Thursday, September 30, 2010

Santeria

My painful lack of knowledge about Santeria prompted me to pick up a copy of Migene Gonzalez-Wippler's Santeria: The Religion. I've been diligently reading it, and it didn't sound bad at any point.

But, the chapter on Palo Mayombe in it prompts me to ask: just how reliable is this book? If it's fairly reliable, cool. No worries. But, uh, you know. After reading that chapter, I'd just like to make sure the author isn't making shit up.

Wicca vs. Satanism



So you see, when the pentacle is like this, you're a Wiccan. But if the Pentacle is like this, then you're a Satanist.


I'm glad we got that "cleared" up. I feel so, uh, what's the right word? "Enlightened."

And thanks, Z.E. Accordino and Jhonn. I did LOL muchly.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whatever Happened to Ultra-Culture, Anyway?

A few years ago, when Disinfo released Generation Hex, it was along with a message from the editor of said book (Jason Louv) that the kids of today were appearing in record numbers, and we were going to, like, take back the world.

Did that happen? Fuck no. We didn't take shit back from... Anyone.

But, uh, Louv did manage to get one volume of the Ultra-Culture journal out. (Is it just me, or were a good deal of the contributors over the age of 30?)

So, five years later, I'd like to know: what happened? Did it just never come together? Was there a total of three gatherings before individuals discovered they loathed one another? I recall hearing something about Louv distrusting people that worked with the Lwa, but I have no idea as to the specifics.

Was this just a bunch've smoke blown up the collective asses of the occult youth of yester-year? If so, have we learned anything from it? Am I allowed to declare that this project was worthless and probably one of those many ego-get-togethers where we all assure one another things are getting better and we'll take over in no time?

As per usual, I have nothing but doubts. I guess that makes me a “hater.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poverty in America

The percentage of Americans struggling below the poverty line in 2009 was the highest it has been in 15 years, the Census Bureau reported Thursday, and interviews with poverty experts and aid groups said the increase appeared to be continuing this year...

And the numbers could have climbed higher: One way embattled Americans have gotten by is sharing homes with siblings, parents or even nonrelatives, sometimes resulting in overused couches and frayed nerves but holding down the rise in the national poverty rate, according to the report.

The share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level recorded since 1994. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five affected, the bureau said...

For a single adult in 2009, the poverty line was $10,830 in pretax cash income; for a family of four, $22,050...”

The World: It's Not Fair.

There is an email sitting in my inbox. It's from a local pagan list. It lacks proper punctuation, any sense of grammar, and quite a bit of the spelling is horrid.

It was written by someone that claims to be an adult, with a business degree, who is complaining about the lack of "morals" and "ethics." And because the people this individual knows who are doing well, lack such things. Meanwhile, the author of said email has followed all the rules, been a good person... And life still sucks.

The one response this email got went something like this: Your real problem is that you keep asking 'Why Me'! If you stop saying that, what you want will solidify and life will be awesome again!


I have my doubts. Maybe the problem is that life isn't fucking fair, and some people have become caught up in the lie that if you're a good person, it will all work out for you.

Life doesn't work that way. And problems aren't caused because someone asks why me?!


Neo-Pagan "Elders" these days. The standards keep slumping, and the answers are all the same. "It's because you asked 'why me'."

The fact that I get older and become more appalled by the answers of "enlightened adults" never ceases to fucking amaze me. Tuesday and today's irritation is "spiritual devolution:" when one tried so hard to evolve that they became an idiot.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Notes

Fire and Forget.”
A few years ago, Donald Michael Kraig came to Fresno. At the time he had just had his book about dancing the tarot published, and was presenting at Fresno's Pagan Pride Day on the subject. Once he finished and went into his question and answer phase, I asked: “Err, but what about fire and forget?”

Fire and forget,” he told me with seeming annoyance, “is a chaos magick idea and does not apply here.”

