Miscellaneous Chatter > General Misc.

The Curated Sayings of Cu'jara Cinmoi


What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---
--- Quote from: Cû'jara Cinmoi ---Now to me you must confess, for death above you hovers!
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--- Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, Aphorisms & Definitions, 2010 ---Roll a stone onto your voice, and you live in your grave. You have forever to say nothing. June 6/10

Controvert the content, not the convention. June 7/10

The world is a supermax prison. If you see the light, it means the guards have foiled your attempt to escape. June 20/10

Leave metaphysics to the philosophers. Some things are so stupid you need highly trained specialists to make them sound smart. June 21/10

‘Shallow’ is a word shallow people use to think themselves deep. So repeat after me…

The best way to think deep is to make youself small. Profundity, like economy, all comes down to scale. June 24/10

It is better to entertain thoughts than to entertain people. It is better still, to entertain people entertaining thoughts. June 30/10

An author’s blog is like a peek up a transvestite’s skirt. Instead of something special, all you find is another dick. July 5/10

Five clever men equal twenty fools. Four for each. July 8/10

Writing is the most cowardly form of activism. Crucial, but cowardly all the same. Of all the kinds of murderers, the one most analogous to writers would be the poisoner. July 10/10

When you look at markets in terms of bargainers with disparate bargaining power, the right wing argument starts to sound like: The best way to ‘free’ the little fish is to take the muzzles off the sharks. July 12/10

The only thing worse than other people is the absence of other people. Somebody has to be judged.

Indiscriminate, peevish nastiness. There’s no better tonic for an immobile soul. July 14/10

Stupid is as Smart says it is. Aug 25/10

One man’s dog is another woman’s pig – I get that.  (Disciple Manning) Aug 26/10

Having a blog is like having a second dick: the more fun you have with it, the more people will think you’re a wanker. Sep 4/10

The best thing any asshole can do is to regularly change their underwear. Sep 8/10

Persuasion is the art of convincing people that you had simply duped them into disagreeing with you in the first place. Sep 10/10

Nine times out of eight, ‘open-minded’ is shorthand for saying, ‘I’ve already considered and rejected your point-of-view.’

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, go fuck yourself, you dirty bastard, I’m still voting Republican, because I mean, really, what could be more true than football cliches? Sep 12/10

A blog is what happens when hypocrisy gets knocked up by vanity, and decides to put the baby up on the Internet for adoption. Sep 13/10

The human inability to distinguish projection from discovery, fabrication from revelation: if God’s laughter had a sound, this would be it. Sep 14/10

Confusing critical for pompous is the refuge of the ignorant. Confusing critical for ignorant is the refuge of the pompous. All that distinguishes a pompous fool from an ignorant one, you see, is their favourite brand of confusion. Sep 20/10

The foolish speak from the stomach, the clever from the tongue, the wise from the rectum, for they alone know where their shit comes from. Sep 22/10

The best caveats are made of grease.

A blog is where opinions go fishing for affirmation and land embarrassment. Sep 23/10

A blog is a kind 0f linguistic crotch shot: no matter how you shave your message, only the perves are going to get it. Sep 24/10

Only fools burn anymore, which is why so many literary bellies are filled with fill–dirt shovelled from better graves. Oct 2/10

Writers kill their characters the way alcoholics beat their children: it’s their way of spreading the blame. Oct 8/10

The Great Riddle of middle-age is deciding whether you’re becoming wierd, or simply discovering wierdnesses that have been there all along. Nov 10/10

Election: A process whereby many people congregate to commit one mistake.

Deficit Reduction: The redistribution of resources away from the poor, thereby improving their opportunity to secure minimum wage labour. The first step requires the slashing of revenues. The second step requires the verbal poo-pooing of expenditures. The third (optional) step, requires the expansion and/or prolongation of foreign wars. All three of these steps can be avoided if one simply blames the Chinese.

Hyperinflation: The consequence of obese men farting into the mouth of condoms.

American Dream: An aspiration most often realized in Scandinavia. Nov 17/10

Willpower: the much-envied ability to claim responsibility for nearby accidents, usually of the happy variety. Nov 26/10

Honesty. (1) Something to be fondly avoided in serious conversations. (2) One of two options people resort to only when their imaginations fail them and the silence becomes unbearable. The other is pretending to be distracted by something on TV.

Philosophy. (1) A kind of semantic manure, either heaped upon beautiful flowers until they die, or spread liberally across ideological weeds. (2) A rash developed by certain thoughts of weak constitution, insuring they will be incessantly scratched.

Conservatism. (1) The urge to hold one’s testicles while asleep. (Not to be confused with Fascism, the urge to seize the testicles of others). (2) The tendency to confuse good luck for hard work, and beneficiaries for benefactors. (3) The ability of language to defeat reason.

Liberalism. (1) The tendency to sleep without underwear. (2) The ability of reason to fuck everything up.

Socialism. The reason Scandinavians are healthier, wealthier, and better in bed. See, Truth. Related terms, Boredom, American Literacy–the Decline of. Nov 30/10

Labour: 1) the renting of one’s metabolic activity for the pleasure of another; 2) the single most important constituent of society, and therefore the most despised; 3) something the poor are lucky to give, and the wealthy are entitled to receive.  Dec 1/10

Moral outrage. 1) A pain in the shoulder generally brought upon by reaching for one’s wallet. 2) A commercially popular way to treat the symptoms of ignorance and confusion. Dec 2/10

The only difference between the ass-kicking talk of youth and the ass-kissing talk of middle-age is a man’s tax bracket. Dec 3/10

Only when you pause to listen–really listen–to someone else speaking, can you discover how irritating you yourself are. Dec 7/10

Literature: a form of fiction primarily concerned with the further inflation of already highly-pressurized egos. Once a social scourge responsible for innumerable cases of eczema and dandruff (and a fair amount of untoward head-scratching), it has now become a popular means of concealing public acts of masturbation. Sales of literary mass-market paperbacks have declined accordingly. Dec 15/10

Literature: the genre that dare not speak its name. Dec 16/10

‘Radical’ is not a name anyone can give themselves. Dec 17/10
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What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---
--- Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, Aphorisms & Definitions, 2011 ---New Year’s resolution: 1) an annual ritual where optimistic souls remind themselves why they have no bloody reason to be so optimistic; 2) a type of gnat that pesters fat asses without ever damaging them. Jan 4/11

Pretentiousness: If you are smart, the knack for making other people feel stupid. If you are stupid, the knack for making yourself feel smart. Jan 5/11

Literature is the cage where writers rattle empty cages. Jan 9/11

The mild feelings that accompany your presumption have no bearing on the mildness of your presumptions. Even Nazis wonder about all the fuss.

