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Politically incorrect nonsense – McCook Daily Gazette

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 3:45 am

This morning in church the song leader choose one of my long time favorites from a new hymnal. “Lord I Want To Be A Christian.”

This version was written in four-part harmony and listed as an “American Folk Song.”

Baloney! According to Wikipedia this song was written in the 1750s Virginia by African-American slaves exposed to the teaching of evangelist Samuel Davies.

Until recent times it has been billed as a Negro Spiritual. Now, I have to assume, the advocates of political correctness somehow dream that the song can be sung in 4:4 time, four part harmony with all the words in proper English rather than how the original slaves sang it in the dialect of the day. They ruined it!

Your columnist started singing in church choir while in high school. At first chance I joined the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel Choir in college at the Academy and did that for four years. A highlight was singing one Easter morning at the Red Rocks open air Cathedral at Colorado Springs. Then over the years I joined and sang with several different civilian church and military chapel choirs wherever we happened to be stationed. In allhonestly I was never a great voice or soloist but simply enjoyed the four part harmony and comradery of being part of a good choir.

In my experience the best way to sing a Negro Spiritual is probably how the slaves that put together the beloved “Lord I want To Be A Christian” did it. The song is led by a strong voice, probably baritone, who sings out as leader and all the other members harmonize with the lead voice. “Lord I want to be a Christian in-a-my heart” then several voices echo “In-a my heart” while the lead and the majority of the choir holds the note, in harmony, of “heart.” Many voices blending together it is a wonderful sound to my ear.

I would urge you dear reader to attend a black church at first opportunity and listen to their choir rejoice in singing Christian music. Catch it on TV or radio if you can. If you are lucky you will enjoy them blending their voices on a true spiritual to really experience the beauty of that style of music. I’m sorry but white choirs just can’t seem to do justice to true American spirituals.

Brought to America in chains sentenced to a lifetime of slavery it must have been a hard life mentally and physically. No escape conceivable, just day-to-day living. The message of Christ and a higher power than one’s self truly must have been a great comfort to those trapped people.

No wonder they could sing of hope for a more perfect existence after death. Unlettered and self-taught in music it would only be natural to blend their voices with whoever stepped forth in song as a leader.

I’m reminded of my own contemporaries who were captured and became prisoners of war in Vietnam. Reading intelligence reports while on active duty and later books written post release from the Hanoi Hilton I have gleaned the fact that those who had a personal faith in a Higher Power survived the ordeal of prison life much better than those who had no faith.

After their return, the suicide rate of those who had no faith was many times higher than those who had a personal faith. Interestingly the two groups, faith or no faith, separated themselves on the airplanes carrying them out of Hanoi and had little contact with each other.

Not too long before the truce was signed ending the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese allowed the American POW’s to gather together in communal living instead of the isolation of two or three men to a prison cell or total isolation as had been the practice for years. Then word leaked out that the POW’s had formed a choir. Aha! — I knew instantly that their choir director had to be Major Quincy Collins, who had been our choir director years before at the Academy.

I knew that Quincy had been shot down in his F-105 and had been spotted from time to time being led down jungle paths roped at the neck with other shot down aircrew members. Then he disappeared completely from any intelligence reports that I had access to. What a feeling of hope that Quincy had made it when the news leaked of a POW choir!

Incidentally the final performance by the POW choir, and yes it was led by Quincy, was at the White House in a reunion in the POW’s honor by President Richard Nixon. No sheet music, no musical instrument accompaniment all done a cappella just as the slaves in the south did it centuries before.

Political correctness run amuck.

Why not keep the proud heritage of the Negro Spiritual alive just as those proud slaves performed their heartfelt songs? “Lord I want be like Jesus, In-a-my heart, In-a my heart (In-a my heart).”

That is the way I saw it.

Dick Trail

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A State of Trance on Youtube LIVE Every Thursday at 2P.M. EST – exstreamal

Posted: February 17, 2017 at 1:31 am

After an incredible 799 episodes, Armin Van Buuren (and company) launched a live video broadcast on YouTube, with guest star appearances, brand new tracks, and amazing sound! The beautiful all white studio looks like a space ship more than a radio station, but appears to have all the latest and greatest in radio studio equipment complete with some of the worlds most amazing DJs! In case you missed it, or never followed the program before, A State of Tranceis a radio podcast where Armin Van Buuren (along with other big names inthe dance music industry) feature the best electronic and dance music from around the globe. Check out the video from this week and tune in every THURSDAY at 2P.M. EST! Each program lasts an hour and a half.

A State Of Trance is a sub-label of the Dutch company Armada Music. Released its first vinyl release in 2003 and reached its 100 release (ASOT100) with The Doppler Effect Beauty Hides In The Deep / Envio For You (The Blizzard Remix).

A State Of Trance was formed in 2003 as a sub-label to its Dutch parent company Armada Music. It is also the parent label to A State Of Trance Limited. The style of music focuses mainly on trance and progressive trance with a wide range of artists and producers. The label is focusing on both young producers (such as Filo & Peri, 8 Wonders, Robert Nickson, and Galen Behr) as well as established artists (like Markus Schulz, Sunlounger, Sean Tyas, Signum and Vincent de Moor).

Source: Wikipedia Article Titled: A State of Trance

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AI and Robotics Trends: Experts Predict – Datamation

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 12:17 am

Many experts in the field firmly believe 2017 will be a breakout year for both artificial intelligence and robotics, since the two often go together. Spoiler alert: it’s all good.

AI Makes Robots Smarter

Robots use an increasing number of sensing modalities including taste, smell, sonar, IR, haptic feedback, tactile sensors, and range of motion sensors. They are also becoming better at picking up on facial expressions and gestures, so their interactions with humans become more natural, said Kevin Curran, IEEE senior member and professor of cyber security at Ulster University.

“Basically, AI is crucial for all their learning and adaptive behavior so they can adapt existing capabilities to cope with environmental changes. AI is key to helping them learn new tasks on the fly by sequencing existing behaviors,” he said.

Karsten Schmidt, head of technology at the Innovation Center Silicon Valley for SAP Labs echoed this sentiment. “In 2017, we will see AI gain greater acceptance and momentum as humans come to increasingly rely, trust and depend more on AI-driven decisions and question them less. This will happen as a direct result of improved AI learning due to more usage and a broader user base, and as the quality and usefulness of AI software in turn improves,” he said.

Meet Your AI Co-Worker

Many people fear losing their jobs to robots, but more than likely you will have a robot for a co-worker. Then again, if you’ve been in the workforce long enough, you’ve probably already had a robot for a co-worker, just in human form.

“In 2017, we are seeing a growing emergence of robots designed to operate alongside people in everyday human environments. Autonomous service robots that assist workers in warehouses, deliver supplies in hospitals, and maintain inventory of items in grocery stores are emerging onto the market,” said Sonia Chernova, assistant professor at Georgia Tech College of Computing.

