I'm Back Again...I Guess :D

Wow, this place is still here?

Well, I figure most everyone here remembers me since there haven't really been many posts since I left. Just wanted to say hey. If anyone here wants a link to my Facebook account (which I update regularly with news and such from my point of view), I can send it to you in a PM. With the lack of posting going on here, I figure this place is on its last leg, so I just wanted to throw that option out there in case anyone wants to stay in touch should MFN finally go down.

MFN has served me well and I've met some great friends here! I hope those of us who are still around can stay in touch one way or another for the long haul.

It's been like a year now since I last posted anything here...so what are you all up to these days??

Comments

  • edited January 2012
    Hello Red Monkey Queen!

    Welcome back! Sorry for the very late response. The forum just doesn't have any users the way it used to. Likely due to the old server going down and taking the entire old forum with it. I'm quickly restoring all of the old news to the website, though, and hoping to bring some life back to the site.
  • edited January 2012
    Hakuna matata!

    The last year has been very busy for me. I kind off the map almost entirely when I joined the Leading Light Communist Organization in December 2010. That lasted about seven months and left me pretty disillusioned. Since that time though things have come together a bit more for me. For example, I've finally gotten the job I've been seeking since college graduation way back in 2007: I am now a high school history teacher. :) Philosophically, I've kind of taken to Daoism anew. Politically, I've mostly been working in the Occupy movement in various capacities since early October. (I also run an Occupy movement social group on another message board.)

    I guess that pretty much sums up the last year on my end.
  • edited January 2012
    Wow.... I guess all of that kind of makes sense for a Matrix fan. I've been Catholic all my life, and nothing's gonna change that. I have known one person that had been part of a group that sound like Leading Light, and he found that he was hating other people for no real reason, and because of that he hated himself all the more.

    Interesting that you're a high school history teacher. My dad taught History, Old Testament, New Testament and English.

    I've never understood the Occupy movement. Is that still going? I guess I just saw all sorts of reports about it, including one Occupy camp that eventually had a dividing line between the members that were rich and those that were poor in the Occupy camp. It was interesting because that camp had divided itself naturally between those that would shower regularly and whatnot, and neo-hippies. And they would have these elaborate meals prepared and the homeless were not allowed to take part - even though the very people that were involved were in the same state in life. I guess that gave me a particularly negative impression of the Occupy movement. It did accomplish getting people to think about some things, but so far I don't think it's been as effective as the Anti-SOPA / Protect-IP campaign. That one was easy to understand, didn't have videos that showed anyone that didn't understand what the movement was about, and took off very quickly. And it was victorious. Perhaps the Occupy movement could learn a few things for how quickly things can be accomplished with a clear-cut easy to explain and everyone understands it message?
  • edited January 2012
    My differences with LLCO are a combination of theoretical and personal. I still consider myself a communist (not a Marxist one anymore though; it's complicated), but learned that our theory, bottom line, was a load of BS that made no practical difference whatsoever. The measure of a theory being scientific is its explanatory and predictive power. LLCO's theory, I discovered, has no predictive power at all. I won't bore you with the details of that here (unless you want). As for the personal reasons, I've got lots of issues with them. They claim to be democratic on paper, but I assure you they're not. LLCO is a cult run by one person who does almost everything, down to arbitrarily determining all policies and member ranks. There are never any votes on anything. It's also got a misogynist internal culture, and some of it has even since come to be reflected in their actual policies. (e.g. LLCO is the only modern Marxist organization I can think of that offers at least rhetorical support to the Taliban and that doesn't consistently support a woman's right to have an elective abortion.) I could list quite a few blatantly (and I mean indisputably) sexist personal statements that I received from various members as well, but I will spare you. The organization's highly unbalanced gender composition probably has a lot to do with the attitude. As we know from various other fields of study and from historical experience, the separation of people by demographic groups increases stereotyping and discrimination. The most painful aspect of my membership there though, the one that above all else made me want to leave, was a horribly failed attempt I had at forming an intimate relationship with a certain important individual therein. I won't divulge too many details of that in public, but said failure involved things like being pitted against an erotic dancer to compete for this important person's affections and advised to get a boob job. I tried to remain part of the group after our breakup, but I just couldn't do it after a certain point. The only way I could completely leave the heartbreak, and horrible adequacy issues, behind me was to separate myself. (This was a small organization where everyone kind of knew everyone and where said important individual was all but omnipresent in my political working life.)

