Jesusism-Paulism, Introduction: The Revolution of Early Christianity

After a particularly long post, Chirol from Coming Anarchy suggested that when I have a lot to say, I should break it up into a series of articles. I’ve taken his advice, and now for several subjects (Embracing Defeat, Guerrillaz, Liberal Education, and OODA-PISRR) I’ve written four tetrologies.

However, before all that I wrote a trilogy on early Christianity. I described it as essentially a 4G movement, such as Maoism, but one that also drew energy from existing family structures. In that sense it is similar to the religious right in America or al Qaeda in Iraq. Early Christianity was profoundly shaped by two thinkers, Jesus and Paul, similar to the way that Sovietism was shaped by Marx and Lenin.

alpha_chi_ro_omega_md
Symbol of the Revolution

This insight is not original. About the time I wrote my posts, Jeffrey Obbins of Lebanon Valley College published The Politics of Paul, where he wrote…

Paul is every bit Jesus’ equal as a social and political revolutionary, standing to Jesus as Lenin does to Marx.

The importance of this is at least threefold: First, this recovery of Paul is a repoliticization of Christianity – or, more precisely, the realization of the intrinsically political nature that was and is at the very heart of the Christian identity. Second, as a politicized religion, this Christian legacy (which is distinctively Pauline, if not Paul’s own creation) establishes the conditions of Western thought

Nonetheless, I think my original posts have something to contribute. So with his introduction and some fiddling in the original works, I am reformatting by trilogy as a series. Since then I have continued the story, chronicling the Christian and Muslim battles against Rome

There are five parts

  • Part I, Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
    Christian doctrine was built to win. It emphasized People’s War from its first commandments.
  • Part II, Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
    The High Priest and the Emperor get a bad wrap for attacking a harmless religious. Yet they correctly understood the political implications of the growing movement and attempted to kill it. They almost succeeded.
  • Part III, Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
    The early Christians used gender to their advantage. Exploiting genetic tendencies in men and women, they equipped themselves for unlimited war. They won.
  • Part IV, The Fall of Rome
    Constantine gave the Christians their Army, and with it the Christians gave Constantine his Empire. A short conventional victory to a long unconventional war, the Battle of Milvian Bridge brought about the defeat of Greco-Roman civilization.
  • Part V, The People of the Book
    Hundreds of years after the Christian victory, another semitic religion would emerge to challenge the Christian Empire of the Romans. Perhaps the first Totalitarian faith in history, Islam would shatter the unipolar world of the Christians while replacing itself with a minimum of mutations.
  • Part VI, Embrace and Extend
    While Christianity in the East was shattered by Islam and Islamization, the Church in the west continued its ancient 4G operation. Refusing to look away from the worst of barbarian culture, the Catholic Church embraced and extended the pre-Christian ways of modern Europe, eventually exterminating rival organizing principles.

To all those who have not read these yet, I hope you enjoy.

Drawing North America

Katheryn Lopez and Michelle Malkin note this photo:

mexico_distressing_america

I like this one better:

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Mdms. Lopez and Malkin doubtless agree with tdaxp that ethnic multiculturalism would be disasterous for the United States. The left’s strangehold on universities does real harm, pumping out teachers who believe in multiculturalism and subtly encouraging counter-cultural moments like the above flag debacle.

Happily, that form of apartheid is very weak. America is a “melting pot,” in which cultures cannot be kept distinct and separate.

america_guatemala_md

Against the wishes of those who wish to see all identities blurred equally, in America the American identity comes out on top..