If a word offends thee, pluck it, sure. If a word really offends thee, say it over and over again, until its nonsense is revealed. So, repeat after me: deconstruction, deconstruction, deconstruction, deconstruction… Jan 11/11

Facebook: a clever distraction for the masses designed to secure the invisibility of the poor, the anti-social, and the technologically retarded. Jan 13/11

A pet theory is a lot like a pet cat, except that it never dies, always purrs, and craps all over your imagination instead of in the conceptual litter box. Jan 18/11

Perception is simply introspection with strategic agnosia.

What does the brain look like when viewed from within? The world. Jan 21/11

The mind is simply the dim shadow of what the brain sees peering through the glutinous fog of itself. Jan 22/11

There’s a time to ponder and there’s a time to communicate. So long as we don’t ask the what of the first, and the who of the second, we can pretend that art is the sum of their confusion. Jan 24/11

Beware those who prize absurdity over drama: they are the enlightened dead. Jan 27/11

Hockey before revolution: there’s too many goaltenders in the world. Feb 2/11

Blog: something you drop in the can every morning, only with a ‘b’ in front of it. Feb 3/11

Middle age is the point at which you realize that distance is simply a trick of forced perspective. Feb 7/11

Venture Capitalist: Someone who leases power to command invention and intellect. Feb 9/11

The pace of old age is best measured in the capacity to be numb. Feb 11/11

Hope: Something that happens to facts when the world refuses to agree. Feb 12/11

Bureaucracy: a complex organization of humans (often attributed to governments, but actually perfected by corporations) meant to maximize innocence and to minimize accountability in order to better generate irrational outcomes.  Feb 17/11

The only thing certain about morality is that you have more of it. Feb 23/11

The only certain thing about intelligence is that you have less of it than you think, and more of it than I credit you for. Feb 24/11

Nothing is more dubious than certainty. Feb 27/11

Nostalgia is what happens when we remember the ‘happens’ minus the ‘shit.’ Mar 1/11

Logic: something only you possess in full, and lacking in others the degree to which they disagree with you. See, Force, the. Mar 2/11

Focus does not so much illuminate the foreground as suppress the background. Clarification requires obfuscation. Mar 4/11

Critical thinking: the intellectual version of Christian humility. The ability to simultaneously believe you are open-minded and pretty much right about everything you already believe. Mar 28/11

To assume knowledge is to avoid it. Mar 29/11

A fatalist is just a cynic with humility. Apr 5/11

Success is something everyone but you gets to decide. Apr 12/11

Markets: the form of bureaucracy that most efficiently serves the rich. Apr 14/11

Novelist: a creature that lives in a deep, narcissistic hole.  Apr 28/11

After thirty years of middle-class stagnation, the forces of fiscal conservatism have proven that if you strangle people slowly enough they’ll think you’re giving them a hug. May 4/11

Justice is the triumph of truth over inevitability. June 1/11

Experiment: A bullshit guess that we fear others might remember. June 8/11

Art is slow to clean out its ears. Most of the time, you’re better off talking to rocks. At least they don’t pretend to listen.

Paint only dries when you’re not watching. June 9/11

Hemorrhoids: A pain occurring in your head that you ironically attribute to your ass. June 12/11

Philosophy is a swamp where no boots get wet, and everyone thinks they’ve found the one yellow-brick road. June 13/11

Aspiration is what makes the world spin in greedy circles. June 15/11

Leaf Fan: a convenient way for the rest of the world to feel better about themselves (as in, “It could be worse, you could be a Leaf Fan,” or, “You may have lost the Cup, but at least you’re not a Leaf Fan,” or, “Your penis fell off, rolled through spilled acid and broken glass before dropping into a storm sewer, but at least…” You get the picture). June 16/11

The fantasy fiction of the 22nd century will be living in a human body with a human brain. June 25/11

Holding a fool accountable is like blaming your last cigarette for giving you cancer. Behind every idiot stands a village. June 27/11

Human: A biological system connecting the dinner plate to the shitter.

Writer: A biological system convinced that it does more than simply connect the dinner plate to the shitter. See, Flatulance. June 29/11

Philosophers are beetles as much as the rest of us, aimless and slow-moving, seeing only what’s immediately before them. All that differs is the abstraction and relevance of the pattern on the floor. July 4/11

Never forget that the boot on your neck is either there for your own good, a figment of your imagination, what nature intended, or an unfortunate accident of history, whichever you happen to find the most convincing in a moment of weakness. July 14/11

Think of how you roll your eyes whenever someone utters the words, “If I were you, I would…” Everything’s easy for the observer – and for the reader, easier still. This is what makes hard choices in hard circumstances the most difficult thing to convincingly portray in fiction. July 18/11

No man is a biosphere. July 25/11

The problem with being a Bible salesman is that everyone thinks they already have one.

Theory is the precise observation of the invisible, as opposed to fantasy, the dramatic description of the impossible. July 28/11

Geek: someone who greases their imagination to avoid the clutches of cool. Aug 2/11

All authors feel sorry for the characters in their novels, which is what makes self-pity inevitable when they begin blogging. Aug 8/11

A snob is someone who looks down on his own reflection – and takes a long piss. Aug 10/11

The Second Law of Cranks states that for every crank, there exists an opposite crank - an ‘anti-crank.’ Unfortunately, rather than annihilating each other on contact, they have the effect of splitting the universe in two. (The First Law of Cranks (for those of you unfamiliar with epistemological physics) states that for every Opinion, no matter how preposterous, there is at least one crank who will call it Gospel). Aug 16/11

Les is mor. Aug 17/11

The louder a person points, the more they become the show. Aug 19/11

We gaze at our navel because its closer and easier to shave than our asshole. Aug 20/11

Ask the right question and a fool will build his own gallows. Answers for wood. Presumption for rope. Aug 23/11

As soon as etiquette, any etiquette, is professionalized, then the quirks that illuminate and individuate are all but doomed. No yardstick is more unforgiving than a well-meaning one. No condescension is more unyielding than kindness. Aug 28/11

What begins with information always ends with matter. Who would have thought that stealing ghosts could ruin lives?  Sep 1/11

Literary criticism: 1) A kind of thong worn by the intellectually obese; and 2) The morbid compulsion to floss dentures. See, Exhibitionism, Sublimated Versions of. Sep 8/11

Stupid is as stupid buzz. Sep 19/11

Questions make ignorance visible, ignorance makes hypocrisy viable, and hypocrisy makes self-interest divine. All authority requires the conservation of ignorance, especially when it pretends to educate. Sep 27/11

Ask and ye shall be misinterpreted. Sep 29/11

The important thing isn’t to arrive first, but to arrive big.

