Discordianism seemed a major influence amongst the people I worked with from the mid-nineteen seventies till the mid- nineteen nineties and it still seems to have a big appeal for some Chaos magicians, but what at one time seemed a source of liberation, inspiration and innovation seems to have subsequently developed into a serious flaw.
This short Wiki entry summarises Discordianism fairly concisely: -
We used a bit of Discordianism when it seemed fashionable in the early days but it got out of hand later. I think our misunderstanding of it led to a lot of problems. Discordianism does two things. Firstly and mainly it pokes sacrilegious and in-defferent fun at religions and power structures. Secondly it allows a group to poke a bit of fun at itself and to make light of its own pretensions. Unfortunately the second facility of self-parody eventually proved self-destructive.
A little self-parody can give a ritual or a hierarchy a bit of an edge, but an excess of it will undermine both eventually.
The Discordian approach led to people styling themselves things like Sorror Preposterous, groups called things like Temple Misanthropy, me getting called His Pestilence Pope Pete The First of the Zero Degree, Banishing by laughter, and spoof, surrealist, and neo-Dadaist rituals like the Eris Rite which invoked bizarre and unpredictable consequences.
Discordianism promotes a humorous lack of deference towards organised religion, monotheism, patriarchy, sexual prudery, and religious and political power structures and conspiracies.
To do this it exploits ‘Camp’ and ‘Transgressive’ themes, both by using them to parody what it seeks to provoke in-deference to, and also by using such themes to establish its own alternative subcultural cult, or in-group, or fashion as ‘A joke masquerading as a religion or a religion masquerading as a joke’.
‘Camp’ means useless or ineffectual in a way that seems vaguely humorous or self-parodying. A Goddess who provokes creative disorder may have some value, but invoking a Goddess who merely screws things up, like Pratchett’s ‘Anoia’, seems either a parody of religion or an invocation of useless ineffectuality, or worse; an excuse for it.
Chaos magic already had a fairly ‘Transgressive’ attitude to organised religions and towards Thelema and Crowleyanity, and it partly defined itself by its opposition to these things. In adopting the god-form of Baphomet it had followed Eliphas Levi’s blasphemous conception of a supreme deity. However transgression easily goes stale, particularly among the converted for who it becomes merely a tired in-joke, and it can descend into little more than a compulsion to annoy outsiders.
My Liber Null & Psychonaut and Liber Kaos included many antinomian themes but little or no Discordianism. However Discordian practices had gradually tended to come to the fore amongst the groups I worked with and probably contributed much to the problems that developed. These days I have ceased to recommend experimentation with the Eris Rite.
The book Psybermagick that I wrote in the middle of my career whilst on extended sabbatical seems the most heavily influenced by the Discordian perspective, although it also contained the seeds of later research in other directions.
My last three books, The Apophenion, The Octavo, and The Epoch contain only minor references and appendices about Discordianism, as Apophenia began to assume far more importance for me than Eris.
Discordianism basically served to attack the old aeon paradigms. I think we should avoid it as a model for the coming Pandaemonaeon.
Discordianism seems dead or dying, having served its purpose. Any new serious currents and orders seem unlikely to use it again.
Herewith Nodens and his Hound, a study in faux bronze (milliput over iron and copper) made as part of my continuing druidical studies of the ancient pagan Gods and Goddesses of my area.
Nodens had a large temple by Romano-Celtic standards; just over the River Severn at Lydney on a promontory they call Ludd’s Island.
This temple probably functioned to invoke the healing powers of Nodens, it contained numerous votive offerings of models of body parts and some exquisite bronze models of hounds which the ancients venerated as agents of healing for their ability to lick their own wounds free of infection. The temple also appears to have included an Incubatio; a place in which to take ritual sleep, for perhaps prophetic or healing purposes.
Few images of Nodens have survived so I have given him an Asclepius style staff with serpent for his medical powers and the appearance of a grave and learned elder wizard. I do not intend to stray any closer to self-portraiture than this, and incidentally my normally shaggy hound did actually look like this two summers ago when the groomer gave her an all over haircut.