    As for hating other people in general, I can't say I've ever been like that. However, I will say that the majority of LLCO very much indeed seemed to be that cliche kind of person. It's a mentality I suppose. I will say though that I still believe certain important aspects of their theory are correct, such as the global equality line they draw, which suggests mathematically that an equal redistribution of the global product would involve everyone living at a material standard corresponding to what $6,000 to $11,000 (per person, not per household) does in the contemporary United States. (Most people in the world make only a fraction of that, but First World populations tend to make far more.) That was a well-researched fact. I actually go further and contend that real equality means equality for all species and that the principal 'class' divide in the world hence is between human beings and animals. So it may actually be necessary for people to sacrifice even beyond the aforementioned equality line for human beings to achieve a really and truly egalitarian world, IMO. But I'm also an economic determinist these days. I don't really think there's anything I can do to fundamentally change the course of history anymore. I've kind of given up that idea. Reality is that we're probably going to have to melt the polar ice caps, clear-cut the last of the rainforests, and run out of space to store garbage before we get serious about any of this, especially concerning our highly oppressive relationship to nature. Animals, after all, cannot be a revolutionary agent despite clearly being the most oppressed strata of the capitalist system. But these are some of my aforementioned theoretical differences with LLCO that I just promised not to bore you with. Sorry! :p

    I shouldn't say any more about these things (publicly) because they know I've visited these forums before. I've already said more than I should have, but don't figure it will be too much of an issue since this site isn't exactly heavily trafficked these days.
    I've never understood the Occupy movement. Is that still going?
    Yep, but not really in a recognizable form. It's kind of shifted over the last couple months from being centered around encampments to instead (as a result of the systematic suppression of the encampments) being focused on more 'mobile' approaches if you will, like eviction resistance actions (see the Occupy Our Homes movement) and "flash mob" actions (see events like Occupy Congress and Occupy the Courts). A few are even seeking to go the electoral route and have begun organizing an Occupation Party. (You can Google any of these terms to find out more about them.) The press has sort of gotten used to us at this point, so we no longer get their attentions nearly so much as we did initially when the movement was new and fresh and, in the minds of some, threatening.

    As for what it's all about, essentially class and fairness. People involved in Occupy believe that the current socio-economic arrangements are rigged in the favor of a super-rich elite and seek to end said situation. It's a diverse bunch, so the preferred means and ultimate aims differ a lot. Probably a majority of Occupiers are ordinary reformists who belong to the Democratic Party. (Polls indicate that our support mostly comes from the same sort of demographic groups that disproportionately vote for Democrats: women, the youth, black people, trade unionists, etc., which isn't likely a pure coincidence. There seems to be quite a bit of overlap.) But there's also a very significant minority that is socialist or communist. We even have some libertarians (yep, Ron Paul supporters) and a small handful of conservatives. I think the Citizens United case from 2010 and the failure of the government to prosecute the financial criminals responsible for the Great Recession are two of the most unifying issues within the movement. There is an almost unanimous view here that those things are wrong. The founders of the movement considered it a logical extension of the democratic Arab Spring revolutionary wave to the USA. Instead of upending formal dictators though, Occupiers seek to upend a condition of financial aristocracy. And now Occupy itself is its own international movement.

    Right now I'm willing to support anything that might reduce the amount of inequality in the world. But, as you've probably gathered by this point, that doesn't mean I agree with the prevailing views (e.g. the commonplace "99 percent" slogan), or completely with anyone else's views in the said movement. My outlook is very much my own.
    I guess I just saw all sorts of reports about it, including one Occupy camp that eventually had a dividing line between the members that were rich and those that were poor in the Occupy camp. It was interesting because that camp had divided itself naturally between those that would shower regularly and whatnot, and neo-hippies. And they would have these elaborate meals prepared and the homeless were not allowed to take part - even though the very people that were involved were in the same state in life. I guess that gave me a particularly negative impression of the Occupy movement.
    Never heard of a lot of that stuff myself. Not saying it doesn't exist or anything, just that I haven't heard of a lot of that. I will say though that each Occupy encampment and mini-movement is its own thing. There's no central HQ dictating official policies or strategies or whatever. It's a very decentralized thing without institutionalized leaders. So what one grouping of Occupiers does (or doesn't do) doesn't really reflect on the broader movement in the sense of implying that we all agree with everything this or that encampment or mini-movement does or seeks to do. We're not that close-knit. For example, a lot of the Occupiers in these small Midwestern towns are very moderate in their political views; almost Buddy Roemer types, if you will. By contrast, if you go to a very poor place like Oakland, California, you'll find that the majority of Occupiers there are socialists or communists and that their policies reflect that orientation. What I'm saying is: don't judge us all by the actions of a few. This is a very diverse movement involving lots of different types of people.
    It did accomplish getting people to think about some things, but so far I don't think it's been as effective as the Anti-SOPA / Protect-IP campaign. That one was easy to understand, didn't have videos that showed anyone that didn't understand what the movement was about, and took off very quickly. And it was victorious. Perhaps the Occupy movement could learn a few things for how quickly things can be accomplished with a clear-cut easy to explain and everyone understands it message?
    The Anti-SOPA / Protect-IP thing had the support of multi-billion-dollar tech businesses and it was because of them that the effort succeeded. It succeeded quickly and easily because people couldn't use Wikipedia for 24 hours, couldn't use Google for 24 hours without seeing their statement on the matter, etc. Now, by contrast, had said movement had to rely instead on the support of ordinary people like Occupy does, and had it as broad a goal as Occupy does, then maybe it would have gotten different results. When you're challenging things like the idea that millionaires and billionaires essentially run the government, that's much more of an uphill battle. The press is run by such people and hence is generally hostile to us.
  • edited January 2012
    I see. That's a very long response. :-)

