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American PBS Independence Under Attack - Bill Moyers
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Shocked


The empire never ended.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

What, now I have to work for my conceptual jokes?
:¬)

Was it a joke Question really Wink

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:

What, now I have to work for my conceptual jokes?
:¬)

Was it a joke Question really Wink


Well, it was a joking way reminding people of something very serious. Media has a huge influence not only on *how* we see the news but also on *what* news is and indeed what is important or real.

I have never been to Iraq, I can´t be sure Iraq even realy exists just like I can´t be sure global warming exists yet I still have a opinion on wether or not Iraq should be bombed, then forced to pay for this itself in oil.

Sure; you learn in school that Iraq exists and you can see on the television what´s currently happening there, but for centuries Egyptian school childeren learned about Ra and how Ra related to the current events (particularly to those fellows with the goaties and snakes on their headband).

Currently believing Ra exists and/or not believing Iraq exists will get you treated as insane by your peers, not because they have sound proof that Ra doesn´t or because they will have visited Iraq but because you would believe something different from the general cultural consensus. This is perhaps more important to the modern individual then "truth" and unlike "truth", cultural consensus is completely maleable through mass media.

If this consensus apears less important then the "real truth" to you, imagine being a youth in ancient Egypt and having our modern knowledge about the Sun being a great big gasseous nuclear reactor and faraoh´s being just normal men. Imagine how much good this knowledge would do you.

We are no less dependant on our "priests" and we are no less religious then the individuals in ancient times. Perhaps as a overall culture we have more hard knowledge but the individual can´t verify that to be true and so he´s dependant on the modern priests as much as early pagans were.

I think it´s interesting to look at media in this way.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The next thing you know, someone is going to claim the world is round!
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Do you believe Iraq exists as a country?

Kassen! Have you been reading daddy's Baudrillard books again?!

http://www.dmc.mq.edu.au/mwark/warchive/cv/columns/cv-oz-baudrillard.html
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Erm, no. I´ve been reading stuff like the Nag Hamadhi codices, the work of Philip K. Dick, KULT (by Metropolis games) and the Iluminatus triology by Wilson and Shea.

I recomend all of those but have to warn that any one of them is perfectly capable of royally messing you up and turning your brain inside out, then leave you wearing only a bunny suit (and a vampire cape) in front of your local church.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Erm, no. I´ve been reading stuff like the Nag Hamadhi codices, the work of Philip K. Dick, KULT (by Metropolis games) and the Iluminatus triology by Wilson and Shea.


Shocked

Right.. Baudrillard... who is that guy.. Kassen is talking serious stuff here Cool

Seriously... a nice mix..

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wish I had my own copy of the KULT book. That book changed the way I looked at life, religion. sanity and cities. Admittedly I started reading it under the influence of what just has to be the worst possible chemicals to take while reading this. Well, or the best.

I heard it´s getting rereleased.

Electro, did you ever try "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski? It´s another nice one on the world and perception, on a more personal scale then the others, but it has a nasty bite.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Let me get back on topic here. I don´t want to hyjack this thread with fringe literature; what I´m concerned with is the relative "realness" of various things. How many hours do "we" spend looking at man-made images instead our surroundings? How many of those hours were made by men (m/f) who want to affect how we look at our surroundings?

I´m aproaching this from the vision of the Judeo/Chrstian branch of Gnostisim. This religion, who´s followers lived roughly from 100 BC untill they were all but exterminated by the Katholic church around 300 AD (with the notable exception of some manuscripts in egypt) believes reality to be a illusion, created by a malevolent God in order to trap humanity. It´s followers beleive(d) their task in life to be to gather knowledge (or Gnosis) that would enable them to escape this prison, regaining their omnecience and omnipotence. Both PKD and KULT borrow liberally from this. I think this religion is a powerfull analogy for the modern, media-ruled world where many people get most of their information from sources that want to affect their vision of reality in order to controll their behaviour (particularly their spending behaviour but in the modern west economy and politics have become too intertwined to see as completely seperate).

It would for example be interesting to compare the Katholic church´s structural burning and banning of Gnostic writing with the recent FBI raids on the Indymedia servers. Of cource I wouldn´t want to convert anyone to Gnosticism (much less uncritically read inymedia!) but the analogy is amusing at least.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ponk wrote:
Kassen wrote:
Do you believe Iraq exists as a country?

Kassen! Have you been reading daddy's Baudrillard books again?!

http://www.dmc.mq.edu.au/mwark/warchive/cv/columns/cv-oz-baudrillard.html

Quote:
what took place was not a war at all, but something else -- the spectacle of a massacre. Or that the 'place' that the war 'took' for those of us who watched it on TV was an imaginary place, an orientalist fantasy of mad Arabs and imperial splendour. The war took the space of our televisual imaginations.

