Grey Matter

One nation under fear

 What can a government do when they've found that their accusations were wrong, and that they've turned a functioning human into a fear-paralysed zombie?

After spending more than 25 hours with Padilla, both psychiatric experts have concluded that his isolation and interrogation have resulted in so much mental damage that he is incompetent to stand trial.

 Well, what can they do?

The government maintains that whatever happened to Padilla during his detention is irrelevant, since no information obtained during that time is being used in the criminal case against him.


The government adamantly denies mistreating Padilla, though it does not dispute the particulars cited in Padilla's legal papers. Rather, the government says its treatment of Padilla was humane and notes that it provided medical treatment when necessary.

I saw V for Vendetta last night, and it's getting harder and harder to watch movies like that as fiction. How long will it be before the voters in the USA will listen to yet another government lie and give the appropriate response: "Bollocks!"?


Pharyngula: Music for Cephalopodmas

Long time ago in elder days,
So the traveling cultist raves,
A great stone city, tombs and all,
Had sunk beneath the waves.

Hark, you fools: That is not dead
Which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death,
Yes, even death may die.

In his house the Dread One dreams;
Wait upon that day
When Old Ones rise to rule the earth
And mankind burns to play.

When psychics tell of dreams at night
They speak of cities strange and vast
With Titan blocks and monoliths
Imbued with horror's cast,
All clad in ooze and hieroglyphs;
And from some point below
There comes a voice, that's not a voice,
Of chaos none should know.

Hark, you fools: That is not dead
Which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death,
Yes, even death may die.

In his house the Dread One dreams;
Wait upon that day
When Old Ones rise to rule the earth
And mankind burns to play.

The great priest, in his chasm of stone
Since when the sun was young,
Inspires his own to prance and slay
And yell with alien tongue.
In time this utter loathsomeness
Shall greet our human eyes;
For what has risen yet may sink,
And what has sunk may rise.

Hark, you fools: That is not dead
Which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death,
Yes, even death may die.

In his house the Dread One dreams;
Wait upon that day
When Old Ones rise to rule the earth
And mankind burns to play.

(Crossposted from PhaWRONGula)

Silver Celebration

Though others' have ended in tears,
Our alchemy's right, it appears,
'Cause it's silver we've made
From one lad and one maid,
And it only took twenty-five years.

This non-exothermic reaction
Begins with a chemical attraction;
The reagents, once hitched,
Are entwined and enriched,
But I'd best say no more of the action.

Adding fuel to a meme

Im in ur dryer smoochin ur knickers

See more and more of the same meme.

November Defrosted

The vernal nymph is here with me,
Now searing sun, now pelting rain.
One day brings hail; the next may be
A kiln to burst the withered tree
And blow its ashes down the lane.

She's flighty, never one to stay
For long in any mood. She, list-
less, brushing cirrus art away,
Repaints my vista turgid grey,
Then steams it with her radiant mist.

The doused then dessicated trees,
The pristine turned to gritty sky,
Are what this Melbourne dweller sees
Of springtime's thoughtless pranks, but these
Are always welcome. Ask me why.

No matter what she throws, I know
At worst it lasts for hours or days;
I fear no months of silent snow,
No ice encrusted hunger; so,
For this alone she merits praise.

Looking Back

Remember early info-age
Before 2K & 10,
When genome seqs were run by geeks
On hardware humming hot for weeks;
All brains were simple then.

Recall the days of Hollywood
When starlets ruled the screen,
When flesh-life still had roles to fill
In 2-D movies shot to thrill--
So quaintly pre-machine.

Remember when the snake oil flowed
In PowerPoint plus poise--
The next big thing with QA lingo
Boomed your biz with buzzword bingo
Meaning lost in noise.

Remember when the minds of men
Spent weekends watching jocks,
When freaks of meat with agile feet
Were lionized for sheer conceit
And pimped by idiot box.

Remember when the brightest minds
Were valued overseas,
But strapped for cash, their budgets slashed,
Were treated here like neuro-trash,
Divided by degrees.

Remember how teh stoopid spread,
Infecting unsafe heads,
When fundie fools could castrate schools
And stifle thought with prudish rules
Enforced by covert feds.

The world was hateful-crazy then
Before the New Cognition
With every child from birth beguiled
By ancient myths contrived and styled
On gods and superstition.

It's hard to think of how they coped
With fear-memes running mad;
So few could see how life could be--
That all they had to do was free
The simple brains they had.

[Cross posted from PhaWRONGula.]


Researcher Cramer (John)
Thinks we can change our own
History now

Using the physics of
Plans from the future to
Tell himself how.

[Edit from later on: 

This edit is one that I'm writing retrospectively from January 1st, 2009.

Is it me composing the message? I'm copying it from the text that's already there and has been there since October 2006. The words feel like my thoughts, still new even though they're so familiar. They're fresh because I'm experiencing them as the writer, not the reader. The gulf of meaning between sender and receiver, bridged by frail text, is visible now. When I first read my words, I had no clue how I would be (am) feeling now.

As I write, I know that I must write it, because it's already there, and I assume that I wasn't (am not) lying to myself about the date. It's the strongest compulsion I've ever felt. I keep pausing, toying with the idea of stopping, breaking causality, even though I know it can't be broken, but I just can't stop myself. I can stop myself from eating one more chocolate. I can stop myself from blinking in bright sunlight. But I don't have the willpower to leave this entry incomplete. I must finish and activate "RetroEdit".

Part of it must be fear of losing control. If I stop myself, then someone else must be responsible for this addendum, because I've seen it published on my blog. If I'm not to complete it, then someone else wrote it, either in real time or in retro. Who could've hacked my account? Who would want to post on it? A FriendOfVirge playing mind games? Once I've posted it, I've restored my illusion of control.

Or perhaps I am going to be self-deceitful. Maybe I'll succeed in stopping myself, but come back in a day or two to do it anyway. How long can I stand this self-induced tension between will and reality? Can it continue to feel as crushing as it does now, taking all of my concentration, draining my determinism in one stupid defiance? Even as I plan to delay posting, I find that I'm still entering the text. Can this discrepancy be maintained indefinitely, based on the sure knowledge that it must eventually be resolved? Will my life be extended pending closure of this retrocausal loop? Will stubborn denial send me completely insane? Maybe my perceptions and memory are already distorted, and I've imagined this post for the last couple of years. If I stop myself, will it become a false memory of an action I never executed.

Time will tell, will have told, will be telling. 

End edit from later on.]

On how the terrorists are winning

Read this: I played WoW, I became a terrorist.

When ordinary people are charged with responsibility for other people's safety and then fed on a diet of sensationalized fear, we've created a system that amplifies stupidity.

So Sorry Uncle Albert


Today started a little off-balanced. It's not natural to wake up at 6:15 feeling like you have to hold onto the bed to avoid sliding off.

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