    I did read the entirety, but don't have the time to respond in kind. That said, I wonder how a history teacher could possibly be a communist. Knowing that historically communism has never worked, and economically could never work, it seems contrary to logic. Marxist or otherwise. (I am surprised because I know so many history teachers and you're the first that has claimed to be one.)

    Personally, as a small business owner, I've been watching some of the things that have come out of the Occupy movement which reach into the pockets of businesses very carefully. I have to be completely honest: there are some parts of this movement that I hope fail tremendously in that regard. I don't remember specifics at the moment, because it's been about three or four months. The simple fact is that our company makes a certain amount of money, and we have a number of employees that we have to pay and some of the tax ideas that I was reading would have been enough that we would have to let people go. And this is as a small business without any loans or debt. We're a cash based company, so any extra taxes that would be spread among the people would cause us a great deal of harm.
  • edited January 2012
    I see. That's a very long response. :-)
    I had to shorten it because it was initially too long to post. ...I can be the long-winded type. :o
    That said, I wonder how a history teacher could possibly be a communist. Knowing that historically communism has never worked, and economically could never work, it seems contrary to logic. Marxist or otherwise. (I am surprised because I know so many history teachers and you're the first that has claimed to be one.)
    It all depends on what you mean by "communism" and what your definition of success is. Communism has existed throughout most of human history. Early humanity organized itself into communist societies -- societies distributing resources according to need -- because they had so little to go around and needed every member of society. Accumulation was nigh impossible in such a primitive situation.

    No matter how far we get from that state of existence, we always fall back on communist principles when we're really in a bind. Like when natural disasters hit, for example. In such situations, we just call the resultant distribution system that gets imposed rationing rather than communism, but essentially it's the same basic principle: equal distribution of resources in order to maximize the survival rate. The Occupy encampments likewise were forced to apply similar principles to their every day existence in order to make it long: usually the encampments had such features (for participants) as a free health care system, free shelter, free food, free entertainment and recreation even, all provided by volunteers from donations. Whether or not the participants actually believe in a communist system, many of them experienced one anyway. That's because communism simply is the most efficient means of guaranteeing that all members of a group survive. Whenever people are reduced to a primitive situation, they tend to fall back on communist principles. That's also why communist principles have regularly reappeared in the course of human history: it's the most natural and basic form of human organization. Whether the corresponding principles were justified on religious or "scientific" grounds, they have regularly reappeared and proliferated among the poorer strata of society (often by religious leaders or professional intellectuals) whose existence is much more basic than that of society's rulers.

    I'll probably always be a communist in some way. I just believe in fairness. Relative to the market system, communism probably isn't as productive in developmental terms. So what? We may want to industrialize the whole world, but the planet we live on can't possibly afford it. Even our present level of industrial development is unsustainable! Sustainability should be more important to us than development at any cost at this point, one would think. To achieve sustainability, we need to learn to work in harmony with nature rather than against it. We need to restore balance...fairness...in our relationship to others and to the rest of the natural world. We need to get back to those ancient values of equality because otherwise we're going to be in for one much more serious load of pain within this century.

