The American Way: Mindless Pursuit

The American Way: Mindless Pursuit

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

It’s actually embarrassing if I’m to be frank and honest in my opinion. How many times during my adult life did I hear ‘leadership’ proclaim they are simply defending ‘The American Way’ without ever really thinking about what constituted the way “We the People” live?

Sure I gave passing consideration now and then, but I always remained safely within the pro-programmed thought box promoted by those who claimed to be defending me and my ‘way’. Therefore when I was younger the answer was simplicity at its finest: baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

In other words, the mindless pursuit of all things pleasurable.

Of course, this is an over simplification of a complex situation. Then again, maybe not. There are several trigger words in my statement, any one of which can be endlessly argued to death. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in my advancing age it is this. When I don’t wish to confront an unpleasant situation I will argue the piss out of the details until I have convinced myself it doesn’t apply and I can ignore it completely.

A person engaged in mindless pursuit must always be in pursuit of mindlessness. Anything that interferes with this objective is perceived as a disturbance in the force and must be eradicated as quickly as possible. Again, plenty of trigger words in this statement, affording everyone the opportunity to stop reading and find something more pleasurable to do.

I am aware that when you are a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail just begging to be pounded. Since I am a recovering alcoholic, I tend to see the world through the eyes of a recovering addict. And what I see through my admittedly biased baby blues is an America full of addicts in various stages of obsessive compulsive obliviousness.

Whatever ‘The American Way’ once was, it no longer is. Too much of a ‘good’ thing is rarely good for long, and often leads to the consumer of goodness being consumed by the obsession. One of the greatest self deceptions we embrace is the one about everyone else being the problem, but not us. I’m OK, but you’re definitely not.

The library shelves overflow with book after book detailing the rise and fall of America and where the actual problem(s) lay. It’s the elites, the corporations, the politicians, the mass media, the Russians, the money system, the debt, the food, the schools…on and on and on endlessly pointing the finger everywhere but where it belongs……with the reader.  

Ouch! Now THAT was a trigger if ever there was one. Mind that (mind) gap.

 

Mind the gap

If you remain safely within your cognitive box, the monsters won’t get you. Promise!

 

No single rain drop considers itself responsible for the flood. Yet each drop of water is frolicking along with all its fellow drops of dew flooding Houston as I write this. Clearly anonymity is the enabler of denial, for behavior we would never engage in alone suddenly becomes not only acceptable, but normal, when pursued while safely hidden within the mindless herd.

This includes many so-called ‘normal’ things such as going deeply into debt to purchase “The American Dream”, then commuting 2-4 hours per day to work in a high enough paying job that we can service the debt used to purchase “The American Dream”. I just love closed loop affirmations. They feel so good.

Or how about combining the contents of four cans, three boxes, two frozen ‘foods’ and one partridge from a pear tree so we may prepare a wonderfully nutritious and emotionally fulfilling meal for friends and family. Or better yet, just order up some delivery and leave the cooking to someone else. Either way, at least you know the source of your food.

/sarc

The list is endless if one is determined to put their mind to the task of compiling it, but for the purposes of this screed it’s a pointless pursuit. Either you get my point or you don’t. More importantly, either you act on my point or you don’t.

And here is where the wiggle room afforded by our denial fully kicks in. There are always a thousand seemingly valid reasons not to do something while usually just one or two good reasons to actually do it. If our bias is already stacked towards status quo, and we know it is, odds are extremely favorable the party will continue until the patient dies.

What we are witnessing here in America is the slow and agonizing death of the patient. And “We the People” are the patient presently engaged in ugly death throes. The good news is this will end. The bad news is it won’t be for a very long time.

Never underestimate the lengths to which people will go in order to believe precisely what they want to believe. And NEVER think bottom has been hit when behavior remains the same. For all the bitching and complaining going on, I don’t see many people changing their behavior. So the insanity continues.

I cannot change the flood. I cannot stop the flood. I cannot prevent the flood. However, I can no longer participate in this flood and the next flood and the next and the next. I can muster the courage and change my mind, then my behavior, one step at a time. 

How does one eat an elephant? Easy…one bite at a time. But first we must decide if the elephant is what we want. And if it is, we then commit to a long slow slog of seemingly endless elephant bites. The good news is life does get better after some initial deprogramming and detoxification.

But here’s the kicker, the ultimate trigger if you will. Sanity is hard, especially while living inside the insane asylum. We must fearlessly purse sanity on a daily basis. This requires constant vigilance and mindfulness of who we are and what we wish to be.

We face a lifetime of work that rarely gets significantly easier because there are dozens of onion layers waiting to be peeled. But it does get much more rewarding in ways we wish we could achieve when having our fake cake and eating it too.

Or we can return to the mad pursuit of mindlessness. In fact, we can never ever leave other than to test the waters of denial to reinvigorate the thousand and one reasons to remain insane.

Of course, I’m not talking about you……right?

 

08/27/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

The post The American Way: Mindless Pursuit appeared first on crude-oil.news.

The Greater Depression

The Greater Depression

By

Cognitive Dissonance

https://www.patreon.com/CognitiveDissonance

http://twoicefloes.com/

 

 

Once or twice a month Mrs. Cog and I pack up the car and head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For us poor mountain folk, that’s the big city and the best destination when our need for certain items calls for visiting particular stores.

Each trip down from the mountain elicits at least one observation about recent changes to the Matrix. For example, Mrs. Cog noticed the big box stores appear to be reducing their selection significantly. Once it was brought to my attention, it was suddenly obvious they were narrowing their inventory to those items with high margins and quick turnover. Essentially they are abandoning the rest of the low margin consumer market to the likes of Amazon.com, Wallmart.com and so on.  

But what we stumbled upon as we hunted down a used book store near the heart of Winston-Salem was a bit surprising to say the least. It is common to find beggars and panhandlers working the stop light at busy intersections. Often they are soliciting the right hand turn lane or narrow island of grass separating the traffic flowing in opposite directions using the tool of their trade; a cardboard sign describing their particular plight in hand written black marker.

Two or three years ago the physical condition of the beggars clearly indicated distress, usually by way of their unkempt appearance and worldly possessions gathered on or around them as they solicited. These were ‘street’ people doing whatever they had to do in order to make it through another day. 

Sure, some were drug and alcohol dependent, others just trying to make a quick buck tugging on the heart strings of those passing by. And some were hard core street people making some money the only way they could considering they had no home, no transportation and no support system.

I’m not here to judge because at one point in my life I was that man on the corner begging for a meal and a night out of the cold. Long before finally turning my life around, I wallowed in the socioeconomic lowlands for a decade or more. I blame no one or thing but myself for my ordeal. But that doesn’t make my experience any more or less real. Nor does it invalidate what I am today, here and now. It is simply a part of the woven fabric that constitutes the whole me.

Over the last year or so the quality, if not also the quantity, of beggars has gone more upscale, with many of those on the side of the road appearing better dressed, washed and groomed. As well, their signage has morphed from a simple plea of “Please Help!” or “Homeless, Anything Will Help” to more involved explanations such as “Between Jobs, Need Some Help”, “Lost My Job, Then My Home” right down to the truly crestfallen “I Can’t Feed My Family. Please Help!”

In addition, the cast of characters has greatly expanded. It is somewhat common these days to find a man or woman holding a sign begging us to help their family. Off to their side on public display, usually ensconced under a shade tree or other such cover, is the actual family we presume needs our help.

That must have been one interesting family meeting.

While it’s one thing to scam the general public on your own, it’s another thing entirely to involve the spouse and children in the ruse in so obvious and blatant a manner. The ‘tell’ I look for to indicate sincerity is the level of obvious embarrassment etched on the faces of the children and spouse.

