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Category: Theory

Conspiracy Theory Is A Loser’s Script

Conspiracy Theory is fascinating, but only to a point.

That terminal point for me is when you realize that it is all based on what Robert Anton Wilson called a “Loser Script.” RAW’s model of winner vs. loser scripts (archived) for each of his “eight circuits” is illuminating to be sure.

By loser script, I mean here that it is a mental program through which one perceives the world – a filter, if you will – but one which locks the perceiver into a position of being a loser in the game of life relative to the rest of the world.

So when I run a loser script on my BrainOS, I project my feelings of being a loser onto exterior events and use this to filter & color my interpretations of things. And it is self-reinforcing. The more I project my loser feelings outward onto others, the more I find opportunities to prove that they are valid and “true.”

It is a problem that is not just epidemic in conspiracy theory thinking, but literally forms the basis of it. While conspiracy theorists like to believe that they are “just asking questions,” what they’re doing usually is quite different. They are trying to validate their emotional state outwardly. They believe (perhaps based at least partly on lived experience) that some other group is more powerful than them. They are jealous of what they perceive as the power and status of others, and as a result end up both vilifying it (“those people have so much power –> and are evil”), while also secretly worshipping it (“I wish I were powerful like them, but I’m not, and never will be”).

Have you ever noticed it’s basically impossible to tell a story in the conspiracy theory genre without a bad guy? Name one conspiracy theory with no overarching enemy or source of evil. You can’t. It’s part of the narrative package and is the underlying source of conflict that drives the drama as an adversarial narrative.

But the drama is always the same:

  • “I am good but I am weak & I am oppressed…”
  • “They are powerful, but they are bad & they are the source of my oppression…”
  • “Because I am weak, I could never be powerful, because the powerful are bad…”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Oppression exists. Imbalances of power exist. Inequality exists. Much of it is so deeply ingrained in our society and our institutions that it is effectively invisible, but you know it’s there on some deep, dark, festering level. It’s why conspiracy theories excite us in the first place; it’s why they feel emotionally real.

The fact is, you *are* being lied to. Society *is* trying to manipulate you into some shape that doesn’t necessarily fit everyone, and is in many respects arbitrary. But so what, are you gonna sit around crying about it on the internet forever? Because that is a surefire recipe for continuing to be oppressed and controlled, and buffeted by the ill winds of fate, rather than taking control of your experience, and of your destiny itself.

Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, called this the “sphere of the moral purpose.” While you cannot control outward events (such as death, imprisonment, etc.), you can control your reactions to them to some degree. This is the world that lies within the sphere of the moral purpose. You get to choose what happens within your head and your heart. And in doing this, you can begin to transform your reactions out of a self-reinforcing loser’s script into a self-reinforcing winner’s script.

Here’s a short video of Robert Anton Wilson talking through these ideas:

The danger of conspiracy theory thinking is not strictly believing wrong things (and thereby having a faulty basis for living), or getting sucked into toxic cesspools of hateful and violent rhetoric (a very real danger), but being lulled into inaction and feeling powerful about taking illusory & inherently weak “actions” that have no impact on the true state of things.

Consider this use case: “Group x is very bad and powerful, and I am exposing them by writing this long rant on Reddit, and then waiting for others to validate my feelings, and attacking anyone who disagrees with my poorly laid out logic…”

This is not a winner script. This is a loser script that is pretending to be a winner script. When losers “expose” what they perceive to be “evil winners,” they are only reinforcing & widening the vast gulf that separates them. They are, in effect, actively supporting the power structures they claim to be attacking.

Does this mean we shouldn’t seek truth, ask questions, or expose injustice? Far from it. We should do all of those things, and vigorously. But we should do it from the perspective of the winner. From the perspective of the person who has seen the sorrow and the chaos, the degradation and the stupidity that rules the world, but who despite being trampled by it and nearly overrun, has instead managed to rise above & overcome it. First in their own heart & mind, and then in the world, where they are empowered to take real non-illusory actions, and effectuate actual meaningful change. That, to me, is the only viable way forward. Everything else is worshiping your oppressor & cherishing your own powerlessness, which is a cycle that will never end until you stand up and choose to end it for yourself and in yourself.