These systems need humans because one thing robotics researchers are still struggling with is robotic arms. There’s no substitute for the human arm to pick things up and manipulate objects. “[Robot arms] have of course been used successfully for decades in manufacturing, but current techniques work reliably only in controlled factory environments, and are not yet robust enough for the real world,” said Chernova.

This could lead to the rise of “AI Supervisors,” said Tomer Naveh, CTO of Adgorithms, an AI-based digital marketing platform. Robots already have taken on many labor-intensive, manual (read: boring) tasks we do in our everyday life but robots will get smarter, and need AI to do it, he said.

“AI systems will get better at communicating their decisions and reasoning to their operators, and those operators will respond with new rules, business logic, and feedback that make it more and more useful in practice over time. As a result we will see people shifting from doing tasks by themselves, to supervising AI software on how to do it for them,” he said.

That’s actually a disturbing thought.

Changing Retail

AI and robotics will slowly move into another area where human error is common: retail. To some degree there is already automation in optical scanners and retail tracking used by stores to manage inventory, but it will be considerably improved.

The retail industry, for example, has been unable to address the problem of non-scanned items at checkout, which accounts for 30% of retailers annual losses. They only discover the loss in inventory well after the fact.

“AI is stepping in to address issues of this caliber across industries, and as a result, its often gathering just as much data as its processing. This resulting data is becoming a secondary benefit to businesses that use AI. AI Apps created to detect these non-scans are now also providing retailers with information about their origins, whether theyre fraudulent or accidental, and how customers and cashiers are gaming the system,” said Alan OHerlihy, CEO of Everseen, developer of AI products for point of sale systems.

And as consumers have positive experiences with drone deliveries, public opinion may go a long way towards opening up regulations for further drone use, said Jake Rheude, director of business development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment provider.

“Consumers are already fully on board with the concept of drone delivery. According to The Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 Study, 79% of US consumers said they would be ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to request drone delivery if their package could be delivered within an hour. And 73% of respondents said that they would pay up to $10 for a drone delivery. This is an unprecedented level of acceptance for new technology with so little real word experience from consumers,” he said.

AI in Your Home

Another prediction made by umpteen science fiction movies usually with an alarmist tone is that AI will come into the home in a big way. It already has if you have an iPhone, with Siri, or use Windows 10 and Cortana. Gradually it will move into other devices, the experts predict.

“Alexa, Cortana and Siri are great, but they still lack the sophistication and accuracy to be relied upon as a utility. In 2017, advances in natural language processing and natural language generation will transform what digital assistants understand and how they analyze and respond with legitimately useful information. The era of just opening a related Wikipedia page are over,” said Matt Gould, AI expert and co-founder of Arria NLG, which develops technology that translates data into language.

To make these devices work optimally, they need to develop an emotional quotient, or an EQ, predicts Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, CEO and co-founder, Affectiva, which develops facial recognition software. “We expect to see Emotion AI really come to the fore this year, and once AI systems develop social skills and rapport, AI interfaces will be more engaging and sticky, and less frustrating for their users, driving even wider adoption of the technology,” she said.

She predicts that in the future, all of our devices will be equipped with a chip that can adapt our experiences to our emotions in real time, by reading facial expressions, analyzing tone of voice and possessing built-in emotion awareness. “The ability of technology to adapt to our mood and preferences could enhance experiences ranging from driving a car to ordering a pizza,” she said.

And this should mean less typing, said Scott Webb, president of Avionos. “Physical interaction with hand-to-keyboard commands will give way to more organic input methods like voice and physical response as we move forward,” he said.

Better Security

It’s been said before but is worth repeating that AI will improve security because, like in so many other cases, security AI won’t be prone to human failings of boredom, fatigue, illness and disinterest that often causes a security lapse. It will also have much faster reaction times and much better recognition of unusual patterns.

“Machine learning and the models generated through processes around machine learning are helping enterprises analyze massive amounts of data and identify trends, anomalies, and things not detectable through standard modeling. Machine learning algorithms are helping security researchers dynamically identify threats, airlines improve maintenance and reliability of their aircraft, and provide the back bone for self-driving cars to analyze data in real-time to make decisions,” said David Dufour, senior director of engineering at antimalware vendor WebRoot.

That immediacy is needed with catching data breaches, as well. The average time to discover a network attacker is about five months, giving attackers plenty of time to achieve their goals, said Peter Nguyen, director of technical services at LightCyber, which does behavior based security software.

“Finding signs of an attacker is difficult and demands the use of AI. Instead of trying to encounter, identify and block threats by their known characteristics, the way to find an active attacker is through their operational activities. Using machine learning, its possible to learn the good behavior of all users and devices and then find anomalies. Then, AI can be focused to find those anomalies that are truly indicative of an active attack,” he said.

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Eye Evolution: A Closer Look – Discovery Institute

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:28 am

In a previous article I described how theories of innovation provide insight into the limits of natural selection. I will now apply those concepts to hypotheses regarding the evolution of the vertebrate eye, a subject that, since the time of Charles Darwin, has been near center of the debate over the creative power of natural selection. As Darwin himself stated in the Origin of Species:

He did, however, still believe it could evolve over numerous gradual increments.

Today, evolutionists propose several of the stages in what they believe to be a plausible evolutionary path. Science writer Carl Zimmer has outlined the standard story:

See Wikipedia for a chart illustrating “Major stages in the evolution of the eye.”

To add weight to this narrative, two biologists created a computer simulation, demonstrating, in their view, the incremental evolution of an eye in fewer than 400,000 generations.

This often-repeated tale sounds impressive at first, but it is not unlike most supposed explanations of the evolution of complex features. It scores high on imagination and flare but low on empirical evidence and thoughtful analysis. It most certainly does not represent a “detailed hypothesis.” Likewise, the simulation does an admirable job of describing how a mechanical eye could develop incrementally, but it is completely disconnected from biological reality. In particular, it ignores the details of how a real eye functions and how it forms developmentally. When these issues are examined, the story completely collapses.

To fully appreciate why that is so requires a basic understanding of developmental biology. During development, cells divide, migrate, and differentiate into a wide variety of types. Throughout this process, the cells send chemical signals to their neighbors, and these signals cause proteins known as transcription factors (TF) to bind to genes in regulatory regions, which control the corresponding genes’ activity. The TFs bind to what are called transcription factor binding sites (TFBS), and the correct binding enables the genes to produce their proteins in the right cells at the right time in the right amount.

The evolution of additional components in the vertebrate eye requires that this network of intercellular signals, TFs, TFBS, chromatin remodeling, as well as many other details be dramatically altered, so that each developmental stage can progress correctly. For instance, the seemingly simple addition of a marginally focusing lens — that is to say, a lens that directs slightly more light onto a retina — requires a host of alterations:

Ectodermic tissue folds into a lens placode, which then forms a lens vesicle.

Cells in the lens vesicle differentiate into lens fibers, which elongate to produce the proper lens shape.

