Arcanorium CollegeCollege News and Views

Pete Carroll

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 15:45



If Britain did not belong to the EU it most certainly would not try to join it now. Even the ‘Remain In’ advocates concede that it has deep flaws, a dysfunctional common currency, a failing migration system, a lack of democratic accountability, fraud on a vast scale, and an overweening bureaucracy and regulatory culture that stifles productivity, competitiveness and freedom.

Only two things can keep Britain in the EU - GREED and FEAR.

GREED plays to Big Business; the EU provides the perfect vehicle through which Big Businesses can advise on a regulatory culture to exclude their small business competitors. Madness lies this way, small businessess provide most of our employment, and all businessess start small.

GREED plays to the Political Class; the EU provides incredibly well paid jobs for defeated or retired politicians, or for those politicos who don’t even want to risk trying to get elected.

GREED also plays to all those who get EU subsidies like Universities and bodies representing ‘deprived’ areas. However as Britain remains a large net contributor to EU funds anyway, it seems myopic of these bodies to demand that Britain remain in the EU. They should instead demand that a Britain free from the EU gives them the subsidies they need directly rather than pay in to the EU coffers first and get only half of it back. Outsourcing the subsidy mechanisms makes no sense whatever.

FEAR plays to those who prefer the deeply flawed to the slightly unknown. Nobody really knows what effect leaving the EU will have on British employment, trade, security, and finance, some think that all of these may deteriorate but only by a little for a short while, some think that they may all improve a bit almost immediately. However nobody can make a case that Britain cannot stand on its own two feet and that catastrophe would follow Brexit. Project FEAR lays founded upon exaggerations from the GREED lobby.

The argument that Britain should remain in a flawed EU to try and reform it seems utterly fatuous. The attempt to negotiate a few paltry changes before the referendum has yielded nothing of substance and the Eurocrat Synarchists remain as committed as ever to their power grab of political union.

If Britain goes for Brexit others will follow and the whole creaking EU structure will likely collapse and we will have done everyone a favour. After that we can perhaps gradually rebuild something better in Europe, a Europe of independent nations cooperating on just those matters where it makes economic, military, social, and cultural sense to do so.

If Britain capitulates to greed and fear now and votes to remain in the EU, then the EU will take that as unconditional surrender and jackboot its way all over British Common Law and the elected British Parliament as it subsumes and assimilates us into the Euro-Synarchy.

Expect absolute rule from Brussels from people of the calibre of Tony Blair. People who think their own deluded visions and self-aggrandisement actually means what’s best for us, and who will lie and dissemble and eventually screw up bigtime, in their quest to achieve it.     

Science & Politics

On the subject of Euro Fraud and Euro Screw Up, have a look at the latest from CERN

The Large Hadron Collider project begins to look evermore like a metaphor for the EU itself. Built upon rather questionable assumptions at vast cost for reasons more political than scientific, the LHC has not really done what it says on the tin; or on the Nobel Prize citations either.

However after such vast expenditure they have had to trumpet almost complete failure as almost complete triumph.

A vast pyramid of committees designed and built this machine and its experiments on the basis of theories which had unresolved contradictions with other theories. It has so far failed to produce any sort of clear strong signal amongst the blizzard of statistical data and dashed hopes that it has generated. A tiny bump on a graph at 126GeV might correspond to a boson like particle, however that doesn’t mean that they have found a Higgs boson to confirm the Higgs Mechanism which supposedly gives matter about 1% of its mass (in contradiction to General Relativity theory).

Well now they have just found another tiny blip on a graph at about 750GeV. If they had found this first no doubt they would have celebrated it as THE discovery of the Higgs boson. This sort of thing risks bringing science into disrepute. For the sake of having a grandiose Euro mega-project they didn’t invest in many smaller more modest and better thought out experiments and collaborations, but went for broke and created a mess instead.

At such high beam intensities, energy and mass tend to freely interconvert and for fleeting fractions of a second, highly unstable configurations arise and then almost instantly fly apart again into fresh showers of configurations which eventually decay back into ordinary stable particles. It seems that with enough energy you can convert almost any configuration into any other and the whole notion of ‘fundamental particle’ becomes questionable, particularly when the protocols of data collection and selection and statistical manipulation allow for the abstraction of any desired result from the resulting mess. Thus we see the triumph of theory and political policy over empirical science.

Something similar seems to have happened at that other cutting edge of science up at the cosmology end of the scale. The standard model of cosmology with its big bang beginning and subsequent expansion has achieved a massive inertia because of all the government money that has gone into it. Academics have closed ranks around this theory because their grants depend on excluding all dissenting views and all dissenting interpretations of the data generated by their increasingly expensive experiments. Instead they develop ever more tortuous arguments for preserving a theory that looks increasingly flawed.  

Magic & Philosophy

I always enjoy looking at the entries on Magic and related topics in the Catholic Encyclopaedia. They sometimes prove thought provoking because they usually turn reality on its head for faith based motives, so if you consider the exact opposite of what it says you can sometimes learn something. Try this for example:

“It is not true that "religion is the despair of magic"; in reality, magic is but a disease of religion.”

The Occult entry then goes on at some length to variously opine that Magic cannot happen because of its physically impossibility, but that Magic does happen but only with the ultimate permission of god, either under his direct aegis or that of evil spirits (?!).

In reality humanity has always enjoyed the three perspectives of Materialism, Transcendentalism, and Magic, or if you like, a belief in the powers of Common Sense, Faith, and ‘Intent plus Imagination’.

In practise all three of these perspectives have to varying degrees always influenced our beliefs and actions and they probably always will.

All religions seem to begin with magical events and myths and then as they develop, the priesthoods tend to try and reserve magical activities to themselves. If the religion fails to live up to expectations the laity often begin to dabble with magical practices themselves also.

Materialism, the belief in the cause and effect relationships between phenomena, does not represent some radical new world view that arose with modern science. Even the fashioning of the simplest stone tools requires some pretty acute appreciation of how stuff works. Materialism never strays all that far from Transcendentalism or Magic either. Materialists regard the laws of the universe as effectively transcendental and they regard intent and imagination as essential in their exploitation of them.

I just read Mind Tricks, Ancient and Modern, by Steven Saunders, Wooden Books

I picked it up whilst lecturing on Chaos Magic to the Bristol Quest Conference.