He said some other things, but I was already so fucking annoyed I'd ceased to pay attention to whatever he was saying due to his tone. I hadn't even meant to say fire and forget; it'd been a Freudian slip of a sort, associated ideas spilling out. I'd meant to ask, what about Lust of Result? I hadn't heard him address the idea once. I now have a better idea as to why it wouldn't apply – you're dancing the ritual, and most of it won't be completely recalled – but I've held a grudge against the fat man ever since. For no real reason, except that I didn't like his tone or his self-importance. I'm told this is a rash judgment. I don't really feel particularly guilty for it, either. I very much dislike being talked down to.

But reading Gordon's recent post on sigils made me think of the above. The old Chaos Magick schitck about Lust of Result is that tricking your mind is easy, and when it comes to sigils, why not? Just fire and forget, keep a note in the journal, and see what happens.

But there's a caveat here: there's more than one way to trick your mind. In fact, there are tons. The problem that Chaos Magicians often have is that we – and I think I can speak collectively here – often forget that, or assume our pet methods are the best. They are not.

In a related field: I can astral project. Quite easily, in fact. Well – okay, there's a few issues. I've walked into walls in my astral temple a few times and been jolted back into conscious from the collision. But beyond that, not a huge problem. The problem is that I had – and still to a greater extent still do not have – no map. If you never know where the fuck you are, how can you go anywhere? Well, I'm a big believer in “wander aimlessly.” But clearly my pet methods in some areas need changes to be more effective.

So I'm open to abandoning them entirely at points, or a number of other tactics. Assuming, that is, that I don't get lazy. Which happens quite regularly.

All of that aside, and back on the sigils and “lust of result,” that's only a category that holds any weight in certain circumstances. Even the very basic jump from crafting sigils to that of making thought-form requires that you start keeping the sigils. What do you think you're going to use to re-summon your thoughtform, man?

It's got a sigil, and it's got a name. And assuming that you can still 'recall' that entity correctly, you can still make use of it as long as the sigil remains. If it “dies” – that is, ceases to respond – you can just make a new one with the old sigil. But where's the Lust of Result, a younger Faust might ask?

It doesn't exist. That's why you've made the jump from the sigil to the thoughtform, so that more 'variable' paths can be found for your manifestation, and so concerns about grounding out your work remains less vexing. Even better than that: there's these huge-ass books called Grimoires with (oh my god!) sigils and names of spirits in them... Which you can use, if you followed the proscribed methods (or similar methods), to summon said entities. Crazy, right?

In general, Lust of Result is a pervasive danger, but a minor one. When you're talking about thaumaturgy, the biggest danger is that your desire is going to find a path of manifestation that's detrimental to your physical or mental health. The love spell becomes a foci for obsession on the part of the person you'd wished to seduce; or you discover to your great horror that your money magick has just reified your status as an insurance beneficiary.

These are the things you want to avoid; so you enchant with money along very specific lines, or you conjure a job that allows you to make that money; or you decide that you don't really need to walk for six weeks and $30K is worth getting hit by some jackass. If your desire is love, then you might create a thought-form to advise you on which women in your life to pay attention to; if it's sex, you might learn to invoke Dionysos and visit a bar. (With condoms, of course.) But make sure not confuse the two; they are not the same, at all.

I used to manifest blindly, and kept wondering why I was getting slapped in the face. But the more I analyzed the things that had manifested, what I'd done, and what I desired the more I realized that it was my response to circumstance – and my way of analyzing circumstance – that was leading to my biggest blunders. And these blunders have included: bankrupting myself. I was worked at Taco Bell at the time, and discovered that living off Top Ramen for two weeks because you're a dumbass... Well, that just sucks.

So if you find your manifestations getting strange, and that you keep having recurrent issues... The thing I'd try to take away is that often the lesson is how you're approaching things, and how flexible or inflexible your ideas about what you need or want are. While painful and sometimes even dramatic – at other times merely obnoxious – these are some of the coolest lessons the universe has to give out. Because at the end of it, the entire structure of what see before you warps and changes so utterly that you can't imagine how you didn't see it before...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh, god.