Imagination becomes a curse precisely when it begins catering to ambition. The world starves what hope enslaves. Oct 3/11

Particular people are narrow people precisely because they always know what they like. Accidents, guesses gone wrong, uneaten entrees: these are what make us whole.

There’s no better punchline than missing the punchline–unless you happen to be the punchline. Oct 14/11

Middle-age is that peaceful epoch between having boners and committing them. Oct 21/11

One man’s fantasy is another man’s self. Oct 29/11

Consciousness is the gear that confuses itself for the whole machine. Thus are two thousand five hundred years of philosophical megalomania explained.  Oct 30/11

Consciousness is the gear that confuses itself for the whole machine. Thus God wipes out trailer parks with tornados. Nov 3/11

Of all the sad things in the world, none possess the poignant absurdity of self-described radicals defending the status quo. Like squeezing lemons over a razor cut: it’s just too stupid to be really painful. Nov 4/11

If words were feathers then scientists would be falcons, preachers would be vultures, writers would be peacocks, and philosophers would be turkeys. Nov 7/11

There are two ways to think the Riddle of Consciousness: What do you have to add to a roundworm to get a human? and What do you have to subtract from God to get Jesus? The first will get you to consciousness, but only if you use the second to solve the riddle.  Nov 16/11

Clog a sewer pipe and shit will become your priority. Civilization is infrastructure, the luxury of turning the human to-do list upside down. Nov 18/11

All we have is surprise and the question. Only these make the infinite plain because only these make ignorance visible.

Earwa, like Biblical Israel, smells of balls. Nov 25/11

“What the fuck just happened? is the true question of all philosophy. Nov 30/11

It’s the hurt that always sorts truth from bullshit. This is why we always prick our inner ear when listening to survivors. Dec 8/11
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What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---
--- Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, Aphorisms & Definitions, 2012 ---The only thing new about the year is how bloody old you’re getting. Jan 2/12

Suicide is the one thing that anyone can do that everyone will take seriously. This is why, as lonely as it is, self-destruction is so profoundly social. Jan 9/12

The inside, at its most devious, will swear up and down that it’s been locked out. Jan 15/12

Critical Thinking: 1) the transformation of intellectual sophistication into absolute moral superiority; 2) a way to make verbal radicals out of functional conservatives; 3) an archaic process for making goat cheese. Jan 26/12

Think or thwim. Jan 30/12

Never forget the ‘more’ in moral, because it will never forget you. Feb 1/12

Troll: 1) Someone who thinks indiscriminately pissing on legs is more an accomplishment and than an embarrassment; 2) A folkloric creature notorious for blocking bridges and blaming its farts on others.  Feb 6/12

Otto’s Law:  Thou shalt not cite Internet Laws, for they have as much logical force as laughing at an immigrant’s clothing.  Feb 8/12

Moral certainty is simply greed dressed as poverty. Feb 10/12

It’s not that sexists are more stupid, only that they aim their stupidity in a less intelligent direction.

Feminists are primates too.  Feb 20/12

A question is friendly or insulting in direct proportion to the ignorance it reveals… Or is it?

Attitude: 1) the only thing cheaper than belief; 2) a popular brand of fact repellant; 3) something you need to lose a lot of to fly under other’s radar, but to keep a little bit of to avoid crashing. Feb 24/12

When arguing, I always try to meet people in the middle, knowing that there, at least, I will be left alone.

Chase wonder through the mill of reason, and you find philosophy. Chase wonder through the mill of desire, and you find fantasy. Since desire always has its reasons, and since reason is never free of desire, there’s no having the one without somehow committing the other. Feb 28/12

When the Real goes mad, sanity can only cling to delusion. Mar 6/12

The first thing to go when you turn your back on philosophy is your Ancient Greek. The next is your formal logic. Then you lose your ability to masturbate in good conscience, which tends to dwindle in direct proportion to your ability to read German. Mar 9/12

Awareness always has its face mashed against the window of the world simply because that’s where Death prefers to hide. Meditation is just another way to bury our head in the sand inside our head.

Consciousness is a child encircled by magicians, never knowing whether to be terrified or amazed.

Theory is the cognitive slinky when compressed, and narrative is the cognitive slinky when extended, going ker-chuck, ker-chuck down the stairs.

Fuck off with the aphorisms already! Mar 14/12

The singularity is a dirty, naked old man whipping wide his raincoat and revealing the absence of genitals. Mar 20/12

Reason is the distance between any two idiocies, as ascertained by either of those idiocies. Apr 12/12

Not even God can argue with a shrug, which is why he created the universe to resemble one. Apr 20/12

Being the enemy of your enemy doesn’t make you your friend. Apr 23/12

The bigger hatred makes you feel, the smaller you are. Apr 25/12

Apology is the most common way to weaponize humility—short of flattery and prayer.