This quirky little gem opens with Getting Out of Your Box, the idea that we all inhabit mostly a box of faith, or of science, or of philosophy, and the suggestion that we try looking at the other two from the inside as well as from the outside.

I feel most at home in the box of Natural Philosophy which contains the sub-boxes of Science and Magic, so from that perspective I shall ask of Faith:-

What Do Spirits Do?

I asked a wise man, how come fairies wear clothes?

He said, fairies are there to represent humanity back to itself, hence the clothing.

That seems about right; they personify our feelings about nature and our desires and fears about interacting with it.

Something similar seems to apply to all the gods and goddesses; they reflect humanity back to itself in aspirational form, so that we can believe in ourselves.

They help us to justify what we do, they can en-courage us to excel.

Believing himself the son of Zeus, Alexander conquered an empire.

Do spirits really exISt? Well I don’t know what anything ‘IS’, I can only know what phenomena do, and how that doing resembles or differs from other forms of doing.

To that extent I prefer to choose my inspirations from the gods and goddesses that we can imagine, rather than from the celebrities that the media manufacture for us.

So I suppose I have Faith of a sort, if only faith in my imagination, but I now have a goddess for that as well – Apophenia, and for some reason I seem to prefer to see my Muse naked.    

Monday, 29 February 2016 12:09

Conference & Reviews

Quest Conference.

On March 12th I shall speak at the Quest Conference in Bristol UK on ‘The History and Development of Chaos Magic’, so that gives me free rein to meander through the terrain of autobiography, history, philosophy and practice. I shall exhibit some instruments and bring along some books, including some Epochs, in case anyone wants to see one of these extraordinary tomes.

You can get tickets by post (Marion Green does not do things electronically) and probably at the door by prior arrangement. (email me about this if you need to).


I have just finished reading Gordon White’s new book ‘Star Ships – A Prehistory of the Spirits’. This struck me as the modern equivalent of that seminal and much celebrated book ‘The Golden Bough’ by Sir James George Frazer. It has a very heavyweight bibliography of anthropological books and papers, and Gordon has certainly done his academic homework.

However whilst Frazer traces the development of ideas from magic to religion to science, Gordon White explores the development of magical ideas from Paleolithic times through historical times to the present day whilst emphasising the continuing importance of pre-historical star lore, entheogen use, and of certain ancient archetypal spirits to the contemporary magician. He considers the end of the last ice age a seminal event in magical and cultural history and he suspects that flood myths in general may devolve from this event, and that the flooding of the vast shallows between Southeast Asia and Australia may have an ‘Atlantis’ type significance. He also discusses Gobekli Tepe, the mysterious temple complex recently unearthed in Turkey; that may date back twelve thousand years, in considerable detail. It would seem that this astonishing structure upsets the conventional ‘agriculture makes cities and then cities make cathedrals’ model because here a pre-agricultural society seems to have built a ‘cathedral’, perhaps a star-lore cathedral.

His thesis seems intriguing and provocative although a little tenuous, speculative and questionable in places, it will certainly stimulate debate and further research for years to come. I enjoyed reading it. Gordon puts in some light touches and flourishes even when dealing with the most academic of materials.

Related Review.

Julian Vayne writes upon the nature of ‘Spirits’ in BoB.

Hmm… well Religion asserts that spirits exist; Science asserts that they do not. Natural Philosophy and Magic need not take some half-assed compromise or evasive-agnostic position; we could instead go for Radical Materialism.

The Radical position asserts that no mind-body or spirit-matter duality exists, the universe consists of entirely ‘material’ stuff but this stuff does a range of amazing things, it has a wave-particle duality, quantum weirdness, non-local and a-temporal effects, parapsychological effects and all, and probably more. ‘Mind’ consists of what brains do. Spirits thus exist inside minds, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot have psychological, parapsychological and other effects beyond the brains which support them. The universe almost certainly contains lots of minds besides ours.

Entheogens don’t contain spirits; they merely contain material chemicals that help some brains to personify ideas by turning up the amplitude on those parts of our brains which have evolved something of a propensity to do that anyway. I can do it without them, and I prefer to do so, because ‘entheogens’ also add a lot of random confusion and damage.


Independence Day June 23rd.

Let us vote like Lions, not as frightened mice.

We can secure our freedom from the EU-Synarchy -  if we have the courage. 

Monday, 22 February 2016 14:34

Favorite Games

Herewith a list of games that have particularly intrigued me over the years, some remain in print, some you can find easily on the net, others remain personal creations or in development. Games have made a considerable contribution to my thinking since an early age, not perhaps as much as books, yet interesting games function a bit like a books, and not only do they have a stories to tell in their structures but you can evolve stories as you play them or adapt them.

Careers. I came across this at about age 12. I knew little about the world in those unsophisticated times and attended a grammar school where the English Master (a wily and provocative old cove) would occasionally announce ‘You are here to be educated as clerks, like your fathers’. Fortunately the school also had a science department, although nobody had a clue what you could do with a science education except become a science teacher. The school gave no career advice, it assumed you would either take one of the plentiful clerical jobs available at the time, or go to university and think of something whilst there. The game of Careers thus seemed an astonishing eye opener. Choose Wealth, Happiness, or Fame, join a whole series of professions, buy a yacht, in short; choose an Identity! All this seemed to sit in my subconscious till the mid-1970s, an era of plenty when career-anxiety seemed to give way to the search for personal identity in my peer group. I guess that I have always looked at life as a sort of board game. A lot of the assumptions built into the Careers game now seem simplistic but eventually it would perhaps have some influence over what I wrote in EPOCH, but more of that in a following article.

The Game of Nations. This came out in the 1970’s to model the then current oil crisis. Players control abstract Middle –Eastern oil producing territories and vie to get wealth that they can spend on oil extraction, tankers, and pipelines, or on taking over adjoining territories. The game system does not involve dice but it does have uncertainties built in with event cards. Players can buy Politicians, Secret Agents, Monarchs, Dictators, and Guerrillas in an attempt to subvert or conquer additional territories. Today we should perhaps consider adding Theocrats as well, and making the map less abstract and updating the events cards.

The Russians currently seem to play a strong hand in Syria. The West has perhaps made a mistake in supporting the ‘moderate’ rebels. Both sides need Iranian cooperation and support but if the Iranians come out of this on top then all hell may break loose if they go head to head with the Saudis.