While hunting around for some information regarding a video game I'm playing, I noticed... that ad. And I laughed. Oh, how I laughed. IMVU... marketing toward the cybersex fetish niche? Well. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Incidentally, while I understand that many women are supposed to kinship toward Bella... Since when did anyone want to be Edward Cullen? ("Mormon Vampire. Lovely. Takes all the fun out of being a Vampire.")

EDIT: Wait. I've figured out how it works! See, as Twilight is a "mostly chaste" romance, IMVU cannot be openly accused of marketing towards the "cybersex fetish" niche market. Because they're encouraging chaste, uh, 3D animated... uh, dialogues.

All the while, still marketing with the sex. That's almost brilliant. It also must be what makes Twilight work. I'll have to think about this some more. Because I still fail to see how those novels could be seen as romantic. Yes, it's a love story. But I'm not sure a love story between two idiots is a love story worth reading or telling, even if one of the idiots is a vampire. In fact, I have tons of scathing comments about that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It must almost be October. Again.

For the last two weeks, the city of Sacramento has been working on the downtown sewer systems. The short version of why goes something like this: the sewage was draining into the Sacramento river. It's probably defiled forever, but in the meantime it's time to fix shit.

As such, all over the downtown area it sounds a bit like a Freddy Krueger film. This is made more amusing - if amusing is the right word - by the earth-quake style booms that you can periodically feel as they tear up the road.

Ah, well. Don't take this for complaining. It's totally fucked up my sleep cycle, but beyond that it's rather amusing to wake up to nigh-endless metal screeches, booms, and small explosion sounds.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Scylla was right!

It appears that blogger was deciding that a few of you are spammers. And so it blocked the comments.

In particular, blogger seems to dislike R.O. and Harold Roth the most. It also hated me twice. Which breaks my brain a little bit. How the fuck can I spam my own blog?

Monday, September 20, 2010

If you're doing this already: I'm not talking to you.

It has been mentioned a few times that I left a great deal unsaid on certain matters. I did.

And it works like this: you have a house with a back door without a lock? You buy a fucking lock. You don't trust the innate goodness of your fellow man, because your fellow man is just as likely to nick your wallet as he is to try and steal your girlfriend, or anything else. The odds are all over the place, and most people really do invent their own morals while insisting they're better than they are.

You write a book that you know will get pirated? You buy a lock. You're a “powerful” fucking sorcerer or magician or witch, or what-have-you. Fucking deal with that shit.

A few distinctions need to be made here, though:
  • If you're sloppy? That's your fault.
The spirit had better know the difference between an “uploader” and a “downloader.” It had better understand the distinction between my scanning a page, and my scanning a book. If you don't take care to make these distinctions and someone gets hit that shouldn't? It's on your head. And they get to kick the shit out of you if they're capable or feel like it.

  • Not all curses are death curses.
R.O. has said it a few times, but I actually ended up chatting with a fellow about the subject just yesterday. There's a certain assumption that all tactics are heavy handed. This misses the point, which is that sometimes precision beats power. While a heavy-handed assault on anything might leave someone in a state of shock and awe, a clever or even mean push can be just as effective, if not more so. There's also the point everyone makes about how if you curse once, you're likely to again. I've never really bought this one. I fucked up once, and I never did that again. I almost want to suggest the work “jinx,” but I'm not sure if it applies.

Now then, if you're downloading material written by occultists who have mind-bending powers and want to tell you how to get them yourself? You should assume that some PDFs might or might not come with a ready-made terror just waiting to find you. Maybe not. Who knows? But I've come across some weird shit. I know of one PDF that had a tendency to melt hard-drives shortly after it would be downloaded. The reports may be exaggerated. They might not be. But assuming that people aren't going to work against downloaders, too, is stupid. Cleanse that shit. Give it a good scan on a variety of levels. Don't just assume that because it isn't physical, there isn't something attached. I'd say something similar about used books. Some of them do come charged. Because some silly fuckers don't write the shit they use down by hand, and instead carrying their books into their circle or whatever. Fine, I guess. But please don't sell your charged copy of the Goetia back to a used bookstore, all right? That's just fucking cruel. And sloppy.

