Forests are turned into paper and newspapers that call for the forests to be saved.
The whole place has been crafted, complete with faux-authentic food crates and coffee bean sacks, to recreate this farm-to-market experience that stopped existing a long time ago.
Symbols, signs, and simulations had become so all-encompassing, that it is not longer possible to distinguish the real and the symbol. Melancholy is the quality inherent in the mode of disappearance of meaning, in the mode of volitilisation of meaning in operational systems.
What we consider to be social reality is indefinitely reproducible and extendable, with the copy indistinguishable from the original, or perhaps seeming more real than the original.
The modern progress economy dealt in technological potential and progress, whereas the postmodern innovation economy dealt in windows of opportunity that open and close. No one cares about your product; we care about your adoption. No one cares about what your technology does; we care about what problems it solves for users, and how fast you can grow.
Production and the ideals of production have been so successful, that a new stage is reached, a stage that has a certain banality or triviality where the ideal disappears and becomes so commonplace that it does not have meaning associated with it.
The desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand — the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forests — the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature — only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries value. ~
Whoever must play, cannot play.
—James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games
Because to tell the truth, nothing happens anymore. Nothing any longer has the time to happen. There is no duration left for anything to unfold in. Nothing can anchor itself in the world long enough to make sense. While the present still has a duration, the hyperpresent no longer does.
—After Death, Francois J Bonnet
When one weighed material comforts against something as ineffable, and unpriceable, as integrity, standing up for one's beliefs could seem like a utopian gesture—a moral luxury that was “admirable, perhaps, but quite pointless.” As Havel emphasized in his open letter to Husák, “We are all being publicly bribed.”
- Acedia: A state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one's position or condition in the world.
- Weltschmerz: A deep sadness about the inadequacy or imperfection of the world.
- Mono no aware: An awareness of the transience of all things that heightens the appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing, translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera".
- Mottainai: A sense of regret over waste, translated as "What a waste!".
- Wabi Sabi: An aesthetic, and principles, which includes asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature.
It has never been spread out, yet, they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.
Veteran's Day! Veteran's Day!
Big parade with guns and soldiers
Veteran's Day! What's there to say?
Do all your shopping
A pastoral lifestyle is lived according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasture, depicted through art in an idealized manner, typically for urban audiences.
Even before the Alexandrian age, ancient Greeks had sentiments of an ideal pastoral life that they had already lost.
In the late 19th century, city dwellers were worried that the unnatural pace of life brought on by railroads and telegraphs had given rise to a new disease, neurasthenia.
Archaeologists have discovered Sumerian cuneiform tablets which complain that family life isn't what it used to be.
There is no progress whatever. Everything is just the same as it was thousands, and tens of thousands, of years ago. The outward form changes. The essence does not change. Man remains just the same. Civilized and cultured people live with exactly the same interests as the most ignorant savages. Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words. But all these fine words about progress and civilization are merely words.
And war, and pestilence, and tearful woes.
O men, why vainly puffed up do ye bring
Yourselves to ruin?
- Atomisation: The divide-and-rule tendency of the Pit, which seeks to isolate each individual by the clever use of the doctrine of "personal independence". By undermining and uprooting all natural loyalties, whether to family, religion, nation, custom or tradition, each individual is cut off from all sources of support and sustenance outside the cathode-defined "reality" of the Pit.
- Bongo: A dweller in the Pit, one deeply affected by the ethos of the Pit. Bongos are Children of the Pit, shaped by the specific contents of the Pit, by its distortions and neuroses, by its attempts to escape its ownugliness through 'alternative' uglinesses, or its attempts to find rest inconformity to the 'standard' ugliness, or any of the thousand mix-and-match permutations of Pit-poisoning.
- Deformism: The moral and aesthetic inversion of the Pit, the continual urge to pollute and parody anything real and to destroy any racinated image by adulterating it with deracinated elements.
- Deracination: The process of cutting off an individual and a society from all natural roots. Creating a rootless, atomised type of humanity which, by its divorce from, and induced forgetfulness of, all normal standards and values, lacks dignity and self-respect. The "freedom" of the deracinated individual is limited to accepting the various "alternatives" permitted by the definers of reality.
- Ordinator: The Aristasian word for "computer".
- Racination: The reverse of deracination. It is the process (or rather processes) by which we can undo the damage which the Pit has done to us, regain our stolen innocence and revive our trampled joy and wonder.
- Vintesse: Province of Aristasia corresponding to the 1920s.
- The Eclipse: The cultural and spiritual collapse of the early 1960s. Civilisation proper ended at this time and the Void (or the Pit) took its place.
- The Pit: The deracinated contents of the post-Eclipse world, the psychotic pseudo-reality created by the Eclipse, or the world of the late 20th century.
- The Void: Refers to the post-Eclipse world's utter emptiness of anything of value or interest, just as the sea is void of fresh water or the desert void of everything but sand. The Void is the Pit as seen from within Aristasia, simply a yawning nothingness, defined not by what it is, but by what it is not.
The lotus fruit is about the size of the lentisk berry and in sweetness resembles the date.