I hate patterns. Almost as much as I love habits. May 1/12

If we don’t move, it’s because we remain motionless relative to ourselves. May 10/12

The taller the tale, the shorter the teller. May 16/12

Without madness, sanity would be a whole lot more interesting. May 18/12

Fictions. I’m fine with that. Really, our only point of difference is our estimation of the threat. Since conscious experience accesses no information about its neurofunctional role, it always seems the only game in town. Our experience of something as robust as logical reasoning could find itself anywhere in the neural digestive tract and it would still feel like the mouth, like it comes first. This could be our version of the Ptolemaic perspectival trap. Consciousness has so little access to the ways its conditioned, it has to seem like the centre of a universe. The False Unconditioned. June 20/12

Actually reading stuff is, like, hard and, like, so twentieth-century. June 28/12

Wisdom lies in the interval between knowing thyself and promoting thyself, which explains why its generally so cramped and cranky. June 29/12

Insight: what happens when a new blindness makes our old blindness its bitch. July 4/12

I don’t make unwise decisions. They make me. July 15/12

In every human ear you will find a little bone that translates, ‘We are nothing special,’ into ‘You fucking loser.’ Thus the will to affirm everything, or at the very least, maintain polite silence. Nothing like an angry loser to ruin your day. July 26/12

So much of the social alchemy of give and take lies in the difference between feeling what you feel and caring what you feel. Wincing and laughing is something we all too easily do. Aug 8/12

Are you giving me a ‘just so’ story here? Saying that introspection, despite all the structural and developmental constraints it faces, gets exactly the information it needs to cognize consciousness as it is? Even without the growing mountain of contrary empirical data, this strikes me as implausible. Or are you giving me a ‘just enough’ story? Saying that introspection gets enough information it needs to cognize what consciousness is more or less. I have a not enough story, and an extreme one. I think we are all but blind, that introspection is nothing but a keyhole glimpse that only seems as wide as the sky because it lacks any information regarding the lock and door. I’m saying that we attribute subjectivity to ourselves as well as to others, not because we actually have subjectivity, but because it’s the best we can manage given the fragmentary information we got. Aug 9/12

Any day that references TJ Hooker is a good day. Aug 16/12

Consciousness is something hooked across the top of your nose, like glasses, only as thick as the cosmos.

Give me an arm long enough, and I will reach across the universe and punch myself in the back of the head. Not because I deserve it, but because I can take it. Aug 23/12

Why me? is as honest a question as it is useless, given that no one deserves anything, least of all what they get. Aug 27/12

Am I a man pinned for display, dreaming I am a butterfly pinned for display, or am I a butterfly pinned for display, dreaming that I am a man pinned for display? Am I the dream, the display… the pins? Sep 4/12

The absence of light is either the presence of dark–or death. For every decision made, death is the option not taken.
Things we see through: eyes, windows, words, images, thoughts, lies, lingerie, and excuses. Sep 11/12

The purest thing anyone can say about anything is that consciousness is noisy. Sep 14/12

Consciousness is a little animal in our heads, curled up and snoozing, at times peering into the neural murk, otherwise dreaming what we call waking life.

People are almost entirely incapable of distinguishing the quality of what is said from the number and status of the ears listening. All the new can do is keep whispering, hoping against hope that something might be heard between the booming repetitions. Sep 19/12

If you think of knowledge in fractal terms, you can see yourself as a wane reflection in the bottom of a rain drop as fat as the cosmos. Or is that just me pissing on your leg? Sep 21/12

Every tyrannical system, to conserve itself as a system, will scapegoat even its king. So does drama masquerade as change. Oct 12/12

The inability to distinguish ‘political’ from ‘nice’ has saved more lives than penicillin and taken at least as many as speeding. Oct 15/12

The mere fact of cartoons shouts the environmental orientation of our cognitive heuristics. A handful of lines is all the brain needs to create a world. South Park, of all things, likely means we have no idea what we’re talking about when we purport to explain ‘consciousness.’ Oct 22/12

Here, it turns out, is so bloody small that even experience finds itself evicted and housed over there. Oct 25/12

Arguing the future in ignorance of the present is simply creationism turned upside down.  Instead of claiming we come from a God stamped in our image, you claim we will become a God stamped in our image. Oct 29/12

If the eye is every bit as cracked as the mirror, then cracked reflects true, and true looks cracked.

My larva hurts.

Phenomenology: A common, hysterical variant of Anton’s Syndrome; a form of philosophical anosognosia (secondary to reading Husserl and other forms of blunt-force trauma to the frontal cortex), involving blind subjects endlessly arguing things they cannot see they cannot see. Oct 31/12

This statement has less than a 150 characters. Unlike my books. Nov 10/12

God is myopia, personality mapped across the illusion of the a priori. Nov 10/12

The philosophy of mind possesses only one honest position: perplexity… or possibly, ’hands-against-the-wall.’ Nov 13/12

A blog knows no greater enemy than Call of Duty. A blogger, no greater friend. Nov 20/12

Knowing that you know that I know that you know, we should perhaps, you know, spark a doob and like, call the whole thing off. Nov 23/12

In the graphic novel of life, Truth denotes those panels bigger than the page. Nov 30/12

Introspection: A popular method of inserting mental heads up neural asses. Dec 4/12

To be oblivious is to be heroic for so long as your luck holds. Dec 6/12

Philosophy: 1) A form of ethereal waste known to clog the head. See, Pornography, Conceptual Forms of. Dec 14/12

Philosophy: A kind of illness incubated in ego, transmitted by ink, and cured by pornography. Dec 17/12

Whenever I think about the right to bear arms I thank God the Americans didn't drive the British out with body odour. The 'right to stink.' Dec 18/12

Up: The direction the arrow points when they hang you upside-down. Dec 19/12

Moral Progress: Tripping backward into a room filled with people too busy playing with toys to steal your toys. Dec 21/12

Mayan Apocalypse: The latest in a long series of ruses designed to sort the tourists from those who actually live on the earth. Dec 21/12

Economic Progress: Tripping backward into a room filled with toys. Dec 21/12

Progress: Tripping backwards in someone else's direction. Dec 21/12

Moral Progress: Tripping backward into a room filled with people too busy playing with toys to steal your toys. Dec 21/12

Mayan Apocalypse: The latest in a long series of ruses designed to sort the tourists from those who actually live on the earth. Dec 21/12

Economic Progress: Tripping backward into a room filled with toys. Dec 21/12

Progress: Tripping backwards in someone else's direction. Dec 21/12

Religious Progress: Tripping backward onto your ass, then climbing to your knees. Dec 23/12

Spiritual Progress: Tripping... Dec 23/12

Political Progress: Tripping backward while shouting, "Forward!" Dec 24/12

Christmas: A much-revered, annual celebration of the evils of pragmatism. Dec 25/12

New Year: Bachannal where people worldwide congratulate each other not so much for rewinding the clock as for hitting snooze on another year Dec 27/12

