The Ming Tombs: Spirit Way and Dingling

The Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty are, like most dynastic things, huge. We explored one of the thirtteen tombs (Ding Ling) after walking through the two-mile-long entrance known as Spirit Way.

The Colors of Gold and Blood

As we walked along Spirit Way, presumably re-created statues lined the path. There were four specimens of each type, two kneeling on either side, and two at attention on either side. This was true for statues of generals as it was for statues of animals

After spirit way, we drove to Dingling. Yes, the park is so huge you drive from one location to another. Along the way I kept thinking visiting imperial graves would have been a lot of work…

Dingling Towers Ominously

The tomb itself is underground. While photography is permitted, the dim light made it difficult to take an acceptable picture with my camera

The Imperial Sarcophagus

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was the well dressed and well guarded (at least three uniformed officer and one plainclothesed guard) French delegation

Viva la France!

In a weird way Beijing is familiar to me. It is almost dead west from where I live and go to school, and the climate is very similar. While walking outside the Ming Tombs, I couldn’t kick the thought that I was by the Custer State Game Lodge, if it was five centuries old and next door to tens of millions of Chinese people…

Black hills outside Beijing

… and, of course, fond of Great Wall style construction

The Ming Tombs, a tdaxp travelogue.
1. Drive
2. Spirit Way and Dingling
3. Shisanling Reservoir

The Ming Tombs: Shisanling Reservoir

How often do you get to go to a lake known as the Thirteen Tombs (Shisanling)? As the Minb Tombs are known as the Thirteen Tombs in Chinese, that’s where we ended our great day at the Tombs of the Ming:

The drive from Dingling to Shisanling Resevoir was short, and very pretty. The ground was shockingly green and the sky was unexpectedly (for a place near Beijing) blue.

Unfortunately we couldn’t to the nifty restaurant on the other side, either by road or ropeline, because the dam is being renovated for the 2008 Olympics. But the view was beautiful nonetheless

The reservoir, which provides water for the city, was constructed in 1958 by nearly a half-million workers.

Unrelatedly, the water was quite cold. I was splashed while taking this picture:


The Ming Tombs, a tdaxp travelogue.
1. Drive
2. Spirit Way and Dingling
3. Shisanling Reservoir

Secret Codes and MySpace pages of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation

Shane from Tennessee has taken an interest in the comments section of my post, “Inside the Black Gangster Disciple Nation Crack Cocaine Gang-Corporation.” I don’t blame him. The blog of a white South Dakotan catholic is an unlikely home for black-nationalist occultism, but here we are.

They love tdaxp

Shane writes:

1. I think the number sequences are a simple alphabetical code (1=A, 2=B) for acronyms. For instance, one GD wrote “BROTHER OF STRONG STRUGGLE 2-15-19-19” (B=2, O=15, S=19). 7.4.14 = GDN, etc. I thought it might have been a clever reference to biblical verses (with the first number being the book in order of either the Old or New Testament), but that theory failed…

2. The “Hoover” referenced is Larry Hoover, presently serving six life sentences in Federal ADX Florence “SuperMax” Prison in Colorado. He has a Wikipedia entry as well as a MySpace page:

Interesting undercurrent of our economy you’ve uncovered… Even more interesting is their candor and their tech-savvy….

Another reason to read tdaxp: felenous secret-codes!

Disagreeing with South Dakota Politics

I like South Dakota Politics, a lot, but after checking the blog on my reader I find two posts to especially disagree with.

  1. SDP criticizes liberals for backing higher gas prices

    But as I wrote:

    It makes no sense to import vast amounts of oil from unstable petrokleptocracies. Oil revenues allow corrupt elites to avoid real reform and buy-off (often dangerous) special interests. It diverts capital from New Core growth economies to these backwords pits. It helps funds Islamic terrorism. It exposes us to another oil shock.

    and also…

  2. SDP says that Congress is less popular than the President

    But as I wrote:

    The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Public Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.

Increase gas prices. Ignore Congress’s job approval.

Brave New War, Part II: Systems Disruption and Open Source Warfare

The last two chapters of the second section of John Robb’s new book, Brave New War: The Next State of Terrorism and the End of Globalization, begin to seriously introduce the concepts Robb first introduced on his global guerrillas and personal weblogs. The first of these chapters, Systems Disruption, focuses on his main idea that the best way for small forces to battle states is to attack them at brittle parts of the strongest component: their infrastructure. Following that, Open Source Warfare compares a method of warfighting to the popular free and open source software movement that is behind the Firefox web browser.

Brave New War, by John Robb

“Systems Disruption” is a short chapter. The first pages recite various economic facts which are not under dispute. The parts that are questionable are not factually wrong but are open to question. The book uses the phrase “global guerrillas” again without providing a definition, though “systempunkt” is defined earlier in the chapter. Additionally, twice (pgs 103 and 110) I was struck that if these tactics is so open, obvious, and cheap, why are they not seen?

A clue can be found on page 107, where Brave New War emphasizes that global guerrillas should not aim for the destruction of the state.

Complete collapse would create total war… A complete urban or country takedown would prompt the state to launch a total war. This is a type of warfare that global guerrillas are not prepared or able to fight… By keeping the level of damage below what would be considered fatal to the state, total war is avoided

This may be the most important paragraph of the book. Global guerrillas are nuisances who can aim for nothing better. They, like thugs of all sorts, can kill and maim. But they are not as important or dandgerous are foreign states or internal insurgencies.

The next chapter, “Open Source Warfare,” is full of fun ideas. I covered similar ground in my posts, “The Unix Philosophy” and “Audacity.” Likewise, the concept of sematectonic (“Environmental conditions influence the behavior of all actors in the system…”) appears important for SecretWar/5GW. “Open Source Warfare” is an offensive chapter that introduces these important ideas to a large audience.