China, the ‘Victor Power,’ Is Both Arrogant and Insecure | Opinion

GORDON G. CHANG

The most dangerous thing in the world today is Chinese arrogance. The second most dangerous is Chinese insecurity.

China’s arrogant and insecure leader is now going on a nationalist bender. Members of the country’s elite take their cue from Xi Jinping and believe that they, the inheritors of “more than 5,000 years of history,” are destined to rule the world.

The entire world? Xi, using the language of two millennia of emperors, suggests he has the Mandate of Heaven to rule tianxia, meaning “All Under Heaven.” When speaking of “a community of shared future for mankind,” as he often does, he is surely thinking that everyone else has the common obligation to submit to him…

link to original

Patrick Byrne doing his best to tell hard truths

This is another terrific interview with Patrick Byrne. He has many insights and provides a great deal of explosive information on the presidency, the president’s predicament, the Deep State, election fraud and more.

I have read criticism of Byrne offering and then withholding information he knows. Having been in the position myself of having complex information that is either too shocking or too complex to get out easily, I sympathize with Byrne and even find his occasional dissembling or awkwardness confirmation that he is doing his best to tell hard truths.

Conveying meaning and information through language is a major topic of this site. I am very aware of how difficult it can be to say even simple truths, let alone complex ones with dangerous implications. Listen for what Byrne does not say, never says, for clues about what else he knows.

Asymptomatic spread of covid? Evidence saying otherwise buried

The justification for masks and lockdowns has been that asymptomatic carriers of covid are major spreaders of the disease. Yet there is significant evidence showing otherwise; that asymptomatic carriers do not spread the disease at all.

The conclusion is not that asymptomatic spread is rare or that the science is uncertain. The study revealed something that hardly ever happens in these kinds of studies. There was not one documented case. Forget rare. Forget even Fauci’s previous suggestion that asymptomatic transmission exists but not does drive the spread. Replace all that with: never. At least not in this study for 10,000,000.

Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270–0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423–0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown. (Asymptomatic Spread Revisited)

One might suppose that this would be huge news. It would allow us to open up everything immediately. With the whole basis for post-curve-flattening lockdowns crumbled, we could go back to living a normal life. The fear could evaporate. We could take comfort in our normal intuition that healthy people can get out and about with no risk to others. We could take off our masks. We could go to movies and sports events. 

Given this evidence, it is more than reasonable to suspect lockdowns have been intended to transfer wealth from small businesses to big while also crushing the middle classes into subservience. Independent thought and action is further suppressed by mandating masks, while also hiding evidence about them.

Two first-rate essays from The Conservative Treehouse

If you want to understand the deep reasons Donald Trump is so popular and why he is not like any other politician out there today, the best place to go is The Conservative Treehouse (CTH).

Recently, CTH was kicked off its platform of many years due to its consistent non-mainstream wrong-think and for being far too popular for Big Tech to allow it to continue unmolested. Something similar happened to the The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection, about six months ago.

CTH and UR are very different sites and should not be confused with each other, though both are good compliments to each other if you want information that is being deliberately kept off mainstream media.

After being deplatformed last month, CTH has made a new home free from Big Tech oversight. Two essays appearing yesterday are well-worth reading.

The first, Jumping Ju Ju Bones, Congress Agrees to 2.3 TRILLION Spending Package, 900 BILLION COVID Bailout Plus 1.4 Trillion Omnibus Spending, provides deep insight into the so-called “COVID Bailout,” AKA yet another “Blue States bailout.”

CTH knew Pelosi and UniParty leadership were going to use the 2008/2009 TARP approach to construct the scale of their COVID bail-out package, but we had no idea they were going to use the EXACT SAME amount…  The UniParty is flying high tonight.

According to recent reports (which seem accurate) congress has just agreed to the largest bailout and budget combined spending bill in history.  The seriously sketchy COVID “relief” (insert term “bailout”) package is $900 billion, and they are throwing in a $1.4 Trillion omnibus spending bill… This is literally identical to what Pelosi and crew did when Obama was coming into office in 2007.