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But our need for Mexican immigrants goes beyond that, and even beyond the business interests that are often used. America (the United States of America) and Mexico (the Mexican United States) were both conceived as multinational economic and political unions, no less than the European Union. Growth, expansion, and geographic union are in the DNAs of our Unions. With different Constitutions and different political traditions, the USA and MUS were born as complex adaptive systems — pragmatic attempts to create liberty and happiness for the North American people. It is the will of the Mexican people to organize themselves into a federal’ democratic, representative Republic composed of free and sovereign States in all that concerns their internal government’ but united in a Federation established according to the principles of this fundamental law, no less than that of the American people

The next stage is clear. Combine the American United States and United States of Mexico into one political union under the US Constitution. Our way works — that’s why Mexicans are coming here — so why not export our rules over there? There is nothing sacred about 50 member states belonging to this union, so add Nayarit to New York, Morelos to Montana, Oaxaca to Oregon, and expand our federal, democratic, representative, economic & political union to 81 free and sovereign States.

We can do it.

The Death and Birth of Soviet Europe

Curzon’s rumination on post-Soviet Ukraine and Belarus and the strange death of Slobodan Milosevic got me thinking about post-Soviet Europe generally. Film can be a good of narrating history, so here are five films that tell the story of Soviet Europe, from its tragicomic end to its terrible birth.

Timeframe: 1940s-1990s

Synopsis: An armed monkey accidentally liberates disoriented Serb WWII vets from a kleptocratic arms smuggler. Corrupt UN peacekeepers and “Nazis” litter the landscape.

Opinion: Hilarious, truly sad, and amazingly symbolic, it originally aired on Serbian TV.

Stand-out Quote:

“Here we built new houses
with red roofs and chimneys where storks will nest.
With wide-open doors for dear guests.
We’ll thank the soil for feeding us and the sun for warming us.
And the fields for reminding us of the green grass of home.
with pain, sorrow, and joy, we shall remember our country,
as we well our children stories that start like fairy tales
Once upon a time there was a country…”

Timeframe: 1980s-1990s

Synopsis: An armed monkey Slobodan Milosevic accidentally liberates… Corrupt UN peacekeepers and “Nazis” litter the landscape.

Opinion: Demonstrated that war is politics by other means. Originally aired on BBC and the Discovery Channel.

Timeframe: 1980s-1990s

Synopsis: Communism falls, but the old are too weak to take it. A loving son pretends to live in the corrupt deathwatch of Stalinism.

Opinion: A country jumps 50 years into the future.

Timeframe: late 1940s

Synopsis: A murder in Allied-Occupied Austria… but who is the 3rd man?

Opinion: Take The Quiet American, and replace 1950s Saigon with 1940s Vienna. Good in an academic sort of way. Watch The Quiet American instead.

Timeframe: May 1945

Synopsis: A hopeless insurgency destroys the lives of Poles. A victorious Communist Party prepares to destroy more.

Opinion: Originally aired in Poland during the 1950s. Very human characters and some interesting cinematography.

Quality 4, Inlets, Lakes, and Streams

Quality, a tdaxp series.

quality
Photo Courtesy Despair.com

I haven’t been that pleased with my scopes & methods reaction papers — however, I thought this was was great. It builds on some posts from both tdaxp and ZenPundit, namely

I use my extra energy for blog writing, as I learn more here, I enjoy more here, and I interact with more people here. So it’s notable that there this turned-in paper is blog-worthy.

Enjoy! It’s good! (I promise)

The readings this week say that truth only exists when two people can talk about the same thing. It is therefore unfortunate that the authors have chosen such technical language to present themselves. Our class is full of smart, well-read students, but our professor had to warn us over the difficulty of the assignments.
Fortunately, a friend and I covered this same ground last year, in more understandable language. So in this week’s paper I will summarize the readings using the easier vocabulary I previously encountered.

The world is not just made of things — there are more to life than just entities. Just as a computer’s database is based on entities and relations — things and how they relate to each other — the world is composed both of “brute data” (Taylor) and relationships that give meaning to the data. Without relations, the world would be meaningless. All that would exist would be an infinite stream of facts with no semantics (“language,” in Taylor’s analogy) to guide the observer. We would exist in a sort of “conceptual anatopianism,” to misquote Farr. Happily, we do not live in that world.