And if you've draw one of the seals on the inside cover and charged it up, like that one book I saw a few months ago..? I hope something bad happens to you. Jackass.

I consider this shit common sense. I also consider it a right to a person affronted to take measures to protect their wares. I do not; I give what I give away for free, and because that's how I like it. No, it doesn't make me much money. That's not the point. My value as an individual (sorcerer) isn't attached to a price-tag. And if you think it is? We're not going to get along. Because I won't play that game. There is a seriously mistaken perception that the best thing another magician can do for you is to give you cash. I really don't agree with the sentiment, and I'd suggest avoiding those that think along such lines. They will most likely fuck you over given time.

Finally... If you're writing a book? Don't plan to make a boat-load of cash. This is my honest, and bluntest point. It has never worked. I recall all manner of other young Chaos Magicians talking about “when they'd write that book.” For a long time, I had that goal, too. And then I really investigated it, and realized the only reason I'd write a book is for ego reasons.

I can pay for a blog out of my own pocket to do that. It's an indulgence. Thus, that is what I do. It also allows my the side benefit of being able to dedicate various things I write, to various spirits. Or try out crazy shit and see if it works. I happen to like that. There's more use to the 'net than social networking and porn. We've just stumped it's use to largely those things so far. And it is quite fucking sad.

Finally, I am not saying to “work your model” around piracy. I'm saying that you had better, as an intelligent individual, take it into account and use your books wisely for a purpose beyond just making cash on the books. You should also take other factors into account: economic situations, whether or not people like the material you're producing, and whether or not they like it enough... to buy it. Because this is a distinction. And it's a real one.

If you can manage all of the above? I salute you. I sure as hell don't feel like it at the present time. But I do want you to continue, and if I like you and what you sell? I'll buy your product.

Shit. Eventually, I may even try to take Jason's course. If I can ever convince myself that I'd do it all, rather than read it, nod, and continue on my way. Which is the distinction that keeps me from doing it.

But that's the short end of my thoughts. “Don't be an idiot,” would, I think cover that ground quite succinctly. Unfortunately, when I say it, people always tell me I'm being cryptic. I'm not. It's pragmatics. Being an idiot tends to get you hurt. Thus, actively working to avoid that is in your best interest.

And sometimes, you need people to tell you that you're an idiot. Because you're an arrogant fuck. It happens.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jack Faust (Briefly) Invades Plutonica.

Remember all of that commotion about Piracy? Well, Psyche was kind enough to let me write on the subject for Plutonica.net.

It's up here. In a month I'll most likely post the less streamlined 15-17 page version on EI.net.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Politics vs. Human Decency

I've been observing I find odd of late, and thinking about it for a while. And what I think I'm seeing is people mistaking two categories that intersect; those categories being “politics” and “human decency.” I say they intersect, because human decency is apparently lacking in some individuals for whatever reason, and it tends to take legislation to enact it. This, of course, goes far beyond the 14th Amendment.

Why would this bother me? Because I keep seeing magicians, who often seem to regard themselves as Agents of Liberty, saying crazy shit. So far this year I've seen magicians:

  • Justify the lack of health coverage for those that can't afford it on the basis of their taxes. (Seriously? You're afraid of losing some... money? Over someone's welfare?)

  • Discuss the horror of Islamic Fundamentalism while neglecting to mention the various factors that led that segment of the Islamic world to turn its eyes towards the United States. I suppose it's just too much to ask why someone might want you dead?

  • Justify torture in regards to terrorism. No, really. But to be fair: it was a magician who's pretty much a fascist. So I probably shouldn't be surprised.

I could go on, but I won't. And I'm not going to start taking screen-shots whenever I see something stupid on Facebook, because I'd end up with too many screen-shots, too quickly. My point is this: if you're doing it, stop.