There we went on shore and drew water, and straightway my comrades took their meal by the swift ships. But when we had tasted food and drink, I sent forth some of my comrades to go and learn who the men were, who here ate bread upon the earth; two men I chose, sending with them a third as a herald.
So they went straightway and mingled with the Lotus-eaters, and the Lotus-eaters did not plan death for my comrades, but gave them of the lotus to taste. And whosoever of them ate of the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, had no longer any wish to bring back word or to return, but there they were fain to abide among the Lotus-eaters, feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of their homeward way. These men, therefore, I brought back perforce to the ships, weeping, and dragged them beneath the benches and bound them fast in the hollow ships; and I bade the rest of my trusty comrades to embark with speed on the swift ships, lest perchance anyone should eat of the lotus and forget his homeward way. So they went on board straightway and sat down upon the benches, and sitting well in order smote the grey sea with their oars.
Thence we sailed on, grieved at heart, and we came to the land of the Cyclopes, an overweening and lawless folk, who, trusting in the immortal gods, plant nothing with their hands nor plough; but all these things spring up for them without sowing or ploughing, wheat, and barley, and vines, which bear the rich clusters of wine, and the rain of Zeus gives them increase. Neither assemblies for council have they, nor appointed laws, but they dwell on the peaks of lofty mountains in hollow caves, and each one is lawgiver to his children and his wives, and they reck nothing one of another.
/Homer, English Translation by A.T. Murray
Commodities are interchangeable goods, interchangeability improves trade, standardization, and scale.
Modernity attempts to degrade out ability to pay attention. It seeks to have us believe that we can have everything at a moment’s notice, without thought for payment, patience or production. If one does not pay for something they will not value it. If one does not work at something they will not empathize with it. And if one does not produce something they will not understand it. Modernity removes each and every single one of these factors by way of credit, addictive mechanisms and consumerism. ~
The concept of liminality for thinking about modern societies is connected to the study of theatre and performance. The liminal experiences of tribal cultures – in which ritual is a collective process for navigating moments of change – are different from the liminoid experiences available in modern societies, which resemble the liminal, but are choices we opt into as individuals, like a night out at the theatre. ~
When finished objects become commodities and break, they are easily replaced. When you break a chair, you buy another chair. We know well how to make one thousand chairs. But when a unique object breaks, we might mend. To learn the skill of mending is to also gain the skill of building, to understand the very urge to build. If we never mend, we not only risk building less but building in perverse ways.
To mend is to comprehend a human scale problem, and without this understanding our creations become strange creatures. The more finished goods become commodities, the fewer opportunities an individual has to generate new creation. The ability to mass-produce removes the opportunity for the great many to learn to produce at all.
This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient, more beautiful than it is useful, it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.
—Henry David Thoreau
In the 1976 film Network, a newsreader about to lose his job threatens to kill himself on live TV. Ratings skyrocket, he gets his own talk show as a pundit, and his catchphrase “I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!” goes viral.
- Obsolescence of desirability: When designers change the styling of products so customers will purchase products more frequently due to the decrease in the perceived desirability of unfashionable items.
- Obsolescence of function: When an item is produced to break down or otherwise become non-functional in an abnormally short period of time.
- Obsolescence of compatibility: When a product becomes obsolete by altering the system in which it is used in such a way as to make its continued use difficult. Common examples of planned systemic obsolescence include not accommodating forward compatibility in software.
- Pseudo-obsolescence of desirability: When planned obsolescence appears to introduce innovative changes into a product, but in reality does not, often forcibly outfashioning an otherwise-useful product.
- Non-user-replaceable batteries: Some products, such as mobile phones, laptops, and electric toothbrushes, contain batteries that are not replaceable by the end-user after they have worn down, therefore leaving an aging battery trapped inside the device.
- Phoebus cartel: The cartel conveniently lowered operational costs and worked to standardize the life expectancy of light bulbs at 1,000 hours, down from 2,500 hours, and raised prices without fear of competition.
- Descent-friendly Design: Repairing and reusing technology is becoming harder instead of easier. Reinventing essential tools so that they are accessible and scalable, sturdy, that reduce and contain use of perishable materials, modular (within its entire technological suite), easy to repair, well documented, don't have unnecessary dependencies.
Cultural works, unlike software, are a consumer good, not a tool for use in production, or a producer's good. Producer's goods, as mentioned earlier, are the assets used in production, such as the tools and equipment required to produce consumer goods sold for profit. Capital demand is distinct from consumer demand. Capital demand is the demand for producer's goods; consumer demand is the demand for consumer goods.
Capitalism doesn't require that a profit be made on the production of capital goods because profits are made through the control of the circulation of consumer goods. Anything that decreases the cost of capital consequently increases the potential profit that can be captured through the sale of the goods.
Failure to understand the difference between capital demand and consumer demand propagates the myth that the success of free software can be a template for free culture. Under capitalism, only capital can be free. That's why software can be free, but culture cannot be free without more fundamental shifts in society.
Premium mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes. Mediocre with just an irrelevant touch of premium, not enough to ruin the delicious essential mediocrity.