have suggested ways that we could form a union, a real one, honest … nothing happened. The kleptocrats had us too busy with their illusions. There is no people; just upwards of five billion dupes of kleptocracy.

    Diamond calls the latter two types of organization kleptocracy and henceforth I shall too. The points I’ve been making for decades Diamond seems to take for granted. I emphasize them not because I believe kleptocratic citizens will recognize themselves in the mirror and reform, but because I want it to be clear … once the animals are gone, all is domesticated and all domesticates require hospitalization, once the remaining oil is unreachable, the waters all poisoned … while only the richest kleptocrats can afford gas masks to breathe the air … when all of the soldiers and police turn on all of the tax payers … when the taxpayers lay in wait for the police and each other, baseball bat or golf club in hand (no right-caliber bullets to be had), for — finally — a little fresh meat … as clear as it can be to crazed cannibals, that it was unnecessary, that we (necessarily many fewer of us) could have chosen sanity, restraint, nature … and lived much better, much longer.

    Our long slide turning to a short slide will have been unnecessary: provided that is that sentience is potentially anything but a genetic defect.

    Goya, Saturn
    Goya, Saturn Devouring His Children
    thanx picify

    Meantime, I continue my characterization of, bless you Diamond, kleptocracy.
    Mankind has long been specialized. We certainly didn’t invent specialization. It’s the females who produce the eggs, the males the sperm; it’s the males who have upper body mass and leverage, the females who are lower to the ground, have better balance … All humans beings defend their territory, but the males define territory in acres, the females in cubic yards … (Once behind the wheel, we must all become females.) Culture emphasizes these specialties, sometimes factitiously: the females gather food encumbered by baby or gather close to where the baby is cached; the male searches further afield … Experience is honored in either gender. The organization of the group is casual. Puberty is a hallmark, but children are still people, not chattel as states’ laws have it.

    Things change qualitatively as well as quantitatively once the numbers of humans exceed a few hundred. Organization becomes hierarchical. Now the adult is not “more experienced” than the child but “better” than the child (until it backfires and the child becomes “innocent”). The male is better than the female (until that backfires and the female is sanctified). The chief is better than the ordinary male. …

    The hunter pretends to be a duck or a moose or a bush. The bush which is one hunter doesn’t want to be shot by the bush which is another hunter, so communications develop in which identification is almost as important as misidentification. Hamlet opens with the line “Who’s there?” What’s the probability that the answer will be a lie? Well, in your own castle, the probability for the truth is very high: friend (Francisco and Bernardo are changing the guard.) [note] But if Bernardo is actually a Nazi trying out his Brooklyn accent, your cave, home, castle, corporation may soon belong to his Nazis. (If your home is a castle or corporation, then you too are a kleptocrat. (Hamlet certainly was.) You probably have a deed saying that the castle is yours. The deed may be signed by the king who’s supposed to have a deed signed by God. Don’t worry: Francisco’s Nazis will soon have their own deed signed by their king. You won’t get to see where God signed their king’s deed either, but you can bet they’ll claim that the divine signature they don’t have is more authentic than any that you don’t have ever was.

    Kleptocracy functions hierarchically. Kleptocracy creates its cosmology in its own image. There’s a boss, an owner, a law giver. These laws are not confirmable in nature, mind you. You can’t verify them in experience outside the group believing in or pretending to believe in the laws. Thou shalt not kill. ?!? How are you going to confirm that one? Come to think of it, you can’t confirm its “truth” even within the group that declares it sacred. don’t eat pork. Eat with your right hand, hold your dick with your left hand. In fact, the more laws a kleptocracy has, the less can they be confirmed even within the group with the laws. 55 mph speed limit? The President shall uphold the Constitution?