I love it Cool

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Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex - Frank Zappa
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
..the worst possible chemicals...I heard it´s getting rereleased.

a new release of chemicals Question Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And off topic we go...

That Baudrillard guy has some interesting ideas. Not that I'd have actually read any book by him... Embarassed I've read books recently where people quote and criticize him. It seems that he is kinda important figure within media studies and (post modern?) sosiology, even though no one seems to take him quite seriously.

His main point is that this (post?) modern world of ours isn't anymore about anything but signs that point only to other signs. And so there isn't any "reality" to be grasped anymore. I disagree with a lot of his ideas but he has some really interesting views.

And actually, this is related to the topic of this thread after all, since reading Baudrillard may offer new viewpoints when discussing "independent" or "truthful" media. How can these terms be defined in a world of endless relativity?

Ok, I start to sound pretentious now, better stop...
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

Katholic
PKD
KULT

you Kassen are obsessed by the letter K Shocked why Question btw that's my nickname pirat
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ponk wrote:
And off topic we go...
Ok, I start to sound pretentious now, better stop...

that's because we musicians are very sensitive to background noise that often becomes really more important than the main signal, we tend to amplify it to the point of reversing the state of "Judeo/Chrstian Gnostisim" into a pantheon of meaningless gods chitchatting among them.
Do I start to sound pretentious now Question better stop.. Shocked

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:
..the worst possible chemicals...I heard it´s getting rereleased.

a new release of chemicals Question Twisted Evil


I think they are still being made. Of cource now I´d never repeat the experiment and I wouldn´t recomend you to try this but I could PM you....

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

K wrote:
Kassen wrote:

Katholic
PKD
KULT

you Kassen are obsessed by the letter K Shocked why Question btw that's my nickname pirat


I spelled "Katholic" the Dutch way, is is "Catholic" in English? fine with me.
The game, b.t.w. is actually called "KULT", preferably in blood red letters, that´s not a typo. The offical page is here; http://users.aol.com/lictor/Metropolis.html but seems to be down.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ponk, I realy don´t think we are going off topic. We are looking at how we look at things, publishing views about publishing; a certain amount of postmodernity is unavoidable. I don´t beleive that as long as we are honestly sharing how we feel about these matters that´s pretentious at all.

After all; if that´s pretentious then it quickly becomes impossible to debate these matters at all and I think we need to debate them or we become victims and pawns. I stronly feel that anybody in the modern world needs to be aware of these factors. We need to be aware what factors beyond our own needs are influencing our choices. Do you realy want a Ipod or a pair of pre-faded jeans or do you subconciously want to be like the -fake- people you saw on T.V.?

I think Seraph is right in pointing out we are musicians; this does make us relate to these matters differently. Not only are we on the receiving end of this stuff; we are also sending out our own messages and we need to examine how those sides relate.

I was just thinking that Gnostisim might be a worthwhile angle on electronic music. In a way we -electronic musicians- are like the Gnostic God (called "demiurge") in that we are creating a fake world, hoping to trap our listeners in it. We are conjuring imaginary instruments out of thin air and are trying to make people feel things because of them, trying to make the illusion so seductive people will prefer it over reality. Perhaps a good subject for a little article.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
..."Judeo/Chrstian Gnostisim" into a pantheon of meaningless gods chitchatting among them.
Do I start to sound pretentious now Question better stop.. Shocked


no no... don´t stop..

add "Katholic" and you have the "divine invasion" by PKD. Brilliant book.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
....(called "demiurge") in that we are creating a fake world, hoping to trap our listeners in it. We are conjuring imaginary instruments out of thin air and are trying to make people feel things because of them, trying to make the illusion so seductive people will prefer it over reality. Perhaps a good subject for a little article.


Oh shit.. Shocked This IS the "Divine Invasion" by PKD.. and I should mention God willlingly trapped himself in a childlike state in order to re-evaluate Satan and the fabric of reality...

Shocked

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Oh shit.. Shocked This IS the "Divine Invasion" by PKD.. and I should mention God willlingly trapped himself in a childlike state in order to re-evaluate Satan and the fabric of reality...

Shocked


Yes, PKD is often very close to Gnostic scripture and in a more intelligent, interesting way then more popular interpertations such as The Matrix or even Stigmata (which quotes the Nag Hamadhi codeces to the letter and *is* quite close in it´s protrayal of the Catholic (ok now, K?) church´s reaction.

Of cource the Demiurge acted out of jelousy of it´s mother, Sophia, in it´s attempt to create and though many more clasically inclined music-lovers will cheerfully portray us as being quite similar I don´t think the analogy streches quite that far. After all; many of our members are quite proficient with acoustical instruments too.