In fact, when I encountered one such situation a few months back, the look on the teen’s face instantly compelled me to roll down the window and pass out twenty bucks. She most definitely was not faking it and would rather have spent the day in hell than on that street corner. There was just no way she could hide her immense embarrassment and public humiliation.

Sadly what I saw was just another family on the express elevator down to poverty.

Mrs. Cog and I have assumed this change in the face of roadside solicitation was simply another indicator of the ongoing and escalating rape and pillage of the American middle class. Being the oldest of our union, I clearly remember a similar descent by members of society into monetary purgatory during the 70’s and early 80’s. Then again, the people motoring by back then were much more likely to help the fallen than people are today.

Our most recent encounter was simply more of the same. A Caucasian couple, presumably husband and wife, were working the side of the road. She was front and center while he was just off to the side in the shade looking forlorn and beaten. I don’t know which was more haunting, his face or hers. But I do remember seeing the same face staring back at me in black and white images from the Great Depression. The last Great Depression; not today’s Greater Depression.

You’ve seen those images. I know you have.

 

Face of the Fallen

Take a good look. Look at the eyes. See the body language. This is the face of the fallen.

 

She was clearly middle class, possibly even professional middle class, with freshly washed hair, presentable clean clothes and very light makeup. It was a breezy day and she was trying in vain to keep her long straight hair in place. Clearly her appearance mattered to her, her head held high as she unflinchingly faced the people she was soliciting. This wasn’t arrogance or false pride, but simple straight forward dignity on display.

Her sign said it all.

“We are both working, but not enough to pay bills. Please help.”

For just a moment, try putting yourself in their shoes. Can you imagine the conversation they must have had over dinner last night?

———–

The wife, looking tired and depressed, to her husband. “Honey, we need to talk.”

Silence.

“Honey, we need to talk…now.”

The husband, clearly irritated and angry, snaps back. “Yes, I know. What do you want to do?

Silence. Neither wants to be the first one to say it.

She finally tries the back way around. “Marcia at work says she knows a friend who did it last week and made more than a hundred dollars in a day.”

He shifts in his seat, but doesn’t respond. Encouraged, she pushes forward.

“She said be sure to bring food and plenty of water. And your dignity because it’s not your fault. (Pause) We’re good people, we’re working but we just don’t make enough money to pay all the bills.”

His head jerks up; he looks like he’s ready to cry. “I don’t want to do this. Isn’t there some other way we can try?

Silence.

She fights back her tears, then bites her lip until she can regain her composure. Why does she always have to be the strong one?

Reaching across the table to hold his hand, almost in a whisper she pleads, “I don’t know what else to do. We’re gonna lose the apartment if we don’t pay them some of the back rent. I need your help with this honey. I can’t do it alone.”

His shoulders drop, and with them all resistance. “OK. When!

Wasting no time, she lays out her plan. “We’re both off tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be ok. Marcia said that stop light near the book store is a good place to try. It’s nearby, so we can walk.”

Silence.

“Tomorrow’s Friday…payday. People will have money. (Pause) It’ll be OK.”

Silence.

“Come on, help me make the sign.”

…………

Sister daughter wife

This is my sister, my daughter, my wife, my ‘self‘.

 

This is the face of the fallen, of perfectly capable and productive people slowly squeezed out of the middle class through little to no fault of their own. While I don’t know the specific situation of our Jane and Joe, the trend is unmistakable. We’ve seen it germinate, then accelerate over the last few years.

What compels an entire family to stake out a busy street corner and beg strangers for help? Or induces a man and wife to take turns holding a cardboard sign by the side of the road, soliciting help from passersby? This isn’t exactly easy ‘work’ after all. Like I said, I’ve been there and know exactly what they are going through.

Many people avert their eyes and attempt not to see what is clearly evident to any who acknowledge the suffering on display. Some make a disapproving face, disgusted by what they see. A surprisingly large number flip them the bird or make some other obscene gesture. And a few will roll down the passenger side window and shout some degrading comment at the solicitor.

But every now and then someone stops and thrusts bills out the window, no time to talk or exchange much more than “God Bless You” because the light is now green and those waiting behind want to move along. Charity waits for no traffic light.

Then there are the very young children strapped into the back seat of passing cars and SUV’s. They don’t often see people standing on a street corner, at least not in places designed strictly for vehicle traffic with pedestrian traffic shunned and displaced.

These young children, innocent toddlers really, have no understanding what is unfolding before their eyes. Their life experience is narrow and mostly pleasant. In supermarkets and department stores, those who pass them smile or stop and engage in animated baby talk while conversing with the rents. So, unsurprisingly, several smile, giggle and wave at the human debris perched by the side of the road.

If witnessed as a third party disinterested observer, one can quickly surmise how far they have psychologically fallen by their reaction to these most basic displays of innocent humanity and abject cruelty. Those freshly minted to roadside petitioning will return the smile and even manage a small wave, their dignity and sense of self worth still mostly intact.

But the knife that cuts the deepest are the children just a few years older, after they have begun their social indoctrination and imperial conditioning via boob tube, video game, play ground and parental teachings. You know…the do as I say, not as I do parental teachings. Some of those kids can be downright nasty when they think the rents up front aren’t looking. Other kids don’t really care if they are.

The obscene and angry displays are at first shocking and humiliating, but then mostly ignored with stone faced resolve and resignation. Those further down the rabbit hole of despair and hopelessness have fully evolved their defensive shields and show little to no emotion regardless of what they see, hear or feel. It’s simply too exhausting to do otherwise.

Having been on both sides of the curb, when time permits I try to be observant of the scene in its entirety, of both the actors on stage and the actors in the audience. This is real life drama playing out on your street corner, regardless whether you are cognizant of it or not. One measure of a society is how well, or poorly, it treats its weakest members. It doesn’t get any more real than this.

In the most general of ways I fully understand the anger on both sides of the political aisle. I was born poor and, through drug and alcohol addiction, plumbed the depths of poverty and despair as a young adult. I pulled myself out of the abyss by my bootstraps, by sheer will and determination…or to be more accurate and honest, desperation. While I presently have little in the way of wealth and material goods compared to many in America, I regained my dignity and self-worth through hard work and perseverance.

So I fully understand how one quickly disappears into the shadows when one is poor in America, detritus quickly discarded and forgotten. I get it. But America is no longer that land of opportunity so widely advertised via various glowing screens, for we now have a permanent underclass deeply embedded within the socioeconomic system.

And their numbers are rapidly increasing.

The Rich

Not everyone suffered during the Great(er) Depression.

 

The rich keep on getting richer while the poor remain poor. Since the (global) financial apparatus is now maintained via various emergency life support measures, meaning those nearest the cash register gain the most, the financial looting will continue until morale improves or the body politic collapses. Or at least until the wide swath of middle class is finished being strip mined and enslaved.

Can you say ‘disappearing pension’ and ‘bailed in’?

What we are witnessing is better described as a crumble than a collapse. Only now they aren’t even bothering to dig out the bodies before bulldozing over the entire bloody mess. Those still breathing, walking wounded really, are the ones found panhandling on the side of the road, plumb out of luck and with rapidly dwindling options.

Mrs. Cog once observed while surveying the human wreckage that it’s a recession when it happens to someone else, a depression when it crashes into you or me. If I have no eyes to see and no compassion to feel, does that middle class panhandler camped on the corner really exist? The Matrix would have you believe not.

The cognitive conundrum is simple; the official numbers tell us one thing while our lying eyes another. Those running the show helpfully inform us all is well, the recovery nearly complete and consumer nirvana just around the corner. Just a few more Federal Reserve cash machine refills and flushes and all will be as right as rain.

Here’s an ugly truth, one that has ALWAYS been self evident for all to view with the courage to see. The intent of government statistics is not to tell you or me the truth, but to allow us to remain comfortable with the public lie. And while liberal and conservative alike bemoan the state of the state, hypocrisy reigns; don’t you dare touch my piece of the public pie.

