RAW quote: in other words, if you think you know what the hell is going on, you're probably full of shit.

"Whenever people are certain they understand our peculiar situation here on this planet, it is because they have accepted a religious Faith or a secular Ideology (Ideologies are the modern form of Faiths) and just stopped thinking."

-- Robert Anton Wilson



  1. What’s wrong with having a framework in which to plug in ideas? You can’t make any sense of the world without it. If you have a bad framework you may be wrong about many things, but if you have no framework, you can’t know anything or do anything.

    1. Because you might start altering ideas and facts to fit your framework. Why the need to make sense of the world? You can always know something but not anything about the world and never everything. (I hope I’ve got the distinctions between some/any/every philosophically correct here.)

    2. Belief does not require certainty, it only requires probability. As in, “I believe there is probability x that statement Y is true.” The “framework” you speak of, then, would be “The set of statements Y to which I record sufficiently high probability that in don’t normally bother distinguishing between near-certainty and certainty.”

      But there is a difference. In a strict sense, “evidence” is any information that should affect your assessment of the probabilities of statements being true. Mathematically speaking (follows from Bayes theorem), if you were actually certain (probability one or zero) then no amount of evidence would sway you, whereas enough evidence you drive you from 99.9999999% belief to 0.000000000000001%.

      It’s cromwell’s rule http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwell%27s_rule
      If you were truly certain the moon were green cheese, then an army of astronauts carrying back mountains of cheese could not logically change your mind.

  2. I came across this amazing review of the Illumatus! Trilogy on amazon; I’m pretty sure its sincere and not a Discordian joke:

    “Okay, let’s take some steampunk, some Da Vinci Code, some Percy Jackson, some vampire and Atlantis lore and water it down with some 9/11 paranoia. Hand it out to some adolescents and have them write some plots based upon this. Then take those plots, smoke some pot, invent some corny lingo like ‘fnord’ and then begin cutting and pasting like hell so you don’t get sued by Rowling, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsen, Neil Gaiman, Stephanie Meyer, Anne Rice or whoever. Might just be the ghost of Plato for all I care – and you got yourself a book, gentlemen. Okay, let’s publish it! Okay, we haven’t proof red it or anything, but who cares, we just got to laundry some money.

    That’s at least my impression of this totally crappy book.

    That someone even finds this even half entertaining is beyond me, because it’s so utterly awful! Do avoid this with all means, and get some good old Sherlock Holmes instead”.

    1. Phantastic review for a book written in the early 70’s  – and a good guess where todays bestselling authors took their inspiration from…

      1. I’ve been reading The Eye in the Pyramid again for the first time in ages, and it really strikes me how culturally prescient The Illuminatus! Trilogy was.  I wonder could Shea and Wilson possibly have imagined in 1975 the era of David Icke and Alex Jones having mass audiences, and websites devoted to the idea that Lady Gaga is an Illuminati puppet!  Too bad the irony and skepticism mostly got lost in translation.

  3. “Precisely where there isn’t guarantee or palpable meaning, you have to do a lot of work and you have to be mega-ethical. Because it’s much easier to live life and to say, “that you shouldn’t do and that you should do because someone said so.” If we’re not anxious, if we’re okay with things we’re not trying to explore of figure anything out. So anxiety is the mood par excellence of ethicity, I think.” -Avital Ronell

    1. Anxiety is fatal to compassion. All it is really “good” for is using uncontrolled emotion as a horsewhip to get your butt moving. But that is often like using Stalin to get the trains running on time.

  4. “He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. And so I go my way, obedient to the god, and make inquisition into the wisdom of anyone, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise; and if he is not wise, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; and this occupation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god.” — Plato

  5. Which comes first the need to explain the world or the need to belong to a group? All groups need their own language/codes. Isn’t it a question not of belief versus non-belief but philosophy and action?

  6. Pretty much everyone would agree with one form of this statement or another. Everyone is aware of a class of people who are so blinkered by bias and/or drunk on homebrewed fermented bullshit that they can’t see straight. Fundamentalists, Randians, Hitchensites, Straussians, people who read Cat Fancy, name your poison.

    The only questions are (a) whether you ever include yourself in that category, and if you do, (b) whether you actually mean it. Personally, I’m pretty good at (a), not always so good at (b).

  7. C’monnnnn we’re all full of shit and we know it. I relish in the fact that in the grandest scheme of things, I know jack-diddly squat and ya know what? I’m perfectly okay with that. Takes a lot of pressure off having to be right :P

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