The second essay, COVID-19 Study of Almost Ten Million Finds No Evidence of Asymptomatic Spread, Media Quiet, discusses the lack of evidence for asymptomatic spread of covid19. This lack of evidence is obviously very significant since lockdowns and universal masking are based on the notion that the virus is spread by people with no symptoms.

An interesting article from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is gaining increased attention as questions about asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, the baseline for all COVID mitigation, is being reconciled with the latest tracing data.

In essence, the larger question being asked is: can people without coronavirus symptoms spread the COVID-19 virus?  This question is at the heart of all current COVID mitigation efforts.  If there is no asymptomatic spread then what is all of this mask wearing nonsense and shut-down mandates all about?

I highly recommend visiting CTH regularly. It brings a very well-argued American conservative perspective to current events; a perspective almost never encountered in mainstream news, which frankly has become almost nothing but shallow globalist propaganda.

Humans are fractals of their societies

The microcosm of the individual human is made of the same stuff as the macrocosm of the society to which it belongs. The two are a fractal set displaying similar patterns.

This makes sense since both individuals and their societies use the same networks of semiotics to communicate.

In many ways, societies are less complex than individuals. In the sense that a society is an assemblage of many individuals, society is more complex. But in the sense that a society is held together by a network of communicable ideas, or semiotics, society is frequently less complex than many of the individuals living within it.

For example, most societies have very simple “biographies” (their always slanted histories), while many individuals have nuanced biographies that encompass change, growth, and contradiction.

A recent study of people’s attitudes towards atrocities points to this truth by showing that “…the way people’s memories are shaped by selective discussions of atrocities depends on group-membership status.” (Source)

In-groups forget bad things they have done—or “morally disengage” from them—while clearly remembering bad things that out-groups have done. This is a major element of all group stories.

I bet you cannot name a single society that has anything even approaching a fully nuanced view of itself on almost any matter, let alone its history. Individuals often “morally disengage” from their past acts, but it is not common for them to do so to the same extent as the societies they live in.

It hardly matters, though, if the social story is about atrocities or trivia. I have actually witnessed fairly heated arguments over who first invented pasta, the Chinese or the Italians. And another one on who first invented dumplings, Poles, Jews, or Chinese. The origin of beer is another subject that can get people going.

It makes sense that societies’ stories about themselves be as simple as they are false because they serve as lowest-common-denominator social bonds. Indeed, it probably even helps that these stories be knowingly false as the bond will then require an even deeper level of commitment.

Of course, some of the energy for falsification and simplification comes from one group’s story needing to counter another group’s story. Yes, we did that to you, but you did this to us first.

In that, societies further resemble individuals because that’s what we do as individuals, too. Only individuals who are very well disposed toward each other and who try hard ever overcome the need for false stories between them.

FIML practice provides individuals with a means to observe the smallest fractal details of their individual stories and correct them where they are wrong. FIML partners would do well to take what they have learned as individuals and apply it to the stories told by the society in which they live. You will surely find a macrocosm of yourself in the absurdities of whichever group you “identify” with.

Maybe people in the future will be better able to see how ridiculous our stories are and better able to deal with the complexities that lie beyond them. For now, maybe we can at least start getting a fuller, truer view of what is happening in and around us.

I doubt we can do this on a societal level any time soon because the LCD stories will always reassert, but as individuals with a good partner I believe we can. This is probably a main reason that monastic and reclusive traditions have been practiced all over the world. Groups are ignorant, violent, and crazy. Individuals simply have a better chance at going beyond their simple patterns by acting on their own.

The fractal of the individual is generated by society but it is prone to being trapped by it as well.

