I'm very ashamed to admit that I, too, have been distracted by the latest bright and shiny bauble our corporate masters have waved in front of us. Panem et circenses.
Wait, bread and circuses? Bright and shiny bauble?
More like crystal meth and NASCAR, and this the latest spectacularly grisly car crash.
"This" being, of course, the government shutdown. I am really ashamed at the amount of time I've wasted on this, and the amount of wasted text I expended in exchanging insults with the slack-jawed and the flipper-limbed within the comments sections of various newsfeeds.
No, I am truly red faced and embarrassed at being manipulated so by the corporate overlords of our current crop of
When I think about it, doesn't the Yellow Snake Flag faction, I mean the Tea Party faction, of the GOP kind of remind you of a stupid, vicious leashed dog, as in the bullwhips and snapping and snarling dogs of massa? And don't the corporate feudal overlords, for all their protestations about not having complete control of the dog at the end of their leash, still have a firm hand on that leash?
This all reminds me of when the Russians poisoned Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin
. This was an open advertisement, a classic Neolithic tactic of We Can and Will Fuck With YOU! And how was the shutdown any different? The corporate feudal overlords, via their political stooges, arranged for Uncle Sam to get a love tap to the back of the head with a baseball bat, and a promise that, stick around folks, the next show is January! After Uncle Sam has had a chance to let the pain sink in, and had good think about it all.
So, what did I get out all this, this shameful farrago we just went through? I propose one of two bumper sticker slogans. Here's the first:
AMERICANS: NOT STUPID BY ACCIDENT!
And the slightly more comprehendible second:
AMERICANS: STUPID BY DESIGN!
Tell me which you prefer. Me, I like the one that's harder to figure out.
Okay, maybe one more:
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT DEMOCRACY
The ironic thing coming out of all this is, the flipper-limbed jellyheads that make up today's conservatives are now questioning the
Whiteness ideological purity of the GOP
. Are you sufficiently zealous, comrade? If not, you need to be purged!
Enough! Another distraction is I'm trying to read through Charles Stross's Neptune's Brood
, a space opera about bank fraud. I checked out the book from the library, got off to a very late start on it, am about halfway through, and it was due back at the library yesterday.
Stross, it turns out, like me, was effected by David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years
. (I really need to study up on the early city states of Mesopotamia). Charlie took it in a different way from me, but surprisingly, like parallel evolution, we both ended up thinking about the economy as one populated by self-replicating robots.
Stross's robots, like in Blade Runner, are artificial humans, replicants, that more human than human, enhanced but still carbon-based and water-mediated. My robots are more prosaic, the current product of the four-billion-year-old nanotechnology project running on the terrestrial plane. You know. Us. But I did think that, in the future, given the way we are, there's room for improvements into Humans v 2.0. Which is what the Sept. 19, 2113 essay
was about, where current humans are in the minority, and the artificial or enhanced versions are not particularly smarter, or at least, not individually smarter, but collectively so (kind of like what happens now).
Story notes. When you got a case of world building that needs a good bit of rationalizing, you can't go far wrong with story notes. When I was writing up the footnotes, the Rufosity! entry got stuck in my head. I think partly I just really like that word.
But I'm pretty sure I'm right that eventually the constabulary/military establishment will be absorbed into the entertainment industries, if they haven't been already. And any enforcement agencies will indeed be hyper-powerful androids in little girl form that can destroy whole cities with a snap of their fingers.
Two reasons for this:
1) Ubiquitous law enforcement is both riotously expensive and overkill (think about this: The US Navy seems to be doing the job of keeping trade lanes - not safe, but - clear and open, and with a force projection of only some 400 ships, versus some 100,000 cargo vessels armed to the teeth), and
2) No ever expects little girls to be hyper-powerful androids that can destroy whole cities with a snap of their fingers. Hmm. okay, maybe -
3) Localized power is easier to control, or at least manipulate. Besides, if you localize and distribute law enforcement entities, it takes time for them to arrive at trouble spots. Contrary to common sense, this is actually a good thing, since trouble spots have a way of sorting themselves out before you need to utterly destroy them, and I doubt you would use the resource of a hyper-powerful android for anything else but utter destruction. And the threat of utter destruction, which worked quite well for the Mongols, who borrowed this particular instrument out of the time-tested Neolithic cultural tool kit.
Speaking of the Neolithic cultural package and rufosity, I'm not quite sure if I've ever mentioned the casual connection that can be found. Europe, which is a hodgepodge of all sorts of peoples and nomads and a mishmash of different cultures and migrations
, with Wicker People and Beaker People moving to and fro, what with the always changing conditions in that shitty part of the world, still shows kind of a long-term ongoing colonization by Neolithic farmers. And typically you can throw those farmers into the R1b haplogroup
. Here's a map of that haplogroup:
And by coincidence, a map of people possessing the radioactive tag of red hair:
Coincidence? maybe. Some say that red hair gene goes all the way back to Neanderthals. Well, if you'd ever seen pictures of my mother's father's side of the family, all clearly descended from Neanderthals, with their bony brows, prognathous faces and giant snaggly horse teeth, stringy black hair, looking like the trolls, ogres, and frost giants from Norway, you'd know different. So those gingers, yeah, interesting.
Oh, and that, Neolithic cultural package? Groundstone tools, rectangular buildings, pottery, domesticated plants and animals, settled villages,... private property, oh, and, slavery and genocide. Might be wrong about the last three, but don't think so.