Atheist or believer, we all get judged by God. The one that made us, or the one we make. Dec 21/12

Birth is the only surrender to fate possible. Dec 31/12

New Year: Like a new car, only without the wonderful smell. Dec 31/12
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What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---
--- Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi, Aphorisms & Definitions, Jan 2013 ---Gun Control: Nature's way of assuring the old cannot be as dangerous as the young. Jan 4/13

Fiscal Cliff: An advanced yoga technique that requires placing one's nose firmly between one's buttocks, while smelling only justice. Jan 4/13

Professor: A bureaucratic position created so social misfits could feel important in addition to lonely. Jan 6/13

Happy: A neurochemical imbalance of the cock. Jan 7/13

Tenure: A social control mechanism designed to rob potential radicals of any incentive to communicate to the masses. Jan 8/13

If science is the Priest and nature is the Holy Spirit, then you, my unfortunate friend, are Linda Blair. Jan 8/13

Prison: A multicellular organism that consumes social waste and excretes organized crime. Jan 9/13

Irony: See, Serious, Painfully so. Jan 10/13

University Education: A popular way for young men to pursue their porn, video-game, and marijuana addictions into their early 30's. Jan 11/13

Winter: The primary reason Canada is almost entirely empty. Jan 12/13

Secularism: Ideology founded on the observation that ideology makes humans even stupider than they already are. Jan 14/13

Testicles: Organs too lazy to get out of the sack. Jan 15/13

English Professor: Individual trained to be unintelligible to English speakers. Jan 16/13

Canada: The geopolitical equivalent of a bad hair day. Jan 17/13

Court: A place where the poor go to discover that the rich send their children to law school. Jan 18/13

That it feels so unnatural to conceive ourselves as natural is itself a decisive expression of our nature.  Jan 18/13

Campaign Finance Reform: Proof that corporate greed can create a rock so heavy that not even the Supreme Court can lift it. Jan 19/13

Cardboard: Building material commonly used in the construction of personalities. Jan 20/13

Plastic: Form of currency designed to row you deep into a lake then drown you. Jan 21/13

This? Yeah, well, dope smoke that, motherfucker. Jan 21/13

Heaven: An innovative insurance vehicle that disburses funds directly to the deceased. Jan 22/13

Mortgage: Breakthrough psychological discovery that slaves will work harder if you let them whip themselves. Jan 23/13

At least a flamingo has a leg to stand on. Jan 23/13

Brain: Organ ostensibly located in the cranium, but commonly found elsewhere, such as the gastric or rectal cavities, or the cock. Jan 24/13

Insight: What happens when a new blindness makes an old blindness its bitch. Jan 25/13

Blog: Picture window where words go to and fro pretending not to be nude. Jan 26/13

Dessert: Noise preventing toilet paper divination from becoming a true science. Jan 27/13

Imagination: Human psychological faculty dedicated to the production of aggrandizing thoughts, irrational fears, and sexual imagery. Jan 28/13

Some argue against yesterday. Some argue against tomorrow. But everyone kisses ass when it comes to today. Jan 28/13

Hope: Nonsense sound commonly made when trying to say ‘dope’ while actually inhaling dope. Jan 29/13

Definition: This, only more informative. Jan 30/13

Infinity: An infamous conceptual sop for mind-numbing tedium. Jan 31/13
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What Came Before:

--- Quote from: Madness ---
--- Quote from: Cu'jara Cinmoi ---Arboreal Themes

Otherwise, and I cannot emphasize this enough, trees DO NOT have any particular significance
to the Nonmen - as I think will become apparent in TTT.

The motif you're picking up on plays a far different roll...


Benjuka is something I've had swirling around conceptually for some time now. I've tried a
couple of times to cook up an actual version of it, only to be stymied (things got pretty
complicated pretty quick!). The hard thing is determining how various configurations of
pieces would reconfigure the rules in a manner that could be manageable.


More generally, I've been thinking about Martin with regards to this question as well. The
difference between his characters and mine, I think, is that he tries to make his characters
- even the brutes like Sandor - likeable. Mine all end up being these crazy inversions, where
I give the form of a favourite fantastic archetype - like Cnaiur - and I fill it with very
flawed and distorted contents. I want my characters to be out and out troubling, whereas -
and I in no mean this as a criticism - Martin wants his characters to be 'gritty.' I think
it's just a function of our differing goals. Mine are either far deeper or far more

But Martin does have a clear moral centre with the Starks, and I think this has an overall
impact on the way people identify with his characters. The only difference between his work
and the rest of the mainstream in this respect is that he's actually willing to use this
identification to wring his readers' hearts. It's a much different kind of 'reading buzz'
he's aiming for with his works than I'm aiming for in mine - and I think much more
accessible. I don't so much want to strain my readers' moral muscles as to interrogate them.

Does that sound like a good/fair characterization? Too flattering, maybe? It's always a
temptation to try to reason away what might just be a flaw in your work...

I self consciously picked three mysogynistic types for my female characters (just as I picked
fantasy cliche types for my male characters): the whore, the waif, and the harridan. Earwa is
a brutally patriarchal world, much as our own was (which makes our own fascination with
fantastic versions of our past that much more peculiar), and I wanted to explore the
significance of those types in such a world. Serwe is obviously the waif, the frail innocent
wronged by the machinations of a cruel world. As such she had to die.

But it was the innocence part, that struck me as the most significant and the most
redemptive. Without giving too much away, there is a manner in which Serwe is the most
important character in the book.

Most people shake their head when I say that... Hell, even I shake my head.

Kellhus is an inversion of 'the Young Man who would be King.' My UK editor calls him the
'Anti-Frodo.' He is of course, far more than that besides.

Cnaiur is the All-conquering Barbarian (who cannot conquer himself).

Achamian is the Wise Sorcerer (who continually fools himself).

<How powerful is Akka?>
The suggestion is that Achamian's unconventional beliefs and feud with Nautzera are the only
things that prevented him from being bumped up the 'administrative class' in Atyersus.

Typically, the sorcerers who join the Quorum are the most accomplished, but that isn't always
the case, especially as they get older.


The basic idea is this: the Quya first developed the Aporos in the prosecution of their own
intercine wars, but it was quickly forbidden. The arrival of the Inchoroi allowed several
renegade Quya to pursue their sorcerous interrogations, leading to the production of tens of
thousands of Chorae, which were used throughout the Cuno-Inchoroi wars.