 Diplomacy. This classic game of early 20th Century European alliances represents one of the few games which model WW1 in an interesting way. Apart from the naval battle of Jutland the battles of WW1 mainly got settled by terrible attrition rather than by interesting tactics and manoeuvres. In Diplomacy we see the bigger picture as nations make secret alliances and agreements off board and then simultaneously reveal their strategies to see what results. Historians argue constantly about the causes of WW1, but in this model scenario, war seems virtually inevitable if the game represents the actual diplomatic system of the time. The game however does really need 5 or more players, but you can play it over many days with perhaps a move a day, and with secret diplomatic notes passed around at tea and lunch breaks.

Axis & Allies. The basic Axis & Allies game models WW2 from after it has started and Japan has attacked Hawaii and the Germans have attacked Russia. It can accommodate five players but it works well with just two. Basically it works a bit like the simple strategy game of ‘Risk!’ where you get extra forces for conquering more territory, however the forces consist of various types of land, sea, and air units which makes it far more detailed and engaging. Subsequent versions have striven for yet more detail and realism. The initial game suffered from the structural quirk that Japanese commanders with any sense should disengage quickly from the pacific and attack Russia in the east, thus virtually ensuring an Axis economic victory. However for historical reasons, notably the Nomonhan Incident, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and an Oil Embargo, they adopted a Pacific strategy. The critical role of oil supply in WW2 does not seem well reflected in the basic rules.

Buck Rogers – Battle for the 25th Century. This quirky game never became very popular but you can get second-hand versions quite easily. It has an Axis and Allies type strategic structure but set in the inner solar system with spaceships and spacefaring troops disputing the control of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroids and various orbital facilities. It has the extraordinary feature of a variable geometry board. The Planets move around the Sun and you need to plan spacecraft trips accordingly. The basic game has some complications that I don’t find worthwhile; I have preferred to adapt the rules to make it more like Axis & Allies and also to use the Risk 2210 sci-fi pieces to provide more choices of troop type. 

Discworld. Ankh-Morepork. Something extraordinary happened here and then a tragedy occurred. Perhaps by some happy chance a really good game got cobbled together in Ankh-Morepork, (two attempts to make sequels to it fell badly flat) but then after the death of Sir Terry Pratchett something went wrong with the rights and the publishers had to stop making it. Sets can now fetch several hundred pounds. The game has a bit of everything, it seems a bit like turbo-monopoly with assassination and magic, although amassing property may not necessarily win you the game because you don’t know which characters your opponents play. It works best with four players and it contains enough randomness and pageantry from the books to make it surprising and enjoyable for aficionados and beginners.

Space Raid.  Interstellar board game design presents two major problems, firstly how to represent 3D space on a 2D board, and secondly how to allow for the vast distances and speeds involved. The designer needs to invoke or invent some reasonably credible but as yet undiscovered physics.

In designing Space Raid, I opted for sheets of black board with numbered or named stars on them joined by pale green lines representing possible jump routes between them of lengths of up to a few parsecs, to produce a sort of spider web or network of jump routes with the stars at the nodes and with most stars connected to between 2 and 4 others by jump routes. On the board the jump routes have different apparent lengths to represent the reality of the stars not all lying in exactly the same plane, but perhaps lying in the thickness of the plane of a spiral galaxy.

The starships move using (hypothetical) gravity focussing devices. By focussing the gravity drive exclusively on a nearby star, a ship accelerates towards it and achieve an immense velocity fairly quickly.  It then performs a slingshot manoeuvre around the star and as it hurtles away it uses the gravity focussing drive to brake against the star to eventually bring itself more or less to rest around another nearby star. Thus each time a ship makes a jump it leaves one star system, hurtles through another without stopping, and ends up in a third. Two further quirks of relativistically dubious speculative physics also occur in this scenario, initiating a jump sends out a non-local gravitational hyperwake through the system so all ships know when another has jumped, but not to where, plus all jumps take a very similar amount of time, irrespective of differing distances.

Rather conveniently this leads to the situation where all ships on both sides can jump simultaneously but commanders don’t know the destinations of their opponent’s ships. So both sides secretly write down the next destinations of their ships and then both reveal them and move their ships and see if any have arrived at the same star systems, in which case combat begins. Plus ships passing through a star system in the middle part of their two star jump have such an enormous velocity that interception and combat remain impossible, however they can deploy kinetic energy weapons in passing, basically dropping rocks on very large targets like planets to create massive devastation. No defence exists against this except to intercept them well before they get within jump range of a star system with a base or colony on one of its planets. This does not seem unreasonable, the capacity for flight soon brought with it the capacity to wreck entire cities; the capacity of interstellar travel would probably bring with it the capacity to wreck entire planets. Players may agree to a treaty forbidding such tactics, or a severe loss of victory points if they break it.

When opposing starships end up in the same system they can attempt to engage or evade each other using a variety of sensors, cloaking devices, and evasive tactics, force shields, particle beam weapons, and missiles. Each ship has a variety of factors for these and duelling proceeds through the use of asymmetric combat polygons. Ships can also exchange fire with orbital bases or with planetary bases.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 19:47

Asymmetric Combat Polygons

Asymmetric Conflict Polygons

Uncertainty in games can come from either building in randomness with dice or shuffled cards or some other sortilege procedure; or from scenarios where players lack information about their opponent’s intentions.

Simultaneous Play often yields a system that models real life scenarios rather well. In this, the players secretly record their intended plays and then all reveal their orders and compare them to see what happens. The game of ‘Diplomacy’ which simulates the political alliances and military balances in Europe from 1900 onwards provides a classic example of a game based on simultaneous play with concealed intentions. Only rarely does peace prevail until 1914.

Some people find the use of dice or some other random mechanism unappealing as it can make the best laid plans come to nothing for no reason except bad luck, and it prevents any detailed analysis of a game afterwards.

The game of Scissors-Paper-Stone, sometimes called ‘Roshambo’, may well originate from the Han Dynasty era in China. It has attracted a considerable amount of study and competitive play, and computer algorithms exist against which humans can play. Although no strategy can consistently beat purely random play, competitions and algorithms remain interesting because few people can consistently play randomly and a good player or algorithm can anticipate the non-random choices of an opponent based on their previous choices.