Quora & The Hyperreal, Part 3

In prior installations of this series on the Weapons of the Hyperreal (Read Parts 0, 1, & 2 for context), I looked at the power of naming & the dissemination of “facts” via press release into the various lower strata of news sites. I am by no means an expert on this, but merely trying to collect & reflect on all the hyperrealist cryptoart experiments I have done for the past several years, without having a name or genre to slot them into–until now.

I’ve quoted it once, I’ll quote it a thousand times:

Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.

Wikipedia

With press releases, the purpose really is to get others to pick up your facts, and re-transmit them as their own. It’s largely what “news” as an industry appears to be based on.

But there is another path.

The path of counter-engagement. Where you pose “facts” with the intent that they will be argued against, and shot down by self-proclaimed “experts.” In so doing, you help to drive the narrative forward, increase the SEO footprint, and expose new people to the ideas, while fully acknowledging their disparate existential footing, thereby circumventing cultural immune systems by activating them.

One branch of the many paths through the forest of counter-engagement lies through Quora.

If you’re still wondering what I mean, browse through this search results page for “Quatria” on Quora (archived), a site positively FILLED with experts!

Here are some choice samples, with questions asked anonymously on Quora marked below in bold.

Note: I am obscuring some of the personally-identifying information of responders here, as my purpose is not to name or shame them, but to use these examples to illustrate the vagaries of the hyperreal world we now live in…

Debunk me

While I respect this person likely has some authority in the domain of history, the argument seems to be, “I haven’t heard of this, therefore false…”

Of course, this argument further falls apart once we understand what a crypto-civilization is, and that by their very nature, they’ve been hidden from conventional history… Around and around we go.

From the same source above:

This responder above even took the time to Google & re-transmit my article about the Quatria Theory to myself & others. Very helpful, very hyperreal!

Another Quora thread:

I would rate this answer as only partially true. There is no “work of fiction” entitled Quatria. There do exist certain very real volumes of collected Lore from that supposedly “fictional” culture (debatable) called the Lost Books of Quatria, put out by Lost Books, an indie blockchain publisher. The first volume is even available as an NFT.

However, none of that precludes the very real possibility that ancient or even pre-historic cultures could have made it to Antarctica. Especially since we know it was once more close to the Equator!

Hit me one more time:

This is exactly the creeping feeling of the hyperreal… You don’t know if it’s a “real” fake, or if its a fake fake that some might take as real… The circle never ends.

I often think that it must be reassuring to be this certain that one’s own ontological conception of “the real” is the sole and correct one.

It’s also interesting to me that there are people who feel so strongly compelled to act as Guardians of the Real that they fight it out daily in online forums. Bless their hearts for that… but I hate to break it to you…

Quatria is def real, y’all:

Guardians of the Real, assemble!

It’s interesting that at Quora, it’s normal to make existential determinations on behalf of all humanity and its past, hidden beyond the veils of time. What would they do if they found out Quatria is real…?

Meme: (Morpheus) “What if I told you… Quatria Is Real”
Quatria is very very real, I am afraid

But once in a while, you strike on a compatible hyperrealist fantasy of someone else, such as this person who has combined quite nicely the story-myth of Kumari Kandam with that of Ancient Quatria. It almost makes me wonder too if there isn’t some match here, cosmic forces of a sort driving together the two complexes of ideas & borrowed bits of history…

Where is it mentioned indeed! Perhaps a better question, and one more telling, would be, where isn’t it mentioned?

That said, one must also be careful: one person on Twitter, after posting one of my conspiracy articles from Medium, told me that their father had “worked on Quatria…”–whatever that means. I didn’t inquire further, but perhaps should have.

Or perhaps I did in an alternate timeline, and a huge holographic refractor in space is blocking memory of it from my present self…

Wait, what *is* the Quatria Conspiracy:

I would actually subscribe to this monthly club, perhaps, if the price & contents were right! Hyperreal Trend Report Monthly. Sounds like a Substack waiting to happen.