The lens fibers then undergo several key modifications, including tightly binding together, filling almost entirely with special refractive proteins called crystallins, developing special channels to receive nutrients, and destroying their organelles.

All of these steps must proceed with great precision to ensure the end product focuses light in an improved manner. The development of the lens in all vertebrates is very similar, and it even resembles that in other phyla. Therefore, the development of the first lens should have closely followed the steps outlined above with only minor differences, inconsequential to the basic argument.

The challenge to evolution is that, short of completion, most of these changes are disadvantageous. A lens that has not fully evolved through the third step noted above would either scatter light away from the retina or completely block it. Any initial mutations would then be lost, and the process would have to start again from scratch. In the context of fitness terrains, an organism lacking a lens resides near the top of a local peak. The steps required to gain a functional lens correspond to traveling downhill, crossing a vast canyon of visually impaired or blind intermediates, until eventually climbing back up a new peak corresponding to lens-enhanced vision.

Once an organism has a functional lens, natural selection could then potentially make gradual improvements. However, moving from a reasonably functional lens to one that produces a high-resolution image is rather complex. In particular, the refractive index (i.e., crystalline concentration) has to be adjusted throughout the lens to vary according to a precise mathematical relationship. A gradual decrease from the inside to the outside is needed to prevent spherical aberrations blurring the image.

Even more steps are required for the improved image to be properly interpreted:

Feedback circuitry must be added to allow the lens to automatically refocus on images at different distances.

The retina has to be completely reengineered to process high-resolution images, including the addition of circuits to enable edge and motion detection.

The neural networks in the brain have to be rewired to properly interpret the pre-processed high-resolution images from the retina.

Higher-level brain functions must be enabled to identify different objects, i.e., dangerous ones such as a shark, and properly respond to them.

Until steps 2 through 4 are completed, a high-resolution image would likely prove disadvantageous, since most of the light would be focused on fewer photoreceptors. In insolation, the alterations of perfecting the lens and those involved in step 1 would hinder the analysis of large-scale changes to the field of view, such as identifying the shadow of a predator. Natural selection would thus remove most of the initial mutations, and evolution of the eye would come to a halt.

The difference between blurry and high-resolution vision is well illustrated by the box jellyfish. It has several eyes around its body. Two have lenses, which can produce highly focused images. However, the focal point is past the retina, so the retinal images are blurry. An ability to focus more clearly than is actually useful seems to be an example of gratuitous design. Zoologist Dan Nilsson comments:

However, for the box jellyfish a high-resolution image would be disadvantageous, since its neurology is engineered to respond to such bulky features as the edge of a mangrove. Is this blurry vision the result of the jellyfish not having yet evolved high-resolution vision? No: its neural organization is radically different from that needed for the latter. As Nilsson comments, “Another, more likely, interpretation is that the eyes are ‘purposely’ under-focused.”

“Purposeful”? Yes, it would seem so. The example illustrates that low-resolution vision is not at an inferior point on the same fitness peak as high-resolution vision. Instead, both systems reside near the peaks of separate mountains. For any species, upgrading to high-resolution vision requires massive reengineering in a single step. Such radical innovation, coordinated to achieve a distant goal, is only possible with intelligent design.

Photo: European bison, by Michael Gbler [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Do you believe in the Singularity? – Patheos (blog)

Posted: February 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

According to Wikipedia, the (technological) singularity is defined as that moment in the future when the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. The more everyday definition of the term, as Ive seen it used over the past several years, is that point at which a computer/robot becomes so sophisticated in its programming as to become sentient, to have its own wishes and desires, and to ulimately, because those wishes and desires would be paired with superhuman abilities (whether physical strength or the hyperconnectivity of the internet).

And The Atlantic yesterday raised a question, Is AIa Threat to Christianity? that is, because the rise of AI would challengethe ideaof the soul. If an artificial intelligence is sentient, does it have a soul? If so, can it be saved?

Christians have mostly understood the soul to be a uniquely human element, an internal and eternal component that animates our spiritual sides. The notion originates from the creation narrative in the biblical book of Genesis, where God created human beings in Gods own image. In the story, God forms Adam, the first human, out of dust and breathes life into his nostrils to make him, literally, a living soul. Christians believe that all humans since that time similarly possess Gods image and a soul. . . .

If youre willing to follow this line of reasoning, theological challenges amass. If artificially intelligent machines have a soul, would they be able to establish a relationship with God? The Bible teaches that Jesuss death redeemed all things in creationfrom ants to accountantsand made reconciliation with God possible. So did Jesus die for artificial intelligence, too? Can AI be saved? . . .

And what about sin? Christians have traditionally taught that sin prevents divine relationship by somehow creating a barrier between fallible humans and a holy God. Say in the robot future, instead of eradicating humans, the machines decideor have it hardwired somewhere deep inside themthat never committing evil acts is the ultimate good. Would artificially intelligent beings be better Christians than humans are? And how would this impact the Christian view of human depravity?

But its always seemed to me that the issue is more fundamental: it seems to me that the idea of the singularity, of sentient artificial intelligence with its own wishes and desires, is itself a matter of religious faith.

Fundamental to the idea of the soul is the idea that we have free will, the ability to choose whether to do good or evil. Indeed, it seems to me that this is the defining characteristic that makes us human, or makes humans different than the rest of creation around us. As I wrote in an old blog post,

Yet consider the case of a lion just having taken over a pride of lionesses, and killing the cubs so as to bring the lionesses into heat, and replace the ousted males progeny with his own. Has he sinned? Of course not. Its preposterous. (I tend to use that word a lot.) But what of a human, say, a man abusing the children of his live-in girlfriend? Do we say, well, thats just nature for you? No, we jail him.

The Atlantic author, Jonathan Merritt, posits a scenario in which a robot/artificially-intelligent being has no ability to sin, because of its programming. This certainly seems to be a case in which this creation would not, could not have sufficient free will, decision-making ability, emotions, and desires to be considered a being with a soul.

But what about the scenario of a truly sinful AI? Say, not Data, but Lore, Datas evil twin in Star Trek?

And thats where it seems to me that, if humans do create a form of AI that is able to make moral decisions, to act in ways that are good or evil, depending on the AIs own wishes and desires, it would call into question the idea of the soul, of any kind of distinctiveness of humanity. It would suggest that our decisions to act in ways that are good or evil are not really decisions made of our own free will, but a matter of our own programming. And if a soul is really just a matter of immensely sophisticated programming whether biological or technological the very notion of the soul continuing after death seems foolish.

But we speak of the singularity as if itll inevitably happen its only a matter of when. And it seems to me that this conviction, that we, or our children, or our childrens children, will live in a world with sentient robots, whether a HAL or a Data, is itself a matter of belief, a religious belief, in which believers hold the conviction thatadvances in technology will mean that in one field after another, the impossible will become possible. Sentient artificial life? Check. Faster-than-light travel to colonize other worlds? Check. The ability to bring the (cyrogenically-frozen) dead back to life? You got it. Time travel? Sure, why not. And, ultimately, the elimination of scarcity and the need to work? Coming right up! Sure, there is no God in this belief system, except that technology itself becomes a god, not in the metaphorical sense of something we worship, but instead something people hold faith-like convictions in, that shape their worldview.