Nevertheless the game remains rather trivial although the principle has become incorporated into some games to settle combats between pieces, for example in hand to hand conflict, Parry and Thrust beats Lunge, Lunge beats Slash, and Slash beats Parry and Thrust, or something like that. To a very simple approximation circa 1805, Artillery beats Infantry, Infantry beats Cavalry, and Cavalry beats Artillery.

Such a system of conflict resolution leads to a quick and easy type of duelling done with hand gestures, or with cards selected and put forward and then exposed. Yet in its simple form it seems little better than using dice. However by using something a little more sophisticated than a simple symmetrical triangle of outcomes we can create a facility for meaningful tactical choices with some uncertainty of outcome.

Consider the virtues of Asymmetric Conflict Polygons. An Hexagonal one appears below.

In this the six choices can represent any tactic from the exchange of fire between starships to the exchange of spells in a magical duel. The arrows between tactical choices show which choice wins and the weight of the arrow can show by how much. Each player in the duel has six cards marked with the tactical choices and both draw a card and then they simultaneously expose them and find the result. The asymmetries in the chart make some choices more favourable than others, depending on the powers of the pieces involved, however obviously the opponent will appreciate this.

The actual chart shown has the design feature that no choice offers guaranteed immunity from a full hit, but some choices offer greater chances of some kinds of hits.   


We could display the information on such a polygon with a simple 6 x 6 chart, however the polygon itself gives a much easier to use representation of the effect of one tactical choice upon another and the opportunities for second guessing the opponent.

Conflict polygons can also model the effects of offensive against defensive tactics where the attacker draws an attack tactic card and the defender draws a defensive tactic card.

In solo play an asymmetric polygon can allow the player to compete with intelligent choices against random choices generated by dice rolls. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 19:36

Napoleonic Chess

After decades of creating games of sometimes almost unplayable complexity the following game of Napoleonic Chess just sort of fell into place as part of a dice-free battle resolution system within a much larger strategic geo-political and economic game scenario. (I still work on that, particularly the naval aspects.)

 However the game of Napoleonic Chess ™ has such an elegant simplicity and playability to it that I declare it Copyright Peter J Carroll 16/2/2016 ©.

Napoleonic  Chess.

A tactical game system for Napoleonic era battle simulation which players can use on an ordinary chess board using chess pieces, or extend to larger boards, add terrain features, or add additional units. This system differs radically from chess in that players may move all of their pieces in their turn.

The basic rules for the Standard Scenario appear below, followed by suggestions for more sophisticated scenarios.

Standard Scenario.

Players set up as shown with units on the 2nd and 3rd and the 6th and 7th rows. If using a standard chess set, discard the queens; use the pawns as infantry, knights and bishops as cavalry, rooks as artillery, and the king as guards. Alternatively for a better appearance and ease of use, take 2 chess sets and use all the knights for cavalry and both queens for artillery on each side. Alternatively acquire or make some period pieces.

Each side moves alternately and settles all resulting attacks, and each player may move all their units during a single turn.

Movement and Combat. Units basically move (or not) and then attack in a single turn.

Infantry may move a single square in any direction.

Infantry attacks or supports orthogonally only, with a value of 1, into an adjacent square. Infantry has a defensive value of 1.


Cavalry may move one or two squares in any direction.

Cavalry attacks or supports diagonally only, with a value of 1, into an adjacent square. Cavalry has a defensive value of 1.


Artillery may move a single square orthogonally only.

Artillery attacks orthogonally only with a value of 2, into an adjacent square.

Artillery supports into an adjacent orthogonal square with a value of 1.

Artillery has a defensive value of 1.


The Guards may move a single square in any direction.

Guards attack or support in any direction with a value of 1, into an adjacent square.

Guards have a defensive value of 2.


Any unit may make only a single attack or defensive support in a players turn, or a single defensive support against attack in an opponents turn.


Eliminating pieces.


Any unit coming under attack by attack values which exceed its defence value plus the value of any support it receives becomes eliminated and removed from the board.


One of the attacking units may then move straight on to the square it occupied if the attacker so wishes.


A unit under attack cannot offer support to an adjacent unit.


Victory Conditions. Elimination of the enemy Guard unit; or the enemy surrenders.

Example of a complex attack.


Here Red attacks the Black Artillery unit with Artillery. The 3 orthogonal Black infantry units support the Black Artillery but the support of the ones on either side becomes removed by attacks from Red Infantry and Red Cavalry, so it only has support from the Black Infantry behind so it has a total defence value of 2, whereas Red attacks it with an attack value of 3, one from the Red Cavalry and two from the Red Artillery, so it becomes eliminated. Red then has the option of immediately moving either the attacking Red Cavalry unit or the Red Artillery into the vacated space. (Although this would prove very risky).

Advanced Scenarios. 

1) Alternative Standard Scenario Initial Dispositions.

a) Attack at Dawn. Both sides write down their desired positions of their units on the 2nd and 3rd and the 6th and 7th rows in secret and then reveal them and lay out their units.

b) Marching Orders. Players take it in turn to place one unit (or more if agreed) on the board at a time in the appropriate rows till all units have become deployed.

2) Additional/Variant Units.

Horse Artillery moves 2 squares in any direction.

Horse Artillery attacks and supports in any direction into adjacent squares with a value of 1.

Horse Artillery has a defensive value of 1.


Dragoons move two squares in any direction.

Dragoons attack and support into orthogonal squares only with a value of 1.

Dragoons have a defensive value of 1.


Foot Guards, as for Infantry but with a defensive value of 2.


Cuirassiers/Horse Guards, as for cavalry but with an attack value of 2.


3) Optional Terrain Features. (Made by placing an appropriate card tile on a square)


Hills – add one to the defensive value of a unit on a Hill square unless attacked from an adjacent hill square. Units cannot move on and off a Hill in a single turn.


Redoubts - (earthworks etc.) - these take an agreed number of turns of uninterrupted occupation of a square to construct, and then function as for Hills. Artillery attacking into a redoubt attacks at only 1, and cannot enter an enemy redoubt on the same turn if it falls.


Square Border Obstacles – watercourses, banks, ditches hedges etc. – These can mark one or more of the edges of a square. They give +1 defensive value if they protect a unit from all units attacking it. Artillery has only an attack value of 1 across such obstacles.