    Polls show that people have been decreasingly happy with their lives for decades now, just as society has grown more and more unequal and more and more anti-social. We're a lonely, unhappy society. We need to get more social again. Money isn't everything. IMO it should be nothing, in fact.
    Personally, as a small business owner, I've been watching some of the things that have come out of the Occupy movement which reach into the pockets of businesses very carefully. I have to be completely honest: there are some parts of this movement that I hope fail tremendously in that regard. I don't remember specifics at the moment, because it's been about three or four months. The simple fact is that our company makes a certain amount of money, and we have a number of employees that we have to pay and some of the tax ideas that I was reading would have been enough that we would have to let people go. And this is as a small business without any loans or debt. We're a cash based company, so any extra taxes that would be spread among the people would cause us a great deal of harm.
    Whatever. :p I wasn't judging you.
  • edited February 2012
    Red Monkey Queen;290 said:
    I had to shorten it because it was initially too long to post. ...I can be the long-winded type. :o

    Whatever. :p I wasn't judging you.

    Ha ha! :-)

    Very interesting comments. One thing to make note of: where I live, sustainable business is a class that many college students are taking more and more. It's possible to do both. In fact, the business that I co-own is one that is very sustainable, and would be moreso if the paradigm shift would happen a bit faster. If that were to occur, we could go completely paperless, and save our company money on printing certification cards.

    On that note, as a Catholic, I also believe in fairness... we call it social justice. We also invented things from Universities to Hospitals (ironic). But that's beside the point. I'm sure that certain facets of every belief system and every political system make their way into every other belief/political system.
  • edited February 2012
    Red Monkey Queen:
    "Philosophically, I've kind of taken to Daoism anew. Politically, I've mostly been working in the Occupy movement in various capacities since early October. (I also run an Occupy movement social group on another message board.)

    I guess that pretty much sums up the last year on my end."
    Specter:
    Wow.... I guess all of that kind of makes sense for a Matrix fan. I've been Catholic all my life, and nothing's gonna change that. I have known one person that had been part of a group that sound like Leading Light, and he found that he was hating other people for no real reason, and because of that he hated himself all the more.
    RMQ
    My differences with LLCO are a combination of theoretical and personal. I still consider myself a communist (not a Marxist one anymore though; it's complicated)
    Hi.
    I'd like to comment. I got the e-mail about the new updates, and, here i am.

    I've been a Christian since opening my childhood Bible at 17, and reading it for the first time while away from home.
    That was some 40 years ago now.
    Today? While a member of the Lutheran Church... I consider myself a, "Matrixist Christian". Involved with this is my attendance to the many NDE accounts one can read today, esp. at www.nderf.org , which reveals to us that the Wachowski's cinematic illustration is accurate.

    Involved with the movie, of course, is the consensus of
    1. the various spiritual teachings,
    2. modern Physics in it's revelations to us, and,
    3. the many NDE accounts of people who have left, "here", and returned.

    Both of you are probably aware of www.newlifeparadigm.com

    With regard to the illustration of the Wachowski's creation, in the Bible, we read of prophecy, and the subject of, "Predestination".
    Both of which are indicative of how, "The Matrix" is true. In Physics there are the theories of the, "Mathematical Universe", as well.
    That, the universe, and material reality, is all about, "Information".
    David Deutch, (who say's he is the atheist, btw), also states that the true definition of "life" is the ability to communicate information, which includes also what we consider to be inanimate matter.

    Such as, "Rocks".

    Today, in this global community in which we find ourselves, we are rapidly seeing the prophecies in the Bible being fulfilled.
    The latest in the news is about how Israel feels itself to be on it's own against it's enemies, and, not interested in involving the U.S. in it's
    interests about curtailing an attack by Iran, in a possible pre emptive strike.
    I don't think I need to cite all the prophecies about Israel, and, the impending return of the Messiah.
    What occurs, also... before this happens.

    RMQueen?
    Early on in my Christian life, I read the book, "Tortured for Christ", so, I am glad to read you are not the Marxist Communist.
    In the end, EGO is the problem in the world, as related to this evolved animal/mammal, "Matrix", in time and space, and also with the, "Reptilian Brain", structurally.
    And, the, "Survival Instinct", herein.
    As related in the many NDE experiences, we are in fact more and other than what is apparent in this, "Illusory", world, and matrix.
    A useful site:
    http://www.myshrink.com/counseling-theory.php?t_id=86
    "The reptilian brain is an ancient beast. It was developed over 100 million years ago. The higher brain or the neo cortex came along a mere 40,000 years ago. So, when the reptilian brain is on alert, it's pretty hard for a youngster like our neocortex to tell a 100 million year old brain to behave!"

    The sites below are a consensus also of what humanity's true origins are, apart from, "The Matrix", and, involving the angelic, and as the Bible indicates, a, "Fall".

    http://hiddenlighthouse.wordpress.com/category/descension/

    http://www.angelsghosts.com/angels_what_are_they.html

    I found these after coming to the same conclusions. So you see, others percieve all of this, also.