The Aporos possesses a contradictory, or negative, semantics, and as such is able only to
undo the positive semantics of things like the Gnosis, Psukhe, Anagogis - even the Daimos.

Aporetic Cants have no other effect. Salting is actually a kind of side effect. I would
rather wait until TTT comes out before discussing the metaphysics - it has to do with the
My original idea was for the Aporos to be a 'dead and ancient' branch of the esoterics. I'm
still leaning in that direction, but I find the notion of a sorcery based on a semantics of
contradiction and paradox almost too juicy to resist!
Personally, I've always worried that the Chorae may come across as too ad hoc, as mere
narrative conveniences that allow a happy (but not very credible) balance between the
sorcerous and the non-sorcerous. But in point of fact, that role came after - the Chorae
developed independently. From the outset, I've looked at each of the sorcerous branches in
linguistic terms, as practices where language commands, rather than conforms to, reality. So
the Anagogis turns on the semantic power of figurative analogies, the Gnosis turns on the
semantic power of formal generalizations, the Psukhe turns on speaker intention, and so on.

And much as language undoes itself in paradoxes, sorcery can likewise undo itself. The Aporos
is this 'sorcery of paradox,' where the meanings that make sorcery possible are turned in on
themselves to generate what might be called 'contradiction fields.'
Yes, the depth of the Mark is proportional to the amount of sorcery cast, and the severity of
the Chorae is proportional the depth of the Mark.
The issue of the Chorae threshold is also broached in TWP. There is, however, a limited grey
zone, consisting of arcane keys, ciphers, and so on, which one of the Few can utter without
suffering the bruise or Mark of sorcery. It's the Mark that determines whom the Chorae can
kill. If one of the Few can recognize you, then so can those accursed Trinkets...
They're almost as fatal to the Cishaurim as well, though the mechanics differ. The Inrithi
would be in a whole heap of trouble otherwise.

I've actually structured the different sorceries of Earwa along the lines of different
philosophical theories of language. For the Cishaurim, it's the THOUGHT, and not the
utterance that is key, as it is in traditional sorcery. The Chorae are each inscribed with
metaphysical contradictions, impossible propositions, that undo thoughts as readily as they
undo utterances
Physical contact with a Chorae grants an individual and their immediate effects immunity -
nothing else.
The Chorae are actually sorcerous artifacts (of something called the 'Aporos'), manufactured
prior to the Cuno-Inchoroi Wars (by Quya defectors) as a way for the Inchoroi to counter the
sorcery of the Nonmen. The script inscribed across each embodies a contradiction that
unravels the semantics of all known Cants - even those of the Aporos!


The Daimos is a subcategory of the Anagogis, and though the Gnostic Schools have flirted with
summoning various 'Agencies' (to use the Nonman term for gods and demons), the Daimos is
largely monopolized by the Scarlet Spires. It's a powerful weapon indeed. (Wait and see!)


Kellhus is actually a prodigy among even the Dunyain, though any one of them would have us
raking their yard and taking out their trash (and loving them for it) inside of five

Before the First Apocalypse the Dunyain were a heretical community of Kuniuric ascetics
(originally based in Sauglish) who sought enlightenment (the Absolute) through the study and
practice of reason (the Logos). They were a young movement, but they had already suffered
sporadic persecution for some time. But since the Kunniat faith practiced by the High
Norsirai was not hierarchical, no concerted effort was made to punish their atheism.

As for the why the Dunyain would spend so much time with faces when they're utterly isolated
(and they are - almost), the issue is indirectly broached in TWP - chapter sixteen, I think.

Otherwise, I would point to Kellhus's surprise in the Prologue, when he meets Leweth for the
first time. The idea is that the Dunyain have developed this skill for training purposes (to
root out passion, one must be able to detect it). The fact that it translates into the
ability to dominate of world-born men is simply a happy coincidence (or as you say, Jack, a

On the other side there is the strange feedback that occurs between emotion and displays of
emotion - as evinced by those 'laughing classes' that seem to be sweeping the world. The idea
here is that by mastering the display of the emotion (which is under your self-conscious
control), you gain some measure of control over the emotion itself. The Dunyain are fond of

The form of the Kellhus flashback scenes ultimately comes from my days smoking fatties and
watching Kung Fu with my grandmother, back when I was fourteen... How I loved that show.
The bottomline, though, is that we really don't know how much it would take to suppress
emotions. Sociopaths, for instance, don't seem to experience the 'social emotions' the way
normal people do. If this does have something to do with an underdeveloped amygdala, and
other emotions share similar neurological convergence zones that act as choke points, then it
could simply be the result of a single happy mutation.
And don't forget the ancient art of neuropuncture...(lol emote)
Pragma is the ancient greek word for 'deed' or 'act,'
As for the Dunyain, they themselves destroyed their own historical records to better immunize
themselves from their 'darkness riddled' past. As a result, no one knows what their original
intentions might have been.

Earwa and the Five Tribes

Earwa is actually some four or five times the size of Europe. I put that allusory analogue of
the Norwegian coast along the top as a sneaky way to guage the land masses involved.

Save for some contact in Jek at the headwaters of the River Sayut, the Xuihianni, the Tribe
left behind at the Breaking of the Gates, are entirely confined to Eanna.

The castes are strictly hereditary in the Three Seas. There would have been somewhat more
mobility in the Ancient North, but only because in many ways they retained the 'freeman'
tribal structure of their ancestors.

I actually haven't worked out any details for lands surrounding Earwa, and nor do I have any
plans to. One of the things that characterizes the ancient relation to the world is
ignorance, the sense of occupying a small circle of light in a dark and cavernous room.

Actually most of the norsirai from the so-called 'Middle-North' are descendents of Meornish
refugees, who would eventually be responisible for the destruction of the Nonman Mansion of

All told, I would say the population of the Three Seas would hover around 75 million - just
somewhat larger than that of the Roman Empire circa 300CE. Since Zeum has a big role to play
in the future books, I'll take a pass on answering that one.

Like I say, I want Zeum to be a mystery, to be a 'pregnant unknown' similar to 'Cathay' for
the Persians or the Romans. As for the population, don't forget that this number includes
Nilnamesh, which is very densely populated.

