• Gold Money
    05/26/2016 - 14:27
    Here’s a question that might have you pondering: Is gold a commodity? More importantly, are we doing a disservice to the gold industry by calling gold a commodity? These may sound like silly...

Guest Post: Those Who Don't Build Must Burn

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Mon, 09/20/2010 - 20:59 | 593646 SofaPapa
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The best "science fiction" takes recognizable societal elements and projects them into a new unknown context.  Fahrenheit 451 is one of the gems of this genre.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:02 | 592870 centerline
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Brilliant post.  Thanks!  Would be even better if in video form (just kidding).


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:05 | 592890 suteibu
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You're already reading it on a computer...irony.


Damn...so am I.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:03 | 592877 TheMerryPrankster
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Ray was right. Ray is still alive and kicking and recently celebrated a birthday. In a bit of irony there is a music video called "Fuck me, Ray Bradbury" a young lasses lament to the elder author.




Truly all is madness, the difficult part is figuring out when we first departed from reality, certainly MTV did more to destroy the music business then help it. Investing TV shows and channels have helped destroy investing and TV in general has planted a fantasy world in so many minds, that the viewers were more than willing to assume loans and debts with usury rates in order that they might replicate the fantasy world within their own lives.


I must in the interest of  honesty divulge, that I no longer own a TV and most of my radio listening is actually streaming internet channels. I stopped watching TV in 2008 when the theater of  Hank Paulson begging Nancy Pelosi on bended knees, nearly destroyed my visual cortex.


The riots start about 3 weeks after the TV's go  black, or when the electric grid fails permanently. Til then its bread and circuses forever.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:04 | 593286 1100-TACTICAL-12
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To Merry Prankster: It was about the time ATARI came out I guess I was 5ish. I rember helping my grandparents plant harvest & can the vegetables, all the while listening to stories of them picking cotton,eating beans and squirel. Then came ATARI, now I find myself struggling to learn & perfect the things, They was trying to teach me.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:03 | 592879 Sancho Ponzi
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Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:18 | 592924 Sancho Ponzi
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Junked! It was a J O K E!

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:49 | 593242 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

next time try


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:13 | 592910 Dr. Acula
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People were dumb thousands of years ago, they're dumb now, and probably will be dumb for at least a few centuries. I don't think the existence or non-existence of books, movies, video games, or iPads has much impact on this.

When cybernetic implants and genetic and neurochemical augmentations catch on, then people will become extremely smart, but they will continue to have bad taste.


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:34 | 592968 cougar_w
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This discussion has nothing to do with native intelligence.

It has everything to do with propaganda.

Even smart people succumb to propaganda eventually. Repeat a lie long enough, and they break down and believe.

F451 is all about what happens when smart people stop thinking and become distracted by gee-gaws and games. Once captured by the beautiful distraction box it is virtually impossible to regain control of your own mind and those who think they have, have not. You are in the box, distraction is your world, there is no other world outside distractions. You cannot fight the box from the inside, you fight only yourself once you are inside the box.

I meet people every day that are thus trapped. Their world is a fog. I don't know what to say to them.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:47 | 593014 Cognitive Dissonance
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And once trapped inside that box, their beliefs and perception are formed by the box. For those outside the box, it's impossible to understand how this can be so, just as those who have never been addicted, and may not be susceptible to addiction, will ever understand how someone can be addicted. One must study addiction, propaganda and subliminal messaging to begin to grasp what's going on here.

The most important thing you said was the following.

Once captured by the beautiful distraction box it is virtually impossible to regain control of your own mind and those who think they have, have not.

Once totally immersed, one must be deprogrammed so to speak.


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:13 | 593124 cougar_w
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I'm trying to imagine what a deprogramming effort would look like. Seriously, I think total withdrawal from all forms of passive external stimuli would be the only thing that could do it. Replace all passive stimuli with human-centric conversations and reading (which is just your internal voice working) and you might turn the corner.

I would also remove access to non-human-powered conveyance, to get them in touch with their own body and inner thoughts again. Bicycle or walk or else stay home and houseclean or cook or read a book or write a letter..

Then give it 18 months to work.

You know, post peak-oil there will be a lot of people forced in mental detox. One more thing to look forward to once the wheels really come off in earnest.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:52 | 593252 NotApplicable
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Human-centric conversations!?!?!

Do you have any idea how dumb these people are?