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Edit 6/13: When good people do bad things. We all know that people in groups can behave badly. This article is about a study that uses a plausible fMRI method to measure some of the basic processes underlying immoral behavior. In my view, the situation is not much different when the group is a large culture, rather than a small number of participants in a laboratory experiment. Cultures not only permit bad behavior toward out-groups, but they also numb us to what our in-group is doing.

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first posted JUNE 10, 2014

Bad communication leads to ulterior motives and pointless suffering

I believe most people in the world are all but forced to resort to ulterior motives when dealing with others or being dealt with by them.

Furthermore, I believe most people are in this position so often they don’t just resort to hidden motivations, they expect them, are habituated to them, rely on them, and even enjoy them even though they cause immense suffering.

This situation arises due to fundamentally bad communication and the mistrust and uncertainty that devolve from it.

If communication is fundamentally bad (ambiguous, misleading, can’t be cleared up), there is no one you can trust but yourself. No one else you can rely on.

You are all but forced to conceal what your really think, feel, or want because you probably won’t be understood if you try to explain yourself honestly. Worse, you  may get played.

Your interlocutor may genuinely misunderstand and cause you harm by that or they may feign interest and honesty when they are just gathering dirt to use against you.

Can anyone deny this happens very often? And that normal people have no recourse but to play that game?

An ulterior motive is one that is concealed. A motive that is different from what is being communicated. We all know what that means and how destructive it can be.

Ulterior motives arise because we do not use our communication systems (mainly speech and listening) at all well. Instead of communicating honestly, we try to “read” the other person while at the same time calculating to what extent or how they are “reading” us.

This is a disgusting situation for people to have put themselves in.

This problem can be fixed with one other person, so you can have at least one friend who does not do this to you and to whom you do not do it either. That makes two people who can escape the deadening, anti-life maze of ulterior motivation madness.

The way to do it is through FIML. I do not believe there is any other way.

If many people do FIML, eventually many of us will see the problems of bad communication clearly. Many of us will realize that virtually all people are trapped in a system that all but forces them to lie to others while suffocating themselves.

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Edit 10/07/17: Here is a pop culture analysis of how to tell if someone is lying: 9 WAYS TO SPOT A LIAR. Scroll down to the list and notice how crude and dubious these tells are, but this is what many people work with. It’s all we have. With a good partner, FIML can lead you to levels of truth far higher and deeper than this. In this world, we really have to develop FIML relationships to fully explore our own psychology and human psychology in general. Without FIML, you are permanently locked out of your own depths by being trapped in ordinary communication which is accurately characterized by the shallowness of the linked article.

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first posted OCTOBER 6, 2017

Former Head of Israel’s Space Program: Aliens are here but we are not ready for them

The UFOs have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet. Trump was on the verge of revealing, but the aliens in the Galactic Federation are saying: Wait, let people calm down first. They don’t want to start mass hysteria. They want to first make us sane and understanding.

They have been waiting for humanity to evolve and reach a stage where we will generally understand what space and spaceships are. There’s an agreement between the US government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to do experiments here. They, too, are researching and trying to understand the whole fabric of the universe, and they want us as helpers. (Former Head of Israel’s Space Program: The Aliens Asked Not To Be Revealed, Humanity Not Yet Ready)

Free will: its locus is the mind

Action in the physical world is a smaller set of options than action within the mind.

Thus, the locus of free will is the mind not the body or its actions.

We always have many options in the mind. Many choices are available for what we choose to think or how we choose to frame something.

A related idea that is not necessarily part of the above is if God or Dharma Protectors or some other being in a higher realm wanted to influence us, they would be most likely to do so by influencing our minds.

This influence could be a subtle guiding of our thoughts, actual channeling of their thoughts, or even a vision when we are alone.

When we are alone because in those moments the influence will be primarily on our minds not our bodies. Our eyes may see and our ears hear, but if no one else is there the influence will ultimately occur in our minds and remain in our minds as memory.