Just because one slice comes from gainful employment via defense contracts or Wall Street alchemy while another is served a la mode via various liberal educational institutions or Silicon Valley magic means nothing. The real world definition of public hypocrisy is complaining about the quantity and quality while still firmly attached to the rapidly diminishing teat. Or in this case, Uncle Sam’s wealth redistribution and Ponzi enabling purse strings.

Make mine to go and hurry it up.

Anyone who sincerely thinks the root cause of all our problems lay way over there, on the other side of the divide, really should consider cutting back on the ideological bong hits. I strongly suggest it’s time to just say no, then attempt to clear our severely befuddled heads.

Whatever our globally heralded ‘constitutional’ political system might once have been, it clearly no longer is. It’s regressed to the point where it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Confirmation of our decline springs from study after global study showing America’s solid hold on the lower middle of world rankings…and sinking fast.

Which is precisely why the USS Titanic, just like all Titanic’s in the past, will continue sailing straight forward until it wrecks on the rocks in plain sight. We all know the only class with reserved lifeboats is first class and above.

Anyone who still thinks a corrupt and hopelessly dysfunctional political system can be ‘fixed’ by changing a few figure heads at the top desperately wants, no needs, to believe this public fiction above all else. Thus the canned statistics continue to be pumped out.

“See, if we just tweak a little here and remove that over there, things are sure to get better.”

Mother and Child

Don’t avert your eyes. This is the face of exhaustion and hopelessness.

 

The fiat spice flow is all that counts. And everyone at every level, including those dwelling at the bottom, intuitively knows this. If a dysfunctional system remains severely dysfunctional even though everyone claims they prefer otherwise, someone is lying somewhere. What is actually going on is everyone is lying, to themselves and to each other. And deep down everyone knows it.

This is the big lie.

Those who wish to manage us know one amazingly simple fact. If everyone is lying and no one wishes the lie to be exposed for fear they will miss out when the truth is told, then perpetuating, twisting and manipulating the lie is the path to total control. Massage the narrative and you control those enthralled and dependent upon the narrative.

The key to a really good lie is to mix in some truth. When we speak ‘truth’ to others, especially unspoken ‘truth’, it helps smooth over the lingering lies that remain tightly bound to what we identify as our ‘self’. This is how we intellectually support our own glaring hypocrisy.

Ramp up the moral certainty and righteous indignation and we’re off to the races, all doubt and introspection abandoned on the side of the beggar’s road in our quest to save the world from ourselves. Of course, since we are righteous and morally correct, we can never admit this to our self, let alone to anyone else. This deeply embedded and desperately hidden cognitive dissonance is the root of all the suffering we create and the source of our everlasting insanity.

Despite what liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists and communists say, this isn’t about saving the world. On a personal level, the only level that counts, this is about personal redemption from our big lie. And by hook or by crock we shall be redeemed.

Unfortunately there is no redemption, only absolution. And the absolution must come from within, from our own hand and only after a brutally honest self examination, then an inner cleansing is complete. Since this is precisely the route we do not wish to pursue, the inner tension continues to increase exponentially.

Once we crest the peak and start our descent, we cannot hold on tight enough nor do we have the courage to let go and change course. Therefore we drive our own ship of state directly onto the rocky shoals. The nation simply follows the individual in the same manner the body follows the direction of the head.

Try walking in a straight line while your head is turned all the way to one side or the other. It simply can’t be done. Inevitably you change course. On the flip side, try walking to the left or right while keeping your head fixed on a point on the horizon.

Neither you nor I can personally save those people begging on the side of the road. The socioeconomic system is failing because we are failing morally, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as individuals, as a community and as a nation.

I needed to hit rock bottom before I became willing to do what really needed to be done, to look directly in the mirror and conduct a fearless moral inventory. Only then could I start to change everything connected to my own big lie so the healing could begin. We as individuals and as a nation need to follow the same prescription.

But ‘We the Nation’ are not willing to do this just yet. This is because we as individuals must take the first step forward, to admit we have no choice but to stand on the busy street corner and beg complete strangers for help. A little humble pie does wonders for a tormented soul.

I’ve been there before and I stand ready, willing and able to be there again.

What about you?

 

06/24/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

 

The American Way is now, at best, mediocre.

American Way

The post The Greater Depression appeared first on crude-oil.news.

SkyNet is Sentient and Will Destroy Your Investments and Pension

SkyNet is Sentient and Will Destroy Your Investments and Pension

By

Cognitive Dissonance

https://www.patreon.com/CognitiveDissonance

http://twoicefloes.com/

 

 

Do you really want to know about how SkyNet controls your investments and pension via the various financial markets? I ask with all sincerity because the subject is not pleasant and may even be frightening to those who have followed a strict diet of financial ignorance.

Once you know, it is nearly impossible to un-know. And just as there is never only one weed in the garden, knowing this inevitably leads to a critical juncture where one must then decide if they wish to know more or simply curl up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.  

You see, when “We the Mindless Minions” (desperately) wish to avoid responsibility for knowing, while the specific tactics used may vary greatly, the theme remains pretty consistent. I call it the Sgt. Schultz defense.

“I know nothing, I see nothing and I was never here.”

A variation of the theme, usually employed when among others, thus we cannot claim total ignorance about the uncomfortable subject presently being discussed, is brilliant in its ability to disavow responsibility while passing the buck to someone (anyone) at a higher pay grade.

“They would never let that happen/do that,” or the always reassuring “I’m sure someone’s looking into that as we speak.” Now how about those (fill in this blank with any sport, celebrity, politician, TV show or viral cat video).

Disavowing knowledge or responsibility, passing the buck and then changing the subject is the time tested way to live in blissful ignorance. Or as I have grown fond of saying, unconscious incompetence with a heaping side order of willful ignorance. 

By the way, if you have never come across that phrase, let me give you the crib notes with a little Donald Rumsfeld thrown in for good measure. There is unconscious incompetence. I do not know that I do not know. There is conscious incompetence. I know I do not know and I’m trying like hell to get up to speed and improve.

Then there is conscious competence, where I have fully embodied my incompetence and have turned it around by mindfulness and constant personal work. Finally there is unconscious competence, where I have reached a point where it all just comes naturally, with little thought given to actually doing what by now is simply a natural part of my self.

It should be noted with great emphasis these four steps are speaking to spiritual growth and evolution, not scientific, political or mathematical knowledge. Though it should also be noted those of us firmly enmeshed within the Imperial culture dwell strictly at the first level of unconscious incompetence. Any accidental glimpse of our actual ‘self’ is quickly suppressed and forgotten. Beware, for there be dragons.

Viral cat videos, conversing with your lover next to you in bed via text and narcissistic selfies are just a few examples of unconscious incompetence. Let your imagination be your guide while compiling your own personal list.

So, with this information firmly in hand, do you really wish to know how SkyNet is controlling your investments and pension?

 

SkyNet is Sentient

 

Below this piece are links to two articles written by Doug Kass, a financial professional MANY pay grades above me. He explains in reasonably plain English what this potential problem is about.

Just in case your ADHD has suddenly flared up, or your hands are shaking at  the thought of reading his (shorter than mine) missives, let me give you the down and dirty. While the financial mainstream media likes to promote the illusion actual humans are in charge as they control the financial markets, helped along with images of human traders shouting into phones or scribbling on a pad of paper, reality is quite different.

These days over 60% of actual ‘trading’, meaning buying and selling of stocks, bonds and derivatives, is executed by (thinking) machines aka computers. And no, I’m not talking about that sleek looking desktop box or fancy laptop you bought from Dell last year.

This means less than 40% of all trading is actually done by thinking humans using real world judgment and expertise. And that percentage is rapidly diminishing on a daily basis. I suspect in a few years it will be down to less than 20%.