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ATOPIO_3.jpg; By Humanrobo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Futures Shaped by Automation and Catastrophe: Peter Frase on Capitalism’s Endgame – Truth-Out

Posted: at 3:14 pm

What will replace capitalism as we currently know it? (Photo: Wolf-Ulf Wulfrolf / Flickr)

Is capitalism’s collapse inevitable? If so, what kind of post-capitalist society do we face? InFour Futures: Life After Capitalism, Peter Frase draws on social science, speculative fiction and social theory to create an engaging and thought-provoking portrait of four possible scenarios, some more dystopian than others. Order your copy of this book today from Truthout by clicking here!

As we automate more jobs and continue on a road to scarcity of resources, whither capitalism? The following is the Truthout interview with Peter Frase, author of Four Futures.

Mark Karlin: Your very first sentence in your introduction describes contextual forces that shape your book: “Two specters are haunting Earth in the twenty-first century: the specters of ecological catastrophe and automation.” Can you, in a paragraph or two, describe the potential impact of ecological catastrophe on economic systems in general?

Peter Frase: One of the distinctive peculiarities of capitalism is the way it inverts the logic of scarcity and abundance. That is, it tries to impose scarcity where none need exist, while at the same time treating truly scarce things as though they are actually unlimited.

Artificial scarcities are imposed wherever landlords are allowed to charge exorbitant rents, where drug companies charge enormous rates for drugs that cost virtually nothing to produce, where people are sued for thousands of dollars for downloading a few music files, and so on. Yet when it comes to our ecosystems, businesses will, wherever possible, extract resources with no regard to their potential exhaustion, and dump their waste into our air and water.

People are increasingly recognizing the limits of that strategy, as can be seen in everything from the depletion of ocean fish populations to lack of access to fresh water to the accelerating impact of climate change due to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions. However, the fact that we are running up against these material limits does not necessarily mean that the ruling elite is doomed. The question is a bit more complex: will they find a way to impose the costs of ecological degradation on poor and working people, or will we force them to pay the costs?

Can you next explain the impact of automation — a very important theme in your book — on present and future economic systems, and why automation is intractable?

The biggest problem with a lot of contemporary debates about automation is that people speak as though the phenomenon is new. But this is a central problematic of industrial capitalism, going back a couple of centuries. Once upon a time, almost everyone worked in agriculture; now that employs only a tiny fraction of people in rich countries. Then manufacturing became a main source of employment, before that too diminished due to automation (and also due to outsourcing, but to a much lesser degree than many people think). Now we see service sector and professional jobs being subject to the same basic force, which is the capitalist drive to economize on labor: to do more with less workers in order to increase profits.

Peter Frase. (Photo: Verso Books)I’m not going to say it’s impossible that we might turn the wheel one more time, and shift everyone into some new kind of employment, rather than simply eliminating the need for labor. But I’m more interested in what’s possible in a world where we do have a drastically reduced need for work.

Because another problem is that people speak as though there’s no human agency here; that the robots just come for our jobs, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But for as long as the capitalist drive to automate has existed, there has been a counter-movement from the side of labor: the demand that the benefits of increased productivity should accrue to the working masses, not to the tiny elite of owners. This drives demands for shorter hours, higher wages, and even such things as a Universal Basic Income, guaranteeing everyone a basic standard of living irrespective of work.

Let’s make this an exercise in distillation. What are each of the four possible future economic options in the most basic terms of the two “specters” haunting the earth beginning with, as you do, communism?

The four futures emerge from a two-by-two diagram, which I generate from the interaction of two different dichotomies. These are ways of thinking about how our social systems might be transformed if, as I just suggested, most human labor can be automated.

One question is the ecological question we started out with: what do we do about the damage that capitalism has done to our ecosystems? Maybe we can find a way to move to renewable energy, use materials more efficiently, even mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change. Then we can live in a world of abundance, where automation allows us to live comfortable lives liberated from the need to work. This is the world of Star Trek, where people can simply walk up to a device called a replicator, and ask it to instantly materialize whatever material thing they need.

I call this future communism not in the sense of the 20th century Communist regimes, but in the sense Karl Marx talked about: a society characterized by the principle “from each according to her ability, to each according to his need.” In other words, your basic material needs are provided for, and you are free to explore and develop your talents and abilities in a truly free way, to take up whatever projects you find most fulfilling. In the context of today’s world, you can think of things like Wikipedia, where people are writing encyclopedia entries not because anyone is paying them, but just because that’s what they want to do.

Now let’s move to rentism — and can you define that in your own terms first?

The scenario I described above presupposes not just automation and a resolution of the ecological crisis, but also a fundamental change in our class structures and property relations. That is, all the material abundance we have available to us must become the common property of humanity, rather than the private property of the owning class, the 0.1% that controls most of the economy today.

I sketch out a world of “rentism” as a way of laying out my differences with those futurists who suggest that technological changes automatically lead to a world of leisure. The ruling class has ways of preserving its power. In a time when more and more of the economy is made up of immaterial patterns, and things that can be freely copied over the internet, this increasingly takes the form of rent extraction enforced by intellectual property laws.

When we think of “rent,” traditionally we speak about things like land and housing. But the term applies more generally to situations where it’s possible to make money not by making things, but simply by owning them and charging for access. A landlord can charge whatever the market will bear; in the same way, the patent-holder for a life-saving medicine can charge any price they want, irrespective of the actual cost of producing it, because they are the only one allowed to make it. The chapter on rentism explores what life could be like in a society that is dominated by this particular property form.

Next is socialism, which means so many different government-economic structures to different people. How is socialism defined in your mind and how would you make us arrive at that economic state?

I gave above my definition of communism, which could also be considered a kind of anarchist utopia where the state doesn’t need to manage labor and resources, because the machines have replaced labor and there are plenty of resources to go around. Whereas socialism, traditionally, has been seen to be about economic planning, particularly government planning of the economy.

My chapter on socialism is also about an egalitarian, post-class society. And it returns to the idea of planning, but with a different spin. Unlike most 20th century theorists of planning, I’m not so concerned with questions like “Who does what job?” or “How many of each type of widget should be produced?” Because I’m starting with the premise that it might be possible to basically automate that problem away.

But we still must return to the ecological axis. If we take a more sober view of environmental limits than in the discussion of communism, we come to the question of how we plan, not for production, but for consumption. That is, it might be that we all have magical machines that can make anything we need at the press of a button. But perhaps it’s not environmentally sustainable for anyone to simply make as much stuff as they like. So we need a process to ensure that nobody is taking more than their fair share.