Instead of the cold isolated entities, we are warmed by the friction caused the dynamic intersubjective relationship between ourselves and everything else. The heat from his friction warms our hearts, but acts just like physical friction. It can be so hot we melt, changing our nature (A good school is like this, because students leave different than when they entered. The friction of relations changed their relationship to things, ideas, places, etc.)

However, just as in a complex database there is not “one true semantic,” there is not just one true meaning in the real world. Fay gives the example of a killer, and observes how the meaning of the actions changes depending on the scope. Again the analogy of friction is a good one, because friction is caused by resistance.

Think of a swimmer in a small inlet. His hands and feat resist the watery body, changing his position (his relation with the entities of the water). The ripples from his strokes propagate through the inlet, leading to a certain meaning in that inlet (even if to the swimmer the heady surface is full of “contradiction and confusion” of overlapping ripples). But if we expand our view from beyond the inlet to the estuary the inlet is part of, the nature of the estuary is changed in a different way. And expand beyond that to the bay, to the gulf, to the sea, and to the ocean where that water flows, and the ripples (the alterations of the semantic meanings) work in different ways. The border between the inlet and the estuary represents “boundary conditions” (Farr), just as validly as the boundary between Medievalism and Modernism, or the Qing and the Republic [pun]. And just as a swimmer’s intent is only part of the story of his ripples, a killer’s intent is just part of the story of a murder/prevented assassination/protection of a regime.

Again, keeping in the analogy, imagine a scientist attempting to understand the nature of the inlet. He observes the moss, fishes, and swimmers, and the ecosystem they form. He devises causal laws (“If more moss, then less swimmers”) and correlative observations (“inlet-bed surface light and swimmers rise and fall together”). Proud of himself, he submits his work on ecological turns in inlets to the American Inlet Science Review…

… only to be told his work is not scientific, because it does not hold for all forms of dihydrogen-monoxide! Reviewers castigate him: “These ecological turns are not true for glaciers! Or steam! Or even culverts in Sikkim!” Unaware their demands would turn Inlet Science into something completely different, the editors of AISR reject the paper, robbing the world of insight, all because the concepts in the paper existed within the “framework” (Fay) of inlets. Such a rejection would prohibit the inlet scientist from “elucidat[ing] the meanings which inform specific [inlet] practices, and thereby reveal the structures of intelligibility which accounts for the behavior of [inlet flora and fauna].”

This is similar to the Farr’s discussion on the nature of revolution. By trying to avoid specific, meaningful scopes, and looking only at an ahistorical view of “revolution, some threaten to turn political science into something none of us would recognize. Even though he later confuses himself during a discussion of “temporally related entities,” Farr warns us not to put aside the practices of real science; for example, when even there laws are not ahistorical (the laws of physics were apparently quite different immediately after the Big Bang than now). Further, the attempt to de-contextualize and de-semanticize “revolution” is like trying to take the inlets out of Inlet Science. As Fay says, “an action is an action .. only in the context of a certain set of social rules” (my emphasis).

Just as inlet science studies the nature of specific types of bodies of water, political science studies the power relationships of certain frictional seas of men. Political science is not the study of “power” generally (if it was we would measure things in watts), nor is it the study of men generally (that’s psychology) nor of society generally (that’s sociology) — it is the study of power and men in a “semantic field” (to use Taylor’s words). It is the study of power in meaningful, semantic, rational, frictional contexts.

Bibliography

Brian Fay. 1975. Social Theory and Political Practice. London: Allen and Unwin. Ch. 4 (pp. 70-91).

Charles Taylor. 1979. “Interpretation and the Sciences of Man.” In Paul Rabinow and William M. Sullivan, eds., Interpretive Social Science. Berkeley: University of California Press (pp. 25-71).

James Farr. 1982. “Historical Concepts in Political Science: The Case of ‘Revolution,’” American Journal of Political Science 26: 688-708, http://www.jstor.org/view/00925853/di975157/97p0200p/0?currentResult=00925853%2bdi975157%2b97p0200p%2b0%2cFFFF3F&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FBasicResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26Query%3DHistorical%2BConcepts%2Bin%2BPolitical%2BScience%253A%2BThe%2BCase%2Bof.