The thing about computers is they are fast and efficient. And the ultimate in unconscious incompetence, since they have (at least for now) no spiritual presence, let alone common sense or fear of high places from which they could fall. Such as an extremely overbought stock and bond market at all time highs; markets which have completely divorced themselves from fundamental financial logic and reason.

Greed runs riot in the towers of Wall Street. Or to be more accurate, in mainframe computers tucked away in nondescript industrial parks in New Jersey, Chicago, Texas or wherever.

But the computers are not the problem here, or at least not the primary problem. That’s because computers are essentially expensive boat anchors unless instructed on what and how to do something. This requires an operating system and software, similar to the operating system and programs on your Windows, Linux or Apple computer.

Ok, somewhat similar. Maybe! Well, actually not. But we’re getting to that.

Software is (usually) dumb as a rock and entirely dependent upon the genius of the creator(s) of that software. While a computer may be millions of times faster than a human, it is only as smart as the human who programs it.

Unless………

 

SkyNet

It’s not just a science fiction movie anymore.

 

Popular media introduced us to the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) decades ago via science fiction in book and movie form. Everyone over a certain age remembers HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, where HAL the AI computer begins making ‘mistakes’ and decisions that are at times contrary to the wellbeing of the humans on board the spaceship. The Terminator series of movies is another example of AI run riot; in this case the AI was a group of networked computers called SkyNet.

While the concept was/is always quickly dismissed as highly improbable, if not outright impossible, it no longer is impossible, at least when it comes to trading the financial markets.

In an effort to increase the efficiency of trading computers (read that as make them more PROFITABLE) computer scientists and programmers have infused the computers with increasingly sophisticated AI software. Meaning these computers can now learn very quickly on their own.

Most people are not aware that professional human traders using extremely sophisticated trading strategies and tools (aka financial derivatives) can make a boat load of money regardless of whether the market is going up or down. While you are encouraged to stay in the market regardless of what’s happening, the professionals are leveraging your passive position into money in their bank. So be it. That is the confidence game the markets have always been.

Now here’s the kicker.

The individuals and institutions with financial dogs in this fight, along with a (very LARGE) paycheck to maintain, will assure all who ask if these trading programs are safe. “Yup, no problem, we can turn HAL off anytime we want. See, here is the panic button right here. And if all else fails, here are some grenades and a flame thrower.

However, frank discussions with actual computer scientists who create AI software for a living reveal a slightly (ok, very) different assurance.

Popular myth informs us ALL computers are simply fast humans. Whatever a human can do, a computer can do much faster. And that may be the case for 99.9999% of the computers out there. But this is NOT the case with AI computers.

Once the AI computer is turned on and the software begins to ‘learn’, no one knows exactly what it is doing or why. And the longer it learns, the more it can and will deviate from its own original programming.

Anyone who says otherwise is either lying directly to your face or demonstrating their glaringly obvious unconscious incompetent.

Or both.

The AI trading software has one prime directive. Make money, lots of money. Or as my lovely bride likes to say, a crap ton of money. It does this mostly by making tiny (profitable) trades tens of thousands of times per second.

That is not a typo. I said per ‘second’.

All the financial markets are currently awash in oceans of liquidity. Meaning nearly free money is handed by the Federal Reserve (and other central banks) to all those warm and cuddly too-big-to-fail banks and their partner institutions and companies to do with as they please. They in turn got their friends in Congress to OK rigging the market with their AI computers so they can’t lose.

There are banks and trading institutions out there that have not had a single losing day trading the market in years.

Y E A R S!

If you never lose money when trading the markets, obviously the markets are rigged in your favor. But it’s all ‘legal’ so what’s the problem. Heads they win, tails you lose. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

The easiest way for the machines to make money is to push the market up. But when the tide turns, and it always eventually turns, the machines will shift to making money on the way down with the same speed and zeal they apply to the ‘up’ market.

Only ‘down’ markets tend to breed panic in the humans. When selling really ramps up, market conditions move very rapidly and markets can drop many percentage points in seconds, especially when you have machines making tens of thousands of trades a second and you have thousands of machines all doing this at the same time.

Can you say “Express elevator to the basement?”

The somewhat uncomfortable euphemism coined for this phenomenon by market participants down in the pits and up in the peanut gallery is “Flash Crash”. You may even remember the 2010 Flash Crash, where markets dropped like a rock (“collapsed” is the technical term) then quickly rebounded to regain most (but not all) of the loss, all in under 40 minutes.  

While this hiccup was eventually blamed on one individual, a so-called rogue trader, we must fully understand the markets are a con game, a Ponzi scheme. And the only way they can continue to bleed the suckers dry is to maintain confidence in the game. Thus those who ‘regulate’ the game will not destroy confidence in the game by telling the truth.

It simply won’t happen!

Supposedly this ‘problem’ was fixed shortly after the crash and all was right in the world again. But over the ensuing years mini flash crashes have been showing up first in small illiquid stocks, then larger blue chip stocks and recently in the US Treasury market, the largest, most liquid and stable market in the world.

And while the people who own these (rip off) machines claim all is well, those who appear to being channeling a bit of their conscious incompetence (meaning they are breaking from their Imperial conditioning) are sounding the alarm bells.

Loudly, as in air horns at 2 paces.

My mother imbued in me some wisdom, life lessons I eventually embraced after resisting them for as long as I could. The really good ones were always short and sweet.  Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean you should. And if something is good, more is not always gooder…or better as the case may be. In fact it rarely is.

These were tough pills to swallow for an impatient young boy with a severely underdeveloped impulse control. But it’s one thing for a seven year old to become violently sick from excessive indulgence in candy bars (10 to be exact) and another for a relatively few men and women to set loose ‘thinking machines’ they do not actually control upon markets that are already long overdue for a correction and therefore extremely fragile.

But alas, we are dutifully assured by various financial high priests and powerful fiat wizards that capital markets are efficient and highly regulated. Worst case scenario, we can mosey on over to Mabel the thinking machine and pull her plug. Problem solved.

Lies. Damn lies in fact.

Unfortunately. No, let me try that again. UNFORTUNATELY the problem is even worse than outlined, if that’s even possible. IF the world’s governments weren’t spending money like drunken sailors and IF the world’s central banks weren’t printing money out of thin air like mad hatters and IF personal, corporate and governmental debt wasn’t well past the point of ever being paid back and IF public and private pensions weren’t severely underfunded despite an all time high bond and stock market and IF student loan debt default rates weren’t at 30% and rising and IF the US wasn’t going full police state and IF….well, you get the picture.

IF all these (and more) detrimental socioeconomic conditions weren’t present, then MAYBE SkyNet becoming sentient MIGHT be a recoverable event.

 

Fake Fiat

The ONLY reason you accept these pieces of paper in exchange for your labor (work) is because you have faith and belief they will be accepted by the business down the street in exchange for their goods and services.

What happens when one of you no longer believes that? What would it take for you to no longer believe that?

 

That which is unsustainable cannot and will not be sustained. Something has to give. The longer the unsustainable is forced to sustain, the greater the damage when it all comes crashing back down to terra firma.

If you are a student of history, eventually you come to realize events large and small tend to cycle in and out on a reasonably predictable time frame. Huge financial catastrophes appear to occur in 80 to 90 year cycles, though this timing isn’t hard and fast. And it is often regional rather than global, such as northern or southern hemisphere, eastern or western cultures etc.

What is evident to me is these huge socioeconomic disasters follow the life cycle of humans, meaning the insanity ramps up precisely when the generation affected by the last collapse has just about died off from the face of the Earth.

The last socioeconomic implosion, the Great Depression followed closely by World War Two, has now essentially completely disappeared from living human and institutional memory. All that remains are chapters in history books and the following generation (that’s me) who vaguely remembers grandma and pa talking about those terrible times.