When we are alone because if another person is present and they see or hear the same thing, the influence will impact the physical world to a much greater extent.

It will not be contained within one human mind. Two people will be astounded by it, talk about it, share it with others. This extends the influence well into physical reality causing it to have a much wider impact.

Visions influencing more than one person have happened, but these should not be the standard of proof that events of that type do happen.

Indeed, it makes sense to assume that interventions into human affairs from higher realms happen to individuals far more often than to pairs or groups of people.

This also makes sense from the point of view that the locus of free will is in the mind.

A higher being can influence the mind and the will in this way without causing major distortions in the physical world.

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first posted  

The danger of all identities

Recent revelations have exposed a secretive homosexual subculture within the Catholic Church.

(Cardinal McCarrick scandal inflames debate over gay priests)

Please completely ignore the homosexual part of that. Instead focus on the secret identity aspect of that.

Wherever there is group identity, there will be a subculture of people with dark personality traits who seek to and often succeed in taking it over or subverting it.

To be brief, in the Catholic Church there is a subculture of homosexuals. Due to Church teachings this subculture became secret. And due to its secrecy, it became stronger and either contains a dark sub-subculture or has been taken over by a dark sub-subculture.

Ignore again the homosexual part, because the same thing will happen in all groups. Wherever there is group identity, there will be a subculture of people with dark personality traits who seek to and often succeed in taking it over or subverting it.

This must be true in Buddhist groups. And it must be true in governments, news media, spy agencies, charities, ethnic groups, religious groups, ideological groups, schools and universities.

The older and larger the group, the more likely it is that a dark subculture is parasitizing it.

Group identity is the deluded human ego writ large. This dark tendency resides in all humans without exception.

The human spirit, soul, mind, mind-stream, bhavanga, pudgala—call it what you will—exists within a haze of moral ambiguity. It wallows in it, lives and breathes in it, forms its passions within it, and can barely escape being destroyed by it.

There’s no way around this. Whatever you identify with will almost certainly lead to you being morally compromised if not destroyed. And it will almost certainly lead to you furthering your identity group being morally compromised if not destroyed.

This process happens in groups and individuals. It must be constantly guarded against.

This is the reason we all need to do FIML practice. You cannot possibly be honest with yourself without the help of another person. There is no way around this fact.

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EDIT 9:00 AM 08/20/18: I wish that was all there is to it. A deeper level is even if you solve your problem and your group’s problem with dark tendencies, you will still have problems with other groups who have not solved their problems. Thus, all of us must overcome our own dark tendencies—both individual and group—and also guard against the dark tendencies of other groups and individuals.

Take the Church as an example. I am sure most priests are not part of the dark group of sexual predators. But I am also sure that they did not stop that dark group from acting on its dark tendencies, harming thousands of children and undermining the Church.

Take American universities as another example. In light of the above, isn’t it clear that dark groups of left-wing ideologues have taken them over almost completely? How else did we come to have higher education crippled by slavish adherence to a single point of view? Notice homosexuality has nothing to do with this. It is an ideological darkness.

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first posted AUGUST 20, 2018

Is consciousness continuous or discrete?

Is consciousness a continuous flow of awareness without intervals or is it something that emerges continually at discrete points in a cascade of microbits?

The Buddhist answer has always been the latter.

The Buddha’s five skandha explanation of perception and consciousness says that there are four discrete steps that are the basis of consciousness.

The five skandhas are form, sensation, perception, activity, consciousness. A form can arise in the mind or outside of the mind. This form gives rise to a sensation, which gives rise to perception, followed by activity (mental or physical), and lastly consciousness. In the Buddha’s explanation, the five skandhas occur one after the other, very rapidly. They are not a continuous stream but rather a series of discrete or discernible moments. A form arises or appears, then there is a sensation, then perception, then activity, then consciousness. (The five skandhas and modern science)

The first four skandhas are normally unconscious. Buddhist mindfulness and meditation training are importantly designed to help us become conscious of each of the five skandhas as they actually function in real-time.

