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EGO

People’s egos get bigger after meditation and yoga, says a new study:

According to Buddhist teaching, the self is an illusion. The religion preaches a fundamentally selfless worldview, encouraging followers to renounce individual desires and distance themselves from self-concern. To advance this perspective, millions of people around the world practice yoga and meditation.

But a recently published psychological study directly contradicts that approach, finding that contemporary meditation and yoga practices can actually inflate your ego.

In the paper, published online by University of Southampton and due to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers note that Buddhism’s teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with US psychologist William James’s argument that practicing any skill breeds a sense of self-enhancement (the psychological term for inflated self-regard.)


NORTH KOREA

Bloody Shovel on the recent North Korea peace talks:

The US military, or more precisely the military-industrial complex, as President Eisenhower put it, is today about half of the US power structure. It funds the larger part what Moldbug called Redgov, the Republican party and its appendixes. Redgov is the Pentagon and its friends. The US military being in South Korea means a lot of public money, a lot of budgets, a lot of salaries that US generals do not want to lose. These guys aren’t going anywhere. The US military just doesn’t leave unless forced to.

And certainly not today, when official doctrine is that China is America’s Strategic Rival. We are in Cold War 2. Google it, it’s already a thing. America is preparing for decades of juicy budgets to counter China and fight it in all fronts, so long as nukes aren’t involved. Having troops in Seoul, 900 km from Beijing is just too good to just leave. It’s an amazingly good strategic position. Not a single GI is going to leave, even if Trump really thinks he’s getting a Nobel Peace Prize, Which he isn’t. Trump does not rule over the US military, and that is that.


PATCHWORK

Patchwork and the Marketplace of Ideas:

…one of the most frustrating things about contemporary political thinking — particularly from the left — is that anything that has been even slightly touched by the wrong kind of politics is forever contaminated and must be abandoned. There also seems to be a complete lack of appreciation for the potentials of our present moment.

We see this all the time and, with regards to some issues, it hasn’t left the left with a whole lot of options. Everything is already something. Everything is already caught up in modernity’s auto-productive feedback loop. Simply pointing that out seems to be enough for people, who do so and then just wallow in their impotence, feeling clever.

Is there no alternative?” Do you really care either way?

Patchwork, as I see it, is largely compatible with a lot of the arguments for postcapitalist futures that many leftist theorists have been making in recent years. However, at the same time, making explicit comments about geopolitics in these circles has become unpopular. It is not as prevalent a topic as it once was — most of the good stuff seems to be at least 40 years old, although there are some exceptions — and it seems like this unfamiliarity alone is what has people unnecessarily running scared. Patchwork, as I see it, just adds in a geopolitical and fragmentary twist to prevalent theories of postcapitalism, and this in itself freaks people out who have wrongly internalised the conflation of one-world globalisation with leftist utopianism — a leftist neoliberal tendency if ever there was one.


SEX

Women retain and carry living DNA from every man with whom they’ve made love with:

Sperm is alive. It is living cells. When it is injected into you it swims and swims until it crashes headlong into a wall, and then it attaches and burrows into your flesh. If it’s in your mouth it swims and climbs into your nasal passages, inner ear, and behind your eyes. Then it digs in. It enters your blood stream and collects in your brain and spine.

Like something out of a scifi movie, it becomes a part of you and you can’t get rid of it.

We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse.


SOUND

A History of Noise: What’s noisier, nature or civilization? Whether we consider the sounds of nature to be pleasant or menacing depends largely on our ideologies.

In the twentieth century, natural quiet—or, rather, the absence of radios and car horns and the presence of honking geese and howling wolves—became central to the conservation movement and the creation of natural parks. One founder of the Wilderness Society suggested in 1932 that designated wild areas would “interest the folks in the inexpensive joys of nature in lieu of the jarring jams of jazz.”

In contrast, “wise use” advocates of the late twentieth century hoped human sounds could coexist harmoniously with nature. In 1990, future Interior Secretary Gale Norton argued for the “right to make noise”—for example by enjoying the natural world from the seat of a snowmobile.

When city-dwellers head out into nature this summer, they might just find that the quiet they seek is not external after all.


Tom Service: When does noise become music?

…we live in a noisy world. And for musicians and composers, the decision is whether to use that noisy totality of the soundscape that’s around us all the time, or to ignore it. The first composers to insist on the aesthetic necessity of noise were the Italian Futurists at the start of the 20th century. Luigi Russolo and his fellow Futurists were the original artists of noise (their manifesto was called The Art of Noises), who made and performed with new noise-producing instruments. And in New York, Edgard Varèse (an essential influence on the young Frank Zappa) used sirens, alarms, wind-machines, and lion’s roars in his huge orchestral hymn to American modernity, Amériques.

Varèse and the Futurists were predecessors of the 20th century’s most famous noise artist, John Cage, whose supposedly “silent piece”, 4’33’’ [Four minutes and 33 seconds], isn’t anything of the kind. Instead, 4’33’’ – first performed by a pianist who sat at a piano in 1952 and didn’t play a note – is a composition that invites us to tune in to the environmental sounds around us during a performance. Today, that might mean gentle hums of air-conditioning or the whistle of a hearing-aid loop, but it’s just as possible to create 4’33’’ in the most noisy places you can imagine, like the middle of a jet engine or a volcanic eruption. Cage’s essential point is that we should listen in to the noises of the world, rather than subtract ourselves – and our music — from them.


WORLD DOMINATION

Steve Sailer: Daily Mail Infiltrates Secret Bilderberg Confab, Finds…

…not much:

In some ways, this was just Deep State oldtimers on the conference circuit rehashing old debates. But it definitely made clear even to a clueless outsider like me that the power of the chancellor of a unified Germany would be a major feature of the upcoming 21st Century, which we have seen.

So, it’s easy to see why Bilderberg exists, and why the people who are invited want to go. On the other hand, there probably aren’t much in the way of Smoking Gun revelations that could extracted by reporters and spies.

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