In the minds of we mere mortals, distance and time tend to greatly diminish the concept of risk. When those parameters extend beyond our living memory, we can easily convince ourselves and others we have progressed mightily since those ancient times and the warnings from the grave are meaningless and not applicable.

This is precisely what the high priests, financial wizards and every conflicted soul who benefits from the financial insanity are telling us today. Ignore that man behind the curtain (or in the grave) for I am the mighty and powerful Wizard of Oz.

One final thought. The financial crash in 2000-2001 was a loss of confidence in individual companies and/or a sector of companies. That market crash is most remembered as the tech wreck, where technology companies got way over their skies and needed to be rescued or allowed to fail. The banks did the heavy work in bringing the confidence game back from the grave.

But in 2008-2009, the banks themselves got in way over their heads. And this time the Federal Reserve and the US Government, along with every other major global central bank and government, came to the rescue, bailing OUT the too-big-to-fail banks at the expense of the taxpayer. This abomination was later extended to savage the savers with interest rates pegged at near zero in order to guarantee the banks a solid profit.

After all, the bank executives, traders and upper level management must be fairly compensated for all the financial death and destruction they have wrought. It’s hard work destroying hearth and home for crying out loud. To expect anything different would be un-American.

When the next financial crisis hits, it will be the central banks and governments who will suffer a crisis of confidence. Because this time it will be a currency crisis once everyone realizes the money is backed by nothing more than thin air. And they’ve been printing a LOT of thin air over the last ten years.

So exactly who will come to the rescue of the various global governments? Yup, you and me, that’s who. And we won’t be given any choice in the matter. Suddenly the rapid expansion of the police state makes more sense when seen from this perspective.

We will witness our (large) bank deposits, along with stocks, bonds and other ‘securities’ vaporize as “We the Morons” are bailed IN, not out. Our money will be confiscated and swapped for bank equity, government bonds or some new type of fake fiat in order to protect us from the disaster they created. Sounds like the perfect mafia protection scam to me.

The rules, regulations and laws enabling all of this to happen have already been passed in all the first and second world countries, including the USA.

What’s that? You never read about this in the newspaper or saw anything about this on the boob tube ‘news’ shows?

I wonder why that is?

So when do the fireworks start? To be perfectly frank I haven’t the foggiest idea. There’s an old saying on Wall Street. The markets can remain irrational far longer than you can remain solvent. The farce could continue for the next six weeks, six months or six years. And it might even last longer.

But remember this. All confidence games are pretty solid right up until confidence is lost. When that happens, the rush of escaping air reaches hurricane force in an instant and all exit doors suddenly slam shut. We peons will be the last to know when the jig is up; therefore there will be no exit for us.

The markets will be shut, the banks closed and all trading ceased before the public is told there is a serious problem. Usually this occurs over the weekend and these institutions simply don’t reopen on Monday. Your money will be frozen in place and completely inaccessible. Sure, the relative small dollar amounts in checking and savings accounts might remain available. But the big chunks will be locked away under ‘capital control’ decrees.

Suddenly it will be a brave new world, one completely alien to us. Righteous indignation will quickly follow shock and awe. Then the panic begins. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Most people don’t know the USA has defaulted on its financial obligations several times in its past. So has every other old world country. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

All fiat currencies fail simply because there is nothing backing a fiat currency but pure faith and belief, since anything of substance was long ago looted. It eventually becomes a pure confidence game once the collusion between the elites, the financial interests and the government escalates to the point where there’s no turning back.

We are well past that point at this time.

The choice is simple. Either be a victim (whocouldanode) or break from the herd and prepare for the inevitable.

The articles linked below explain the AI issue much better than I can, though I have added a great deal of background and opinion in this piece for clarity. Or hilarity is you so wish. I urge you to read both of them.

Go ahead. What do you have to lose, except possibly your investments and pension?

 

06-18-2017

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Like Something Out of ‘The Twilight Zone,’ This Market Is About the Machines

Doug Kass: Not Even The Algo Creators Know What Is Going On

 

Our old way of life, of excess consumption, is ending. What cannot be sustained will not be sustained. We have two choices. Have change thrust upon us or change on our own terms in advance of the wave.

Pigs get slaughtered.

The post SkyNet is Sentient and Will Destroy Your Investments and Pension appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Seeing…and Being Seen

Seeing…and Being Seen

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

While I suspect western culture has always been afflicted with the desperate need to be seen, affirmed and acknowledged, we appear to be nearing the climax of self destructive behavior in our mindless pursuit to escape our true self by having our madness verified as normal and natural by other mad men and women.

Misery, and madness, loves company.

Last week Mrs. Cog and I traveled to our daughter’s capital city university to retrieve her for several days of rest and relaxation before she returns to begin a grueling summer study session at college. Basically Sarah will stuff a full semester (15 credit hours) into a few months of intense work before beginning the fall semester in late August.

We decided to grab something to eat before heading back and drove over to a popular eatery for a quick bite. Naturally it was packed and parking (this being the inner city) was at a premium. In fact, so precious was the ability to park our four wheeled steel cage that the small parking lot was overseen by a man whose sole purpose was to manage vehicle traffic in order to maximize lunch hour meal service.

While I admit seeing a parking lot attendant is a bit of a novelty since we moved to a sparsely populated area of the state possessing very few parking lots, let alone attendants, I was immediately struck by the ‘presence’ of this man. There was something about him that was arresting and my curiosity was peaked. So while we waited for a parking space to clear I settled in and began one of my favorite pastimes……people watching.

We are strange and wondrous animals and fascinating to watch when prowling our natural habitat, regardless of whether it is a busy city street corner or the wide open rolling hills of rural Southwestern Virginia. Go sit for an hour in a busy shopping mall, Wal-Mart or downtown park for a first hand education in human nature.

But I digress.

The attendant, middle aged, reasonably trim and wearing a bright reflective vest, displayed a body language that spoke volumes to anyone who cared to listen. I first noticed him when his back was turned towards me. But even then it was immediately obvious he was alert and engaged, yet somehow calm, relaxed even.

Or maybe the better phrase might be comfortable in his skin. He was at ease with himself and his surroundings, in his element, finely tuned and ticking like an exquisite Swiss watch. When he finally turned and faced me, for I was now next in line to be parked, I saw intensity, focus, professionalism and pleasure. He liked what he was doing and he was good at what he did.

He studied each face he interacted with and remembered who they were and where they were parked when they came back out. He had command over the small lot and was expert in directing waiting cars around to allow those wishing to leave to quickly vacate so those waiting could quickly fill the empty space.

Our daughter and her friend, who were waiting to park ahead of us, decided to leave and park at a nearby garage to expedite the parking process for Mrs. Cog and I, then walk back to the eatery for lunch with us. Even though the attendant never ‘parked’ them, he remembered them and commented that they had made their way back to the restaurant, then warned them not to park across the street, a place notorious for towing unauthorized parked cars.

While he accepted tips and had placed a sign at the exit informing those leaving that tips were welcome and appreciated, I did not sense he was hustling just for money, but rather for the joy of being in the groove and at his best.

I tipped him on the way in to be seated and once again on the way out, telling him I found his personality engaging and a joy to behold. He expressed gratitude upon hearing my comment and said it had made his day. I heard honesty and sincerity in his voice and saw it’s reflection in his demeanor.

He had been seen by someone else and it meant a great deal to him. And upon reflection, it meant a great deal to me as well for he acknowledged my acknowledgment of him. Two ships, passing in the night, signaling to each other Hello and Goodbye.

What I saw was someone who was being the best he could be at what he was presently doing. While I have no way of knowing if this is true, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find he approaches many, if not all, of his daily tasks with the same vigorous perspective. He wasn’t being obsessive/compulsive; there wasn’t this intense need to complete certain tasks before moving on to the next, just him being thorough and precise in a relaxed but alert manner.