If you're seeing things that make you uneasy, then don't divert from the topic. Don't bring up something equally atrocious, but off topic. Don't justify evil due to another evil act. That's childish. “He did it first!”

Human decency works like this: everyone has worth. This worth is not in dollar bills, and all human life has infinitely more worth than your wallet. The tendency to politicize human decency diverts us from the actual topic at hand. The fact that people exploit systems diverts us from the topic at hand. Human decency remains regardless of that, and regardless of any desire to stop that exploitation. Any and every system will be exploited. Its inevitable. The question is whether or not the system meets the demands of the populace; if it does not, it needs to be reformed on the basis of meeting those demands. Not to tighten the measure against exploitation, as that happens as a byproduct of the reform itself.

The “unemployment rate was about unchanged at 9.6 percent,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in the last update as to our economic position in terms of employment statistics. The “number of unemployed persons is 14.9 million.”

I want you to take a moment to reflect on those statistics. They're relevant to our present as American citizens. We've got around 1 in 10 folks without a job. (No, I am not one of those. Though slow months feel like it.) Black or African Americans are sitting at 15.2% unemployed. Hispanics are looking at a 13% unemployment ratio.

Human decency means that your response to this had better not be “laziness.” They can't all be lazy, when you walk through your city's downtown area and see rows upon rows of empty windows; a small army of homeless individuals, and (living in Sacramento) an endless array of white people with brief-cases and white Nikes ignoring them. I'm pretty sure that a third of them are Lobbyists, too.

Human decency isn't political, and liberation isn't political. And excuses don't work if you claim that that's your end goal.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Piracy: Resources

Before I begin writing on the subject, I felt that it was the most fair to provide resources for anyone seeking more information on the subjects that I'll be bringing up on EI.Net shortly. As such, here you go:

Piracy is... Good?

Mark Pesce is the creator of VRML (Virtual Reality Machine Language), the earliest Virtual Reality programming language that I'm aware of. He also happens to be a neo-Pagan, and wrote The Executable Dreamtime, one of the essays which helped shape some of the views on magick I still hold to this day. It's probably one of the most remarkable essays in Disinfo's Book of Lies, and along with the above provides a good look at what “cybermagicians” in the next century are going to look like. Piracy is... Good? is a 2005 lecture that Pesce gave, and then threw on the internet. It appeared on the internet shortly after the arrival of Torrent software, and may become a landmark in all future discussions on this subject. Many of Pesce's topics are especially prescient, and his thoughts are not to be spurned. While it relates to television and traditional media involving it, I suspect that it will have cross-over appeal for obvious reasons.

Steal This Film (Part 1). Wiki article here.

The first part was shot in Sweden in 2006 as the Pirate Bay fiasco began, and the film discusses the nature of social change, online piracy, and communications in the 21st century. It was put together on a low budget, and released for free on the internet. Due to donations, it's creators were able to put together...

Steal This Film (Part 2). Wiki article here.

The Dissolving Fortress is the second part of the documentary, dealing with the nature of social change and information. This section of the film is particularly interesting because it narrates the history of Information Piracy, beginning with the small printing press and then accelerating to the internet.

Uh. I think everyone and their mother has read Hakim Bey's TAZ by now.

I'm trying to find a rather fascinating documentary I'd seen on Pirate radio/television stations in Spain, where one professor even called what they were doing a “temporary autonomous zone,” but I can't remember the damn title. Bah.

Anyway. More to come. Notice something lacking? Oh, yeah. Mention of ships, the seas, and swashbuckling so far. That's because I'm going the William Gibson route. Why? Because last time R.O. annoyed me by raving about “rape” and “pillage.” That's called “linguistic drift,” and the reason that when peer-to-peer file sharing began, the record industry called it “Piracy.” They want you to make those associations. Which don't strictly hold any longer, as I'll explain in my forth-coming entry.

More links if/as I find them. I also need to dig through some of my books.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cernunnos

(Hermes the Thief and Apollo the Tool with Cernunnos.)