Nilnamesh is Ketyai with a Satyothi admixture, and though it was incorporated into the
Ceneian Empire (the famous fortress of Auvangshei, which for denizens of the Three Seas is
synonymous with the ends of the world, is actually a Ceneian fortress), it's grip was
shortlived and dubious.

So far, the deepest the histories go is to the Fall, which is to say, the arrival of the
Inchoroi in the last Age of Nonmen. At the moment, that feels plenty deep, and it precedes
the Tusk by quite a few thousand years. I haven't been looking at the history of Earwa so
much from the standpoint of an 'absolute observer,' as from from the standpoint of what is
known or thought to be known at the time of the Holy War. This isn't a rule that I adhere to,
just a tendency I seem to have largely followed. There are things from the time of the Tusk I
do want to flesh out, such as the conflict between the Old Prophets and the Shamans, the
question of how the surviving Inchoroi brought Chorae, the 'Tears of God' to the Five Tribes
before the Breaking of the Gates, and the Cuno-Halaroi Wars (Halaroi is the Nonman name for
Men). Stuff like that.

Men only tried to enter Earwa through the Northern Kayarsus, though no one knows why. The
Cunuroi have no record of having to defend the gates from any race other than Men.

Gender roles and historical parrallels

<in relation to your portrayal of women (and any controversy thereof), it seems to me that
the demands of the (Kellhus-centric) plot rather the constraints of gender roles in pre-
modern societies have dictated your choice of weaker, more needy female types over stronger
ones. Would you say that this was the case?>

Not at all. I've always thought that sanitizing gender relations in ancient worlds comes very
close to 'selling out.' The only real editorial pressure I received to make the book more
commercially palatable was to make it more 'female friendly' - they even wanted me to change
Conphas into a woman at one point! Apparently the male share of the fantasy book market is
dropping quickly (because of weed and video games, I suspect).

Once you decide to portray a repressive patriarchal society, then character becomes the place
to explore the inevitable distortions that result. I actually think of Esmenet as quite
strong, though in a conflicted (which is to say, unsentimental) fashion.

What you're doing is akin to arguing historical periodization. Arguing similarities and
dissimilarities, accidental or essential, is bound to be plagued by interpretative
underdetermination. It's always better I think, just to take the 'family resemblances' tack
and to try to stipulate rather than to assert. There's no authority on which association-sets
are canonical and which are not (as you yourself agreed in a previous discussion, I think,

Personally, for me the family resemblance that works the best is 'Medieval Mediterranean,'
but even that could be plausibly contested. It's a mishmash.

As for your original questions Aiturahim, yes, I thought about the change, but only because I
try to give due consideration to all my editors' suggestions, even if I disagree with their
motivations on principal, as I did in this case. The longer I thought about it, however, the
worse the suggestion became.

Otherwise, I'm afraid I don't share your historicist tack when it comes to questions of
gender, which I'm very interested in exploring, and try to approach as self-consciously as
possible. I think it follows that I'm not saying anything about women in general by having
both of them fall under Kellhus's spell. In narrative terms, Kellhus simply gets what he
wants, and he wanted both of them. In thematic terms, my quarry is actually contemporary
society, not the 'nature of femininity.'

As far as paralleling the First Crusade goes, I'm curious as to why you think this is a
problem. I've had a couple of people complain to me about this, but I've been unable to make
any sense of their explanations. Certainly you don't want to suggest that historical
parallels, even when thematically motivated, have no place in fiction, do you?

The 'too historical, therefore too predictable' criticisms I've encountered previously seem
more opportunistically motivated than anything else: an excuse to show-off how much one
knows, rather than say anything meaningful about the work. I would think it's obvious that
I'm up to something, as opposed to being lazy or derivative or whatever. Your question,
Aiturahim, is the decisive one, I think: Why the parallel?

I see, and have always seen, the parallel with the First Crusade as one of the thematic keels
of the book, but I'm inclined to let others puzzle that out. There just seems something
disingenuous about an author decoding too much of his own work. To answer your other
question, the world started congealing several years before the story.

And I agree with you as well, Damaen: though the Holy War parallels the First Crusade, there
remain some significant differences - enough to render the outcome entirely undecidable. I
don't think I give any guarantees - especially since the Keebler Elves have yet to show their
foul hand...


The big thing to remember is that Inrithism is founded on Sejenus's reinterpretation of the
traditional Kunniat faiths, whereby each of the old gods are thought to be 'aspects' of the

God. It is a 'syncretic faith,' both in theme and in practice. The Inrithi have no 'saints,'
primarily because they do not parse the worldy and the divine the way we do, but they do have
'Kahiht,' or 'Great Souls.' They might pray to a renowned ancestor the way a Christian might
pray to a saint. Piety and the redemptive value of suffering are two of its central themes.

<Influence of Hinduism?>
I have a copy of the Upanishads which I reference from time to time, but otherwise Inrithism
slowly grew from a melange of influences over the course of several years, and just sort of
'happened' to fall into a 'Hinduism + Catholicism' form. I never self-consciously set out to
make it 'like' anything in particular.

Language bits

My original idea was to have a layered nomenclature, with the Sheyic versions of different
names rendering hard K's as soft C's (parallel to the difference between latinized version of
Greek names, where things like the original Kyklops are rendered as Cyclops). But at some
point in the naming frenzy I got lazy, and whatever systematicity I originally had got lost
in the shuffle - I always told myself that I would 'straighten in out later' and change those
hard C's (as in Cishaurim) into K's.


The Scylvendi believe in the Outside, but since Lokung, their God, is dead, they don't
believe they have any place in it. And they hold all outlanders accountable for this...

They don't believe they have any afterlife. You have to remember too, that just as most
religious people have no consistent, systematic understanding of 'noumenal world' that
brackets the mundane, neither do the Scylvendi, nor the Inrithi, though the latter have many
scholarly accounts of what awaits them.

Lokung is indeed the No-God - though this is not necessarily how the Scylvendi themselves see

Moenghus vs Skoitha

The fight between M and S was actually recapped in an old version of PoN, and until you asked
this, Mith, I'd completely forgotten that I'd cut it out. If I remember correctly, in the old
version M crushes his throats. It's the way he verbally manipulated the situation that left
its mark on Cnaiur.