I suspect the vast majority of others, myself included, who might be pressed into service as a parking lot attendant, willingly or not, would not invest anywhere near the time, energy or thought into his or her task as this man clearly does. I felt, sensed really, he was at ease and in command of himself, and therefore at ease and in command with everything and everyone he interfaced with.

 

Sanity

Western ‘civilization’ sucks us dry, offering no nourishment. Only we can fill the void left behind.

 

There is a powerful scene in the movie Last Samurai where the captured soldier (played by Tom Cruise) is free to wander within the village and interact with the natives, thought always shadowed by an armed guard. He observes how all whom he encounters are disciplined and focused as they complete each task, no matter how small or trivial, to the highest perfection without being wasteful of time, energy or material. They are being the best they can be for no other purpose than to be true to themselves.

Rather than seek meaning in life from external sources, they infuse life with meaning and purpose, thereby creating a virtuous circle where they both give everything they have and gain everything they can from giving of themselves. In order to truly receive, to be capable of receiving, they must first give it away by infusing themselves into whatever it is they are creating.

They live a life based upon a simple concept; only when they are all they can be, thus are, will they see their self fully and honestly. And only then can anyone else see them, and therefore their self, for whom and what they really are. Otherwise all they see, and are seen as, is the false façade they project to others, eventually believing through endless repetition this is what they truly are when in fact the exact opposite is true.

Either we are the truth we seek by living it on a daily basis, or we practice the life of a lie and are easily distracted and manipulated. The difference is being a rock, barely embedded in the soil, easily dislodged and carried away, or one deeply buried but for the top, rooted to the Earth, impervious to surface disruptions yet fully cognizant of all.

Of course, the inner knowing we all possess, the true non egoic self, recognizes the fundamental lie for what it is, thereby setting up and inflaming a terribly disruptive cognitive dissonance within. This inner conflict sets upon us a terrible emptiness and craving to be affirmed in our lie, less we be forced to face the truth of our own self deception. The vast majority of us are at war with our selves. And it shows in the increasingly dysfunctional and neurotic lives we lead and live.

The insane asylum is becoming increasingly insane, the natives progressively more manic and the lies more deeply intertwined and nonsensical. In a paternal hierarchy, the authority declares what is truth and lie, the mindless minion helpless to do much more than to submit to the tyranny of the hive mind. This is why insanity is contagious when contracted in groups, while sanity returns, even thrives, one individual at a time.

This brings me back to the ‘presence’ observation I made when describing the parking lot attendant at the beginning of this piece. While everyone has experienced presence at one time or another, most don’t recognize it for what it really is because it quickly blends into the prevailing fog of our lives. Or we mistake presence for celebrity, be it actor, politician or athlete.

But true presence is sensed before it is seen, felt before touched, perceived by our inner knowing as real, genuine, sincere and authentic. True and unabashed sanity glows, lighting the way forward by action and deed rather than empty rhetoric and proffered falsehoods.

Animals, babies and young children instantly recognize presence while we adults, severely degraded by decades of decadent cognitive conditioning supplemented by a poisonous diet, barely notice the ripple in space and time as another opportunity to experience sanity passes by.

I claim no special powers other than the desire to declare I have seen the depths of my insanity and wish never to go there again. The one and only endowment bestowed upon me when I visited my madness was the gift of desperation, of knowing that sanity does not just happen but must be vigorously and endlessly pursued. Insanity seeps in when the mind and spirit are lazy and infused with an entitlement mentality.

Madness cannot be escaped when one is surrounded by insanity unless one is willing to actively seek the one flower of sanity always in bloom, the one found deeply within our self.

The only question remaining is, how desperate are we to unearth the sanity and set our self free?

 

05/21/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

https://www.patreon.com/CognitiveDissonance

The post Seeing…and Being Seen appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Loose Cannon

Loose Cannon

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Back in the days of sword and sail, warships mounted heavy cannon on their decks in such a way as to maximize their range of fire. Out of necessity, this meant the cannon were not permanently fixed in place and needed to be properly lashed to the deck during high seas or violent maneuvers. The cannon, cast from iron, were extremely heavy weapons of war and wrought great death and destruction if they ever broke free from their restraints and got loose on deck.

Today, the phrase ‘loose cannon’ is used to describe an individual, usually a politician or other ‘authority’, who has become reckless and rash, lashing out senselessly at anyone and everyone within reach. Dangerously uncontrollable would be a proper description of both the loose cannon and the described individual.

But I am not referencing Donald Trump or any other individual for that matter. Instead I am speaking with regard to the faceless, nameless, uber powerful chameleon better known as the Deep State, the existence of which has been repeatedly mentioned in the mainstream and alternative press of late. However, I am not necessarily claiming the Deep State itself is the loose cannon. Read on for the answer.

While various forms of the phrase “Deep State” have been around for decades, I began to pay particular attention soon after the false flag event of 9/11, when I launched into deep study sessions reading the likes of Smedley Butler, John Perkins, Roger Stone, Michael Ruppert, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Engelhardt, Peter Dale Scott, Noam Chomsky, Webster Tarpley et al. The list is deep and varied and by no means does it represent strictly truthsayers. To truly know your enemy you must understand their tactics, methods and disinformation/propaganda. 

I was aware of deeply hidden forces within the US for most of my adult life, based mostly upon my experiences within the counterculture movements of the late 60’s and 70’s. But my second and deeper awakening unfolded when I absorbed a wide and diverse swath of alternative authors and history. My rapidly expanding understanding of how deeply embedded and controlling the Deep State had been, and still remains today, was personally and emotionally unsettling to say the least.

Nobody wishes to admit they were conned. Even worse is the ego blow administered when we concede we have been compliant and complicit through a combination of gullibility, greed and narcissistic self interest. Navel gazing is rarely pretty when seen up close and personal. The bottom line is I didn’t know because I didn’t want to know. Any excuse to explain or justify my so-called ignorance is offered to sooth my tattered ego and falls on deaf ears when brutal honesty is pursued.

Just because I didn’t know doesn’t mean I couldn’t know if I had wanted to; a fact most of us avoid acknowledging under any and all circumstances. We simply cannot declare ourselves thinking and aware individuals if all we compute is preprogrammed propaganda trash. Garbage in equates to garbage out and results in a fetid garbage dump located between the ears.

Similar to how the martial arts expert leverages his opponent’s weakness to defeat him or her, so too does the Deep State leverage our ignorance and denial against “We the People”. Just because we acknowledge the phrase “Deep State” doesn’t mean we recognize, let alone understand, the Deep State itself.

Previously our collective ignorance was encouraged by clever disinformation, bald faced lies and outright denial of the Deep State by the Deep State itself through its various public organs, aka the mainstream media, various ‘think’ tanks and its multitude of managed authorities and officials. When a captive culture is dependent upon paternal authority for affirmation of its very existence, whatever the authority deems real (or not) carries great influence within the dependent herd.

This conditioned way of thinking, of being, is so deeply embedded within our ‘self’ that its existence is denied by nearly all, at least on a personal basis. Tragically, this is why even mentally strong individuals can rarely accept a promoted ‘truth’ for what it really is……a lie, particularly if the lie flies in the face of deeply engrained and conditioned beliefs.

This helps explain why so many people must continue to believe the official lie about 9/11 truth. To fully reject the lie is to reject themselves and what they believe in. You might as well ask them to cut off a pound of flesh as to get them to seriously question the official story.

Sure, many will say they don’t completely believe the promoted lie as the ‘truth’. But they have simply bargained with themselves by accepting lesser lies rather than fully rejecting the lie and all the ramifications that come with doing so.    