That issue motivates a discussion of planning, which in turn leads to the question of democracy. How will we, collectively, decide on the most just and equitable way of providing everyone with the best life possible given our ecological constraints?

Now comes the grimmest and most unimaginable alternative, exterminism? Can you explain how we would arrive at the “exterminism endgame”?

Although I’d like to think it’s the most unimaginable, many of my readers seem to find it the most plausible!

The relationship between bosses and workers in capitalism has historically been characterized by a relationship of both conflict and mutual interdependence. That is, bosses need workers to run their shops and factories, while workers need bosses because they have no control of the means of production, no other way to make a living. And they then struggle over who gets what share of the social product.

But what happens when you break this interdependence — when the bosses don’t need workers because they have robots? One option is the rent-based society mentioned above. But that only works if there can be arbitrarily large amounts of stuff, with the capitalists simply acting as gatekeepers and charging for access. But what if there just fundamentally isn’t enough stuff, due to the rapid degradation of the environment? What if providing a decent life to the masses would mean lower standards of living for the elites?

The logical endgame, in that case, is that the rich wall themselves off, protect themselves with their drones and surveillance systems, and leave the rest of us to rot. That’s the world of a few gated communities and private islands, with everyone else left in slums, prisons, or refugee camps. It’s a world where the people who have been rendered superfluous as workers are left to die — if not through an overt campaign of genocide, then merely by malign neglect, as resource wars, climate change-driven disasters and untreated disease epidemics take their toll.

That last scenario is obviously the most dystopian, and many people tend to gravitate to it in a despairing way, particularly in the current political moment. But the larger point of my book is that none of the futures is our destiny. Actually, all of them, in some ways, are already here. The question is what we will do, together, to get more of the futures we want and less of the futures we don’t.

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Futures Shaped by Automation and Catastrophe: Peter Frase on Capitalism’s Endgame – Truth-Out

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Top Five Zeitgeist: The Movie Myths! | Peter Joseph

Posted: January 10, 2017 at 2:59 am

Top Five Zeitgeist The Movie Myths!

1) The Zeitgeist Movement is all about support of Zeitgeist: The Movie!

Actually, as per my experience over the past 6 years, most within The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) do not subscribe or agree with this film in general, although mixed reactions are most common. Zeitgeist: The Movie was created years before TZM was formed. TZM was created originally to support Jacque Frescos Venus Project (TVP). After TVP and TZM split three years later, TZM became a self-propelling institution with its own body of work. The text The Zeitgeist Movement Defined is the core source of Movement interests and expresses what TZM is about clearly.

As of 2015, any ongoing association with TZM and Zeitgeist: The Movie is often perpetuated by those merely with malicious intent. As the rest of this list will express, Zeitgeist: The Movie has been a point of extreme attack and bigoted reactions since its inception. Having been seen by literally hundreds of millions of people, it is no surprise so many in vehement disagreement rise to the top. I wish I counted the number of death threats and the amount of cyber stalking I have personally endured. I have spent upwards of $20,000 in legal fees fighting constant defamation by those offended by that film.

As an aside, many have suggested that a simple name change (remove Zeitgeist) would have solved the problem. Yet, if a name change alone is that persuasive, isnt that actually indicative of a deep lack of critical thought? Where a mere superficial title changes peoples sense of association? I find this troubling if so. But regardless, the genie cannot go back in the bottle. Love it or hate it, Zeitgeist: The Movie isnt going anywhere and its content/implications 8 years later seem to only get stronger and more validated. According to my online distributor, it is one of the most popular docs on Netflix, now in many languages/regions there.

2) Its all been debunked!

The term debunked has become a mantra of sorts by the anti-ztm crowd. You also see this kind of overly zealous absolutism in other communities as well, such as the atheist community. As an atheist myself, I have learned that compassion is much more powerful than ridicule and if the goal of any communication is to change minds, taking a condescending and absolute approach does nothing but inflate the initiators ego not help educate others.

In that, many interpreted the first section of Zeitgeist: The Movie as an attack on religion. I would say it is providing a contrary view of its history and it does so in a non-derisive way. It is very academic in its presentation and to call it an attack is without merit.

That noted, Zeitgeist: The Movie was an art piece first and foremost and a great deal of liberty was taken in its expression. In the very first edition, I had a section with John F. Kennedy talking about the grand conspiracy of Communism and overlaid it onto his assassination footage. I knew what I was doing and did so because it was an amazing artistic effect. It wasnt until the film was grossly misinterpreted in its mixed genre style and artistic license that I later went back and made such editorial changes to conform it to a more documentary form.

I was sad to have to do this, in fact but It seems it was too advanced a piece for common culture and people were not ready to be critical of such liberties; understand the context. Zeitgeist: The Movie was the ultimate expression of demanding critical thought. It wasnt made to declare, it was made to challenge.Same goes for the long held up cry of manipulative filmmaking, such as when footage of the Madrid subway bombing was used to introduce a section on the 7/7 London Bombings. How dare I show a different explosion!

In 2010, I cleaned it up to conform to a more traditional documentary form and produced a free 220 booklet to support the literally 100s of claims made in the work. To date, no one has addressed this text. I would also add that while points made in the film from the origins of religion, to the events of Sept 11th, to the history of war for profit and social manipulation by financial interests are subject to interpretation and could perhaps be wrong, no single opposing claim or group of contradictions debunks the whole film. As the filmmaker, I will state that even I am not sure about some of the claims as far as what the absolute truth is. But again, that isnt the purpose of this work.

3) There are no sources!

I have seen this claim posted in reviews constantly. Zeitgeist: The Movie is likely the most sourced film in documentary history. I know of no other work that has painstakingly shown where the content came from. Again, one can argue about the truth of any given idea, but to say it is made up is beyond absurd. Companion Source Guide : http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/Zeitgeist,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF.pdf

4) Its anti-semitic!

This one really took me by surprise when I starting hear about it, especially since I end the film with one of the most heart warming/human unity quotes of all time by Carl Sagan. It appears to have started with a woman named Michelle Goldberg. She essentially stated that my use of a 1941 anti-war speech by Charles A. Lindbergh implied this, as Lindbergh was supposedly anti-semitic.

In the opening section of part 3 of the film, she claims Charles A. Lindbergh was talking about the jews when describing warring interests trying to bring American into WWII. This is just about as wrong and irresponsible as it comes. Sadly, this theme has carried forward through history as the echo of pro-war/pro establishment media propaganda redefines reality. Long story short, Charles A Lindbergh was a famous American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist. He was the son of Congressman Charles Lindbergh Sr. who was extremely outspoken against the banking system a generation prior, writing texts on the Money Trust, referring to the financial system and its power. (He too was often called anti-semitic with no validation as a means of personal attack.) Charles A. Lindbergh deeply opposed US involve in WWII. He was an isolationist. In this crusade, he was attacked as anti-semitic in order to pollute his message. (sound familiar?) Its that simple. To his discredit, his speaking skills were poor and he often spoke primitively about groups. He held some bad science views that were very common of the time and its easy to look back on such un-informed issues and find false relationships. Yet, his non-racist stance is very clear to those paying attention.