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:02 | 593278 Cognitive Dissonance
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Dumbed down maybe but not dumb. Ignorant or uneducated maybe but not stupid, as in mentally incapable. Just like a muscle that atrophies when not used, the brain goes slack when not stimulated by certain types of "human-centric conversations".

As I said before, one must study propaganda, (co)dependency, addiction and subliminal messaging, not to mention psychology, in order to understand what's going on here.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:32 | 593344 kathy.chamberli...
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of course my mantra is "it's  a l l  about the bike". but i swear this bike craze and born again bicyclists is really making me sick. you should see these sorry fucks that can barely think and chew gum at the same time. they go on their group R I D E S,  all wearing the same sorry ass ugly looking lycra, sheeple in bike wear propaganda advertising shirts and shorts. it really makes me sick the group think is to look as horrifying as a human being can in Lycra that clings unforgiving to the human body. what are they thinking. these white asses should not be wearing lycra. i wish their was a law that states, you might be offending the trees or something. why do they want to bring attention to these bodies like a christmas tree all lite up? bike wear is out of control. they are circus animals at best. don't get me started with helmet craze, either.


do you know i went into an audi dealership for a schedule maintenance in MA. damn if i didn't get the car back to the house i noticed these hose jobbers people put their plate frame advertising on both of my license plates. the audacity to put their license plate frame branding on my car without my permission. if it weren't for my father and his adamant protest of this blatant abuse of my rights. first thing he did when bringing a new to him, car home was pull out the screw driver and get that advertising plate frame off those plates. if they pay me to advertise and i had a choice whether to endorse this company ok i will leave them on. other wise fuck yourself.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 19:43 | 593488 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

About these bicyclists, they were nicknamed "mamil" in a BBC article a while ago: middle aged man in lycra. Quite fitting.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:10 | 593112 molecool
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"Even smart people succumb to propaganda eventually. Repeat a lie long enough, and they break down and believe."

Exactly - the Germans have the highest IQ on average in Europe - along with the Dutch.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:52 | 593038 Glaucus
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Take heart, boys and girls, it's all the (corporate) state's doing, and it's days are increasingly numbered.  Technology is already seeing to that (e.g., this very medium), and off we will soon be going:

"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the commonsense ‘intuitive linear’ view.  So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate). … Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to … technological change so rapid and profound that it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.  The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Ray Kurzweil, "The Law of Accelerating Returns" 

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:27 | 593178 cougar_w
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Beware complexity. Against which the only weapon is ... more complexity.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:52 | 593385 Glaucus
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Beware complication (think: tax code); embrace complexity (think: universe).

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 22:38 | 593859 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Tue, 09/21/2010 - 01:36 | 594131 Bolweevil
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That's a keeper.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:24 | 592941 stickyfingers
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Each day in the U.S., people spend on average 4.7 hours watching TV, 3 hours listening to the radio and 14 minutes reading magazines.

Then they go to bed... with the TV on.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:26 | 592947 cougar_w
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I read "F451" at about 25 while in college, and was deeply moved by it. My 15 yo daughter has it on her reading list along with "1984" (we home school, so I can pull that one off).

Our family never owned a TV or had cable or satellite or any kind of MSM injections. Ever. My kids are almost entirely free of taint. Instead they read avidly. All because I once read "F451".

I don't know how other families manage. I really don't. The landscape of double-think and corporatism and mental Fascism is debilitating. The deck is so badly stacked it's a wonder anyone gets through childhood having retained the ability to think independently on critical matters.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:25 | 593167 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Add Atlas Shrugged to that reading list. It's one dystopian novel which can't be used as a guide for oppressors as the article notes is the case with F451, 1984 and BNW.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:54 | 593260 NotApplicable
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Just don't confuse its contents with the cult of Objectivism.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 22:53 | 593884 CrockettAlmanac.com
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If you're referring to the mutation of Objectivism into Peikoffism, I heartily agree. And I realize that Ayn Rand was a bit eccentric and so on and so forth. But that's the allowance one makes for genius.

Rand's declaration of the virtue of selfishness and her uncovering of the long running con game of self sacrifice stand as major revelations of the modern era. She best expresses these concepts in her fiction and thus my praise for Atlas Shrugged.

I also find her to be a fascinating speaker. When the woman talks I can't look away. She demands my attention. Here are what I consider to be the best Ayn Rand interviews available at youtube. Each has three parts and is well worth watching.