    OK. Most of these points have already long been here in one place or another, one form or another. There’s something else already strongly (at the least) implicit at this Knatz.com that I want side by side with the above recapitulation: if you want an accurate map of a kleptocratic territory, don’t just swallow the kleptocrat’s map; reverse engineer the kleptocratic map against the territory itself. Apply evolutionary theory. Apply the tools of reason. I don’t mean the reason spoken of by Pope, Paine, Jefferson … I mean the reason theorized by Karl Popper and tested by Peter C. Wason.

    I dislike the word engineering the way I was dissatisfied with my knowing no word but “civilization,” and I’ve been likewise dissatisfied with my attempts at a new coinage. But I have to say engineering twice. If you want to know how to fix what’s wrong, quality engineer it.

    Reverse-engineering tries to figure out what something’s actual, not advertised, use is. Quality engineering bypasses the kleptocratic hierarchy. In quality engineering the consumer’s opinion counts as much as the CEO’s, the lineworker’s as much as the foreman’s.

    Notes

    Friend or Foe:
    I am indebted to Gore Vidal for the following bit of kleptocratic disability. Vidal was talking to a young Egyptian man who with his friends numbered among Egypt’s military reserve. The friends were assigned to what should have been a cushy weekend guarding some nothing out in the desert. Halfway there, one of them confesses to having forgotten the beer and sandwiches, the falafel and yogurt, the whatever … He’ll go back and join them later. They’re relaxing against their sandbags when they hear him arrive.

    Hi, guys, it’s me. What’s the password? Um, er … I forgot it. Gimme a hint.

    So what happened, Vidal inquires.
    We had to shoot him.

    Could any creature possibly be that stupid without having gone to school for it? Would any band or tribe member defer to a federated directive rather than to their friend?

    After a bout of O’Brien’s torture, George Orwell’s Winston Smith no longer knows how many fingers O’Brien is holding up. That’s just the way Big Brother wants it.

    When 1984 was being popularly read in the 1950’s, I suppose the book sellers expected us to see Stalin. I did. Now I see just any kleptocrat: American, Egyptian …

    (By the way, when I taught 1984 in a course I’d developed at the request of The New School for Social Research (1972), I thought I should have gotten a better laugh when I announced it to be the only “dated” book we’d read that semester.)

    I am developing a reading of Hamlet’s opening lines at Macroinformation.

    2004 08 28 I’ve just been poking around in some memorabilia from my father’s estate. Lo and behold I find that he saved the flier for that course!

    I’ll decipher the central message here:

    Ezra Pound has said that artists are the antennae of the race. Erich Fromm has said that prophets do not predict the future: they see the present in a state of pregnancy. This course will consider the prophetic nature of a number of novels written in the 20th century. Among the writers who will be studied are H.G. Wells, Conrad, Orwell, Hemingway, Faulkner, Beckett, Anthony Burgess, and James Dickey. Paul Knatz taught English, including Poetry of the Later Renaissance, at Colby College. Founder and Coordinator of the Free Learning Exchange, a not-for-profit educational service for NYC. Engaged in writing a book, Paradox as Structure and Meaning in Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

    First Class Readers
    2015 08 25 I mounted this in 1999. Shortly thereafter I heard from billymac. He told me that Jared Diamond was his favorite scientist. Shortly thereafter I got a revision: Jared Diamond had dropped to second place; pk was his favorite scientist!

    Kleptocracy

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    Daily Refreshment of Crime

    Old Kleptocracy versus New

    Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
    @ K. 2008 06 04

    Old Crimes versus Fresh Blood

    My landlord says that “This country was founded on the principle that the sons are not liable for the sins of the fathers. I don’t care if my grandfather butchered Indians or kept slaves: I’m not responsible for my grandfather.”

    To those who agree I nevertheless have a few questions to ask and a few more things to say:

    If Joseph steals Esau’s blessing, I agree that Joseph’s unborn children are not responsible for the theft. If Joseph’s children get born and assist Joseph and their siblings in enterprises fertilized by Joseph’s boosted blessing, then they too become actively guilty.

