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Psychic Warfare Department

A Study on the Human Condition and other Horrors

This is where Erik wants to move to, because reasons.

I have no idea why this revelation just popped into my skull yesterday, but I figured that I should write it down for posterity and before I forget.

As some of you may already know, the band Led Zepplin was basically obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. References to those books and its characters show up repeatedly in many of their songs. The band's most famous song - Stairway to Heaven - is no exception.

It's about Arwen, the elf maid who gave up immortality for love, thus condemning herself to eventual death to be with a mortal human that she desired. And the LotR ends with all the elves packing up their shit, getting onto boats and sailing into "the west." All save one - her. She stays behind and thus becomes the only elf left in that entire chunk Middle Earth afterward. Hence, "There's a feeling I get when I look to the west and my spirit is crying for leaving." She's not sad because she left any particular place. She's sad because she left her people and, once her husband finally got around to dying from dysentery after eating under-cooked meat for years on end, finally took the love-blinders off and realized just what she had thrown away for some cock.
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Erik always makes fun of the way I drive, which is to say slow & careful.

Just renewed my car insurance. I am now paying less than $80 per month. In Michigan.

Which, incidentally, is only $10 more per month than what I was paying back in Florida... in the 1990s.

It makes sense now.

I always wondered why they were called "Generation Z" ...

Be sure to use it until it becomes meaningless and people roll their eyes everytime you say it.
Your go-to meaningless insult word based on your political affiliation:

Democrat - "Fascist"

Republican - "Socialist"

Alt-Right - "Cuck"

Alt-Left - "Edgy"

The rest of the world will be writing you off as a dumbfuck loon in no time!

Film paradox?
An interesting facet of the original Blade Runner is that it is regarded as the quintessential original cyberpunk classic even though it contains no actual cyber. Plenty of punk. Just no cyber.

Cyberpunk, as original created by William Gibson, had two key ingredients mixed into its formula. The first was that the world would have incredibly advanced computer technology, up to and sometimes including true artificial intelligence. The second was that humans would begin to merge with their technology in an almost cyborg fashion, with their phones planted inside their skulls, their computers interfacing directly into their brains with cables, along with classic staples such as kevlar skin weaves, cameras inside of eyeballs and other such things. In other words, real world "wearables" became things embedded inside the human body.

Blade Runner has none of that. In fact, for a society with flying cars their actual level of technology is pretty damn primitive. We see people still using public phones, and although they have real time video, it's still a payphone. We see giant video billboards galore but we don't see proper holograms become commonplace until the sequel. Speaking of the sequel, this gives even more evidence of the relative low-tech level of their actual computers compared to the real world. At one point we see the protagonist have to manually scan a genome sequence on what is basically microfilm. This is the sort of thing that real-life computers do in seconds.

So here is where things get curious, and I admit that from here it's all just conjecture on my behalf. The world of Blade Runner is one that diverged from our real timeline due to some catastrophe (see also Mercerism) and has, for what may be religious reasons (see sequel) decided to abandon pursuing our real-world goals of traditional robotics and instead decided to run with genetic engineering to fill the gap that this lack of automation created. Which is oddly similar to the villain in the comedy book "John Dies at the End, if you're looking for something good to read. It's a world where computers are still advancing, but only slowly - at least compared to our world (similar also to the Fallout universe). In it's place they have developed genetic engineering to the point where in lieu of robots, androids or any other type of mechanical work units they have simply made obedient clones of humans, instead. They justify this by claiming that clones have no souls, and therefore deserve no rights, which in itself has some interesting religious overtones, especially for a pair of films where no one is ever seen professing any particular faith of any kind (Or it could be everyone is just a Mercerist now so it doesn't need to be said? Who knows?)

With all this the point that its universe lacks any kinds of cybernetics now makes a lot more sense, because they clearly don't even have that level of technology, yet. They've poured all their research points over the last several decades into genetic engineering and flying cars. They've left things like smartphones to the wayside, or at least didn't start playing catch-up with us until at least 2030 or so, where we see the first autopilot used on a flying car (something we first started working on in the real world over nearly a decade ago). The aren't really cyberpunk because they can't be - the just don't have the level of hardware tech to pull it off. Why replace a lost limb with a metal, cybernetic one when you've got enough genetech to just grow a new one in a tank and glue that on instead? Yes, they're missing out on all the cool stuff, but maybe that's just part of their culture/religion/worldview?

