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Welcome to Willard’s Hammer

This is the post excerpt.

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Welcome to Willard’s Hammer, a site dedicated to the commemoration of the renowned and reclusive artist of no name yet great fame. The special operator of hidden influence and secret subversion takes the world as his medium in the creation and destruction of matter and mass as no mortal man before him has ever achieved. Herewithin may you hear his word and experience his force. Enjoy 😉

 

 

Propaganda Post #3 – The Human Being

Human behavior models serve an important role in social sciences. So far as I can tell there is not any sort of consensus on the validity of existing models, though I think there are hopes that big data will reveal and solidify a universal model for use across individual disciplines. Perhaps neuroscience has already solved the human being, I don’t know. Anyway, here are a few Nietzsche inspired aphorisms I’ve written on human nature. These are not comprehensive, though I do hope they are comprehensible.

Facts – The entirety of one’s knowledge comes into focus on a single point, generally unrelated to its supporting base.

Humanity’s character – God is dead and we have killed him. The question, after Nietzsche, is the source and validity of our moralities. In the absence of a higher order, or perhaps the absence of the acceptance of such a thing: faith, morality moves to be decided in the physical realm. Under physical regimes we are judged by our ability to realize advantage in the forces of the systems with which we interact, and we become sport ourselves. An economic system, for example, which produces optimal results, as all do, becomes a morality in practice as nonparticipants and dissidents are left to the service of the counter-optimal. Physical regimes are moralities of force whereas those of faith are moralities of answered questions. The lowest account of a regime of force concerns the precision of an answer: we call this politics. A higher account concerns the precision of a central question: this is sometimes called philosophy. On occasion, and more as brute than otherwise, the ruckus of some marauding rouge disrupts the prevailing order of central questions to the effect of setting themselves into motion as a force of history unto themselves. But just as the water calms after a wave has passed so does humanity settle around a faith in forced answers.

How did we lose our way? – Origin is related to destination by course, and course is, of course, purpose. The effect of constant and systematic assaults against prevailing theories on human origin and purpose is that people are kept away from any type of productive rebellion by having their rebellious energies turned against their own intellects. That is to say, constant lowbrow challenges to the nature of what humanity is at its core subvert a sophistication in our collective capacity to estimate what it is that we ought to be doing in the present. Origin and purpose warrant thoughtful consideration, and prevailing theories should be subject to upheaval, but when the nature of the assault against the theories of the day can best be described as “fucking retarded,” and when that assault is tolerated, much less when that assault is a central component of corporate-educational-entertainment it works to dictate a framework for thinking that is entirely counterproductive to the effective employment of reason. Consider the “History Channel” show Ancient Aliens. Viewers are primed with quick-cut soundbites which delineate absurdist theory structures such as “what if this” so “what if that” to draw hypothetical conclusions that are so completely unrelated to the underlying premises that nothing in the entire half-an-hour time slot bears consideration. If a person was to imitate and adopt for themselves, in their daily lives, the methods of reasoning shown in any number of similar programs they would be utterly useless to any objective which required a decentralized cooperative component. Conversely, such a person may prove useful to the objectives of well entrenched centralized command structures capable of directing market forces. The only useful rebellions are the smart kind, unless you’re alone, such as we learned from Sartre. Good is holding a course through the wind. Idols are the destination. Humanism served us for a time but has it been noted that we’ve arrived? Without a destination of what consequence is it to let the wind act against your course?

Compartmentalization – In regard to structure, to say that one must walk in the shoes of a police officer to offer a valid critique of the results of an officers actions is to say that one must have experience as a guard at Auschwitz to critique the results of the atrocities that occurred there. Such statements must be considered with a special attention to the things beneath – the foundations which underlie the perceptions of whomever floats such a claim. For instance, in the case of the Nazis, it was offered that obligation to orders was more powerful a force than obligation to dignity – in terms of action, in the moment. This perception was ultimately rejected as illusion at Nuremberg – per my understanding, though I’m not well studied. (Also, the law seems confused on this issue so I’ll only invoke its reference to the extent that my understanding of it validates my view.) Nazi soldiers had been subjected to an active compartmentalization regime. Compartmentalization works as a propensity towards supremacy when undertaken actively, as was the case with the Nazis, and its victims are reordered on a sensory level to such an extent that it affects their experience. The aforementioned Nazi defense could only be raised in disregard to dignity – such disregard is a hallmark of supremacy – as an ordinal character in humanity had come to define their experience. Dignity is, of course, if it may be defined by the preceding implications, simply a claim to well-being and is lost to the extent that it is taken. Thus, when police systematically stand by the use of deadly force against innocent people they are demonstrating a symptom of compartmentalization, in parallel structure to the Nazi experience. A more productive pursuit of justice, which is the ostensible the goal of law enforcement, may be found in an examination of the propensity for compartmentalization within forces.