    Now, for many generations, Jews, and Christians too, have argued that God didn’t want Esau to have Isaac’s blessing: that the stolen blessing was God’s Plan: and therefore, since God is perfect, and Himself incapable of Sin — By Definition — then Joseph’s and Rebeka’s deception was no deception, but correct, right, lawful, virtuous …

    Fine. I’ll pretend to agree even with that garbage for a moment: in order to ask this further question: if “Isaac’s blessing” is really a synecdoche for “God’s Blessing,” isn’t it really up to God whether or not the blessing gets bestowed? Or are all these Covenants and Blessings like a gun? the stolen gun can still shoot and kill, the bullet will be propelled regardless of who owns the gun in theory. Or: are all these Covenants and Blessings like an endorsed check? The bank is supposed to have to cash it no matter who you are, even if the teller sees blood on your hands.

    If you develop a new breed of rose, and I steal it, the rose’s future genes are in my hands, not yours.

    But what if God’s Blessing is in God’s hands, and cannot be stolen: wherever its tokens get strewn? Then God can bless Esau, if he chooses: it doesn’t matter what some blind old fool did or didn’t do. Or is God compelled to bless Joseph, even if God hates Joseph?

    What the hell, never mind. Who cares about God these days? (I do: because of his usefulness in what I tried, and probably failed, to show you: God was invented as a trick deck so the magicians could palm “truth” and substitute “God” without the marks noticing: but we’re used to it: and I continue it: trying to re-substitute truth). If the murderer knows about fingerprints, and knows that the cops also know about fingerprints, and wipes his fingerprints from the gun, does that make him innocent? It does if “innocent” is defined as “no fingerprints.” But what about some other kind of prints? prints that neither the cops nor the murderer, nor we, know about? what if the murderer left “soul prints”?

    If innocence is defined as “no fingerprints,” and the murderer wipes his fingerprints from the gun, by a bystander, perhaps with a camera-cellphone, videotaped the murder, does the court have to let the murderer go? I think so: provided they thereafter rethink their stupid law. If the law is not capable of modeling reality, then what right do upholders of such laws have to survive?

    Does the truth count? If Congress votes that arsenic is healthful and not toxic and Must be consumed, does that in itself make it non-toxic? Or has Congress committed suicide / murder?

    Initially humans didn’t make roads from wilderness; humans, like most animals, would have used existing animal paths. If a rat used a mouse path, the rat will widen the mouse path. If a pig uses the rat path, the pig will further widen it. … More animals keep beating down the soil, trampling seedlings, making grasses lie flat … Finally, men pave it: then repair the paving.

    In this country we paved roads at a pace that would have shamed the Romans. We did create roads from wilderness without the history of mice and pigs for each such road. We bulldoze jungle, and bring on the pavement. In this enterprise slaves were once used. When outright slavery became politically taboo, we continued to enslave by arresting “wogs” and condemning them to labor on the roads. Some of those arrested may have actually done things that even I would disapprove of: armed robbery, rape, murder for the sake of robbery … but the arrests are motivated by a need for cheap labor more than any thirst for justice. Thus the “nigger,” the “chink,” get framed: for the sake of enslaving them: to build roads, to enlist in the standing army … to get out of the way so the white boy can have the high paying job …

    I didn’t kill the Indian. I didn’t break the treaty. I didn’t drive the slave. I didn’t frame the road-slave. But if I drive on that section of road, I participate in the kleptocracy, freshening the crime.

    Interstate commerce depends on the motorist from Vermont knowing nothing about how the roads in South Carolina were built, or about where Georgia judges set their speed traps, as the Vermonter drives to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, or to Miami to sell syrup to Cuba.

    George Washington promised this and that to the Mohawk, then stole that and most of the rest. My landlord is right that you and I are not George Washington. (We didn’t steal land from the squatters either, as George Washington did.) But the US didn’t stop stealing from the Indians in 1776. The US didn’t stop stealing from the Indians in 1864. The US was still actively stealing from Indians well on into the Twentieth Century: and may still be for all I know. (See Wasi’Chu (out of print, but some library will have it).)