Anyway, point being - best cyberpunk film ever lacks most basic elements of cyberpunk, and I find that ironic.

It's ... alive!
So, future historians, right about now there has been a huge populist wave favoring stricter gun control laws in the wake of this week's school shooting (Florida, 17 dead, for the archives). Now this sort of thing has happened before - that is, the backlash over this sort of thing which happens all the damn time. Yet until now it never seemed to go anyplace. Nothing ever changed, and frankly not enough people seemed to be motivated enough to force the changes. So why now?

I mean that. Why now? Not in any sort of negative way, just curious. The original Columbine massacre happened in 1999 - which was almost twenty years ago from today. And despite scores of school shootings since then people haven't really done diddly squat in nearly two decades. Until now. So why now? Why not then? Why not twenty years ago? Why not five years ago? Why not five or twenty years into the future? What variable has changed to produce different results in the arena of public opinion that was lacking up until this particular event?

Was it that somewhere along the way the survivors learned how to be media savvy enough to garner attention? Because I remember seeing interviews with grieving parents before, but I don't recall seeing the surviving kids themselves going in front of TV cameras until now. Or could it be that, as many have pointed out, the NRA has abandoned it's mission of safe, responsible ownership for everyone in favor of just bulk sales of "tacti-cool" stuff to a narrow demographic of angry white right-wing fanatics? In other words, they've sold out and people know it? Is the snowballing media effect the driving factor behind various corporations severing ties with the NRA and it's lobbyists? Has the NRA's own misdirection been caused by the Trump administration lulling the far-right into a false sense of invincibility? Has the recent resurgence of white supremacists - armed white supremacists - contributed into this wave of anti-gun sentiment that is sweeping the nation right now?

Could it be multiple variables, then? Could it be one of those "thousand monkey's with a thousand typewriters" things where we had to wait until just now for the proverbial stars to align? Could it be that what was needed all along to get these results was not any one thing but rather several things all coming together in just the right way to make it finally happen?

And could all of this have happened twenty years ago had Random Chance just happen to roll this particular combination on her Dice of Fates? Could we still have found ourselves waiting another twenty years had they not just happened to pop up in just the right order this time around?

Or was it something else? Because I'm not going to buy the "last straw" argument because people have claiming every shooting to be the "last straw" since the first one. Clearly it isn't anything that simple or it would have happened long, long ago. It had to be a combination of things, I think, and this time is special because it just happened to be the right combination. Gun control is has finally leaped from being an Idea into a Meme. A real meme, by the way, meaning the scientific definition and not just the lazy internet one.

Memes grow and spread just like living organisms. This particular meme is no longer just a random collection of inert ideas. The various bits and pieces involved have, entirely by chance, merged into something that is self-replicating in the same way that our DNA did billions of years ago. It is evolving and I'm curious to see what it evolves into, next.

True Tales of Text
E: I find it hilarious that so many people on dating sites and apps think that "Hi" is the epitome of conversational opening gambits.

V: I find it sad that dating sites and apps have become so mandatory that just meeting someone and saying "Hi" causes people's brains to freeze up with incomprehension.

E: If I'm at a bar and I want to talk to someone, I don't just walk up, say hi, and then just stand there and stare. I follow up my greeting with a statement or question.

E: This should be even easier to do online since everyone has a profile to give you conversational fodder.

V: Granted, but even if you can get her to acknowledge your existence over the numbing glow of her own smartphone social media things, you would then have to force her brain back into spoken dialog mode and hope that she can overcome the shock of real-life communication before her eyes & mouth dry out from hanging open too long.

V: That is weird. There is a bright, yellow thing in the sky aaaaaigh my eyes!

E: So put on some sunglasses and let it give you the vitamins you need to battle your depression.

V: I don't have depression. I have severe existential dread. Get it straight.

Quote de Jour
"People will sprout whatever they believe, but without validating their view. It might be true. It might not. Doesn't matter. If someone thinks it helps their argument, they'll say it anyway."

Since you're on the subject...
How to tell if a country is a shithole:

1) Failing infrastructure.

2) Low quality education system.

3) Poor access to medical care.

4) Flagrant racial & sexual inequality.

5) Lack of social mobility.

6) High incarceration rates.

7) Blows half it's GDP on defense.