See? She's right. He's still wearing boots.

I was surprised when reading Romans and Barbarians to discover that of the Gods kept by the Celts that became Roman federates, Cernunnos was one of their favorites. Because he has bling. And hangs out with Olympian Frat Boys (Apollo) and Thieves (Hermes), and rodents. Not because he had anything to do with fertility. And they, those converted Celts in Germania, became the Merchant class. Oh shit, son.

Also. This lightplate? It just doesn't say Sacred Sexuality to me. Sorry. I'd tell you what it says, but then I'd be being really, really mean.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Piracy, Net Neutrality, And Why To Pay Attention.


If you haven't noticed, the Net Neutrality debate has kicked up a few notches in the last few weeks. I'm saying this following yesterday's post, and after a few hours of thinking about piracy and trying to begin to form something to a coherent whole.

But as I read the Time article linked above - on a subject I've hardly ignored, though my comments have been muted prior to this moment - I realized something: it may not even matter for much longer. If tiered internet payments for broadband service become the new business model (something I believe Harold Roth - bless you, brother - mentioned last night) will make piracy redundant. You probably won't be able fucking afford it, anyway.

It looks like my thought process has gotten that more convoluted. I need to think and keep from being irate for a while longer.

... At least it's a cool, breezy day here in Sacramento. I'm sure relaxation will come with a bit of meditation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Piracy, Scarlet Imprint, and Occult Books.

Scarlet Imprint has dropped a blog-worthy bombshell in regards to piracy and their texts. It's worth a good look. And maybe another, better look afterward.

Now, my usual commentary on these things is as follows: those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. So... I am considering writing a short history on piracy and its intrinsic links to capitalism, and then maybe... present alternatives to what's entering play today. If I did so, would anyone want to read it?

Because let's be frank: the technology isn't going away. Either find a way to use it for your benefit, or be crushed by reality. Those are the only two options.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Call

Man. I don't know how your year has gone, but mine's been interesting. And sort've fun, when it wasn't stressful. As long as I managed to deal rather than worry, things have gone right. When I've given in to the worry, things went hoary and rickety.

If I was, for example, just to use Mercury's retrograde cycle I'd have to mention mixing up facts and learning a lesson about that. A few days ago my phone broke; the jack where I plug my headset into came loose. Had I not taken care of it early, I'd have just lost the one-year warranty on it. But instead I got in to the shop, they looked up my info, and simply gave me a new phone. While I was there, I found myself gazing upon headsets... And suddenly realized a nifty pair of bluetooth stereo headphones were the same price as a wired headset. And who can argue with music at better quality? So what the hell, I'm wearing them right now as I type this.

The finances got tricky between the Grand Cross and it's followup T-square. I recently discovered the problem, and now that's somewhat cleared up, too...

And for the first time this summer, I just might have the cash to start building the prototype for the Luciferian Death Stick. Which means that if things don't get tricky again - I say that and knock thrice on my desk - I may have the prototype done by October.

... After which, since I can't make something pretty, I may chat up a jeweler about making me a few metal rodes with ending in something like snakes, to hold the quartz crystal at the end of the rod.* That's a bit off, at least, as I want the base components in my hand a prototype before I start making the thing it'll end in. I bring it up, however, because I got a call from Valentine today. And while discussing the above, he mentioned knowing a jeweler.

Synchronicity express or just a let-down? We shall see. At the moment, though, I'm gonna go listen to some tunes and have a smoke.

But as an honorable mention, I loved Jhonn's last post. What I love the most is his response to the turmoil and chaos of the events he described: I laughed. That's exactly what's kept me sane this year, and from freaking the fuck out. Over the years, I've learned that freaking the fuck out is never actually a viable option. Laughing has worked much, much better.

So. While there's been stress? I happen to think this year's shaping up to be pretty damn decent. And after all, The Call is in the air and you can just feel it getting ready for a good harvest...

Chaos. Sometimes it all works out. Sometimes, you're just baffled.