For example, he once stated: I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war. We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction This was a political statement, not a racist one but the press at the time ran that it was anti-semitic, which, again, is a good ploy if you want people to distrust someone. We see this technique being used today, constantly. Here are the last lines of the speech used in Zeitgeist: The Movie (that was called anti-semitic), along with the next sentence, not included in the film (in bold):

Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms fifth columnist, traitor, Nazi, anti-Semitic were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

Later in the speech he then states: No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany.

Does this sound like a racist to you? In a book written by his wife, she states: His prewar isolationist speeches were given in all sincerity for what he thought was the good of the country and the worldHe was accused of being anti-semetic, but in the 45 years I lived with him I never heard him make a remark against the jews, not a crack or joke, and neither did any of our children. So what we have is a victim of the media culture, glamorized through history with the vile horror of hindsight given the horrors/persecutions around WWII. Lindbergh might not have been the smartest and most strategic in his manner of activism and communication but there is no evidence he was a racist.

5) Its an anti-New World Order Conspiracy Film!

Proponents who talk about the New World Order, (long before Zeitgeist The Movie) have always agitated me. I have never supported this bizarre and esoteric body of assumptions and, to this day, can honestly say I have no idea how the current ideas even came about given the origin of the original term. New World Order is a term put forward by H. G. Wells in his book of the same title. In this, he speaks about the world unifying as one for the better. Since that time, however, the term has been skyrocketed into bizarro land.The only times I have ever sympathized with anyone who does have this pop culture belief was when I tried and get behind it and talk about root causes of human behavior and power abuse. And yet, even the current Wikipedia entry on Zeitgeist: The Movie says it is about New World Order forces But then again its Wikipedia the encyclopedia that lets random opinion and select news sources serve as historical fact.

Anyway, while the very original version of the film did talk about global government run by corporate power as an Orwellian 1984 type assumption for the future, this was artistically presented and deduced as a result of global financial power and the tendency to constantly concentrate this power. I later removed this section entirely (in 2010) as I was disgusted by the constant misinterpretations.

Likewise, the notion of a Conspiracy film is equally as misguided. This is simply derision by categorical association. No different than how the term communist was used to force people to shy away from any information or ideas that were against the status quo during the Mcarthy Era in the 1950s.

Zeitgeist: The Movie takes three subjects and bridges them within the context of social myth. This context is then evidenced to show how people become biased and can be manipulated based upon those dominant shared (bogus) beliefs (hence the term zeitgeist itself).

In the context of the real world, power abuse is obvious since the nature of our economy supports massive class division and the movement of power and money to a small group. This isnt conspiracy it is a system reality. We live in a war system and massive gaming for personal/group self-interest is happening at every moment.

Thats enough for now.

~Peter Joseph, Feb 22nd 2015

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Top Five Zeitgeist: The Movie Myths! | Peter Joseph

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Communes: the pros & cons of intentional community …

Posted: November 29, 2016 at 1:31 am

My fianc and I are curious about commune living, community co-ops, or intentional living communities for our future living arrangements but we need advice. What should we know before we decide whether to take the dive into this world?

Oh, do I ever have the inside scoop on this one. See, my mom runs an intentional community called Sacred Groves on the property where I grew up. For those who have read my book, our wedding reception happened at Sacred Groves, so all the shenanigans that took place that night were hosted by the Groves.

That in mind, I decided to bring in my mom to answer this question. Take it away, Ma!

By Therese Charvet, of Sacred Groves Living in community is as old as the human race. Our modern lifestyle with singles, couples and single-families living in isolated housing units is relatively modern, and uncommon in much of the world. Conventional houses and apartments offer much privacy and reduce the hassles of sharing, but they can also breed isolation, loneliness and can put a strain on marriages. Intentional Communities, Communes and Co-housing situations offer an alternative to this model, one more akin to our traditional roots. Andreas doing a community yoga class at Sacred Groves Every community is different but the basic premise is that you live in proximity with a group of people with whom you share the use of certain common facilities, and things are set up in such a way as to promote connection and familiarity amongst the residents. Generally speaking, this is the definition of “Intentional Community.” Dozens of models of intentional communities exist, some with only a few people, some with hundreds, some with a charismatic leader, others with a commitment to consensus.

There is quite a movement afoot in the U.S. toward community living. In fact, a national organization exists and a national directory of intentional communities is available for people looking for housing. For more description and definition of Intentional Communities, see Wikipedia and/or the website for The Fellowship of Intentional Communities.

In late 2005, my current partner Tere and I decided it was time to make the land where we live, Sacred Groves, an “intentional community.” We transformed the downstairs of the log cabin (with kitchen, bathroom and dining area) into “common space” and used the upstairs rooms plus three nearby cabins as private space for residents’ bedrooms. A couple women friends who happened to be looking for housing at that time decided to join our experiment and the four of us formed the first rendition of a Sacred Groves Intentional Community.

It is nearly always heart-warming and sometimes very challenging to live in this way with people. Some of the challenges include getting enough quiet/private time, figuring out chores, working out disagreements in a functional way, staying out of each other’s business. Each of us has to deal with our personal control issues regularly; community living does not make it easy to be a control freak. It flushes out what you are attached to, that’s for sure! But the rewards are worth the effort! These rewards include spiritual and personal development and participating in the evolution of human consciousness toward a more cooperative society. That’s big work, work the world really needs right now.

In closing let me say that I love this lifestyle and hope to live in community until old age. I don’t understand those 90 year olds who want to live alone in their own house until they die. I love living around children and young adults, it keeps me flexible and up to date, it gives me a place to share my stories, my skills, my time and my gifts. It makes me smile to hear the children laughing uproariously as they jump on the trampoline. Life is good!

If you’re interested in learning more about my mom’s community, you can see photos of Sacred Groves on their website or on Flickr. Oh and my mom tells me they miiiiight have openings for new Grovesmates in the coming months. Click here if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

I’d also love to hear from Homies who may have had experience living in community. I know from my times out at Sacred Groves, that it can be a challenging and rewarding experience for folks who are suited to that kind of living. Anybody got any stories to share?

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Communes: the pros & cons of intentional community …

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Phillip D. Collins — Luciferianism: The Religion of …

Posted: October 19, 2016 at 4:14 am

Other Collins Articles:

Darwinism and the Rise of Gnosticism

Engineering Evolution: The Alchemy of Eugenics

More Collins Articles

LUCIFERIANISM: THE RELIGION OF APOTHEOSIS

Phillip D. Collins January 17, 2006 NewsWithViews.com

Luciferianism constitutes the nucleus of the ruling class religion. While there are definitely political and economic rationales for elite criminality, Luciferianism can account for the longevity of many of the oligarchs projects. Many of the longest and most brutal human endeavors have been underpinned by some form of religious zealotry. The Crusades testify to this historical fact. Likewise, the power elites ongoing campaign to establish a socialist totalitarian global government has Luciferianism to thank for both its longevity and frequently violent character. In the mind of the modern oligarch, Luciferianism provides religious legitimacy for otherwise morally questionable plans.