4) Larger Boards, Bigger Battles with More Units, Multiple Armies, Multiplayer, Divided Command and Strategic Scenarios.


This system will support all of the above. Allied units from different armies or command structures may support each other by attacks without moving, or by supporting in defence.


In Strategic Scenarios stretching over continents and using markers for entire armies, this system provides a means of resolving battles at a tactical level.

In larger battles it often helps to number the pieces to keep track of which have moved and which haven’t in a turn. 1st, 2nd and 3rd infantry etc.

 Other Epochs. This battle system can support a variety of pre-gunpowder conflict scenarios by simply substituting Heavy Infantry for Artillery.

Monday, 15 February 2016 20:21


February Blog.

The POTUS campaign. (President Of The United States)

The popularity of the presidential candidates Trump and Sanders seems like the inevitable symptom of the relative decline of America. Since American industry and the American military have ceased to dominate the planet, America’s real economic growth has stalled, but America’s professional class has continued to take more at the expense of America’s waged class.

Thus the American political consensus has started to unravel and voters begin to entertain far from mainstream candidates.

Trump and Sanders each have a different approach to this problem from opposite ends of the political spectrum.  However in the first case regaining industrial and military supremacy seems unfeasible, and in the second case socialism would come at the price of huge social upheaval against vested interests.

Militarism will no longer work in the context of a world awash with cheap geo-politically defensive weaponry and asymmetric warfare, unless you want to make liberal use of WMDs.

Socialism does not seem compatible with the present demand-economy structure.

America needs to look to the health of its manufacturing base and to apportion its wealth accordingly. It also probably needs to adjust to a lower growth model across the board.

The EU Referendum.

David Cameron seems like a brilliant tactician and he seems unlikely to lose the forthcoming EU Referendum, but will he have to change sides to win it? He would probably like to remain part of a completely redesigned European organisation but he knows that he won’t get that.

Problematically for Dave he has to make a show of renegotiating the UK membership to assuage those members of his own party who stand to benefit from the EU’s favouritism towards the interests of big business (against small business) and the political class (against the people).

The reform proposals on the table look cosmetic and paltry and will rapidly become completely ridden over if we capitulate and agree to stay in.

Fear of the unknown may induce some to want to remain in, so the out campaign should focus heavily on visions for an Independent Britain.

The greatest unknown however surrounds what will happen if we decide to remain in. What new nonsensical burdens will the EU impose? What further loss of control of our own affairs shall we suffer? Those of us old enough to remember the first referendum on the Common Market now seem at the forefront of the out campaign – we saw how voting for one thing brought quite another.

If Britain leaves the EU now we could bring down the whole rotten structure, liberate the nations of Europe and restore democracy.

The EU Synarchy remains well aware of this and thus it has a massive incentive to lie, as indeed it did about the ultimate agenda of the Common Market.

As a sort of metaphor for the EU consider the virtues of ABOLISHING BELGIUM.

‘Belgium’ functions as the ultimate adjective of vilest abuse in almost all the languages of the cosmos according to Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and deservedly so when you consider the history and the current state of the place.

Belgium has always functioned as a sort of awkward weak buffer zone between the west and east Franks (roughly the French and Germanic language groups). Its existence has facilitated most of the bloodiest wars of history. Most Belgians don’t even want Belgium to exist; half would prefer to join the Netherlands and the other half would like to join France. Nobody can recall any famous Belgians because any who become famous usually prefer to imply that they came from somewhere else.

As a sort of unloved ‘in-between place’ with no coherent identity of its own, Belgium suffers from a brief but appalling colonial history, chronic maladministration, and far too many unassimilated immigrants from other cultures. It has become a haven for crime and corruption and the dodgy arms trade, despite its viciously heavy handed policing at low levels. (Don’t go on holiday there unless you intend to behave very obediently and quietly.). Its national monument seems to consist of a boy urinating into a fountain. No wonder the Synarchists behind the EU decided to use Brussels as a facade for their activities, this rotten heart of Europe provides the anonymity from which they and their German paymasters can piss all over the rest of us.

The EU, I loathe it, it looks totally BEL***M!

Because they modelled it on that damn place!

Anyway, despite the trials of February in the northern hemisphere (Peak Suicide and Peak Misery Month, worsened by Lousy Weather, and for many, also by Valentine’s Day, plus we attempt a Saturn working on Arcanorium College.) I do have some uplift for you: -

Welcome to the Specularium Game Theory pages, see the site header bar.

Materiel on Napoleonic 'Chess', Assymetric Combat Polygons, The Astronomicon, and more, to follow.

I’ve had a fascination with games, particularly board games, since my earliest times and have played hundreds and designed dozens more of them. We all have mental models of our universes inside our heads. Sometimes the effort of actually laying the geography out and formally abstracting the rules and the uncertainties pays unexpected dividends.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 11:43


I have become a grandfather for the first time, with my eldest daughter and her husband creating a delightful daughter a couple of weeks ago, mother, baby, and husband all doing fine. As my eldest has become an SNP convert in her adopted homeland, my granddaughter bears a suitably grand Scots-Norse name.

This sort of immortality plus a modicum of literary immortality will do nicely; no other form of immortality actually seems desirable if you think carefully about it.

And now to technical advances in esoterics: The picture shows the new Epoch Planetary Pocket Wand, currently loaded with the Horus Lamen, plus the other Martial Lamens for Athena, Choronzon, Thor, Mars, Eris, Loki, and Ishtar arraigned around it as we conduct a series of invigorating Martial workings for January in Arcanorium College. The whole set of Planetary and Bi-planetary Lamens consist of plywood carpentry biscuits pointed up and painted and ensigilised. The Lamens serve both as wand loads and as movable symbols for use on an Astronomicon board.

Wizards often tend to fashion and to discard wands, both Longstaffs and pocket sized Purbas, throughout their careers, both to assist practice and to mark the development of their ideas. This one probably qualifies as about my Mk 11 Purba, although in some sense it also qualifies as Marques 11 – 47 all in one go, due to its versatility. Carrying a pocket wand began as an exercise in Chaos Monasticism, but it has become a constant practise, reminding the wizard that the calling, the duty, and the opportunity, remain ever present.  