There are some wonderfull sites where you can read translations of the original documents which is very worthwhile for any serious PKD fan. you could start here. http://www.gnosis.org/library.html. Back when I still used Real Audio I once enjoyed this; http://gnosis.org/990430.htm, it´s a serious lecture about the value of Dick´s writing to the modern Gnostic. There are actually some modern day Gnostics, mainly on the U.S. west coast, I suppose the discovery of the original writings came at a rather fertile time in the culture there and they were adopted. I could see this movement growing since I think that in general in the moder Christian church there is a desire for a more personal experience of this faith but I suppose that the jump to seeing God as malevolent is a bit large for many.

I don´t have any personal judgements of value as to the merrits of these faiths, aside from prefering the Gnostic side myself and being somewhat sadened by the lack of hystorical knowledge of some of the more agressive Christians on the street (a certain number of who probably regretted trying to convert me since that not infrequently gets them a lecture on early christian cults complete with bible quotations and so on). I´m presenting it here as a interesting perspecive on modern media and on the work of one of my favourite writers; I respect everybody´s personal faith as long as their faith is no reason for them to harm others.

Freedom of speech realy starts with "freedom of vision" which is how I see this relating to the original topic.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
...being somewhat sadened by the lack of hystorical knowledge of some of the more agressive Christians on the street...

...and of course they are saddend by your ignorance of jesus. this view (of yours) seems to me to be completely at odds with the idea of your "experiment"...you have no historical "knowledge" outside of history that you experienced yourself (and even then, you could have been in a lab being brainwashed with alien technology or simply witnessed a staged event, a hologram, etc). your own "historical knowledge" is no doubt influenced by your (presumably) non christian belief system (and the influence is only on your perception, not on "THE TRUTH"), just as their knowledge is informed by their faith.

although your "experiment" does make a point, it doesn't survive if you take it to the extreme (if i only acted on my direct experience, i would be guarding a piece of ground about the size i can lay down on and be constantly questioning if i was in a "matrix style" tank having my life energy being sucked up). i have some confidence in my own abilities to decipher what is around me, and what other people tell me. of course i am mislead and wrong much of the time, but much less than if i trusted any other source (besides my own discrimination and good judgemet).

Quote:
I respect everybody´s personal faith as long as their faith is no reason for them to harm others.

this seems incomplete (as ones faith might include a duty to preserve oneself and familly against an attacker/opressor/danger). there is also an interesting op ed in the local (boston) paper today (i think i'd get yelled at if i posted the article, so here is the link):

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/05/19/why_islam_is_disrespected/

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
believes reality to be a illusion, created by a malevolent God in order to trap humanity. It´s followers beleive(d) their task in life to be to gather knowledge (or Gnosis) that would enable them to escape this prison, regaining their omnecience and omnipotence. Both PKD and KULT borrow liberally from this. I think this religion is a powerfull analogy for the modern, media-ruled world where many people get most of their information from sources that want to affect their vision of reality in order to controll their behaviour (particularly their spending behaviour but in the modern west economy and politics have become too intertwined to see as completely seperate).


This is a good analogy. We humans live in an illusion of our own design. I don't think it is an evil god that does this, it is just or operational methodology that has evolved. There is nothing to think that we won't evolve further in the future. We live not according to what really happens, but according to our stories about it. When we realize that these are only stories, then we can "escape this prison". The media is the institution at developies culture-wide storied. That's why it's important and influencial.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:

...and of course they are saddend by your ignorance of jesus.


Perhaps so, but I read my bible and I read several historical studies, most recently I re-read a translation of A.N. Wilson´s work call sinply "Jesus" that makes some very interesting points even if it also drops some in my opinion.

You see, after I figured out that the people who were unusually cruel to me in my youth, growing up in a small village (both school teachers and fellow childeren) were invariably Christians (in the modern sense of the word) I started to wonder about this religion which grew into a minor obsession. I was thrown stones at for not going to a Christian school (makes one wonder wether they had actually read Exodus or wether this was a coincidence), then at my state-funded public school I was abused by my Christian teacher.

For a while I truely hated them, later I found many intelligent and kind Christians too and mellowed out a little but the obsession stuck. I´m fairly well at home in the bible, it´s history and some apochypha. The Christians sadned by "my ignorance of of Jesus" are presumably refering to my lack of a personal relation to him(/Him) in the sense that they have but without meaning to brag I think it´s realy a strech to use that word here.

Quote:

this view (of yours) seems to me to be completely at odds with the idea of your "experiment"...you have no historical "knowledge" outside of history that you experienced yourself (and even then, you could have been in a lab being brainwashed with alien technology or simply witnessed a staged event, a hologram, etc). your own "historical knowledge" is no doubt influenced by your (presumably) non christian belief system (and the influence is only on your perception, not on "THE TRUTH"), just as their knowledge is informed by their faith.