Nodens does however have a complex theometry. The hound may also symbolise an association with hunting, some mythologies associate him with the sea as well, and he has etymological and mythological associations in the Irish myths with Nuada , king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and the Welsh king Lludd (Nudd) Llaw Eraint from the Mabinogion.
Both these figures lost a hand in battle and acquired a magical replacement made in Silver which enabled them to regain their kingships. Perhaps this relates to some sort of wounded-healer myth, or to a magical healing hand.
Nodens appears briefly in the Lovecraft Mythos as a sea god who can command Nightgaunts and who opposes Nyarlathotep, perhaps this relates to his powers to dispel nightmares.
Summer is Coming.
George Martin’s marvellously entertaining Game of Thrones series takes part of its inspiration from the 15th century English Wars of the Roses. The fictional land of Westeros vaguely resembles Britain and the great wall in the north of it has echoes of Hadrian ’s Wall.
The English Wars of the Roses arose as a dynastic conflict for the English throne between feudal lords with their own private armies who fell to fighting each other in large part because of the loss of their holdings in France following the English defeats in the Hundred Years War, as the French gradually consolidated their kingdom and eventually threw the English out.
The Game of Thrones has a different trigger for war, the advent of a decades long winter which creates a resource conflict. This scenario resembles the 17th century wars which raged across Europe and notably included the Thirty Years War which sucked in all the European powers, and the English Civil War era which also involved Scotland and Ireland.
Historians sometimes call these extensive and very bloody 17th century wars ‘The Wars of Religion’. However wars between Catholics and Protestants had simmered since the various reformations for some time before, and continued long afterwards. The major outbreaks of war in the 17th century also involved conflicts between the Great Houses and Monarchies of Europe which often led to alliances and rivalries which cut quite across religious lines and led to the most bloody and destructive wars in European history, far in excess of the destruction achieved in WW1 and WW2.
A period of Global Cooling leading to massive crop failures coincided with the disastrous wars of the 17th century and the armies of the time ravaged the lands, plundering food and resources and committing genocide as they went. Central Europe suffered appalling devastation and the English Civil War seems very far from civil, as half starving armies requisitioned and devoured all resources in their path and executed anyone standing in their way.
This period of Global Cooling, sometimes called The Little Ice Age probably had an anthropogenic origin. The European invasion of the Americas initiated a massive population crash there of perhaps 90% of the indigenous peoples, mainly through diseases imported by the Europeans. This led to a vast reforestation of previously cultivated areas and the sudden CO2 uptake crashed the climate.
As someone once said of the French Revolution, 'there's nothing more political than the price of a loaf of bread', and the more closely one examines the wars of the 17th century the more they look like a resource conflict with religion serving only to justify aggression. Political and religious opinions of course harden during resource conflicts but they do not initiate them. Any alien anthropologist examining WW2 would probably describe the whole event as simply an inter-tribal dispute about oil resources. Germany and Japan would probably not have developed extreme ideologies and gone to war if they had had access to copious supplies of cheap oil, as did their main adversaries America, Britain, and Russia.
The current situation in the Middle East, and to some extent in the whole Islamic world, derives from problems of resources. Most of the countries involved now have very high populations but not the industrial or agricultural resources to maintain them comfortably, particularly in the face of climate change.
Syria suffered severe droughts which destroyed much of its agriculture and livestock just before the civil war broke out there, now it suffers from a baroque conflict involving at least three major factions and interference from foreign powers, now including Turkey apparently bombing all three factions. Political and religious opinions have hardened into extremism, mass deaths of adversaries have become the unstated aim of the combatants, and it all begins to resemble the 17th century all over again, except that the drying of the area rather than the freezing of the area seems the underlying cause.
If we cannot as a species get Global Warming under control we can expect far more of this.
Beware the Long Summer.
The Shell Oil Company now starts to move its drilling equipment to the Arctic for another attempt at drilling, despite widespread condemnation of this act from all the major conservation and ecology groups. Humanity should immediately begin to curtail burning fossil fuels, and invest in renewable alternatives rather than devastate the planets remaining wildernesses.