No-God & Stillbirths

<re: question asking if it affected animals>
Since the Nonmen no longer reproduce, it only affected humans. The idea has been that only
the rare animal ever 'awakens' enough to develop a soul in Earwa, but that's not something
I've ever explored to date


Here's a clue: since the Inchoroi used the Nonmen as the foundation for their creation of the
Sranc and Syntheses, you could use some of their features to get an impression of the
Nonmen's appearance.
Nimil, which is the artifact of millennia of Nonman craft and metalurgy, is actually stronger
than Dunyain steel, which in turn is stronger than the best Seleukaran steel in the Three
Unions between the races were rare, as you might imagine, but some interbreeding was
inevitable. The first recorded mention of it is in the Isuphiryas, which relates the tale of
Sirwitta, an Emwama slave, who seduces an unamed Cunuroi noblewomen, who later conceives a
daughter, Cimoira. This is going waaay back, though, before the Womb-Plague.
The Siqu need not be Quya, though they could be. The ability to see and work sorcery is
heritable, though far less so in Men than in Nonmen. The Quya are in fact hereditary
The southern Mansions were entirely obliterated.
'Mansion' is used both as a term to describe Nonmen cities, and much as the way 'House' is
used - as an epithet for dynasties, families, etc.
In my old notes the Nonmen also used totemic devices, but in the multi-form manner that
characterizes much of their art. So for instance, a Nonmen representation of a wolf would
likely show it occupying two or more postures at once, like sleeping/running.

Having Nonmen blood means many things - things, which come to the fore when the Nonmen take a
more active role in The Aspect-Emperor.
The Nonmen have no scriptural prohibiltion against sorcery.
<1. Is it possible for unions between Sranc and Men to have offspring?>
No. Though it is possible with Nonmen.

Nonman = Mek... Oops (Or "How we found out it was Mek in tDtCB)"!

Okay here's a question... if the Nonmen once warred against the Inchoroi and the Consult...
then why are they now the "badguys" so to speak? Why do nonmen ride with the Sranc?>

The Nonmen are generally 'good,' (in their own myopic, self-interested way), but the problem
is that they are all going insane. They're immortals with mortal brains, and the problem is
that the longer they live, the more the traumatic events they suffer crowd out their other
memories. A group of them, called the 'Erratics,' actually actively seek out trauma as a
means to remember. Since the Consult is good at providing horrifyingly unforgettable
experiences, a number of Erratics have joined them. Mekeritrig is one of them.


there's three basic options: Oblivion, Damnation, or Redemption. The idea is that without the
interest of the various 'agencies' (as the Nonmen call them) inhabiting the Outside, one
simply falls into oblivion - dies. Certain acts attract the interest of certain agencies. One
can, and most Inrithi do, plead to redeemed ancestors to intercede on their behalf, but most
give themselves over to some God. Doing so, however, puts their souls entirely into play, and
the more sketchy one's life is, the more liable one is to be 'poached' by the demonic, and to
live out eternity in everlasting torment.

Philospohical Influences

<re: Deleuze and Guattari?>
Never been a fan of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, actually (which is to say, the Guattari
stuff). It was the earlier Deleuze of Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense that I
found more interesting - though I'm not sure I would 'recommend' reading either of those
books! D&R, especially, was one of the most difficult books I ever read.

Despite the parallel concerns of the relation between anteriority and power, I just can't say
I absorbed enough of the Deleuze and Guattari stuff for it to have played an actual formative
role in my work. I'd be more inclined to say that the parallels are more the result of me
taking the same departure point, which is to say, Nietzsche and Freud.

In terms of French post-structuralist influences in a more general sense, I would have to say
that early Derrida and the Foucault of The Order of the Things (especially the "Man and his
Doubles" chapter) are pretty important. But in a critical sense as much as anything else. The
question of veracity, which is almost always translated into questions of power in the French
post-structural tradition, is given quite a different spin in my books, I think... I have
many, many problems with post-structuralism. I am a skeptic after all.

Probability Trance

The idea for the Probability Trance as described comes (in part at least) from Daniel
Dennet's Multiple Drafts Model of consciousness, where 'conscious experience' is the artifact
of competition between multiple neuro-subprocessors. The Dunyain, the idea is, have developed
the ability to direct and access those subprocessors - or 'Legion' as they call them -
through the Probablity Trance.


The sorcery of the Three Seas, Anagogic (and Daimotic) sorcery, arose from its shamanistic
roots without the benefit of the Quya, the Nonmen sorcerer caste, whose sorcery was ancient
before the Tusk was even written. The Gnosis, the sorcery of the Ancient North, is the result
of what was called the Nonman Tutelage, a period in ancient Norsirai history marked by
cultural exchanges between Nonmen and Men. The Gnosis is simply what the Anagogis could be,
if the proper conceptual leaps were made...

Differences between sorcerers sharing the same Metaphysics is determined in much the same way
differences in any profession are: native ability, knowledge, training, and experience.
... as many women are born to the 'Few' as men, but due to oppression, they have no formal
tradition as such: they're typically burned as witches. Neither the Schools nor the mundane
powers tolerate sorcery outside the aegis of the Schools, so wizards suffer much the same

Sample Timeline exerpt

820 - The Rape of Omindalea. Jiricet, a Nonman
Siqû to the God-King Nincarû-Telesser II
(787-828), rapes Omindalea (808-825), first
daughter of Sanna-Neorjë (772-858) of the
house of Anasûrimbor in 824, and then flees
to Ishterebinth. When Nil’giccas refuses to
return Jiricet to Ûmerau, Nicarû-Telesser II
expels all Nonmen from the Ûmeri Empire.
Omindalea conceives by the union and dies
bearing Anasûrimbor Sanna-Jephera (825-
1032), called ‘Twoheart.’ After a house-slave
conceives by him, Sanna-Jephera is adopted
by Sanna-Neorjë as his heir.
- The cuneiform script and the syllabaries of
the Nonmen are outlawed and replaced with a
consonantal alphabet, c.835.

The Rape marks the end of the Nonman Tutelage, though the relations between the two races
would have their mecurial ups and downs until the First Apocalypse. The old Siqu caste, as
well as that of the Quya, have transformed considerably over the years. But then that's a
story for some other day.

--- End quote ---

--- End quote ---


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