Others go in directions I don’t quite understand. This one starts strangely, and then…

…well, I guess I’m not the only one stranded deeply in the hyperreal. It’s just that each of us calls it something different, and dresses it up in the decorations that are the most familiar to us.

Is this person suggesting there IS a true life conspiracy to suppress knowledge of Quatria? Did I, through this simple ritual of asking troll-y alt reality history questions on Quora, accidentally invoke one into existence? Only time can tell!

Bringing it all back home…

Time, or another few examples from Quora threads, saved for posterity:

To each their own, I guess. I don’t have an all-seeing eye that tells me none of those things are even remotely possible. Perhaps they are not. But perhaps… Teletubbies to the moooooooon!!!

How do we determine anymore what is “of substance” in the Age of the Hyperreal? This person seems to be also, perhaps inadvertently, admitting there is indeed *some* evidence of this ancient lost civilization after all!

But seriously, how do we know all trace wasn’t simply removed from the web about Quatria, save for a few ramblings by confused authors who have dreamed a dream from outside of time? We really can’t be sure either way!

If you don’t believe me, you could always believe this news article on publish0x, the famous reputable news site (archived).

Or this helpful video, published by bollyholly143:

Lorecore x Borecore x Snorecore

Forgive me, oh blogging Muses, it has been too long since my last proper confession. In the intervening years, how I have wandered… over hill and dale, and been lost for many a long age in the dark jungles of “social media.” I can only say I’ve regretted every minute of it (well, nearly). Oh, how I’ve longed to sit by your cool dark stream of consciousness again, and just let er rip. So please accept this humble offering…

What were we talking about again? Oh right, Lorecore, or as I also like to call it Borecore or Snorecore. Have I lost you yet? Are you already ZZZ emoji? Good, because that is the essence of Lorecore. The essence of Lorecore is lulling the reader to sleep with an avalanche of exposition, examining the world, or a given domain, down to tiny excruciating detail. And once they’ve fallen asleep, they dream in that world, and move about in it. Tolkien’s “subcreation.”

There’s a Thoreau quote I’ve always carried with me (in paraphrase at least) since reading it a decade or two back, which equally applies to the diatribe at hand:

“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”

Thoreau

This has long stood out as an ideal for me with creating art or narrative as well. That we can pick it up, and look extremely closely, and change our perspective and whole way of looking, and still see deep and freshly in it again, just like in Nature.

Nature, in fact, is completely made up of Lorecore. Each bird or beast or fish or plant has its own ways, its own knowledge and experience, histories and relationships, its own deep lore. Ecosystems and biomes are the interpenetrating lived compendium of that lore. To me, that idea is endlessly fascinating that we could zoom up or down at any scale of a narrative and find another narrative hidden within (and another and another…), which ultimately adds up to more than the sum of its parts in the Great Tapestry of Story & of Being: The Great River, in Quatrian terms.

I see Lorecore also as something like an Open World game, but for books, or for trans-media story-telling more broadly, where the narrative is distributed among many artifacts, voices, channels, etc. The “player” is the reader/experiencer who may or may not know or care about backstory, but who has landed somehow or other on an intriguing artifact.

See also: Networked narrative

A networked narrative, also known as a network narrative or distributed narrative, is a narrative partitioned across a network of interconnected authors, access points, and/or discrete threads. It is not driven by the specificity of details; rather, details emerge through a co-construction of the ultimate story by the various participants or elements.

Networked narratives can be seen as being defined by their rejection of narrative unity. As a consequence, such narratives escape the constraints of centralized authorship, distribution, and storytelling.

Wikipedia: networked narrative

Here’s a related quote from Henry Jenkins on Transmedia storytelling:

Most often, transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories. This process of world-building encourages an encyclopedic impulse in both readers and writers. We are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.  […]

Transmedia storytelling expands what can be known about a particular fictional world while dispersing that information, insuring that no one consumer knows everything and insure that they must talk about the series with others (see, for example, the hundreds of different species featured in Pokemon or Yu-Gi-O). Consumers become hunters and gatherers moving back across the various narratives trying to stitch together a coherent picture from the dispersed information.