The environmental damage looks set to become severe, particularly if this reckless venture 'succeeds' and many other drilling operations begin as a result of it.
The Knights of Chaos will conjure for the failure of this expedition on Midnight 26th July.
So we appear to have a cowardly fudge of a ‘temporary fix’ for the Greek Euro-Crisis which pleases nobody and which will not address the underlying problem that a currency union between widely different economies cannot work, unless of course the Eurozone does as Francoise Hollande suggests and creates a Eurozone Government.
The spectacularly incompetent President of France perhaps merely provokes or teases with this suggestion, or perhaps he speaks out of exasperation or fear.
It becomes increasingly clear that a Eurozone Government would effectively mean The Fourth Reich with added Synarchy.
Hollande’s more robust French ancestors would have put him to the guillotine for treason as a quisling.
German loan sharks now effectively run the Greek economy and will do so until the Greeks rebel, default, and reclaim their economic sovereignty by reissuing their own currency.
Part of the motivation of the whole EU venture lay in trying to ameliorate or comfortably accommodate the rising industrial power of Germany within Europe. This has plainly failed now since the Germans realised that the Euro would prove more useful to them than Panzers.
In 1939 Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, mainly to gain control of the huge Skoda motor works. In 2000 they simply bought it without firing a shot.
I have an enduring memory of West Berlin prior to the fall of the wall. West Berlin had supposedly filled up with creative-alternative-bohemian types living lives subsidised by a government determined to keep the difficult to live in enclave fully populated. I had sat up till 4am in an all-night café having a punishing philosophical, metaphysical, and magical debate with my host. We set off for his flat and came to a pedestrian crossing on a totally deserted street with no sight or sound of a vehicle for half a mile in either direction. The pedestrian sign showed red; my creative-alternative-bohemian host stood to attention on the pavement. ‘Shall we go?’ I asked. Any sane Englishman would have simply crossed the completely empty street. Nein, iz Verboten! He replied sharply.
I seriously do not want to live in a Europe that runs on such an authoritarian mind-set.
Below see the preliminary work on the Hound of Nodens. The Celtic God Nodens comes next on my list of Druidical study, contemplation, statuary, and visitation (he had a substantial temple in this area, just across the Severn River). Archaeologists discovered bronze deerhounds in his temple ruins, these may relate to the healing function usually attributed to him. He may also have attributions as a God of the sea, hunting, and dreaming. I currently plan to depict him standing with his hound and holding an Asclepius style serpent staff and perhaps with a silver hand for his connection to Welsh and Irish Myth.
Meanwhile the lifesize mannequin for Hercules has arrived along with fresh supplies of Jemsonite but I’ll probably wait for the re-glazing completion on the large greenhouse and build him in there.
The Hypersphere Cosmology thesis seems to have achieved self-consistency and has so far resisted falsification, see http://vixra.org/abs/1504.0167
Thus Necronomicon Mythos work of an Azathothian and Hasturian nature continues with a view to obtaining some clarification about the three dimensional time hypothesis.
The people who invented Democracy in the first place have just set us all a brave example in saying NO! to the EU-Synarchy.
Let us hope and conjure that this Thermopylae moment marks the beginning of the end of the whole rotten corrupt undemocratic EU through which the Germans have, for a third time, attempted to establish hegemony for their own benefit.
I used to really enjoy holidaying in Greece before it entered the Euro. After that it rapidly became rather expensive to do so. Taverna meals which used to cost about the same as English pub lunches suddenly cost as much as German restaurants.
I do not think the Greece should feel any shame or embarrassment about it debt, after all its creditors shoveled money at it in a greedy attempt to gain profit and control.
If Greece declares itself bankrupt and defaults and reissues its own currency and starts again it will experience temporary hardships caused by lack of imports, however it will quickly recover due to a tourist boom and an export boom.
Instead of technically defaulting it could recreate the Drachma at 1:1 with the Euro, and pay off all its debts instantly before allowing any other use of the Drachma, and then either deliberately devalue it or let it quickly find its realistic exchange rate at maybe 10:1. In effect the Greece would have played back in reverse the trick the EU played on it.