Quality, a tdaxp series, has five parts:
The First Part, Beauty
The Second Part, Friction
The Third Part, Seas
The Fourth Part, Inlets, Lakes, and Streams
The Fifth Part, The Magic Cloud

Review of "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman

Textual Criticism is a method of determining the original wording of the text by combining wordings of variations of that text against each other and themselves. Misquoting Jesus is a history of textual criticism of the New Testament, and focuse on three main branches of New Testament textx: the Alexadrian, the Byzantine, and the Western. Written like an engaging text for a graduate class, Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus is an accessible introduction to this field of scholarship.

misquoting_jesus_md

Yet aptly written or not, Misquoting Jesus suffers from lapses of thought and questionable conclusions. Ultimately, it’s most likely to be a mystifying introduction to the world of the New Testament for most readers. If you must, you may buy Misquoting Jesus, but please read some other works first.

I purchased Misquoting Jesus because of the enjoyable introduction to criticism that I received from Thomas Cahill’s Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus. While Cahill is no conservative, as is witnessed by his personal web page:

But the Republican Party in its current incarnation is racist (racism being the clear premise of its “Southern strategy,” pursued so single mindedly since the days of the ineffable Richard Nixon) and the enemy of the poor. To be these things — to be against the poor and the marginalized — is, in my reading of the New Testament, to be specifically anti-Christian

Cahill’s work is a masterpiece apologetic for a Catholic understanding of the Bible within the Divine Tradition. Matthew, Peter, Luke, John, Paul, and Mary are fleshed out as real characters with real emotions. Exclusively using New Testament texts, Cahill illuminates a world with differences of perspective that make people in the same place and time react and record very differently.

Misquoting Jesus is not that book. The conclusions of Desire of the Everlasting Hills are generally reinforced, but as lifeless shadows of themselves. For instance, to take one issue that was raised in a review by the Washington Post

Ehrman, 50, pounces on the anomalies: In this Gospel, Jesus isn’t born in Bethlehem, he doesn’t tell any parables, he never casts out a demon, there’s no last supper. The crucifixion stories are different: in Mark, Jesus is terrified on the cross; in John, he’s perfectly composed. Key dates are different. The resurrection stories are different. Ehrman reels them off, rapid-fire, shell bursts against the bulwark of tradition.

The difference is real. An interesting portion of Misquoting Jesus argues that a part commonly describing Jesus’s empathy should instead describe his anger.

Yet this isn’t a contradiction, but rather supporting evidence. The Gospel of Mark was written by Saint Mark on behalf of Saint Simon called Peter, who was unable to write or tell long, coherent stories. (The Gospel of Mark has many, many dates and places, indicating St. Mark had to piece together the chronology from the words of the IQ-challenged St. Peter). Simon-called-Peter was an illiterate fisherman, nicknamed Rocky, who is often described as a bungler unable to obey moderately complex demands over any length of time. Whether working under his father, his boss, or later Jesus, it appears that a unifying feature of Peter’s life was screwing up and having people frustrated with him.

The Gospel of Luke, by contrast, was written by an educated, modern thinker. Able to switch multiple perspectives (He can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch. . . He is Hebraistic in describing Hebrew society and Greek when describing Greek society”, Catholic Encyclopedia), the author of St. Luke wrote the longest of the Gospels. A physiciain (he used medical terminology commonly), Luke would have associated a calm, professional demeanor with authority. A unifying feature of Luke’s life would have been calm superiors surrounded by worried, anxious, if not hysterical inferiors.

So when it comes time for them to write, Peter describes the Ultimate Superior as analogous to the superiors of Peter’s life, while Luke describes Him as analogous to the superiors of Luke’s life. While Ehrman attempts to describe relational quality in his conclusion, his words are muddled, and Bart can’t get beyond the “contradictions.” You have to read Cahill to see the underlying similarity.