*Someone mentioned how they'd love what I was trying to do if the end result ended up looking a bit more Harry Potter-ish. A bit of my soul died at that moment, as my intent was clearly lost in the discussion. I still haven't recovered that bit of my soul, so if you see it, gimme a shout, will you?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cue Insane Laughter.

There is a question, oh blog readers, and a very pressing one which I must ask: will you be dressing like a Time-Traveler on December 8th?

(The folks I purchase my hosting through support this. I'm not sure if that amuses or alarms me. But it may amuse me.)

And if you did, which form of Time-Traveler would you be?

(Would Gordon go Steampunk, or fight SkyNet?)

Tangentially, anyone ever tried to astral project into the past? Or a past that never was..?

Alright, Mercury, Pipe Down.


The Angry Death Sigil has been unleashed as appropriate after what I'm told was a brief MySQL hiccup. So the domain website and blog are back up.

I was amused yesterday. Today's just for synchronicity.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open Mouth: Insert Foot

After deleting this week's primary vitriol, I got smacked for my earlier vitriol in the post The Empire of Nothing.

Stephen Mace took the time to respond himself to my comments, and noted two huge issues. First, his discussion of Nulls takes place in Seizing Power, not Taking Power. Second, I also got the essay in question wrong. He discusses the Nulls in Hierarchy: Ready Brain for the New Demiurge, not in For Those Who Would Subvert the Status Quo. This was extremely sloppy my part, and tells me that I need to start citing things like a bastard again to avoid ever making that mistake again.

Finally, as my responses to his comments show, I don't know if I understand his concept of the Null entirely anymore. In short: I did exactly the things I criticized, and opened my mouth when I probably shouldn't have.

This brings home the need to start citing things again - and figuring out how to do that properly in Wordpress - and my need to pay stricter attention to what I write, rather than just writing to write. Finally, maybe it's time for me to start seriously working with an entity that deals with some compassion or something less aggressive, because my tendencies are getting out of hand.

In short: I really am a dumbass, sometimes, and that shit is unacceptable. Now, to go make some edits.

I am a dumbass.

With respect to R.O.'s last blog entry and regards to my review of Vivianne Crowley's Wicca, that review has been edited. Even though I said I wouldn't. Because sometimes you just feel silly after beating words out as if your keyboard is a hammer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Brief Update to Avoid Re-Editing the Last Entry

Okay, so. The Digest of Roman Law and The Institutes are two separate documents. Upon returning to my proper reading I discovered this as it was, quite literally, the next topic covered in the book. Colin Kolbert writes:

“The Roman lawyers of the sixth century were, however, just as mindful of the need to educate their successors as their predecessors had been and indeed, members of the legal profession are just as concerned today. Justinian therefore asked Tribonian and two of his professional colleagues, Theophilus from Constantinople and Dorotheus from Beirut, to prepare an elementary textbook for students from which they could learn the principles of the law and through which they would be guided to the Digest itself. Taking the Institutes of Gaius as their model, they produced the Institutes of Justinian which was also published in December 533 and given the force of law – which soon proved inconvenient, for again the cross-referencing was not very efficient and at times rules are stated different in the Digest and Institutes...”

So, the Institutes were the textbook which was meant to guide a young Roman toward the Digest, which was the law as written. As a side note: Justinian dedicated the Digest to God, and considered it his task to deliver stability as guided by God. He also forbid all commentaries on the Digest, thus making the law enshrined and trying to make it impossible to default to earlier versions of laws superseded by the Digest. That's... a lot of civil power, when you think about it.

Saturnalia [EDITED: Now With More Hyperlinks!]

While reading Justinian's Digest of Roman Law (a version of it appears to be online on Scribd here, titled The Institutes of Justinian from Project Gutenberg), I found myself desiring to once again glance at Macrobius' Saturnalia. The only problem was that I seem to have lost my copy at some point between three moves in four years.

Well, shit, I said. Should I check Ebay again?

Then I thought about Project Gutenberg and decided to hunt for it online... And lo, and behold!