    All of which bears out the accuracy of the Wachowski's illustration to us!
    I don't know their early history, if their parents took them to church, or other, but, between them they've thrashed out the Truth.

    They ought to be seen as geniuses in their own right regarding these things.
    God is Truth, of course, "In Whom we live and move and have our being.", as St. Paul said.

    "Time and space are modes in which we think, and not conditions in which we, (actually), live."
    Einstein
  • edited March 2012
    http://www.nderf.org/julio_m's_nde.htm

    An, "NDE" account, and resulting consequences, from someone from Argentina.

    Who say's:
    Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?
    Yes It would take hours to explain it. But yes. We can think about it as being in some kind of "school or virtual game." There is order and chaos. One is impossible without the other. Everything is made up of the same thing. Neither space nor time exists. Nothingness does not exist. There is no beginning or end. Our "memory" is outside our physical body and is Universal. I also acquired certain abilities to help with healing, but I still don't know how they work.

    Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?
    Yes I have crossed over it several times. First I perceive the sound intensify, then I see myself "shot" like a projectile out of my body...
    By only thinking about my body, I return. At times, when I "shoot out," I see a disk with a symbol engraved on it. The disk contains information. If I allow it, it comes into me. Much of what happens seems to be by happenstance, but I intuit that it isn't. Apparently, nothing happens without my authorization or consent...but, at what point do we agree "freely" of "free will"?

    Did you become aware of future events?
    Yes.
    Many are extremely precise, others not so much... I know that "all the information is available"...filmed beforehand with all possible variations, but it is somehow "encoded" for us. What I am still unable to do is find a way to "decode" it so it has some use for us in saving human life. I would like to get in contact with people who have the same abilities in order to exchange information. From what I can tell, the film of the future that I see is the "most likely to occur given the circumstances." I see things that are both complex and simple. "Good and Bad" from the terrestrial point of view (on the other side there is no good or bad). I don't feel like saying here which of the future events I can see are most important, but the emotional impact on me was great, very great... The question I ask myself is...should I allow these events to happen? Who would believe me if I told about them beforehand? Who do I tell? What assurance do I have that "the flapping of the butterfly's wing" produces a change and the event doesn't happen because "the future was changed"? How can all this be proved?...

    Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?
    Yes I have already described it in other places.
    My whole life changed, and on occasion I discover abilities I didn't know I could develop. I think everyone who has had these experiences should try to repeat them. They can do so voluntarily and without fear. They will discover marvelous things.
    I think everybody has my abilities, but they are hidden by what we consider to be "reality."
    We live anesthetized, confused, in the hologram of the Matrix.
  • edited March 2012
    Dead in the water. Not very active here.

    "Cosmologists are not your run-of-the-mill thinkers, and Max Tegmark is not your run-of-the-mill cosmologist.
    Throughout his career, Tegmark has made important contributions to problems such as measuring dark matter in the cosmos and understanding how light from the early universe informs models of the Big Bang.
    But unlike most other physicists, who stay within the confines of the latest theories and measurements, the Swedish-born Tegmark has a night job.
    In a series of papers that have caught the attention of physicists and philosophers around the world, he explores not what the laws of nature say but why there are any laws at all.

    According to Tegmark, “there is only mathematics; that is all that exists.” In his theory, the mathematical universe hypothesis, he updates quantum physics and cosmology with the concept of many parallel universes inhabiting multiple levels of space and time.
    By posing his hypothesis at the crossroads of philosophy and physics, Tegmark is harking back to the ancient Greeks with the oldest of the old questions:
    What is real?

    Tegmark has pursued this work despite some risk to his career. It took four tries before he could get an early version of the mathematical universe hypothesis published, and when the article finally appeared, an older colleague warned that his “crackpot ideas” could damage his reputation. But propelled by optimism and passion, he pushed on."

    (Is the Universe Actually Made of Math? | Math | DISCOVER Magazine)
  • edited March 2012
    Nice to meet you Seraph. :)

    Not surprisingly, I don't take the films as literally (or uncritically) as that, but it's all good. It's great that we seem to be getting a couple people back now, and moreover representing a certain diversity of views! :D

    I appreciate the depth of all three films, even while not always agreeing with the filmmakers' conclusions. Their essential purpose though was, as always, to promote active, participatory viewing, at which the Matrix Trilogy succeeds marvelously. Been a fan for a very long time, though I have sorta moved on from my quasi-obsessed fanaticism from 2003-4.
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