A study from 2014—Amygdala Responsivity to High-Level Social Information from Unseen Faces—supports the five skandha explanation. From that study:

The findings demonstrate that the amygdala can be influenced by even high-level facial information before that information is consciously perceived, suggesting that the amygdala’s processing of social cues in the absence of awareness may be more extensive than previously described. (emphasis added)

A few days ago, a new model of how consciousness arises was proposed. This model is being called a “two-stage” model, but it is based on research and conclusions derived from that research that support the Buddha’s five skandha explanation of consciousness.

The study abstract:

We experience the world as a seamless stream of percepts. However, intriguing illusions and recent experiments suggest that the world is not continuously translated into conscious perception. Instead, perception seems to operate in a discrete manner, just like movies appear continuous although they consist of discrete images. To explain how the temporal resolution of human vision can be fast compared to sluggish conscious perception, we propose a novel conceptual framework in which features of objects, such as their color, are quasi-continuously and unconsciously analyzed with high temporal resolution. Like other features, temporal features, such as duration, are coded as quantitative labels. When unconscious processing is “completed,” all features are simultaneously rendered conscious at discrete moments in time, sometimes even hundreds of milliseconds after stimuli were presented. (Time Slices: What Is the Duration of a Percept?) (emphasis added)

I, of course, completely support science going where the evidence leads and am not trying to shoehorn these findings into a Buddhist package. Nonetheless, that does sound a lot like a slimmed-down version of the five skandhas. Considering these and other recent findings in a Buddhist light may help science resolve more clearly what is actually happening in the brain/mind.

As for form-sensation-perception-activity-consciousness, you might suddenly think of your mother, or the history of China, or the spider that just climbed onto your shoulder.

In Buddhist terms, initially, each of those items is a form which leads to a sensation which leads to perception which leads to activity which leads to consciousness.

Obviously, the form of a spider on your shoulder differs from the form of the history of China. Yet both forms can be understood to produce positive, negative, or neutral sensations, after which we begin to perceive the form and then react to it with activity (either mental or physical or both) before becoming fully conscious of it.

In the case of the spider, the first four skandhas may happen so quickly, we will have reacted (activity) to it (the spider) before being conscious of what we are doing. The skandha of activity is deeply physical in this case, though once consciousness of the event arises our sense of what the first four skandhas were and are will change.

If we slapped the spider and think we killed it, our eyes will monitor it for movement. If it moves and we are sensitive in that way, we might shudder again and relive the minor panic that just occurred.

If we are sorry that we reacted without thinking and notice the spider is moving, we might feel relief that it is alive or sadness that it has been wounded.

In all cases, our consciousness of the original event, will constellate around the spider through monitoring it, our own reactions, and whatever else arises. Maybe our sudden movements brought someone else into the room.

The constellation of skandhas and angles of awareness can become very complex, but the skandhas will still operate in unique and/or feedback loops that can often be analyzed.

The word skandha means “aggregate” or “heap” indicating that the linear first-fifth explanation of how they operate is greatly simplified.

The above explanation of the spider can also be applied to the form skandhas of the history of China or your mother when they suddenly arise in your mind, or anything else.

We can also perceive the skandhas when our minds bring in new information from memory or wander. As we read, for example, it is normal for other forms to enter our minds from our memories. Some of these forms will enhance our reading and some of them will cause our minds to wander.

Either way, our consciousness is always slightly jumpy because it emerges continually at discrete points in a cascade of microbits, be they called skandhas or something else.

Edit 11/23/20: The above explanation of consciousness is a good way to understand how and why FIML practice works so well. Ideally, the intention to make a FIML query will begin to arise at the sensation skandha or soon thereafter. A FIML query is based on wondering if the consciousness that has arisen from the form is correct or not.