Any other strategy looks like penury and servitude to German financiers forever,
As the Prof has rescheduled the Summer Solstice till this Sunday (a Druid of his calibre can do that sort of thing you know), I’ve basically had a week of Solstice starting with midsummer Highland Games and Ceilidh in the hills above Loch Ness, putting the final touches to the sculpture of Flora, and preparing to hail the new official midsummer formally in a certain private circle of standing stones.
My part in the highland games came down to participation in three demented events that probably originated from military activities designed to break up medieval infantry formations, shot, hammer, and caber. The shot consisted of a stone larger than my head, the hammer of an eight inch iron ball on a hawser. I think that on one of my throws I managed not to come last despite throwing myself twice to the ground as well during the attempts. I had taken the liberty of a trying a couple of practise tosses with a couple of the cabers on the rack, and it seemed do-able. However when we got to the event the MC swept the cabers off the rack, ‘just the ladies ones and the practise ones’ he said, and it turned out that the real deal consisted of the rack itself, an intimidating twelve foot long, hundred pound plus spar. Nobody actually managed to toss it right over and nobody died. ‘The caber wins again’ pronounced the MC. Legend has it that someone in the village once accomplished it. They breed ‘em madly tough in the highlands, competition standard caber apparently involves 19 foot 175 pound cabers and men the size of bears.
As well as the delights of a family reunion I also enjoyed the sight of a rare Pine Marten foraging just outside the window of the croft, and the museum of Pictish art, weird stuff carved on stone that we still cannot decipher as their hieroglyphics or heraldry or religion.
Then back to my garage to complete Cloris-Flora the Greek-Roman Goddess of Gardens. In the absence of a block of white marble and the time and skill to work it, I started with a shop mannequin, concreted her onto a slab of bathstone, and then built up her headdress and accessories and surface detail with Jemsonite, a weatherproof sort of plaster like material, and then finished her with white masonry paint.
Meanwhile on Arcanorium College efforts to penetrate the Neconomicon Mythos of the Elder Gods by a team of intrepid psychonauts proceeds apace, we seem to have revitalised the old magical arte of Ars Notoria in this quest.
Along with a number of other survivors of the magical revival, I have for the last few decades wondered what became of Charlie Brewster, Frater Choronzon 333.
He cut an extraordinary figure amongst the London Illuminati of the seventies and eighties.
I met him after he got out of jail over a misunderstanding about a credit card. Whilst in jail he took a course in electrical wiring and somehow blagged his way into working as a wireman for Reuters. He moved into a squat near to mine in Deptford sometime after we met at Stoke Newington Sorcerers, (an experimental magic group based in Giles’s flat that included Gerald Suster). I distinctly remember he scrounged a door from a local derelict cinema for his squat which bore the legend ‘Projection Room’, nice.
Ah what we got up to in those days, whole spit roast goat party on the adjoining wasteground, pitched street battles with the gypsies and the national front, crazy metaphysical speleological expeditions to invoke Gwyn ap Nudd in the depths of welsh caves, some inadvisable experiments with deadly nightshade. All the usual follies of youth.
Then I set off for India and Australia for a couple of years, came back to Yorkshire for a couple more years, went to India for another year and finally wound up in Bristol and started my business.
In the meantime Charlie had a spectacular trajectory. From a Reuters wireman he blagged his way upwards till he apparently became one of their top technicians, by, he claimed, going to work in a very posh suit and carrying a combination lock pigskin briefcase (containing his soldering iron). He ended up buying a mansion, performance cars and motorcycles (his huge frame cutting a dash in what looked like a Dune stillsuit). At the height of the curve he funded extravagant OTO events, had a craftsman start building him a pearwood Enochian chess set, drank vintage Laphroaig single malt from pint mugs with his joints, had a bizarre scheme going dealing futures on the Chicago stock exchange (inadvisably), and his own electronics company. Plus he acquired an enormous Tibetan Thunderbolt-Axe for magical purposes.
He created some interesting magical writings; see below.