Propaganda Post #2 – Accounting

My first post in this series was concerned with how human nature is influenced by environmental realities. In that first post I was articulating observations with the intent of establishing a foundation which I could use as a starting point for a greater exploration of the subject of propaganda. But when I reviewed my own post I noticed that my observations could be organized into the theory stated above which, just to be clear, is that human nature is influenced by environment, that how we treat and interact with each other is influenced by the character of our social institutions and beliefs. Upon that realization I came to recognize that my exploration of this subject would necessarily require me to wander through the domains of economics, sociology and psychology and I intend to do so without any regard for existing boundaries between the individual disciplines. I have to proceed in this fashion because I lack the specializations required to identify such boundaries, much less respect them, but I do so without any sort of self depreciating hesitation or restraint.

I know that credibility in our day is heavily dependent upon academic specializations and educational documentation so, in an effort to build credibility without these things, I will not take any of my knowledge for granted. I will, to the extent that it is practical or possible, validate my claims with evidence sourced from my own senses. And to the same extent that I must trust myself to use my senses as the basis for my claims, my readers will have to trust themselves to fact check my claims. This is a revolution against credibility. But for this system to prevail, two things must occur.

First, claims must be brought up from their foundations. By that I mean that a claim should not be given or taken without a consideration to all those foundational things beneath it. For instance, consider the following sentence from the first post in this series:

“The intent, if intent may be inferred from observable effect, of deliberation in subtext is the subversion of our intellectual and emotional capacities to craft the essence of our existence, and our economic abilities to self-sustain, all to the advantage of the prevailing superclass.”

There are several claims in this sentence, some explicit and some rhetorical. Explicitly it is claimed that there is deliberation in subtext (of educational/ entertainment media), that there is an intent baked into that subtext, and that the result of that subtext is to the benefit of elites. There is also a rhetorical claim of a uniformity of intent across a range of media mediums, and thereby among the diverse group of producers involved. In almost every regard a thorough investigation of the validity of these claims would require a sophistication in research and access to personnel that is totally beyond my capabilities. So if not validated by research, what is it that underlies my claims? How to resolve the shortcomings in capability? Are my senses alone enough to overcome these shortcomings, and what about consensus in senses?

The second condition for the success of my revolution against credibility is the competence of my readers. You, my dear readers, must read to my expectations. Let’s take account of what’s been said to this point. The subject is supposed to be propaganda but at what point have I discussed this directly, or even so much as offered a definition of what propaganda is within the context of my own exploration? This is my second post on propaganda but I’ve yet to even approach the subject, much less engage with it directly. So what have I done? Have I shown that statements can be made by asking questions? Have I made an effort to account for the engineering of my thoughts? Have I gained a confidence by practicing a skepticism against my perceptions? Perhaps. Though, perhaps I only make a fool of myself by speaking without credibility…

 

In Response to the Shooting of Quincy Smith

I just finished watching a video of a cop being shot in S.C. while he was responding to reports of an individual harassing people at a store, and I want to share my thoughts. Typically one to be highly critical of the standardization of aggressive police responses to disobedience against “lawful orders,” I am, in this moment, quite completely sympathetic to the well being of the responding officer. Just as I am very quick to condemn instances of police violence that appear to be over the line, I want to be very quick in my recognition of this cops willingness to enter the fold as an agent for the security of his community, and I want to applaud the restraint he showed in the face of an overt and cold disobedience. But sitting here in the harsh reality of this stories end, I find myself moving away from an applause and towards a criticism of his restraint, though admirable it certainly was. This contradiction I feel in myself, which has been brought out by this case, I think is representative of the great challenge we face as a nation today.

The shooter, who I know nothing about and have no extraordinary sympathy for, was reportedly conducting himself in a threatening manner and the responding officer was completely correct to conduct a pursuit. This is the great challenge that police face as I see it: legitimately providing security in an environment where your willingness to serve your community has become a medium for others to realize financial advantage (body-cams, prison contractors, etc), or to exert some ideological influence through (moralists, racists, etc). The imperfect character of our justice system is not lost on police, I’m sure. The shooting of Quincy Smith is a reminder that police are confronted with a demand for legitimate security services without regard to the system’s imperfections. It is not wrong for police to provide those services.