    Here’s a question: does sin have to be deliberate to be sinful?

    Our culture has tried valiantly to turn the answer from the Yes, common to primitive peoples to the No, concocted by kleptocrats. The primitive tribe holds it taboo to see your mother-in-law’s breasts. You live in a tribe where all the women go bare breasted. You have the run of the place, your mother-in-law has the run of the place. You have to tip toe around half-insane with worry that you’ll see your mother-in-law, and that seeing your mother-in-law, you’ll thereby see her breasts. It doesn’t matter. Tribal taboo is not designed for our comfort. You wear blinders, there’s an earthquake, you and your mother-in-law fall into the same yawning crack in the earth. You land on top of her, your face between your mother-in-law’s breasts: like Michael Douglas with his face in Kathleen Turner’s pussy at the bottom of the mud slide. It won’t do to say it wasn’t deliberate:

    Did you see your mother-in-law’s breasts?
    Yes.
    Guilty!

    Modern courts spawn modern lawyers to quibble, dice definitions … all to change that Yes to a NO, we are Not Guilty: no matter the evidence, no matter the facts, no matter the truth. It doesn’t matter what God says, we can out-vote him! We didn’t know Congress was stealing more from the Indians: therefore; Congress is guilty, not me. (Never mind that I voted for the bastards.)

    In 1970 I founded the Free Learning Exchange, Inc, in New York City. I offered to make a cybernetic data base into which any person could volunteer any expertise they claimed to have. Holders of resources such as bookstores or stationary shops could also register their existence, their location, their hours, their terms (cash, credit, barter: whatever their terms are). Others could volunteer their interest in some subject so that peer groups would have the information needed to self-form. I further offered to publicly track feedback about those resources: so that a teacher of English could comment on any other person listed as a teacher of English. So could the student comment on any teacher (or any teacher on any student).

    (Note: FLEX had no right to any information not volunteered to it. If you don’t register, you’re not in the data base. But: once in the database, voluntarily, then you are fair game for any other database user. Misinformation is inevitable: lies, envy. The antidote for misinformation, if there is an antidote, the only possible antidote, is more information. If Einstein registers as a physicist, and Plank uses the database to insult Einstein, then other users of the database can contradict Plank: they cannot censor Plank’s insult.)

    The design, as I advertised then and continue to advertise today, was from Ivan Illich. You can see it outlined in Chapter Six of his Deschooling Society, 1970. Simultaneously I campaigned against compulsory schooling and against state-issued and state-backed certificates. Simultaneously, still following Illich, I campaigned against the habit, rife in modern kleptocracies of allowing the certificate to substitute for competence: if the physicist is competent, don’t ask for his diploma, demand that he demonstrate some mastery of physics. Don’t let the typing school diploma be switched for the ability to type.

    Not quite simultaneously but soon, by 1971 and 1972, I was corresponding with interested parties and institutions around the world, arguing that each network should be local, as Illich had said, but that the networks should interconnect, be able to share and pass on information where appropriate. I was also saying in those correspondences, and on my soapbox on street corners, that the initial purpose of FLEX was to do every healthful and legitimate (I don’t mean merely “legal”) thing that schools do (and do it for a fraction of the cost (but (in contrast) do it with freedom)). By 1971 and 1972 I was pointing out that the structure not only served all possible learning needs, and not just freedom (including independence from government), but that that same structure could serve to become the cybernetic marketplace of the future. If my data base could list math teachers, and list math books, and list folk who wanted to do or discuss math in company, then my data base could also list tennis champions, and tennis duffers, and people who where looking for a tennis partner, or a tennis opponent …

    Such a data base offers a complete free market, free of church, free of government: no royalties due to either.

    The term “internet” didn’t then exist. The internet that we know today was developed, bits here and bits there, by the US, attached to MIT, to SRI … and by CERN: all without talking to me (or for all I know to Illich). The institutions just mentioned all depend on government; Illich’s learning networks and my “internet” — just a step, but an important step past Illich — were conceived to get us out from under government’s thumb (freeing people: so they can pursue their “salvation” (or their “damnation”) on their own).