Finally it all crashed bigtime, he went down owing some very impressive sums, and he retreated to obscurity in Wales and cut himself off from everyone he had known in London, including me. (Under pressure from his longsuffering wife I suspect). I had only a couple of brief notes from him thereafter mentioning some maths teaching and heart problems.
Then today I found this obituary today whilst googling for an image of him.
I count knowing Charlie Brewster as one of the great blasts of my early life.
DEATH OF CHARLIE BREWSTER
...on 13th December 2013. Charlie was one of Ken's most important friends. They first met at Reuters in 1978, a firm that grossly underused their talents, which in Charlie's case, were very great indeed. Ken would say that Charlie could do the sort of Higher Maths in his head that would take Ken a week with a pencil. More than that, Charlie & Jane were tremendously helpful to Ken when he lost his 1st wife Jane in an accident. We attended his funeral in Wales on January 6th. Our best wishes to Jane & his children, Emily, Victoria & Demian, not forgetting step-children Bethan & Dominic plus spouses & grandchildren.
So now, with the UK general election settled, the battle over the UK’s membership of the EU begins in earnest.
In 1973 the British people elected to join a Common Market. It seemed like a good idea at the time to dismantle trade barriers between the participating European countries. Some did warn us that it could eventually lead to some sort of federalisation of Europe and that some of the people behind it actually had full federalisation, or worse, on their agenda.
Now, four decades later, the British people find themselves increasingly subject to the diktats, laws, regulatory culture, and membership of a European Union that they never voted to join but which their politicians gradually signed them up to.
It has become increasingly apparent that the European Union heads towards government by Synarchy rather than by Democracy. We face ‘Ever Closer Union’ with a political entity over which we have virtually no democratic control.
Professional Politicians and Big Business much prefer Synarchy to Democracy.
Synarchy means government by a self-perpetuating clique of ‘Those Who Think They Know Best’ and who do not wish to subject themselves to democratic accountability. Rather they prefer to perpetuate their cabal by a system of appointing only those who agree with them.
The EU does in theory have an elected parliament but only a sham parliament; it raises no taxes, it originates no legislation, and it has no budget to spend except on its own extravagant expenses. It merely exists to rubber stamp the legislation created by the unelected European Commission and its vast unelected supporting Bureaucracy.
This Synarchic system suits professional career politicians and big business very well. Professional politicians can look forward to retirement appointments on the bloated gravy train of the EU if they lose elections. Many of the political class now choose to build their entire careers there, subject only to internal scrutiny and to zero public accountability. Big business loves the EU because the EU relies on big business to set so much of the regulatory agenda to its own advantage against smaller business competitors and external trade.
Synarchy depends on a self-perpetuating unelected clique and its clients; it maintains its position by assuming control of as many aspects of the populace’s lives as it possibly can by an ever multiplying set of rules and regulations. By passing laws and regulations about every imaginable activity it effectively gives itself the Arbitrary Power to criminalise any form of behaviour or dissent or opposition it takes exception to. In the EU most of this legislation gets passed under the ominous banner of ‘Public Safety’ or under the faux banner of ‘Internationalism’.
The strength and creativity of Europe has always lain in its diversity. The various European nations have experimented with just about every imaginable political, social, ethical and religious system over the centuries. Some became more scientifically and industrially oriented than others. They fought frequently and learned from each other’s advances and mistakes.
The EU Synarchists now seek to homogenise and rule the entire continent with a single vast set of rules and regulations about every aspect of people’s working lives, interpersonal relationships, the provision and consumption of goods and services, and acceptable beliefs and thoughts (secular political correctness trumps all tolerated faiths and political opinions.)
The hegemonistic homogenising ‘One Size Must Fit All’ philosophy of the EU Synarchists can only lead to a loss of diversity, experimentation, creativity, and competitiveness in the European nations that submit to it.
The argument that EU membership will prevent war does not hold water. Democracies have rarely if ever declared war on each other, and nowadays the economic costs of war between European nations far exceed any possible benefits, and will likely remain so.