Another problem: one of the first examples Misquoting Jesus gives as a problem with New Testament text is the case of the adulteress: Ehrman finds “questions” with it

If this woman was caught in the act of adultery, for example, where is the man she was caught with? … Moreover, when Jesus wrote on the ground, what exactly was he writing? … And even if Jesus did teach a message of love, did he really think that the Law of God given by Moses was no longer in force and should not be obeyed?

To answer

  • Ehrman’s assumption that the Pharisees are not sexist hypocrites is striking
  • What Jesus wrote is neither known nor relevent to the veracity of the story
  • As Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Given that Ehrman elsewhere says that Jesus had his own interpretation of the Law, it’s striking Erhman now implies that only a literalist reading of the law is valid

In many ways, reminded me of Creativity by Robert Weisberg. Like Weisberg’s book, Misquoting Jesus continues interesting facts and some useful conclusions. But also like Creativity, Ehrman’s work is at best half-true, and is likely to be misleading without some prior readings.

Steer clear of this one.

Review of "Global Brain" by Howard Bloom

This spring break I had the pleasure to read Global Brain by . Biz highly rated this book, and as I have blogged on Mr. Bloom’s previous book and enjoyed his appearances on Coast to Coast AM, when I say this tome at Barnes & Noble I couldn’t resist.

howard_bloom_global_brain

How to summarize Global Brain? I could say it’s about neural networks, or emergence, or even Matthew 13:12, but that captures only a trillionth of the work. Instead I’ll use the subtitle, The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century.


On the back cover, the book quotes Douglas Rushkoff as saying “I am awestruck.” That’s an accurate assessment. Global Brain becomes breathtaking after you finish it, because then you realize well it is written.

Howard Bloom argues that life is best viewed as a complex adaptive system. That is, all life in, on, and over the world form a dynamic, parallel, learning network. The network operates by rewarding success and punishing failure, or in the oft-quoted words of Jesus

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Bloom gives many examples of this. The neurons in a baby born in America that could recognize the different clicks of African bush-people rapidly die, while those adept to our alphabet are connected to. Healthy, active male guerrillas live in amorous harems, while subordinate males show signs of stress and social ostracization. And in our history, the military prowess of Sparta over Athens saw a flow of wealth and adulation (including Plato’s) to Sparta, while the democratic ideals of Athens were scorned, along with her former might.

Bloom transitioning from cell life to animals to human societies is amazing. By viewing life as a complex adaptive system groups that are typically referred to quite differently are seen as analogs in this book. Applying memetics to baboonery, for example, had not occurred to me before. The story of prokaryote networks and Greek trade networks just flow into each other — the effect is indescribable.

Along the way, Howard tells a lot of fascinating stories. The sad tale of Gilbert Ling, a victim of an obscure paradigm, critiques the supposed rationality of science. Bloom’s warnings (the book was published in 2000) that bin Laden and the Taliban are up to something, including the line are prescient. His description of early civilization is a welcome kick-in-the-face to followers of Daniel Quinn. And his discussion of rapid evolution of new species is especially interesting to me, given UNL’s unique focus on genetics in politics.

The most controversial parts of the book are Bloom’s rejection of Selfish Competition or its modern form, Richard Dawkin’s Selfish Gene Competition. Instead Bloom focuses on group competition, placing himself with Darwin. To quote from the prologue

… add in the evidence from “learned helplessness experiments,” and toss in the discoveries of complex adaptive systems researches, an interesting pattern emerges…

Social animals are linked in networks of information exchange. Meanwhile, self-destruct mechanisms turn a creature on and off depending on his or her ability to get a handle on the tricks and traps of circumstance…

It is time for evolutionists to open their minds and abandon individual selectionism as a rigid creed which cannot coexist with its supposed opposite, group selection. For when one joins the two, one can see that the networked intelligence forecast by computer scientists and physicists as a product of emerging technology has been around a very long time.