The festive and birthday period brought this remarkable book: -

Most religions have something running from unease to downright rejection towards the Theory of Evolution, but perhaps much more than the simple inconsistencies between scriptural depictions and scientific ideas about the origin of species underlies this. 

The book traces the origins and survival of many of the religious and mystical ideas from India through the Middle East to Europe. As most serious scholars have understood for decades now, religions get cobbled together from the memes of previous religions, they don’t spring miraculously into existence out of nothing, and having cobbled themselves together from fragments they continue to evolve and develop, whilst pretending that they haven’t.

Zoroastrianism, the religion of the Persian Empire, went into decline, although it still has a tiny following.  However Judaism seems to have adopted some Zoroastrian ideas fairly early on in its development and these later fed into Christianity. The Pythagorean philosophies from classical times continue to influence some minority sects in the Middle East. Mithraism has left at least one very distinctive and surprising mark on European culture. (I won’t spoil it for you, read the book.)

Emotive Religion. Theology looks like the attempt to psychoanalyse Deities from the characteristics they display in scripture and in lore and perhaps in ‘revelation’. We try to second guess or interpret their supposed wishes by such activity, usually to some sort of advantage to ourselves.

Mythology and the History of Religion tend to tell us more about how our human psychology expresses itself in various situations than about the Deities themselves.

Theurgy describes the attempts of magicians to call, conjure, and even coerce, various spirits and deities, on the assumption that such phenomena have some sort of independent metaphysical reality. It seems like an extreme extension of prayer.

Theometry on the other hand implies taking the measure of Deities, including noting how our projections of them has evolved, and also making them to order, on the assumption that such phenomena arise from our own psychology and may also serve as vehicles for liberating our more unusual abilities. This seems more like proper magic.

Rational argument has only a limited role in establishing or destroying faith in Deities. Emotive and peer pressure forces have a far greater effect, and all religions employ both although the emotive hooks used by religions or sects within religions can change and evolve with time.

A previous blog discusses the emotive tone of what Richard Dawkins called ‘The World’s Second Worst Religion’ the one that has relied heavily on ‘Guilt and Self-Righteousness’ duality: -

That perhaps now shows signs of improvement under a new Pontiff.

However  if you tried to devise the most ghastly and most destructive possible emotive tone for a religion or sect, then a duality of ‘Self-Pity and Mercilessness’ would fit the specification perfectly and result in The World’s Worst Religion.

Robo-Stogie. The benefits of nicotine seem substantial. Chain-smoking through self-administered Mensa IQ tests seems to add ten percent to my score. Nicotine also gives you at least a couple of yards advantage in an emergency brake whilst driving. (Although for reasons of absent mindedness, apophenia, impulsiveness, ecology, and a preference for exercise, I have always declined to drive.) Nevertheless after fifty years of tobacco enjoyment my dentist said it wasn’t doing my teeth any good, so I went over to Vapes. These seem absolutely brill, cheap to run, thousands of exotic flavours to choose from, no danger of setting your bed on fire, little sign of use or offense to others if you don’t exhale quickly, and probably no personal or collateral damage, assuming that propylene glycol remains as harmless as it seems.

Many thanks for all the emails appreciative of the neo-classical statuary. The next project may consist of designing some ornate bronze rams for the prows of our Trident nuclear submarines. Comrade Commissar Corbyn has come up with the cunning wheeze of disarming them but keeping them to create employment. So if they cannot carry effective weapon systems they should at least carry aesthetically pleasing ones, in a Corinthian or Athenian style perhaps?

Monday, 21 December 2015 18:49

Winter Solstice Address 2015.

Winter Solstice 2015.

The year ends on several hopeful notes. The Paris Climate Conference has at least resulted in an agreement about the reality of anthropic climate change and the need to prevent it, so two cheers for that. However we should have had a result like this a decade or more ago and effective measures in place by now. Whether or not the recommended measures become implemented and whether or not they can save global civilisation remain open questions. This planet already has a human population level lying terrifyingly in excess of long term sustainability levels even at current rates of resource destruction.

If we wish to avoid a 21st century characterised by resource conflicts, environmental degradation, constant wars and extremist political and religious ideas, we had better fix our climate changing behaviour and our population and consumption levels, because at present the figures for the future simply don’t add up………….to anything except disaster.

The British people should will finally get a referendum on the EU, this coming year or the next, another cheer for that.

UKIP has fulfilled its function, it has forced the other parties to offer a referendum, and now, win or lose, UKIP seems to have little further use. It only ever had one worthwhile policy and everything else seemed like buffoonery. Yet I feel justified in having worked for them in their early years, for now we get to answer the question that most of the political class didn’t want to even ask us: -

Do we wish to remain part of the creeping synarchist totalitarianism of a corrupt, mega-bureaucratic and undemocratic EU that favours only the political class and big business; or do we prefer freedom and democracy?

Any nation that trades its political independence for economic gain will end up losing both, as so many of the smaller nations in the EU have already discovered.

The EU stands built on bluff, fear, lies, and deceit and faux-internationalism. We would lose nothing and regain much by leaving, and Brexit may well bring down the whole rotten edifice.

On a more festive note I have made two seasonal gifts for my fellow humans, firstly a lifesize statue of Hercules who will go on extended loan to some semi-public gardens around here to celebrate the several years of backbreaking toil we have put into renovating it.

Secondly, after two decades of mental toil the Hypersphere Cosmology hypothesis has probably reached its final form, see the recently updated version here: -

and full paper here: -

My thanks to all those physicists, both orthodox and alternative, who have exchanged so many emails, criticisms, observations, and related ideas on this subject. The hypothesis now seems reasonably robust and anti-fragile, but please do try to break it if you can, or if not then try challenging your commanding professor with it.

Historical accident has led to the current dominance of the Lambda CDM Big Bang theory. Perhaps if we had discovered the CMBR before we discovered the Cosmological Redshift then Einstein might have stuck with his Riemannian Hypersphere model of the universe with a cosmological constant, and looked a bit further into the properties of the hypersphere to find that he could have stabilised it with a cosmological constant supplied by a 4-rotation (rather than a Gödelian 3-rotation), and that the positive curvature of the hypersphere would itself  create a cosmological redshift without any expansion at all. All other observations could then have become interpreted within such a framework to yield a theory such as this.