The economic benefits of EU membership remain highly debatable. The free movement of capital and labour within the EU has done more for free-market capitalism than social democracy. The richer areas have sucked in the investment and labour to the impoverishment of the poorer areas that merely receive subsidised and frequently useless infrastructure projects. Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece have had their economies wrecked by the EU, whilst Germany has massively profited from a currency union which makes its exports ridiculously cheap. Poland has lost a million of its youngest and most motivated people.
The argument that Europe needs to act as a single bloc when confronting the major powers of America, China, and Russia does not hold water either. None of those countries have territorial ambitions in Europe. Europe has abandoned colonialism, military intervention in the third world becomes increasingly pointless, and nuclear deterrence thankfully keeps the peace. The Germans really should invest in some instead of relying on ours. When it comes to economic confrontation, America, China, and Russia would find it far easier to apply pressure to a single homogenous block rather than trying to apply it piecemeal to dozens of self-governing nations.
David Cameron has stated that he will attempt to renegotiate the whole relationship between the UK and the EU and then present the terms of a new relationship to the British people in a simple in or out referendum.
The red line for renegotiation should have equal simplicity.
‘The UK reserves the right to ignore any EU legislation that it considers inappropriate for itself.’
If that proves unacceptable then we should vote to leave, and hopefully in a manner calculated to weaken or collapse the whole rotten structure.
Any nation that waives the right to issue its own law or currency or to issue or refuse work or residency permits to visitors, no longer has meaningful sovereignty over itself, or a meaningful democracy either.
The issue of free movement of population for economic reasons obstructs the entry of Turkey into the EU. If we went back to a simple Common Market this problem would dissappear. Turkey could trade more freely with Europe and this would strengthen Nato's flank and Turkey itself as a bulwark against the problems of the middle east.
As a wizard I revel in creative juxtapositions, contrasts, differences, and varied excellences. I want different countries with widely differing customs to take my holidays in.
I don’t want Greece forced into the same culture as Germany. I prefer to enjoy both places separately, and don’t wish Britain to homogenise with either.
The EU project leads only to enforced uniformity and mediocrity beneath a mountain of rules and regulations. A ‘European Identity’ does not exist because nobody outside the Synarchist wing of the political class really wants one.
After the exuberance of the last few posts, some rather negative stuff: -
Conspiracy Theory has become something of the half-thinking person’s alternative religion these days. The set of beliefs has gradually achieved some sort of canonical form these days, expect the inclusion of Zionism, Nazism, the Rothschilds, the JSK assassination, the CIA and MK Ultra, then add Area 51, Flying Saucers, Climate Change and Vaccination denial, weird interpretations of 9/11, and the British Royal Family to taste.
Conspiracy theories tend to appeal to the extreme right and the extreme left and to the paranoid and the self-important. Some people also delight in thinking they know something that others don’t, although the internet now contains so much of this stuff in the public domain that anyone can fill their heads with it without actually encountering anything to question or falsify any of it. You can google yourself into complete and comprehensive ‘self-consistent’ sets of mutually supportive delusions by a simple process of selective attention.
Some people seem to prefer the idea that the chaos of the world lies under the control of something, even if malignant. What about the filthy rich nuclear armed nazi reptile pervert house of Windsor/Rothschild ruling the world from a bunker beneath Stonehenge? Obvious innit!
In practise Conspiracies have a fractal form. Conspiracies operate between nations and within nations, within workplaces and social groups and within families. We also have conspiracies inside our own heads, with some of our thoughts and fears and desires at odds with others.
Conspiracies exist all right, but Snafu’s, screw-ups, misunderstandings, mistakes, fortuitous accidents, and stupidity generally set the fairly random and unpredictable course of human life and history.
Conspiracy Theory always retrodicts; it has no predictive power. It should not form any part of so called ‘esoteric knowledge’ at all.
Thus I find Ray Sherwin’s latest book ‘VITRIOL’ a dismal disappointment. He goes whole hog on uncritical Conspiracy Theory, and it becomes a tiresome and predictable read in which the author commits literary and intellectual suicide at length. Then he further sours the mix with rants against former friends with whom he developed business disputes, and with scientifically illiterate neurotic rants about health issues. He once wrote a couple of reasonable books on magic, this latest offering will probably depress the market for them.