Conversely, there is an expectation of injustice for those targeted by the justice system. These expectations include criticisms that are relevant to police but many valid criticisms have nothing to do with the police themselves. The shooter, I imagine, had an expectation of being treated unfairly by the justice system. It is entirely plausible that he had experienced a lifetime of economic hardship which, right or wrong, worked in his mind to validate the morality of his own brutish conduct. And when confronted by that officer, who truly appeared to be working in the communities best interests, and with good intentions, the shooter proceeded as if that cop was an unambiguous and unapologetic agent of the systems that have worked against his well-being throughout his entire life. It is not wrong for a citizen to assert their claims to dignity and constitutional rights. (That is not to conflate shooting a cop with a legitimate assertion. Shooting people is unequivocally outside the realm of acceptable conduct except in those overwhelmingly rare circumstances of self-defense.)

On a systemic level these are two people, cops and robbers, who cannot see each other as they see themselves. This is our great problem. So the most pressing question is, per my estimation of the broader environment, what is the mechanism that will allow us to see humanity beyond the superficial imprints that systems impose upon all of us?

I will honor that brave cop, Quincy Smith, by demonstrating restraint when I feel threatened. I will honor Quincy Smith by meeting the worst of the world with the best of myself.

Propaganda Series Post #1 – Environment

A recent MIT Technology Review article highlighted the role that social media bots play in spreading fake news online. The article was primarily focused on the science of how these activities are carried out but it was not particularly comprehensive in its address of the “who” or “why” of the matter. There are perfectly legitimate reasons why the Technology Review would avoid such considerations but there is no reason why we cannot explore these matters on our own. Over the next few months I am going to use this blog to explore the issue of propaganda by considering relevant mechanisms, actors and environment in the hopes that we can come to a better understanding of ourselves and our world. In this post I’ll share a few thoughts on my estimation of our environment as it may pertain to propaganda.

My first thought is that we live at the intersection of a(n ostensibly) broad scientific consensus against the idea of free will and a postmodernist tendency against moralistic universality, all of which is set against a backdrop of extreme inequality in the distributions of political and economic power. What does that mean? It means that we believe that we are not in control of ourselves and that there is no universal morality, and that there exists a superclass of limitless privilege. Our beliefs are important because of the implications that follow from them, and distributions are important because of their power to shape the dynamics of our social interactions and institutions.

My second thought concerns the way that the character of our environment effects our existence. For instance, it seems to me that we are systematically led to a nihilistic worldview by a uniformity in subtext across dominant corporate news and entertainment media platforms. The intent, if intent may be inferred from observable effect, of deliberation in subtext is the subversion of our intellectual and emotional capacities to craft the essence of our existence, and our economic abilities to self-sustain, all to the advantage of the prevailing superclass. Again, to speak simply, let me rephrase. Basically I am trying to say that we are being subjected to deliberate stupidification regimens so that our existence is spent in service to a superclass, by a means of systematic propaganda and by the control or influence of market forces.

So not everything I’ve said is specifically related to the subversive activities carried out social media bots but that is because this “fake news” crisis can be traced back to news media surrounding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003, if not to the date of September 11th 2001 itself. The Iraq war ushered in new standards in US news media which have been complimented by the systematic demonstration of inferior systems of reason and structures of logic in educational/entertainment media to such an extent that US citizens now appear to be completely lacking any solid foundation of fact while simultaneously being led away from the capacity to think critically. When we think about who would deploy an army of misinformation bots and why they might do such a thing it is necessary to consider this broader historical context.

We are in crisis and, as I see it, the only practical long term solution to our problem is a solid general education. We need to recover a foundation of truth along with our capacity to reason. We need to believe in ourselves and each other. The “who” and “why” is not complex. Who has benefited from nearly two decades of misinformation and war? As I see it the most probable offenders are fascist US elites themselves, or the nation-state or non-state actors who are retaliating for the global surveillance and control initiatives of the fascist US elites. I’m sick of these piggish motherfuckers taking my name across the ocean for their own selfish ends, SO I will be using this blog as a means to explore the nature of US propaganda as we are experiencing it in the moment.

With my next few blog posts I will share my thoughts on US propaganda in a series of posts that are generally related to that topic. Some posts may be simple observations about specific television programs while others may be more complex (and hopefully coherent) attempts at relevant bits of aphoristic philosophy. The question you need to ask yourself as a reader of this series is this: can an uneducated person (who is fuckin’ awesome) reach sound conclusions about the nature of their world while relying primarily upon their own senses and sense?