It may not turn out as the final answer in cosmology but it certainly seems less wrong than the current official model. If nobody manages to falsify it, I shall devote my remaining years of theoretical endeavour to modelling quantum fundamentals and particle physics in terms of three dimensional time, plus of course the related and more difficult matter of a general theory of magic.

At Grove last night many spoke of the Winter Solstice as marking the end of the year, and how much they looked forward to the return of the Sun (despite that so far we have had the mildest winter here for thousands of years). The great megalithic monuments such as Stonehenge, Maes Howe, and Newgrange all plainly align to the Midwinter Solstice, despite that Druid-revivalists tend to look to Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice, and that the megaliths originate from pre-druidical cultures anyway.

But what the heck, all cultures in temperate latitudes seem to evolve some excuse for an end/beginning of year party. The Christians, having no clue about the actual birthday of their saviour decided to slot it in on 25th December to try and supplant Pagan festivals at that season, Mithras’ birthday in particular fell on 25th December. However by this date the sunrise and sunset have started to perceptibly march north again bringing hope of summer and rebirth and all that sort of thing.

Personally I like to consider Winter Solstice as the end of the year, a time to look back on events and then to look forward to Xmas as a celebration of Family and Friends and Commerce, (oops that should have read ‘The Bounty of the Earth’), and then again to celebrate New Year……..sort of Look Back, Look Now, Look Forward.

All the best for the festive season. Pete Carroll.

Addendum 29/12/15. Contrary to widespread rumour, the destruction of Boleskine House (The dread Kaaba of Crowleyanity) and my seasonal visit to Inverness remain not even coincidental. I did indeed visit my eldest in the surrounding highlands over the xmas period, however I arrived there on xmas eve, as my airline booking clearly demonstrates, to find the place already burnt down a day in advance of my visit. 

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 14:56


A pre-solstice blog.

A bit of an interregnum prevails before the festive season. The Knights of Chaos have launched their conjuration in support of the Climate Change Conference in Paris. The festive gifts and cards await dispatch, the Solstice Grove and Eisteddfod loom, and later my clan will gather in the Scottish Highlands this year.

On Arcanorium we prepare to invoke Venus in her many forms, as the first of a sustained series of planetary style workings based on the EPOCH. This seems particularly apposite for the season of love and goodwill towards all creatures.

A new Hypersphere Cosmology 2 paper awaits the attention of my artist and IT friend before it appears here and on viXra.

Whilst waiting for the paint and the sigils to dry on the 54 Lamens of a new Epoch Astronomicon and for the composites to harden on the new lifesize Hercules statue for the gardens, Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth provoke further musings upon the hypothesis of 3D time……

This very long term 3D time project seeks to complement the Hypersphere Cosmology thesis which now nears completion, and to make some conceptual improvements and revisions to the Standard Model of particle physics and to quantum fundamentals which currently look very messy, full of seemingly arbitrary constants and short on unifying principles.

The Standard Model predicts that a Higgs Mechanism accounts for some of the mass of mass bearing particles and that the presence of a ‘Higgs Field’ to endow such particles with mass implies that a Higgs particle (the Higgs Boson) will exist. However this flies directly in the face of General Relativity which describes mass as arising from/as spacetime curvature. The General relativistic description works very well indeed although it may require a tweak or two at very high intensities and at very long distances as suggested in Hypersphere Cosmology. The Higgs idea also flies in the face of the hypothesis of 3D time which seeks to geometricate the quanta rather than to quantise gravity.

Plus adding a Higgs Field to the standard Lambda CDM cosmology model looks like creating an even worse mess.

The purported Higgs Mechanism does not seem to even half quantise the inertial or gravitational manifestations of mass, for the Higgs field or boson would have a different coupling constant for each type of particle that it supposedly confers mass upon.

Thus I have volunteered to eat the relevant pages of The Octavo in the event of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Why have I not done so then?

Because I don’t think that little blip in the data at 126GeV indicates a Higgs Boson or a Higgs Mechanism at all, I remain completely unconvinced.

After spending many billions of euros on building the largest most expensive scientific instrument in human history and failing to get anything spectacular or decisive out of a series of exceptionally messy experiments designed by huge Euro- committees, CERN felt under intense pressure to announce something; even if it meant highly selecting the data and then torturing the remaining data statistically till it yielded the appearance of a significant result.

The graph shown here gives a plot of selected proton collisions at various energies which produced a pair of detected gamma ray photons which may have come from a Higgs Boson which itself remains undetectable because it decays almost instantly after its creation.

Note that pairs of gamma ray photons get produced at a large range of energies, the apparent slight peak of them at around 126GeV apparently indicates something of immense significance, the other small anomaly at around 138GeV gets ignored.

Other experiments seem to show slight blips in the numbers of pairs of Z bosons at roughly similar energies.

Despite that the CERN team assert that they have 99.999% confidence that they have found something slightly anomalous at around 126GeV that might correspond to a Higgs Boson, and that the popular science press confidently proclaims the existence of what they have dubbed ‘The God Particle’, the internet and the scientific journals remain alive with dissent.

See this from a worried statistician

If the CERN team had conducted similar experiments and statistical analyses with the aim of disproving the existence of significant evidence for a Higgs Boson at these energies they would have succeeded. It remains a theoretical construct in my view, and probably a fallacious one at that.

Why do I care?

I love Science. If the Higgs turns out as a fudge created by a huge committee then many will interpret it as institutional fraud on a vast scale which will have a very detrimental effect on the perception and funding of science.

I love Metaphysics. The quest for the underlying structure and functioning of this mysterious universe never loses its fascination.

I love Magic. A largely dismissive attitude to magic generally prevails and this suits me fine as I therefore cannot get arrested for it. However any general theory of magic will probably require 3D time.  

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 21:05

Unknown knowns

The three Mandragora Autumnalis roots awoke around Samhain as usual to produce green shoots, so now after their repotting they reside on a window ledge soaking up the faint autumn sunshine. Perhaps the largest one will flower and produce some seeds this year; they certainly seem to take their time about it.

We serious British pagans don’t do Halloween, that awful American tradition of teaching children to extort with menaces and mock at Death. We do Samhain respectfully on the closest Sunday evening.

Bonfire night passed with a splendid conflagration which did not include an effigy of the Pope this year, as for the first time in centuries we seem to have a decent bloke in the post.