The Spanish translator of the E-Epoch just pointed out that we had mistakenly attributed the authorship of ‘The Imitation of Christ’ not to Ignatius Loyola but rather to Thessalonius Loyola. (Ray’s old magical moniker). Maybe that or the Fuerteventura sun and isolation have gone to his head.
And now for another negative: Necromancy.
The damned arte has reared its rotting head again, so herewith a counterblast from the annals of Esoteric Quality Control, new on this site.
With some exhuberance I post a picture of my victorious MP. Unlike a lot of them she once had a real job, as you can see from her magnificent lifeguard's shoulders.
I felt no need to actually vote for her or to sit up for the foregone conclusion of a result. The Sun and the bookies as usual called it right. The bookies had them neck and neck towards the finish, but bear in mind they offer odds based partly on their appraisal of the chances but partly on the money that actually gets placed, so you have to allow for the sort of people who actually go to the bookies, sample bias as we mathematicians call it.
So we have a sensible result for the UK, despite the simmering tartan romanticism north of the border, and we have avoided the dread Lab/SNP coalition of entropy.
I voted Green as promised in my electoral Pact with my eldest, a magical gesture for the future.
And now for a little light physics: -
March 15, 2014
Fifteen Old, Massive Galaxies Found in the Early Universe --"They Shouldn't Even Exist"
RELEASE DATE: SEP 27, 2014
A young galaxy in the local universe?
The nearby dwarf galaxy DDO 68 – only 39 million light-years away – looks young. But its nearness to us in space suggests it’s not as young as it looks.
Hypersphere Cosmology confidently predicts that astronomers will eventually discover galaxies of all ages at all distances, bright new ones are just easier to find at extreme distances. The Universe recycles everything.
Confessions of a Right Wing Hippy.
Daughter, didn’t you recently tell me you had concluded that the dread Loch Ness Monster was actually a STURGEON? I quipped.
Dad, have you always been a Right Wing Hippy? Retorted my eldest, who has recently become a Doctor of Biological Sciences.
These quips arose during intense negotiations for an Emergency Electoral Pact between us in advance of this week’s UK general election.
In the end we both solemnly swore to vote Green on wizard’s honour and scientist’s honour. So that’s one less vote for the Conservatives in a constituency where it won’t make any difference, one less vote for the SNP where it won’t make any difference either, but two votes to add to the Green national total as a magical act of protest and long term enchantment for the future.
(Mind you, the Green’s policy of unrestricted population movement within Europe still seems profoundly ecologically unsound to me, but I guess they just put that in as a sop to the youth vote.) Nevertheless trying to conserve the environment satisfies my conservative instincts.
I think my moment of conversion to right wing hippiedom came on witnessing the ‘New-Age Convoy’ at Stonehenge. Children with matted hair and brown stumps for teeth, un-roadworthy vehicles full agricultural diesel stolen from farmers, surly feral men armed with machetes, scabby looking women selling themselves in benders, heroin on open sale, green hedgerows ripped down in failed attempts to light fires, human and dog excrement everywhere. Hawkwind still played well however. Peace and Love requires organisation and self-discipline you know man.
The overall level of human happiness seems more or less independent of ‘progress’ for the simple reason that anything ‘new’ or ‘progressive’ usually has as many downsides as upsides to it, most of them unforeseen. I find novelty profoundly interesting but not an unqualified good in itself. Science tends to improve over time, but architecture tends to get worse for example.
Politically I prefer a system that errs on the side of Liberty rather than Equality. (Fraternity has little effect beyond the 150 or so people that anyone can properly know). When it comes to Equality; equality of opportunity trumps enforced equality of outcome (socialism). I broadly support the Darwinian aims of STUB, stop the underclass breeding, or at least stop subsidising the feckless to do so. Yet I endeavour to practise benign capitalism as the most agreeable option available to me in current circumstances.