Ayn Rand Mike Wallace Interview 1959 part 1



Ayn Rand Interview with Tom Snyder, (1 of 3)


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:42 | 593225 Monkey Craig
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You are doing the right thing by home schooling your kids. My kids are in a public elementary school and are only learning about what clothes to wear, who the cool kids are, and how to play kickball. They just fall in line and never question authority (except their parents). All the kids talk about is how great Obama is and how their teachers just love what a great president he is.

1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World were my favorite when I was in junior high (mid 80s)

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:27 | 592953 WaterWings
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Brilliant. Same with 1984.


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:35 | 592969 Apocalicious
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My ten year old came home and said he had to do reading time, so he flipped on the TV, hit mute, and began reading the subtitles. I asked, in somewhat nicer fashion, what the hell he thought he was doing. He responded "Teacher says reading the subtitles on TV counts as reading time."

I just about had a conniption. We have a library of maybe 500 books not twenty feet away from the damn TV (child friendly, mind you, not the 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 section either) from which I immediately mandated reading time material was forevermore to be selected.

"Nuh-uh! Teacher says!"

At which point came the expletives regarding his teacher, noting the disparity in graduate degrees (and income) between said teacher and myself, etc. Not the best example for the lad, I'll admit, but screw you teacher's unions. You suck.

At least he'll be reading Adam of the Road and A Wrinkle in Time, instead of Spongebob Lobotomy-pants, and hopefully will graduate to the Ray Bradbury's of the world.

Of course, it would be easier if parents and teachers were pulling in the same direction. Dad is unpopular enough without having to actively contradict a "cool" teacher. More tax dollars well spent for unaccountable, lazy, entrenched government employees...

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:32 | 593191 Dr. Sandi
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"Nuh-uh! Teacher says!"

Probably the teacher is a piece of crap. Or MAYBE junior was LYING to avoid work. Hmmmm.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:43 | 593230 zaknick
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Don't forget the DEA fat, lazy and abusive on-the-dole scum.

Tue, 09/21/2010 - 01:40 | 594133 Bolweevil
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Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:36 | 592973 Clark Griswold
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Kudos.  Absolutely brilliant post.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:44 | 592997 Sudden Debt
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Where can I download that book for my Ipad?


PS: If there is a movie about the book, I'd rather see that one.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:06 | 593053 RockyRacoon
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Fahrenheit 451


THX 1138

A Clockwork Orange

The Illustrated Man

Better to get them this way than not to get them at all...

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:01 | 593069 WaterWings
Mon, 09/20/2010 - 23:27 | 593940 Hicham
Hicham's picture

Nice! We watched that one in class~

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:46 | 593013 molecool
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A friend of mine is good friends with him. I just sent him this page to make sure Ray sees it.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 16:49 | 593026 Tenma13
Tenma13's picture

nice 'laughing man' logo. Got to love Ghost in the Shell. :) Obviously watch it on your HDTV :p


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:00 | 593068 cougar_w
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GITS ranks right up there with F451, for shear creepiness. In many ways it's just F451 updated for the age of the Internet.

You cannot see them because they are already inside your eyes.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:09 | 593105 WaterWings
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You don't need to be Yakuza to go the headquarters of the Yakuza. But we'll need weapons.

The score for both feature films is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:25 | 593171 cougar_w
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I listen to the score and get the chills. The entire franchise is mind-blowing. It's things like that that stimulate me to write my own fiction; you have to post-process the insanity some how.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:08 | 593097 molecool
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You're the first one here to recognize it. And yes, GTC ties in nicely with Ray's work.

On a different subject: I'm also very fond of William Gibson - ever read Neuromancer?

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:21 | 593141 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Ha. I recognized it probably the day you showed up. Seem to recall commenting on it. I'd wished then that I'd thought of it first. So perfect for ZH, on so many levels.

Who is Tyler Durden, anyway? And where did it come from? And why is it in my head all the time??

Wait. Maybe that input was not internally generated.

Life itself from within the wires. The Net is vast ... 

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:44 | 593367 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

who is tyler? all i want to do is dance with him, slow dance of course.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 18:43 | 593364 Arkadaba
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Neal Stephenson is quite good as well - though sometimes daunting - last thing I read was Anathem which was almost 1000 pages.

And of course there is there is Pynchon - definitely a precursor to Gibson and Stephenson - V is on my list of all time favourites.

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 17:08 | 593098 molecool
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