Luciferianism is the product of religious engineering, which sociologist William Sims Bainbridge defines as the conscious, systematic, skilled creation of a new religion (“New Religions, Science, and Secularization,” no pagination). In actuality, this is a tradition that even precedes Bainbridge. It has been the practice of Freemasonry for years. It was also the practice of Masonrys religious and philosophical progenitors, the ancient pagan Mystery cults. The inner doctrines of the Mesopotamian secret societies provided the theological foundations for the Christian and Judaic heresies, Kabbalism and Gnosticism. All modern Luciferian philosophy finds scientific legitimacy in the Gnostic myth of Darwinism. As evolutionary thought was popularized, variants of Luciferianism were popularized along with it (particularly in the form of secular humanism, which shall be examined shortly). A historical corollary of this popularization has been the rise of several cults and mass movements, exemplified by the various mystical sects and gurus of the sixties counterculture. The metastasis of Luciferian thinking continues to this very day.

Luciferianism represents a radical revaluation of humanitys ageless adversary: Satan. It is the ultimate inversion of good and evil. The formula for this inversion is reflected by the narrative paradigm of the Gnostic Hypostasis myth. As opposed to the original Biblical version, the Gnostic account represents a revaluation of the Hebraic story of the first mans temptation, the desire of mere men to be as gods by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Raschke 26). Carl Raschke elaborates:

In The Hypostasis of the Archons, an Egyptian Gnostic document, we read how the traditional story of mans disobedience toward God is reinterpreted as a universal conflict between knowledge (gnosis) and the dark powers (exousia) of the world, which bind the human soul in ignorance. The Hypostasis describes man as a stepchild of Sophia (Wisdom) created according to the model of aion, the imperishable realm of eternity.

On the other hand, it is neither God the Imperishable nor Sophia who actually is responsible in the making of man. On the contrary, the task is undertaken by the archons, the demonic powers who, because of their weakness, entrap man in a material body and thus cut him off from his blessed origin. They place him in paradise and enjoin him against eating of the tree of knowledge. The prohibition, however, is viewed by the author of the text not as a holy command but as a malignant effort on the part of the inferior spirits to prevent Adam from having true communion with the High God, from gaining authentic gnosis. (26)

According to this bowdlerization, Adam is consistently contacted by the High God in hopes of reinitiating mans quest for gnosis (26). The archons intervene and create Eve to distract Adam from the pursuit of gnosis (26-27). However, this Gnostic Eve is actually a sort of undercover agent for the High God, who is charged with divulging to Adam the truth that has been withheld from him (27). The archons manage to sabotage this covert operation by facilitating sexual intercourse between Adam and Eve, an act that Gnostics contend was designed to defile the womans spiritual nature (27). At this juncture, the Hypostasis reintroduces a familiar antagonist from the original Genesis account:

But now the principle of feminine wisdom reappears in the form of the serpent, called the Instructor, who tells the mortal pair to defy the prohibition of the archons and eat of the tree of knowledge. (27)

The serpent successfully entices Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, but the bodily defilement of the woman prevents man from understanding the true motive underpinning the act (27). Thus, humanity is fettered by the archons curse, suggesting that the orthodox theological view of the violation of the command as sin must be regarded anew as the mindless failure to commit the act rightly in the first place (27). In this revisionist context, the serpent is no longer Satan, but is an incognito savior instead (27). Meanwhile, Gods role as benevolent Heavenly Father is vilified:

The God of Genesis, who comes to reprimand Adam and Eve after their transgression, is rudely caricatured in this tale as the Arrogant archon who opposes the will of the authentic heavenly father. (27)

Of course, within this Gnostic narrative, God incarnate is equally belittled. Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is reduced to little more than a forerunner of the coming Gnostic adept. According to the Gnostic mythology, Jesus was but a mere type of this perfect man (27). He came as a teacher and an exemplar, to show others the path to illumination (27-28). The true messiah has yet to come. Equally, the serpent is only a precursor to this messiah. He only initiates mans journey towards gnosis. The developmental voyage must be further facilitated by the serpents predecessor, the Gnostic Christ. The Hypostasis provides the paradigmatic template for all Luciferian mythologies.

Like the Hypostasis, the binary opposition of Luciferian mythology caricatures Jehovah as an oppressive tyrant. He becomes the archon of arrogance, the embodiment of ignorance and religious superstition. Satan, who retains his heavenly title of Lucifer, is the liberator of humanity. Masonry, which acts as the contemporary retainer for the ancient Mystery religion, reconceptualizes Satan in a similar fashion. In Morals and Dogma, 33rd degree Freemason Albert Pike candidly exalts the fallen angel:

LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not. (321)

He makes man aware of his own innate divinity and promises to unlock the god within us all. This theme of apotheosis underpinned both Gnosticism and the pagan Mystery religions. While Gnosticisms origins with the Ancient Mystery cults remains a source of contention amongst scholars, its promises of liberation from humanitys material side is strongly akin to the old pagan Mysterys variety of psychic therapy (28). In addition, the Ancient Mystery religion promised the:

opportunity to erase the curse of mortality by direct encounter with the patron deity, or in many instances by actually undergoing an apotheosis, a transfiguration of human into divine (28).

Like some varieties of Satanism, Luciferianism does not depict the devil as a literal metaphysical entity. Lucifer only symbolizes the cognitive powers of man. He is the embodiment of science and reason. It is the Luciferians religious conviction that these two facilitative forces will dethrone God and apotheosize man. It comes as little surprise that the radicals of the early revolutionary faith celebrated the arrival of Darwinism. Evolutionary theory was the edifying science of Promethean zealotry and the new secular religion of the scientific dictatorship. According to Masonic scholar Wilmshurst, the completion of human evolution involves man becoming a god-like being and unifying his consciousness with the Omniscient (94).

During the Enlightenment, Luciferianism was disseminated on the popular level as secular humanism. All of the governing precepts of Luciferianism are encompassed by secular humanism. This is made evident by the philosophys rejection of theistic morality and enthronement of man as his own absolute moral authority. While Luciferianism has no sacred texts, Humanist Manifesto I and II succinctly delineate its central tenets. Whittaker Chambers, former member of the communist underground in America, eloquently summarizes this truth:

Humanism is not new. It is, in fact, mans second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of Creation under the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil: Ye shall be as gods. (Qutd. in Baker 206)

Transhumanism offers an updated, hi-tech variety of Luciferianism. The appellation Transhumanism was coined by evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley (Transhumanism, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, no pagination). Huxley defined the transhuman condition as man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature (no pagination). However, by 1990, Dr. Max More would radically redefine Transhumanism as follows:

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies that seek to guide us towards a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuing of human (or transhuman) existence in this life Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies (No pagination)

Transhumanism advocates the use of nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, and information technology to propel humanity into a posthuman condition. Once he has arrived at this condition, man will cease to be man. He will become a machine, immune to death and all the other weaknesses intrinsic to his former human condition. The ultimate objective is to become a god. Transhumanism is closely aligned with the cult of artificial intelligence. In the very influential book The Age of Spiritual Machines, AI high priest Ray Kurzweil asserts that technological immortality could be achieved through magnetic resonance imaging or some technique of reading and replicating the human brains neural structure within a computer (Technological Immortality, no pagination). Through the merger of computers and humans, Kurzweil believes that man will become god-like spirits inhabiting cyberspace as well as the material universe (no pagination).