    Illich was a priest: not just a priest, a conspicuous disciple of “Jesus” (whether or not Jesus of Nazareth is fact or fiction): just as I OBVIOUSLY am.

    But the government and the culture institutions ganged up against us. FLEX gained one article, then another, then a spurt … then fewer, then none. This did Not accurately portray public interest. Illich’s books disappeared: this did NOT accurately portray public interest. Our markets are manipulated. By magicians. Not in your, or my interest, or Jesus’.

    My internet was offered in 1970. (Three years of fund raising by more than a dozen volunteers did not earn enough money for six months rent. (Enough money for five months rent did come, but from one source, in two donations.) WorldWideWeb was written in 1988. TIME dragged me into their offices in 1972, then shushed me out a back door.

    That the public doesn’t know the truth, initially, is not the public’s fault. But that the public Still doesn’t know the truth IS the public’s fault! I’ve been telling the truth all my life: but your institutions gang up on me.

    My own family gangs up on me. My son resolutely refuses to see the facts, joining the institutions: where all the money is.

    My son adds fresh crimes to old kleptocracy daily, fresh blood. Jesus’ blood, Illich’s blood, my blood. Your blood!

    You are drinking not just God’s blood (it matters not that there is no capital letter G god). You are drinking My blood. And you are drinking your own blood.

    Maybe there is no hell. Surely there is no eternity: just time, and more time, and time without end. (Don’t trust Hawking on this one.) Surely nothing as simple as Sinners Burning in Hell exists. It looks like there were plenty of Jesuses, but never any Jesus of Nazareth. Facts may be impossible to establish, especially among kleptocrats. But it cannot be the case that nothing is true.

    I emphatically disbelieve in magic. I disbelieve in Covenants and effective Blessings. I believe in the psychological effectiveness of prayer without believing that a God has anything to do with it. But I emphatically believe that the truth has everything to do with everything.

    A dishonest species will not thrive forever. (When the oil runs out it may not thrive for long at all.) If a more honest intelligence evolves humans won’t stand a chance in any open competition. Macbeth can out-cheat Duncan’s heirs in this or that battle, but not in all battles.

    Lawful, Virtuous
    2015 97 24 Isn’t it a riot? What business do you or I or the Church Fathers have discussing what is or isn’t a sin while also claiming to believe in God? If God exists then sin, facts … are up to him: it doesn’t matter what we say, think, imagine.

    Kleptocracy

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    Crime as Fuzz

    Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Kleptocracy /
    @K c. early 2000s

    I launch this module with time to do only two brief things:

    1. First I quote Michael Crichton:

      … some authorities argue that only 3 to 5 percent of all crimes are reported; and of reported crimes, only 15 to 20 percent are ever solved in the usual sense of the word.

      Michael Crichton
      The Great Train Robbery
      Introduction

      Notice that the figures are, necessarily, estimates, not facts. but they make eminent sense. My bet, could we know the truth, is that they’re close. I back uncertainty.

    2. To make things even less certain, I ask us to consider how local, clannish, state-interfered-with our notions of crime are. Most humans from most times and places would agree that murder is a crime, no? or cannibalism. Consider in contrast other human activities that people were doing without any interference until suddenly some legislature declares it a crime: the British rulers of India declared that making salt was a crime for Indians: they wanted the Indians to have to buy salt from some British monopoly. The Mohawk fishes in his home lake, then George Washington tells him that the lake is his, Washington’s personal property, and he must not trespass. The Russian lad has a glass of vodka in Moscow; if he tries the same trick in New York he can be arrested.

    So: do Crichton’s figures include someone smoking pot? I suspect not. I suspect he means purse snatching, rape, muggings … Regardless, I must do a Macroinformation piece exploiting those differences. All cultural differences across time have macroinformational potential.

    Kleptocracy

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