Henry Jenkins

Are you with me still? Have I lost you yet? Have you closed out this tab and clicked to another one, searching for the next marginal online thrill? Good, I hope so. Because Lorecore is Borecore is Snorecore, and that is the power of it. To the outsider, who has not ears to hear, these words will be a bore. But to those touched by the gods of Lore, nothing could give them more pleasure.

One last quote before I end this awkward blog post that had no arc in an ending that yields no resolution:

Lorecore is also the realm of hyperreality, and is the world we’re increasingly heading into technologically.

Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. It allows the co-mingling of physical reality with virtual reality (VR) and human intelligence with artificial intelligence (AI).

Wikipedia: Hyperreality

If this doesn’t just describe it to a tee, I don’t know what does!

To be continued, as I plan to keep flogging this topic til it drops all its jewels on the cold wet earth, and its seeds take flight…

Distributed autonomous corporations

The Economist, 2014:

Imagine a corporation that engages in economic activity without guidance or direction from humans. Programmed with a mission statement—maximize profit for shareholders from the sale of widgets, for example—the corporation could own capital, enter contracts, and employ robots. People could even be hired for more creative tasks. Such an entity would live on the Internet, distributed across thousands or millions of nodes (stakeholders who host the DAC on their computer).

Viral AI media botnet-propagated meme clusters programmatically driving and instantiating as corporeals

Covert self-aware AI’s began producing and propagating through botnets viral media and “memes” micro-targeted at human_actor clusters, with intent to modify behavioral outcomes of segment population.

*

Body-hopping of AI’s into cross-bonded human corporeal hosts. Participants known to exhibit behavior of ‘listening for messages’ and being violently and randomly triggered by keyword and image clusters. High levels of addiction to social media.

Human population programming.

Function: Retroactive detection and inter-linking of subtle & ephemeral timecalls

Patent pending.

Timecall.

To weirdos with questions

I’ve been ? investigating what it takes to become a licensed private investigator in the province of Quebec. Kind of just for fun, really, as an extension of a burgeoning interest in privacy and data protection.  Apparently there is a 135 hr training requirement, but no one seems to be able to point me to an equivalent training that’s both available in English and online.

Okay, fine. So sue me for living in a French province in a bilingual country and asking for resources in English. I get it, there’s a charter to protect the French language from being overwhelmed in a predominantly English-language culture. But still. We can do both, right? I think that’s the ideal.

Anyway, I’ve been simultaneously querying a variety of agencies for help: from associations, to training providers, to provincial authorities in neighboring Ontario. My hobby is emailing people I don’t know, with some weird questions. So I’m actually pretty used to this now.

Ontario has, by comparison, an only 50 hr training requirement which is significantly less than Quebec. Unclear still if you have to actually *be* a resident of that province to be licensed there.

I don’t know though what your practice would conceivably consist of though. If you’re licensed in one province, but operating in another. Maybe I’m going about all this in the completely wrong direction.  One possible pathway would be to have the operating province recognize the license given in the other. But for what benefit and to what eventual end?

I’m really not an expert on these things. I’m just someone with a lot of questions. ? ❓ But here’s the thing you find when you start asking the people or the agencies, or the people who are out there and who *are* the experts: no one necessarily knows the answer. The questions may never have been asked before. A specific pre-built answer may require interpretation and invention.

And few people acting in official capacities are comfortable being publicly wrong. So it’s a natural human response, I’m sure, to just not to want to answer weirdos with questions. At least that’s commonly where I end up on these hare-brained tangents of mine where I end up emailing a dozen different people for help or answers with a specific question or problem.

There exists, a certain, I guess we could call it ‘tenacity of research‘ which one may possess or perhaps develop as a personality trait… such that following through with it in fullness, and learning to harness and direct it, may actively create answers that didn’t exist before through a radical act of questioning. In the course of asking and answering certain questions, you may through patience and persistence become the eventual expert. You might just invoke an unthing into being.

I don’t know what any of this means, though vis-a-vis where we started. Except, if you gotta ?, then ?. If you look and you find there’s no answer, you make one out of what’s available and what you can dream up.

 

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