This is also why people will remain lobsters in a pot, knowing full well the water’s getting warmer by the minute, and only panic when an ‘authority’ finally admits we will soon be served up with butter. Ultimately many simply cannot reject the public lie because doing so means rejecting the paternal hierarchy. This only becomes possible for many if they first seek out, and then receive, external affirmation from a substitute paternal figure/organization.

We cannot reject one paternal hierarchy without joining another, allowing the second to confirm our rejection of the first. The enslaved mind constantly craves affirmation to sooth its inured insecurity. What passes for strong individuals these days is often a deeply insecure mind flailing about in desperate need of external affirmation. Never underestimate the lengths to which we will go to assuage our deeply conditioned insecurity.

This is the supreme leverage constantly employed against us. Condition us to be the problem, poke and provoke us to create a reaction and then quickly provide a superficial solution that simply leads us back to the problem. Each successive generation of controllers only needs to perpetuate the insecurity to both confirm it and play upon it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; just roll it on down the hill. Prior conditioning, like gravity, does the rest.

 

Loose Cannon

Set one of these loose and run for cover.

 

But lately the controlling meme is changing. Now the Deep State is acknowledging its very existence in the name of fighting tyranny and intolerance. In many ways this is a brilliant strategy because the first rule of politics is to accuse your opponent of being precisely what you are. He, who accuses first, accuses best. 

The CIA, the covert muscle of the Deep State, is publically defying the chief executive of the political union we call America. While this is not surprising to those of us who understand the makeup and methods of the Deep State, it is very revealing to mainstream minions who (want to) know nothing about the ugly underbelly of the underworld.

Being overtly controlling violates basic Constitutional tenets we have long been conditioned to believe overrides all individual and governmental entities. This aberration can only be tolerated by the greater (still brainwashed) population if framed in a way that signals furtherance of truth, justice and the American Way. Essentially the Deep State is declaring they must destroy the village in order to save the village.

In effect, what the Deep State is promoting is the ultimate in Virtue Signaling to a specifically targeted and preprogrammed segment of the population. This is monstrously hypocritical to the nth degree. But morals and ethics only apply to the little people and are useless to the Deep State unless leveraged against us, something it does all the time via its compliant subordinates.

In the opinion of many on the political (far) right, the Deep State has just jumped the shark with its transition to open warfare against its perceived domestic enemies. They say it’s all just ineffective thrashings of a wounded and dying animal, desperate to maintain control in the face of significant opposition from Trump and Company.

Put simply, the thinking is the Deep State would not engage in such actions if it did not feel covert means were more effective. This means, in their opinion, that the USA has become a loose cannon, wrecking havoc on the decks of the nation’s ship of state. Regardless of whether this assessment is correct or not, the present day state of affairs is entirely intentional and planned.

I have written before how Trump was ‘created’ by the Deep State via its controlled propaganda organ, the MSM, rather than a ‘spontaneous combustion’ per a popular outcry of disenfranchised citizens seeking none of the above. Simply stated, if the MSM had not vilified Trump at every turn, thereby turning Trump into a blazing Roman candle signaling him as nothing like the above and a rebel with a cause, Trump would once again have sunk into the ignored wasteland shared by every other alternative candidate before him.

The mainstream media is the controlling propaganda arm of the Deep State. It assumes no major policy or political stance without the expressed consent and direction of its controllers. It could have ignored and marginalized Trump just as it has done to every other contrary candidate since Ross Perot was ‘allowed’ to run back in 1992.

Trump is no accident or political escapee who blew up in the face of the MSM, nor the deep state for that matter. But that is precisely the propaganda meme being vigorously promoted via every glowing screen from sea to shining sea. Even the political right has taken the bait, endlessly repeating Trump the ‘rebel’ mind meme.

So why would ‘they’ do this? What greater purpose, at least for them, is served erecting such a flawed and divisive candidate, then electing him to the highest office in the land?

In a word……control, as in continuing and near total.

While carefully hidden from the general public, the primary control mechanism of the Deep State (the fiat dollar as the world’s reserve currency) is rapidly waning in power and influence. Vast arrays of sleeping sloggers throughout the world are becoming increasingly aware of the corrosive financial policies directed against the many towards the few by the US and its captured co-conspirators. The zombie dead are slowly awakening.

A swirling feedback loop of additional financial excesses creating more social inequities could rapidly ignite in the Deep State’s lap if this explosive energy is not redirected towards division of the masses before they firmly unite. The 10,000 year old domination of the plebs playbook is clear; either control the opposition or fall to the opposition.

For the central entities of the Deep State, the impulse to escalate springs from the obsessive desire to survive their own decadent excesses. Power craves more power, and will not meekly tolerate less. The only purpose of power is to effectively use it to gain more power while maintaining the power already possessed.

If there’s one thing I learned from the alternative social movements of the 60’s and 70’s, it was the following lesson. What appears to be real and genuine on the surface is rarely what actually exists beneath the first few layers of illusionary fluff. Those who believe the music, drugs, fashion and symbolism of that period of time was entirely organic and natural, spontaneous even, needs to dig much deeper down into the rabbit hole.

 

Loose Cannon Two

There’s not much holding that sucker in place.

 

Things rarely are as they seem. Rather than view that period of time (and today as well) as a series of events the mainstream media reports on in real time, or after the fact, recognize it as essentially a creation of the propaganda press controlled by the Deep State.

If anything, as then and again today, tiny organic embers which are always present in any large and diverse population, once fanned into flickering flames, attract alternative minded moths that move toward the light and embrace change they can believe in. The rest, as they say, is history.

Nine years ago it worked when Obama moved to corral a restless segment of the population. Now it’s working once again as Trump herds a contrary subdivision while giving the first segment renewed purpose and vigor opposing the second. This divide and control tactic is brilliant in its shameless audacity and imprudence.

It has been endlessly reported the horse pulls the cart. But in fact, the cart is placed in front of the horse and leads the horse to water, all while allowing the horse to think he’s the boss. When a conditioned absence of critical thinking meets up with controlling thought memes, the mind readily accepts as truth what it is told. Our bruised ego would allow us see it no other way.

There are no accidents in the Deep State. One does not need to micromanage in order to control. In fact, to micromanage destroys the ability to effectively control a ‘free’ culture because people will only fully engage and embrace that which they believe is organic, true and aligned with their conditioned belief system. This especially holds true for the alternatively aligned mind that is suspicious by nature and nurture.  

Only when a prevailing meme is structured to allow infinite and minute modification by the individual, while remaining effectively whole in its basis, can it exercise overall control by allowing the target to believe they can fully embody it while still regulating it.  

We must believe it is our idea if we are to ‘allow’ that idea to control us; though we will never permit ourselves to recognize this control as engaged within our ‘self’, only in other weaker, more susceptible individuals. Our ego, leveraged against our ‘self’, rarely if ever allows our true self to acknowledge we are the patsy at the poker table.

Of course, it then follows that everyone at the poker table is a patsy and only the house stands to gain long term. Even if aware of these circumstances, we grudgingly accept this fact so long as we are given a ‘chance’ to win short term, thereby affirming our participation rather than resorting to rejection and revolt. Nobody wants spilled red blood to stain the green table felt.

Naturally, after the house takes their cut off the top for providing the fertile plantation, we divide up the anted pot of our remaining money amongst ourselves. If there is a short tem winner, by extension everyone else is a short term loser. The key here is to understand we are never allowed to believe we are compelled to play the game. It all must appear to be voluntary if the illusion is to hold.

The concept of the intentionally seeded and subsequent gestation of a deeply implanted ‘original’ mind meme was the prevailing theme of the movie Inception, a brilliant propaganda piece itself. It is perfectly fine for the magician to show how his trick is performed if he convinces his audience they are too smart to ever be tricked by him. Only the most deeply reconditioned minds are capable of consistently rejecting the ultimate psychological double entendre.