Like my daughter, most people seem to regard me as a mass of confusing contradictions. I would describe them as fertile juxtapositions. My appearance does not match my professional status and my opinions as a whole do not fall into any conventional category. I have left wing opinions about some matters, right wing opinions about others, conservative attitudes to some phenomena, liberal attitudes to others, and I currently hold some positions which have such a minority following that they don’t even have a category yet.
Whilst I have intense religious feelings I don’t believe in anything much except science, and a fair bit of that seems wrong; I suppose I merely respect the efficacy of scientific method in principle, although it often fails. Most ‘facts’ have fairly short half-lives. Official cosmology currently looks like a mistaken mess and as Richard Feynman said, ‘nobody understands quantum physics’ yet.
I respect the efficacy of magical method as well, despite its even higher failure rate. I value enchantment over divination on the basis of reasonably coherent quantum-theoretical reasons and personal experience. I dismiss the existence of ‘spirits’ as conventionally defined, and consider drugs and necromancy of limited or negligible value in magic.
In short, I Reject Herd Mentality.
Opinions shouldn’t come in exclusive boxed sets. (Prejudice by any other name.)
I value the antinomian perspective; we never really understand an idea until we also understand the conditions under which it ceases to apply.
Beltane passed with a splendid evening at Grove with a number of celebrity guests. The assembled magical firepower easily held off the rain for the evenings Beltane fire.
The pond at Chateaux Chaos now teems with tens of thousands of toadpoles, gazing into it reminds me of those schoolboy experiments examining semen under a microscope.
To mark the season I've started on a full size classical goddess statue of Flora/Chloris for the gardens. See above a practise version of a head. For this I've used Jemsonite, a water based ceramic-acrylic material over a polystyrene hat display stand and some cloth flowers. I have acquired a lifesize fibreglass shop mannequin which I shall attempt to cover with Jemsonite to give a white marble effect. The Jemsonite mixes to a paste more suitable for architectural moulding than handworking, and it sets like stone in about 5 minutes, so you have to get it on very quickly, then you can set about it with serious abrasives to give a stone finish suitable for outdoor use.
The Hypersphere Cosmology paper now has publication in the viXra Online Scientific Journal, the home of papers too far out to pass the censors on arXiv.
Toadmass has passed at Chateaux Chaos with seemingly fewer visitors this year, they have left their strings of spawn adorning the weeds. However we have had a better year for Newts, most evenings we see half a dozen or so paddling amongst the reeds conducting their elaborate courtships, they tend to stay longer in the water than the grumpy toads who cannot wait to crawl back to dank solitude beneath their stones.
Above see a Puck/Pan figure fashioned to add a bit of classical grandeur to a garden, I do so abhor those mass produced garish garden gnomes, even the humorously rude ones. I made him starting with plasterer’s steel mesh which I overlaid with ‘Turdcrete’ an experimental clay-like mixture of finely sieved fibrous sheep’s wool and bracken compost, Portland cement, and black cement pigment, (handle with surgical gloves), he’s verdigrissed to a faux-bronze finish with matte pale green patio paint. Et in Arcadia Ego. ' A brief paean follows: -
The Great God Pan is Dead, Yet Again and Again and Again
The human godbeast comes and it goes, Et in Arcadia Ego
Pangenitor, Panphage, All Begetter, All Destroyer
The omnipresent reality of sex and death.
Rejected by the otherworldly philosophers
Lost by the citified Neoplatonist abstractors
Yet still sacred to the Pagans – the country folk.
The Hidden God, the Soul of the Wildwood
Faunus, Sylvanus, The Horned God, The Christian’s Devil
Herne, Cernunnos, Pan, Panic! – Witches!
Mahomet – Baphomet, God of Mistaken Identity
But full marks for Androgynous Deity.
Pan- the great All of life
Pan – Panpsychism, the magic forests live,
The world and the stars have life of a kind, but slower….
In the Romantic’s dreams of Arcadian idyll,
And to Neopagans’ delight
The Great God Pan Lives Yet!
- Always in our Genes and our Loins and our Hearts
Mind in body, body in mind, body and mind entwined.
As partly beasts, and partly gods we live.
Io Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan!