On this day in 1938, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first synthesized the psychedelic drug LSD at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. It was five years later, on repeating synthesis of the almost forgotten substance, that Dr. Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD after accidentally absorbing some through his fingertips on April 16, 1943.
one of the most important grimoires of the modern age is about to see the light of day. i for one am extremely interested in perusing the record of Dr. Jung's mystical freak-out.
What happened next to Carl Jung has become, among Jungians and other scholars, the topic of enduring legend and controversy. It has been characterized variously as a creative illness, a descent into the underworld, a bout with insanity, a narcissistic self-deification, a transcendence, a midlife breakdown and an inner disturbance mirroring the upheaval of World War I. Whatever the case, in 1913, Jung, who was then 38, got lost in the soup of his own psyche. He was haunted by troubling visions and heard inner voices. Grappling with the horror of some of what he saw, he worried in moments that he was, in his own words, “menaced by a psychosis” or “doing a schizophrenia.”
He later would compare this period of his life — this “confrontation with the unconscious,” as he called it — to a mescaline experiment. He described his visions as coming in an “incessant stream.” He likened them to rocks falling on his head, to thunderstorms, to molten lava. “I often had to cling to the table,” he recalled, “so as not to fall apart.”
Had he been a psychiatric patient, Jung might well have been told he had a nervous disorder and encouraged to ignore the circus going on in his head. But as a psychiatrist, and one with a decidedly maverick streak, he tried instead to tear down the wall between his rational self and his psyche. For about six years, Jung worked to prevent his conscious mind from blocking out what his unconscious mind wanted to show him. Between appointments with patients, after dinner with his wife and children, whenever there was a spare hour or two, Jung sat in a book-lined office on the second floor of his home and actually induced hallucinations — what he called “active imaginations.” “In order to grasp the fantasies which were stirring in me ‘underground,’ ” Jung wrote later in his book “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” “I knew that I had to let myself plummet down into them.” He found himself in a liminal place, as full of creative abundance as it was of potential ruin, believing it to be the same borderlands traveled by both lunatics and great artists.
Jung recorded it all. First taking notes in a series of small, black journals, he then expounded upon and analyzed his fantasies, writing in a regal, prophetic tone in the big red-leather book. The book detailed an unabashedly psychedelic voyage through his own mind, a vaguely Homeric progression of encounters with strange people taking place in a curious, shifting dreamscape. Writing in German, he filled 205 oversize pages with elaborate calligraphy and with richly hued, staggeringly detailed paintings.
It’s a very old story. Perhaps as old as the rise of monotheism: tellingly, there is no society where monotheism dominates in which psychoactive drug use is officially tolerated (and psychoactive is the key here) unless that society has since become much more thoroughly secular than our own. And that’s why drug use is not really a just a matter of civil liberties per se, of the “individual freedom” that libertarians maintain is the true legacy of Western civilization. The issue isn’t whether or not you have a personal right to alter your mood—after all we have caffeine, and we have alcohol and nicotine which are far more strongly addictive and dangerous to health than cannabis, but we don’t have cannabis. Why? Because cannabis can alter your perception of reality, not just your mood.
Reports of psychoactive drug experiences tend to support the idea that the user can become aware of multiple levels of reality all present simultaneously that are far more complex and yet more harmonious and unified than normal experience permits her to perceive. All sorts of understandings are possible, based on the particular mind and the particular drug, but this type of awareness is a through-line. Why would monotheism particularly be afraid of this? Because the experience tends to reinforce the idea that while there is undoubtedly a transcendent realm of existence, it doesn’t recognize those equally hallucinatory desert-engendered patriarchs Yahweh or Allah as its exclusive landlords. So, to coin a phrase: how’re ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Par-ee?
Yes, you will say, but Almighty God or no, whatever consumer capitalism wants consumer capitalism usually gets in our good ol’ U.S. of A. So why did we abolish Prohibition only to let the drug war run on and on with no sign of ever ending? What’s the difference, when pleasure can be turned so readily into cash?
There’s no doubt that American culture is schizoid as regards pleasure: for a consumer capitalist society, pleasure is the big money, the holy grail of profit, but for a never-truly secularized monotheistic society, dominated by a particularly sensation-hating brand of monotheism at that, pleasure is always deeply suspect, a terrorist in our midst. Still, I would maintain that insight, not pleasure, is the real target, or at least the real casualty, of the American war on the particular drugs it has chosen as the enemy. Sensual pleasure may be a danger to organized religion, but insight is dangerous to both religion and profit. [+]
pretty interesting talk about black ("deviant" or "illegitimate") globalization. according to him it's growing 2-3% faster than legit market and is composed of things like illicit drugs, black and grey market arms running, organ traffic (!!), malware (botnets,virii,spamming,phishing,ID theft,etc), human trafficking and black finance funneling the whole thing into legit business acquisitions.
he posits some principles:
1-legitimate demand can produce deviant sources of supply 2-uneven global regulations create more illegit business opportunities 3-pathways for legit globalization help illegit business too 4-once an industry becomes professionalized, cracking down merely increases profit for those actors who remain 5-states actively undermine the difference between legit and illegit activities 6-unchecked, illegit business interestes will take over the legit economy 7-illegit business operators are inherently inimical to the state system
some points i thought were interesting:
--for drugs, most profitable step is crossing border SO more border security = more lucrative drug trade --malware jobs pay far more than legitimate software jobs in eastern Europe... --in Brasil a hacker crackdown has lead to the best ones there becoming so elite that their services are globally desired --in some places the local mob owns all the legit business --as states decline and cease to provide social services, loyalties break down into corporate/government (as exercised through powerful members thereof) or to family/gang/church --these people are not revolutionary, just getting around the state for business purposes --in much of the world, the states role of providing of social services falls to non-state actors (tribal leaders, globalista gangsters, corporations, NGOs, churches)
this project is about a guy who was really drunk and masturbating to the fairy princess from Legend of Zelda while performing autoerotic asphyxiation with the NES controller and somehow is transported to the world of Hyrule as depicted in the game. abounds with classic Zelda in-jokes, juvenile humour; there is some of the talent behind the Guild involved in this one.
according to this exhaustively researched paper, the city was run by an elitist aristocracy which relied on blood sacrifice to keep order. then one day the people burned down the temples, turned the palace into a garbage heap and instituted a kind of peaceful and egalitarian neolithic communism which existed without nobles and priests for millennia.
On a certain day 9200 years ago the manorial houses at the north side of the large square in Çayönü were burnt down, and this happened so fast that the owners were not able to save any of their treasures. The temple was torn down and burnt, and even the floor was ripped open, the stone pillars around the free space were taken down and the taller of them were broken up. The place itself - previously maintained and kept meticulously clean for more than 1000 years - was converted into a municipal waste dump. After a short chaotic transition all houses had been torn down. The slums in the west disappeared for good, but only a few steps away from the spot where the ruins of the manorial houses had burnt the new Çayönü was erected. The new houses were comparable in size to the old manors but there were no more houses or shacks built to an inferior standard. In all houses, work was done and all hints to social differences were erased.
After these findings had been documented in 1989, the supervisor of the excavations of Çayönü, Mehmet Özdoğan, could exclude the invasion of foreign peoples, war, plagues, and natural disasters in 1997 and concluded that the cause for this change must have been a social upheaval.
Not only did the revolutionaries of those remote times succeed in overthrowing a regime thousands of years old, bloody and exploitive - moreover, they also succeeded in developing their own alternative society, devising and realizing it. The social revolution of the year 7200 B.C. is the hour of the birth of neolithic communism. An egalitarian, classless society arises in which women and men are equal, a society which rapidly spreads over the whole of Anatolia and almost simultaneously over the Balkans and which endures for 3000 years.
meanwhile, the internet continues to devour entire industries at an accelerating pace. Some might say it is time to rethink our national communications policy. But even that's obsolete. I'd start with a simple idea. There is no such thing as voice or text or music or TV shows or video. They are all just data. We need a national data policy, and here are four suggestions:
• End phone exclusivity. Any device should work on any network. Data flows freely.
• Transition away from "owning" airwaves. As we've seen with license-free bandwidth via Wi-Fi networking, we can share the airwaves without interfering with each other. Let new carriers emerge based on quality of service rather than spectrum owned. Cellphone coverage from huge cell towers will naturally migrate seamlessly into offices and even homes via Wi-Fi networking. No more dropped calls in the bathroom.
• End municipal exclusivity deals for cable companies. TV channels are like voice pipes, part of an era that is about to pass. A little competition for cable will help the transition to paying for shows instead of overpaying for little-watched networks. Competition brings de facto network neutrality and open access (if you don't like one service blocking apps, use another), thus one less set of artificial rules to be gamed.
• Encourage faster and faster data connections to our homes and phones. It should more than double every two years. To homes, five megabits today should be 10 megabits in 2011, 25 megabits in 2013 and 100 megabits in 2017. These data-connection speeds are technically doable today, with obsolete voice and video policy holding it back.
Now, we may wish to find some lessons in this tale of the monetary policies of the late Roman Empire. The first lesson, I think, must be that if war is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne said, it is poison to a stable and sound money. The Roman monetary crisis therefore was closely connected with the Roman military problem. Another lesson is that the problems become solvable when a ruler decides that something can be done and must be done. Diocletian and Constantine clearly were willing to act to protect their own ruling-class interest, the military and the civil service. Monetary reforms were necessary to win the support of the troops and the bureaucrats that composed the only real constituency of the Roman state, and the two-tier system was designed to this end. It brought about a stable monetary standard for the ruling group who did not hesitate to secure it at the expense of the mass of the population.
The Roman state survived. The liberty of the Roman people did not. When freedom became possible in the west in the 5th century, with the barbarian invasions, people took advantage of the possibility of change. The tax burden remained burdensome even after the gold standard was re-established. The peasantry had become totally alienated from the Roman state because it was no longer free. The business community likewise was no longer free, and the middle class of the urban cities was no longer free.
The economy of the west was perhaps more fatally weakened than that of the east, and when we read in the writings of the early 5th century Christian priest Salvian of Marseille his account of why the Roman state was collapsing in the west — he was writing from France, Gaul — Salvian says that the Roman state is collapsing because it deserved collapse; because it had denied the first premise of good government which was justice to the people. And by justice he meant a just system of taxation. Salvian tells us, and I don't think he's exaggerating, that one of the reasons why the Roman state collapsed in the 5th century was that the Roman people, the mass of the population, had but one wish after being captured by the barbarians: that they would never again fall under the rule of the Roman bureaucracy. In other words, the Roman state was the enemy, the barbarians were the liberators. And this undoubtedly was due to the inflation of the 3rd century. While the state had solved the monetary problem for its own constituents, it had failed to solve that monetary problem for the masses and continued to use an oppressive system of taxation in order to fill the coffers of the ruling bureaucrats and military.
i used to have anxiety dreams about being suddenly back in college and freaking out because i didn't know what to do. now i'm having anxiety dreams about being in old workplaces, freaking out because i don't know how i got there or what i should be doing, and being suddenly afraid of losing my job. fun times.
My job is so fucking unbelievable. I'll try to sum it up by first telling you about the folks I work with:
First, there is this supermodel wanna-be chick. Yeah, okay, she is pretty hot, but damn is she completely useless. The girl is constantly fixing her hair or putting on makeup. She is extremely self-centered and has never once considered the needs or wants of anyone but herself. She is as dumb as a box of rocks, and I still find it surprising that she has enough brain power to continue to breath.
The next chick is completely the opposite. She might even be one of the smartest people on the planet. Her career oppertunities are endless, and yet she is here with us. She is a zero on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm not sure she even showers, much less shaves her "womanly" parts. I think she might be a lesbian, because every time we drive by the hardware store, she moans like a cat in heat.
But the jewel of the crowd has got to be the fucking stoner. And this guy is more than just your average pothead. In fact, he is baked before he comes to work, during work, and I'm sure after work. He probably hasn't been sober anytime in the last ten years, and he's only 22. He dresses like a beatnik throwback from the 1960's, and to make things worse, he brings his big fucking dog to work. Every fucking day I have to look at this huge Great Dane walk around half-stoned from the second-hand smoke. Hell, sometimes I even think it's trying to talk with its constant bellowing. Also, both of them are constantly hungry, requiring multiple stops to McDonalds and Burger King, every single fucking day.
Anyway, I drive these fucktards around in my van and we solve mysteries and shit.