Meanwhile a life size statue of Hercules takes shape in the garage using the old clothing mannequin and Jemsonite trick. He will eventually stand with Flora, the pair flanking an old rustic doorway in the walled garden. He will have a spade and a chainsaw as a modern touch. Pic to follow eventually.


And now to some “Unknown Knowns”. Stuff we don't realise that we already know. This Apophenic concept takes its inspiration from the missing part of Rumsfeld’s Theory of Known knowns, Known unknowns, and Unknown unknowns. (His excuse for the screw up in Iraq.)

We probably already have more than enough of data and theories from which we could distil a much more accurate and useful description of the universe. However the trick lies in intuiting what to select from it all, and how to interpret the bits which apparently don’t fit in a way that they might.

Why do this? Why write The Octavo? What the heck has magic and esoterics got to do with cosmology and quantum physics?

Perhaps everything: - The Natural Philosophers and Wizards of old did not shy away from science in terror of the mathematics, rather in pursuit of a philosophy of nature in its entirety they sought to leave nothing out. Hermes Trismegistus (who may have consisted of a committee), John Dee, Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, Isaac Newton and all the rest of them, took a keen interest in the workings of the material world and only the most myopic of contemporary quantum and cosmological physicists fail to muse and speculate upon the metaphysical implications of their disciplines.

A Speculation: - Hypersphere Cosmology depends on spacetime curvature. The hypothesis of Three Dimensional Time depends on torsion (spin). Einstein-Cartan theory includes both curvature and torsion. EC theory remains unfalsified and in play, though few theorists reference it today, except perhaps to remove the nonsensical spacetime singularities that arise in the conventional big bang theory and in the black holes that straight general relativity predicts. Instead EC theory proposes that mater particles have a minimum size rather than a point like nature and that they resist compression beyond this, so instead of a big bang singularity we may have a universe which bounces back and forth between a very small and a rather large size, yet the theory does not usually get used to eliminate ‘ordinary’ black holes, although it does eliminate possible pesky little black holes of less than 1016kg, the mass of a substantial asteroid.

In EC theory, particles have a spin or torsion component which gives them a minimum spatial displacement, the Cartan Length lCA.

Where lCA3 = Gh2/mc4 where h = Planck’s constant.

Interestingly, we can decompose the Cartan ‘volume’ lCA3 above into: -

Cartan volume = Planck area (Gh/c3) x Compton length (h/mc)

And/or/or possibly both…….

Cartan volume = Compton area (h/mc)2 x Hypersphere length (Gm/c2)

(Note that hypersphere length lH differs from hypersphere external radius r,( lH = pi r)

These components may in some way correspond to the wave/particle duality and can confirm that particles do indeed have some kind of hypersphere properties.


Another Speculation: - Hypersphere Cosmology seems capable of explaining quite a lot of the structure and behaviour of the universe using rather different assumptions and interpretations of the data than the popular standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter Big bang theory uses. Both approaches still have their problems and require further modifications before we can tell which seems the least wrong.

Hypersphere Cosmology has taken flak over the issues of Metallicity and Black Hole build-up.

Basically cosmologists refer to all the chemical elements heavier than hydrogen (and sometimes helium as well) as ‘metals’ as most of them have metallic qualities. These elements get formed in stars by nuclear fusion (although according to BB theory a lot of the helium got made at the BB.) Now if stars continually fuse hydrogen to heavier elements and no mechanism to break those heavier elements back down exists, then the Perfect Cosmological Principle implied by a finite and unbounded universe hyperspherical in space and time that should appear pretty much the same on the large scale at all points in space and time, seems violated.

The Perfect Cosmological Principle also becomes violated if all the matter in the universe will eventually become sucked into black holes from which it can never escape.

Several observed and hypothesised phenomena may solve the metallicity and black hole problems.

Neutron stars almost certainly exist. Metallic elements falling into neutron stars will get broken back down into neutrons. Neutrons which escape into space rapidly undergo beta decay creating electrons and protons which recombine eventually to form hydrogen. But can they escape?

Pair-Instability Supernovae may well occur. In these events the gravitational collapse of a sufficiently heavy star results in a very powerful gamma ray flux in the core. The gamma rays interact with matter particles initiating electron-positron pair production; this causes the pressure to drop in the core and further collapse to occur. This initiates electron-positron (matter-antimatter) annihilation which explodes the star completely into space leaving no remnant core. Astronomers have observed several possible examples of such an event.

Neutrons may act as Marjorama rather than as Dirac fermions under extreme conditions. In other words they may act as their own antiparticles and annihilate to gamma rays under conditions of extreme compression and temperature.

We do not know what mechanism creates Gamma Ray Bursts, but about once a day one goes off somewhere in the universe. These titanic GRB explosions appear to liberate the energy equivalent of the masses of entire planets or entire stars in brief moments.

Massive and very dense objects of multiple solar masses seem to exist in the universe and most galaxies appear to contain objects of thousands or millions of solar masses at very high densities in their cores. Whether any of these objects have actually formed black holes remains undecided. The maths breaks down at black holes and we cannot directly observe them.

Black holes may not actually exist at all if some mechanism like the above or perhaps some other mechanism limits their maximum density and consigns them to eventually explode, recycling the matter of the universe.


Lastly: - Whilst musing upon ‘Theory of Mind’ it occurred that perhaps Autistic people would not suffer from The God Delusion.

If the god delusion arises from the application of Theory of Mind to find agency or mind or essence not just in people but also in inappropriate phenomena or basically everywhere; and if Autistic people don’t make much use of Theory of Mind, then one would expect Atheism of them.  A quick googling of the topic confirmed this hypothesis in general terms.

Perhaps we Chaoist-Neo-Pagan-Pantheists have a surfeit of theory of mind, we tend to see multiple sources of agency even within ourself(s)!  


Page 9 of 13
  • Arcanorium College - Department of Science. +

    The Arcanorium College Department of Science, Research and Collaboration Facility.   ‘Nobody understands Quantum Physics’, as Richard Feynman observed, and Read More
  • Arcanorium College - Department of Magic. +

    The Arcanorium College Department of Magic, Degree in Magic. Few if any academic institutions in the known universe recognise the Read More
  • Arcanorium College +

    Arcanorium College Interroga Omnia – Question all things. Arcanorium College consists of a Natural Philosophy Faculty with two Departments: - The Department Read More
  • 1