Here, though, a feature of the book gets in the way. Despite all the talks on networks, there’s no math in the book. But that means that Blooms criticism of strict individual selectionism are frustratingly vague. Bloom says that real genetic diversity in bee hives are far greater than rational choice-style models would predict. But no numbers are given.

Still, with 65 pages of footnotes 62 pages of bibliography in a book with 223 pages of chapters, the answers to all these questions can be found by going back to the source documents.

Global Brain by Howard Bloom is very, very good. Buy it.

Howard Bloom can be found online at his personal web page or at Big Bang Tango Media Lab.

Catholicgauze in Directions Magazine

The View from Here,” by Adena Schutzberg, Directions Magazine, 15 March 2006, http://www.directionsmag.com/editorials.php?article_id=2125&trv=1 (from Catholicgauze).

A quick word of congratulations as tdaxp-alum Catholicgauze is referenced in a Directions Magazine editorial

Another reviewer noted two excellent papers from folks at West Point. The titles exude relevance: “A Geographical Analysis of Ungoverned Spaces” and “The Future of NATO and the EU.” The writer seemed embarrassed to note the rudeness of many attendees (ringing cell phones, coming and going during papers, etc.).

I’m still quite proud of tdaxp‘s appearance on Slate, so I know how Catholicgauze feels. Directions Magazine is a publication in the geographic community, so I’m sure Catholicgauze is double-plus-proud.

Congrats!

Bitching on the Motorola RAZR

a tdaxp Special Report by “Aaron”

aaron
Aaron is a Noted Beacon of Consumer Contentedness

Welcome to the Internets

So, like many other yuppies, I am eagerly awaiting the end of my cellular provider contract so that I may switch providers and get a fancy new phone. The phone in question? The . That’s right, I am super eager for the thinnest of phones, the hippest of gadgets, the guilty pleasure of a $500 phone… For $50 with a new contract of course.

But recently, there has been a storm of controversy. The phones, apparently, are broken. They drop calls. Motorola isn’t concerned, saying they’ve isolated the problem, and after a brief window, they’re back on store shelves. And for this I am enthused.

The point of this article? Reading TheStreet.com, I happened upon an article about the problem. I was overjoyed to read this paragraph:

For its part, Motorola emphasizes its quick action in recognizing the unpopular dropped-call feature.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the right-wing financial-news media is so biased, it is now calling bugs “features.”

🙂

4GW by the United States Marine Corps

A Tactical Staff Structure for an Ideological War,” by Major G John David and Captain E Lawson Quinn, Marine Corps Gazette, February 2006, Vol. 90, Iss. 2, p. 30-32 (3 pp.).

Matt from Mountain Runner sent me an interesting article by David and Quinn on organization for the Long War. Despite an initial negative reaction, I reread the article and became impressed. The Marine Corp is learning the lessons of 4GW.


The authors recognize that moral warfare extends beyond merely influencing an enemy’s will, but rather:

IO that deals with terror’s supporting ideology must be a combined arms effort the object of which is to isolate the enemy from its justification and radical ideology, supplant its message with ours, and convince the various target populations to accept our message and change their behavior accordingly.

This combined arm of information is best used to influence the social decision cycle.

All physical (also referred to as kinetic) actions taken on the battlefield generate a message to all of the populations in the area of operations (AO)-and some external to it-who witness them through information sources, whether that message is planned or not. Accordingly, just as fire supports maneuver and vice versa, physical and information battles must be viewed as combined arms achieving synergy only if intended and controlled. Although the Marine Corps will never have, nor would it seek, charge of all information producers in an AO, it can determine friendly message objectives that can preempt, counteract, or grow more powerful than terrorist weapons of fear by employing information to achieve its objectives. Moreover, it can and must target more than simply the enemy. Adversarial populations not actually engaging in fighting, potentially friendly populations not willing to act, neutral groups, voters in coalition or allied nations, all of these elements will be reached by messages our Corps sends when engaged, and we must have a plan for managing and directing what those populations receive.