This also shows why FIML does not presuppose theories on personality, mental illness, or psychotherapy. In this sense, FIML has no content; it is “just” a method, a way to rationally engage and analyze our minds as they function in real-time in the real-world. How you analyze the data you acquire is up to you and your partner.

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See also: How the brain produces consciousness in ‘time slices’

first posted APRIL 16, 2016

Five years ago: Danish journalist says European men are acting like women

Anissa Naouai interviews Iben Thranholm. 8:38

There has been a much stronger response to the migrants in Eastern Europe because the people there very clearly remember being invaded and dominated by alien races and ideologies during Soviet times.

If you cannot defend your culture, your culture will be destroyed. It can be destroyed physically in war, by demographic infiltration through mass immigration, or through ideas that undermine pride and cohesive social values.

Many years ago, I remember a Polish woman telling me, “You Americans want to get rid of all your strong men, but what you don’t understand is you may need those men one day to defend your society.”

She could have said the same about Western Europe.

Memories of war and domination by others fade quickly.

Much of what the Bolsheviks did in Russia and Eastern Europe was mental, psychological, intellectual. They also murdered many millions (the first mass murders in modern European history), but the intellectual groundwork came first and Eastern Europeans still remember.

Demography is destiny. Similarly, those who control the ideas of culture, control the culture. Those who control media, academia, and politics control the ideas.

“Masculinity” does not just mean having muscles and fighting. It also means, in the context of this video, being strong enough mentally to stand for your values, your people, your history, your culture.

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first posted JANUARY 27, 2016

The Nine Features of Great Philosophy: The Ethical Skeptic

The Ethical Skeptic has become one of my favorite blogs and Twitter accounts. Today he posted a must-read: The Nine features of Great Philosophy. The image below provides a clear summary:

This kind of thinking works across all domains of rational endeavor, including psychology, psycholinguistics, communication, and semiotics. It also fits perfectly with Buddhist thought and practice.

I am happy to also say that FIML practice as explained on this site is well-characterized by these nine features. I tend to think of FIML as practical psychotherapy that can be used by almost anyone. At the same time, I am well-aware that FIML took many years to fully develop and that fundamentally it is a way to think.

FIML is a theory of communication that yields a method for much better communication. You could also say that FIML is a method of communication that also yields a theory of why we now communicate mostly badly; how to fix that and why fixing that leads to a much greater understanding of life.

Since FIML is a method of thinking or communicating, it has no content of its own. FIML does require honesty and the basic human virtues of self-examination, self-correction, willingness to learn and share, and the desire for wholesomeness or integrity. But other than that, FIML has no ideology, credo, belief system, or cultural envelope. It can be used by anyone anywhere to optimize interpersonal communication and individual psychology.

In fact, even non-humans could do FIML if they use a self-conscious communication system to convey subjective meanings that may be ambiguous.

Is the greatest emotion taking pleasure in correcting our own mistakes?

Surely it’s in the top few.

In the Buddhist tradition, shame is sometimes called the greatest emotion because shame makes us open to changing for the better.

But shame can also be felt and avoided or hidden or misdirected. Shame here generally means something bothers our conscience.

Correcting our own mistakes often follows shame but not always. Someone may tell us of a mistake that does not make us feel ashamed.

Taking pleasure, even delight, in correcting our own mistakes is very close in time and psychology to actually making the correction.

Whether it is the greatest or not, the emotion that accompanies self-correction is well-worth cultivating.

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first posted APRIL 1, 2018

Benford’s Law indicates vote fraud

Linked below is a very good explanation of Benford’s Law and how it exposes fraudulent election tallies. The video included in the link makes Benford’s Law crystal clear.

By applying the Benford Law test to the leading digit of the vote totals reported from precincts, The Biden totals fail the test. (Showing manipulation) While the Trump numbers pass. (Showing expected distribution)

MORE EXPLANATION in Thread..

Apparently, Wikipedia has already altered its page on Benford to skew how we understand it