The dirty little secret is found in the ‘re’-conditioning of the captured mind. A labyrinth this deeply layered and convoluted anticipates escapees leaking from the seams and edges. A system of opening and closing doors and passageways peppered with hidden treasure truths keeps the vast majority of smitten mice safely contained.

Most timid minds will merely penetrate one or two layers deep before exhausting their will and resolve to go deeper. Sated by the fact they have found an alternative universe of ‘truth’ already populated with an established, but growing, hierarchy, they settle in and dig their defensive trenches.

The craving for (more) power, even by those who dwell at the bottom, resides in all who submit to a paternal pecking order. Find a smaller crew and maybe you can eat better by moving up the power ladder.

Not only can we not handle the truth, but freedom to find the truth as well. We are trained from birth to believe only a fool, or a severely unbalanced mind, would dare leave the comforting confines of the reservation and strike out on our own. Those who feel the itch to explore are quickly sated by swapping one set of truths for another. Just make sure you close the cage door behind you once safely back within.

It is not the Deep State who is the loose cannon careening about the upper decks, soon to bring death and destruction to our front door. Instead it is “We the People” who are about to have our lashing silently slashed in the dead of night just before the storm to end all storms strikes broadside. We have met the enemy and he is us.

The Deep State and all that it encompasses, along with its large cast of conspiring characters, psychopaths and mindless enablers, is always and forever simply the hand holding the razor sharp knife poised to slash the rope and unleash terror and torment when the time is right for murder and mayhem to commence. It’s killing time in the pen.

The Deep State organized the mining and refining of the iron ore, designed the cannon casting and supporting substructure, trained the crew in its care and operation, directly supervised the lashing to assure competent conditioning and is now sharpening the knife for the final act of control and subversion.

We, you and I and they and them and all those blithering idiots on all sides of the political aisle are the collective loose cannon about to be set into violent motion. And here’s the rub that will rob you of sleep if you don’t quickly dismiss it all before the fall.

The only way to win is not to play at all.

 

03/16/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

 

All hands on deck.

Gun Deck

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Virtue Signaling – Cheap Self Affirmation

Virtue Signaling – Cheap Self Affirmation

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

We all do it. And we have all seen it done by others. The only question is too what degree we do it. I am, of course, speaking of the latest ‘meme’ to be virally repeated, the accusation that someone else (naturally not me) is virtue signaling.

A popular definition, though most certainly not the last word, is the following pulled from the Interwebby thingy.

“…the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.”

Here’s another…

“Virtue signaling is the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily to enhance their standing within a social group.”

There are other significant and nuanced variations used to define virtue signaling (including the spelling of ‘signalling’) but in my mind the take away of them all is the intellectual, emotional and psychological dishonesty of the virtue signaler. And of those who accept the virtue signaler attestations at face value. Or worse, those who enable, applaud and support the virtue signaler.

For a multitude of reasons, most of us simply don’t recognize many of our own actions as forms of virtue signaling, often because our signaling is expressed in forms other than just verbal. Ever put a bumper sticker or emblem on your vehicle proclaiming your support for ‘The Troops’ or some other political or charitable cause? Wear a designer product because the label is prominently displayed? One upped someone else by signaling your own escalated display?

I think you get the idea. In fact I’m fairly certain if given some thought, several dozen examples would leap to your mind. They have into mine.

But most of our virtue signaling is expressed in the negative, as in “I hate those Nazi’s”, a group everyone loves to hate, thus proving how virtuous we all are. I mean if you love, or even just like, the Nazis, clearly you must be some vile human vermin. Obviously this is sarcasm, just in case it’s not readily evident. Does that make me vile human vermin?

Naturally this behavior isn’t limited to humans, vile or not. Companies and corporations, public and private institutions, charities, governments, even the boy and girl scouts project virtuous signals large and small. I remember helping a little old lady pick up some groceries she dropped in the parking lot and then told my entire class I saved the lady from certain death by an errant vehicle because I’m a boy scout.

I may have exaggerated just a little bit.

The wonderful thing about virtue signaling is it requires all talk and little to no walk, effortless posturing intended to maintain or improve social positioning within a group or even among groups. For ‘We the Obese’, it just doesn’t get any better than that. 50 years ago, it was the inspiration gained from picking up a few stray oranges for that lady that led to lying through my teeth to my classmates in order to pump myself up in their eyes.

And in mine!

 

Signaling

The irony is true virtue never needs to be signaled, for it is self evident and obvious to all but the deaf, dumb and blind.

 

Ultimately this is what virtue signaling is all about; our at times desperate need to be externally affirmed, particularly when our self esteem and confidence has been (recently) disturbed. If along the way we can improve our standing in whatever affinity group or social/political group we belong to, that’s great.

And we might even believe that is the ‘real’ reason we are acting so dishonestly, assuming we have given any thought at all to our behavior. But it’s all about how we feel about ourselves, and how we fear others feel/think about us, that drives much of our signaling.

This isn’t as outlandish as one might think. We live in a consumer culture; one that constantly strives to inflate our feelings of anxiety and insecurity solely so they can sell us their product, which they helpfully claim will magically restore precisely what they just destroyed. The slicker advertisements play off general cultural fears and inadequacies to push their product. Just watch a few ‘manly’ pickup truck commercials if you don’t believe me.

The sole purpose of all advertisement campaigns is to create a ‘consumer’ demand where one doesn’t naturally exist or wouldn’t exist in a quantity sufficient for the product to be produced profitably. Using a wide range of emotional approaches, including leveraging social memes already deeply implanted within the culture, the skilled advertising practitioner uses every psychological trick in the book to lure you in before the trap is sprung.

For the average person who is deeply immersed within the world of ‘media consumption’, which pretty much describes the overwhelming majority of the western population (and increasingly the entire world as everyone is transitioned into a consuming ‘culture’) their cultural persona has been formed and forged by emotionally exploitative manipulators and propagandists.

Let that thought settle in for a bit.

If we are what we eat, then we think what we consume. And based upon my lifelong observations of society and the people who live within our society, what we ‘think’ is an amalgamation of force fed junk memes designed to confuse, conflate, conceal and control. And most of all, to fear……everything and everyone just about all the time.

Rather frightening when you ‘think’ about it. 

The very fact most people would think the previous statement is at best an exaggeration, and at worst simply not true, attests to the incredible normalization of these practices and our adaptation to this self degrading social dysfunction.

And it’s not just the consumer product advertisers who are guilty of crass public manipulation. If anything, they learned their basic techniques from politicians who shamelessly play upon the public’s gullibility and naivety when it comes to fully comprehending the depths to which a sociopath will fall to maintain control, or keep control out of the hands of others.

Sherman’s march to the sea pales in comparison to the death and destruction left in the wake of many a politician’s passing.

While all of us old farts pushing past fifty or sixty years of age have witnessed the blooming of the age of disinformation and social manipulation, we are somewhat shielded by fundamental values of personal integrity ingrained within us from an early age.

Notice I said ‘somewhat’, because no one is fully immune from the insidious creep of consumerism and the intellectual and emotional rot that comes with it. The more we are exposed to something, the more we normalize and adapt to it.

Which might just help explain what is presently going on with our kids these days, defined as those presently in college all the way up to those in their 30’s. They appear to be particularly susceptible to the Pied Piper’s magic flute when played to flatter their egos and inflame their need for self affirmation.

We never taught our children to think critically because we have lost much of our ability to do so. We never taught our children to recognize manipulation and distortion because we have succumbed to it ourselves. We never taught our children to be true to themselves and find affirmation within because we have strayed from our teachings to appease our own consumer craving.

We never taught our children how to be mature adults because we wanted to raise friends who would affirm us rather than young adults who would grow strong and leave us to take their place in the world. We failed to say no because all we wanted to hear was yes. We failed them, and they are now in the process of failing us.

As they say, what goes around comes around.

 

02/17/2017

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