I´m not so sure my belief system is non-christian at all. There is much debate about what Christ actually believed and over the centuries what we beleive Christ believed shifted. It actually shifted quite radically in a short time at a few points. Admittedly my beleives do not conform to the currently held ideas of the mainstream churches but it´s highly dubious Jesus could be called "Christian" by modern standards had he lived now.

All of your other notes are of cource quite valid, I just don´t let this hold me back. Facinatingly it apears that Gnostic sects (and cults) can broadly be devided in two main branches based on how they dealt with sexuality. One branch reasoned that as reality was a illusion it would be better to minimise how much one was affected by it and thus they rejected the body and lived a celibate life. The other side reasoned that as reality had no value it didn´t matter how one dealt with it which opened the way to orgies and related behaviour. Facinatingly these sects arrived at completely oposite behaviour from the same starting point. I myself find it works much better if I simply ignore the media and go on my merry way regardless. Far from be paralysed by this lack of attached value I find it brings great freedom.

Quote:

although your "experiment" does make a point, it doesn't survive if you take it to the extreme (if i only acted on my direct experience, i would be guarding a piece of ground about the size i can lay down on and be constantly questioning if i was in a "matrix style" tank having my life energy being sucked up). i have some confidence in my own abilities to decipher what is around me, and what other people tell me. of course i am mislead and wrong much of the time, but much less than if i trusted any other source (besides my own discrimination and good judgemet).


I think it does survive being taken to a extreme, but as I noted above it is at that point very important how you deal with this. I don´t think not being 100% sure there is a supermarket needs to prevent you from doing your groceries. Being critical of the information you get is not the same as discarding it alltogether; I don´t see having confidence in your own abilities and being critical of your input as being at odds at all.

Actually I think that many modern mainstream Christians are also quite critical of the influence of the media on one´s person, particularly advertising which often touches on some Christian sins such as greed and lust.

Quote:
this seems incomplete (as ones faith might include a duty to preserve oneself and familly against an attacker/opressor/danger). there is also an interesting op ed in the local (boston) paper today (i think i'd get yelled at if i posted the article, so here is the link):


Yes, of cource it´s incomplete, but I too would get yelled at if I were complete. I wouldn´t get any musical work done either. Of cource I support the duty and right at self-defence and yes that might well be a part of one´s faith, but it´s also a case where I think the law already covers the matter. I would not support giving people of certain faiths more rights or freedom in the field of self defence but yes they might treat the options they have within the law differently then people of other faiths. I object to "Koran-flushing" (as in your article), just like I object to the Catholic prosecution of the Gnostics and their scripture (even if that last case was possibly legal back then). It´s a tough subject and held together with paradoxes. The old testament for example, is quite speciffic about what needs to be done with people who hold other faiths; they need to be cast out, they need to be stoned and their places of worship need to be destroyed (and so on). Of cource I oppose such actions but in the mean time I also think people should be free to beleive in that book if they want to. Clearly this is at odds. I see no easy solutions but fortunately I don´t need to deal with a religious decree to destroy my fellow man, I merely support our laws in this regard and feel for the people consumed by this paradox.

Do we disagree at all?

This is probably off-topic.

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Last edited by Kassen on Thu May 19, 2005 10:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kassen
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Joined: Jul 06, 2004
Posts: 7678
Location: The Hague, NL
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:

This is a good analogy. We humans live in an illusion of our own design. I don't think it is an evil god that does this, it is just or operational methodology that has evolved. There is nothing to think that we won't evolve further in the future. We live not according to what really happens, but according to our stories about it. When we realize that these are only stories, then we can "escape this prison". The media is the institution at developies culture-wide storied. That's why it's important and influencial.


Yes, that is exactly why I brought it up. I picked the Gnostics over Decartes because the importance of gathering knowledge is such a important part of Gnostisism and from that perspective it´s a much more hopefull, positive way of aproaching the modern world then the mental paralys Decartes seems to have dealt with or the rather opressive "engineered truth" of 1984.

I suppose that a even better analogy would be a imaginary branch of Gnostisim that would have a pantheon of competing Demiurges to reflect that both Coke and Pepsi would like to have complete controll over how we see reality (or at least how we see the menu!).

Gnostisism from a modern perspective looks quite perverse and possibly offensive as a religion, even if it has some profoundly spiritual sides. Reading Genesis in a way where the snake become a good-guy is possibly going to offend the nice type of Christian who doesn´t feel called to cast stones and whom one would rather not offend (it´s probably wise not to offend the stone-throwing tyoe either....). For this reason it´s probably wise not to engage in a full on theological debate because that will simply be a mess. Let´s use it for what it´s worth as a analogy and let´s hope and/or pray there are no real malevolent Gods trying to trap us in a unpleasant world!

:¬)

(next up; reincarnation v.s. saving and loading .pch files! ;¬) )

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Kassen
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Mohoyoho



Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 1633
Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, this is off topic. Interesting but off topic. The topic was PBS under attack.
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