Following the Biblical revisionist tradition of the Gnostic Hypostasis myth, Transhumanists invert the roles of God and Satan. In an essay entitled In Praise of the Devil, Transhumanist ideologue Max More depicts Lucifer as a heroic rebel against a tyrannical God:

The Devil-Lucifer–is a force for good (where I define ‘good’ simply as that which I value, not wanting to imply any universal validity or necessity to the orientation). ‘Lucifer’ means ‘light-bringer’ and this should begin to clue us in to his symbolic importance. The story is that God threw Lucifer out of Heaven because Lucifer had started to question God and was spreading dissension among the angels. We must remember that this story is told from the point of view of the Godists (if I may coin a term) and not from that of the Luciferians (I will use this term to distinguish us from the official Satanists with whom I have fundamental differences). The truth may just as easily be that Lucifer resigned from heaven. (No pagination)

According to More, Lucifer probably exiled himself out of moral outrage towards the oppressive Jehovah:

God, being the well-documented sadist that he is, no doubt wanted to keep Lucifer around so that he could punish him and try to get him back under his (God’s) power. Probably what really happened was that Lucifer came to hate God’s kingdom, his sadism, his demand for slavish conformity and obedience, his psychotic rage at any display of independent thinking and behavior. Lucifer realized that he could never fully think for himself and could certainly not act on his independent thinking so long as he was under God’s control. Therefore he left Heaven, that terrible spiritual-State ruled by the cosmic sadist Jehovah, and was accompanied by some of the angels who had had enough courage to question God’s authority and his value-perspective. (No pagination)

More proceeds to reiterate 33rd Degree Mason Albert Pikes depiction of Lucifer:

Lucifer is the embodiment of reason, of intelligence, of critical thought. He stands against the dogma of God and all other dogmas. He stands for the exploration of new ideas and new perspectives in the pursuit of truth. (No pagination)

Lucifer is even considered a patron saint by some Transhumanists (Transtopian Symbolism, no pagination). Transhumanism retains the paradigmatic character of Luciferianism, albeit in a futurist context. Worse still, Transhumanism is hardly some marginalized cult. Richard Hayes, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, elaborates:

Last June at Yale University, the World Transhumanist Association held its first national conference. The Transhumanists have chapters in more than 20 countries and advocate the breeding of “genetically enriched” forms of “post-human” beings. Other advocates of the new techno-eugenics, such as Princeton University professor Lee Silver, predict that by the end of this century, “All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry [will be] controlled by members of the GenRich class. . .Naturals [will] work as low-paid service providers or as laborers. . .” (No pagination)

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With a growing body of academic luminaries and a techno-eugenical vision for the future, Transhumanism is carrying the banner of Luciferianism into the 21st century. Through genetic engineering and biotechnological augmentation of the physical body, Transhumanists are attempting to achieve the very same objective of their patron saint. I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:

I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13-14)

This declaration reflects the aspirations of the power elite as well. Whatever form the Luciferian religion assumes throughout the years, its goal remains the same: Apotheosis.

Sources Cited:

1, Bainbridge, William Sims. “New Religions, Science, and Secularization.” Excerpted from Religion and the Social Order, 1993, Volume 3A, pages 277-292, 1993. 2, Hayes, Richard. “Selective Science.” TomPaine.commonsense 12 February 2004. 3, More, Max. “Transhumanism: Towards a Futurist Philosophy.” Maxmore.com 1996 4, “In Praise of the Devil.” Lucifer.com 1999 5, Pike, Albert. Morals and Dogma. 1871. Richmond, Virginia: L.H. Jenkins, Inc., 1942. 6, Raschke, Carl A. The Interruption of Eternity: Modern Gnosticism and the Origins of the New Religious Consciousness. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1980. 7, “Transhumanism.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 8 January 2006 8, “Transtopian Symbolism.” Transtopia: Transhumanism Evolved 2003-2005 9, Wilmshurst, W.L. The Meaning of Masonry. New York: Gramercy, 1980.

2006 Phillip D. Collins – All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale

Author Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, NewsWithViews.com, and B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent and Conspiracy Archive. He has an Associate of Arts and Science.

Currently, he is studying for a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Wright State University. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, and classic literature. He also co-authored the book, The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century, which is available at: [Link]

E-Mail: collins.58@wright.edu

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Transhumanism advocates the use of nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, and information technology to propel humanity into a posthuman condition.

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Phillip D. Collins — Luciferianism: The Religion of …

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Hedonistic Theories – Philosophy Home Page

Posted: September 18, 2016 at 8:14 am

Abstract: The refinement of hedonism as an ethical theory involves several surprising and important distinctions. Several counter-examples to hedonism are discussed.

I. Hedonistic theories are one possible answer to the question of “What is intrinsic goodness?”

Similar theories might involve enjoyment, satisfaction, happiness, as concepts substituted for pleasure. A major problem of hedonism is getting clear as of what pleasure and pain consist. Are pleasures events, properties, states, or some other kind of entity?

II. The hedonistic position can be substantially refined.

Some persons have mistakenly taken this distinction to mean that “Therefore, you can’t generalize about what actions should be done because they would differ for different people; hence, ethics is relative.”

Think about how this statement is logically related to C.L. Kleinke’s observation in his book Self-Perception that “What distinguishes emotions such as anger, fear, love, elation, anxiety, and disgust is not what is going on inside the body but rather what is happening in the outside environment.” (C.L. Kleinke, Self-Perception (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1978), 2.)

III. The hedonist doesn’t seek pleasure constantlya constant indulgence of appetites makes people miserable in the long run.

When hungry, seek food; when poor, seek money; when restless, seek physical activity. We don’t seek pleasure in these situations. As John Stuart Mill stated, “Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness along the way.”

IV. John Hospers proposes three counter-examples to hedonism.

Recommended Sources

Hedonism:A discussion of hedonism from the Stanford Encyclopedia with some emphasis relating to egoism and utilitarianism by Andrew Moore.

Hedonism: An outline of some basic concepts hedonistic philosophy with brief mention of Epicurus, Bentham, Mill, and Freud from the Wikipedia.

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Hedonistic Theories – Philosophy Home Page

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