Best part: the Marines understand the heart of 4GW. 4GW relies on subversion — changing the enemy’s orientation. The greatest of 4GW victories can even make your enemy an active accomplice, as the North Vietnamese made the US Congress in the 1970s. In that context, get this:

All of this will require training in an expanded vision of IO that incorporates PsyOp, commander’s acceptance of the idea of the combined arms impact of physical and informational forces, and a commitment by the Marine Corps to extend into the PsyOp realm with the current level of personnel from both PA and intelligence. Sun Tzu wrote, “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” And the only way to do so against the radical practitioners of today’s extremist religious ideologies, prone to resorting to terrorism, is to have an effective means of conducting IO. Terrorism in and of itself is just a tactic. It is horrible and morally repugnant, but still just a tactic. Declaring war on a tactic is akin to declaring war on amphibious landings. The Marine Corps must do more than react to the enemy’s tactic. It must attack insurgent or terrorist centers of gravity by comprehensively addressing intelligence collection, information projection, and information protection to shape the perceptions of all those in or observing the battlespace in order to influence them to make decisions in support of a defined objective. It must fight the battle for the message.

“All” means everyone, including the enemy. The Marines want to shape the orientation of the enemy so that his acts “influence them to make decisions in support of [our victory].”

Good.

Not In Spaces But Between Them: The Geometry of Yog-Sothoth

The American horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a favorite of tdaxp. His writings has been used humorously to illustrate Chinese and American censorship, while his work is an anchor of “Dreaming 5th Generation War.” So I was delighted when Catholicgauze snet me “From Beyond: H.P. Lovecraft and the Place of Horror” by Dr. James Kneale of University College London.

The article is quite good and worth reading, but makes Catholicgauze ask: “But where exactly is the between space?

Good question!

Continue reading for a discussion on charts and hyperspace

First, three descriptions of from .

In The Dunwich Horror:

Nor is it to be thought (ran the text as Armitage mentally translated it) that man is either the oldest or the last of earth’s masters, or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They had trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.

In Through the Gates of the Silver Key

In the face of that awful wonder, the quasi-Carter forgot the horror of destroyed individuality. It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self – not merely a thing of one space-time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence’s whole unbounded sweep – the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of Earth had whispered of as Yog-Sothoth, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable sign – yet in a flash the Carter-facet realized how slight and fractional all these conceptions are.

In The Horror in the Museum

Imagination called up the shocking form of fabulous Yog-Sothoth – only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness.

The answer is that space is not a thing, but the qualities of things. Yog-Sothoth lives not in things but in their natures.

For instance, imagine two pointsin space. Simplistically:

yogsothoth_0

But such a representation is semantically meaningless. No relationship between two points are given — we don’t even know if they are in the same universe, if one exists and the other is imaginary, or anything! So let’s define a relationship between the two points: one is immediately after the other.

yogsothoth_1

To get a fuller picture, let’s also illustrate the point immediately before it. This gives us a basic one-dimensional, linear universe.

yogsothoth_2

Now add the points above and below it. Because we now have two dimensions, points will not be identified by two numbers (“co-ordinates”) to identify the spaces.

yogsothoth_3

We humans, who live in spaces, exist in the blue points. And Yog-Sothoth exists between spaces.

yogsothoth_4

In a simple two-dimensional world, Yog-Sothoth lives the circles between spaces. Add another dimension of existence (say, depth), and Yog-Sothoths abodes would be spherical. Add a fourth (say, time) and Yog-Sothoth’s palaces would be hyperspherical, only visable to us as a series of spheres. Which is exactly how HP Lovecraft describes them.

hypersphere_yog-sothoth_md
A Visualization of a Hypersphere
The Appearance of Yog-Sothoth

Yog-Sothoth is Quality, he is Friction, he is the Sea of Friction.

Of course, Yogsothothism is not the only hyperdimensional faith.