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Danger: Japanese Defense Ministry maps illustrate Korzybski

Friday, August 16th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — tempted by a typo to misquote Korzybski “The map is knot the territory” — where the knot is in the paradox of simulacra and simulation, see Jean Baudrillard ]
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A total of at least 26 out of 48 maps in a Japanese white paper contained errors, according to an Asahi Shimbun article titled Maps in Defense Ministry white paper riddled with errors:


This Defense Ministry map identifying terrorist groups chiefly in Africa and the Middle East shows Qatar and Kuwait as parts of Saudi Arabia.

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Mapping errors can be dangerous, as we have all been warned:

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Some have not heeded the warning:

For instance, in a map showing the capability range of North Korea’s ballistic missiles, the hermetic nation’s capital, Pyongyang, is incorrectly located on the Sea of Japan side of the Korean Peninsula, not the Yellow Sea side. [ .. ]

In June, multiple errors were discovered in key data used for a report by the Defense Ministry on candidate sites for deploying a U.S.-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Japan.

The experts said that some of the diagrams in the latest white paper were also inaccurate.

In a map showing the flight range of Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft deployed by the U.S. military in Okinawa, concentric circles are used, centering on Okinawa’s main island. However, according to Tashiro, the ministry should have used an azimuthal equidistant projection map to properly show the distance and direction from the center.

As the expert quoted said:

Maps require accuracy, so we have common standards .. The ministry’s white paper in particular, because of its nature, needs to be treated carefully. If they don’t follow the standards, or make compromises, when drawing maps, it could lead to international issues and a loss of trust.

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I do believe “international issues” refers to diplomatic tussles, certainly, and the possibility of war..

Consider this, from 10 Map Mistakes With Momentous Consequences:

Napoleon Bonaparte lost the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, in part because of a map error. According to documentarian Franck Ferrand, Napoleon aimed his artillery in the wrong direction, far short of the British, Dutch, and Prussian lines. Napoleon relied on an inaccurate map when planning his strategy for the battle, which explains why he didn’t know the lay of the land and became disoriented on the battlefield. According to Ferrand, “It is certainly one of the factors that led to his defeat.”

Due to a printing error, the map showed a strategic site, the Mont-Saint-Jean farm, 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) from its true position, which was the range of Napoleon’s misdirected guns. It also showed a nonexistent bend in a road, according to Belgian illustrator and historian Bernard Coppens, who found the bloodstained map at a Brussels military museum.

As an Old Wellingtonian (OW, Blucher dorm), that’s evidence enough for me.

An observation for David Ronfeldt

Friday, August 9th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — suggesting that the “how do we know when a radicalized thinker shifts into violent action mode?” question is frankly a koan ]
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stern task-master image borrowed from The Zen Priest’s Koan

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We’d been discussing on FB The Right Way to Understand White Nationalist Terrorism, and in particular this observation:

This movement is often called white nationalist, but too many people misunderstand that moniker as simply overzealous patriotism, or as promoting whiteness within the nation. But the nation at the heart of white nationalism is not the United States. It is the Aryan nation, imagined as a transnational white polity with interests fundamentally opposed to the United States and, for many activists, bent on the overthrow of the federal government.

and an idea occurred to me that seemed interesting enough for me to re-post it here on Zenpundit and Brownpundits:

We’re seeing a lot of discussion of how to foresee the switch from a terror-propensity thought into a terrorist act. Even in retrospect this is very difficult to manage, although lots of people elide the difference or feel constrained to separate the two, and managing an effective strategy to accomplish forewarning seems close to impossible.

I’d like to observe that the great leap between thought and act is in fact a leap across the mind > brain distinction, ie the “hard problem in consciousness”. > It’ds called the “hard problem” because it’s a question so basic that our best reaches of thought can’t stretch across the inherent paradox, a koan in effect.

Perhaps if we started with that koan, we could at least understand the “size” of the problem that predicting terrorist violence poses.

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I think that’s, technically, an audacious idea.

What the hell do I mean by that? It doesn’t threaten my physical well-being, nor, I’d suspect, national security. It’s “just a thought” — so what’s the big deal?

Well, it concerns a matter of immediate strategic and tactical concern, for one thing. And for another, it takes that strategic and tactical issue way past its present discursive parameters, and analyzes it to a level of fundamental abstraction — so much so that it invokes one of the few most basic unresolved issues in scientific thought, a veritable western koan.

That’s quite a reach, but I believe it’s a reach that illuminates the difficulty of the “strategic and tactical issue” from a fresh point of view that’s frustratingly so deep as to be virtually impenetrable.

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In Chalmers‘ words, the “hard” problem is:

how physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience … the way things feel for the subject. When we see for example, we experience visual sensations, such as that of vivid blue. Or think of the ineffable sound of a distant oboe, the agony of an intense pain, the sparkle of happiness or the meditative quality of a moment lost in thought

You remember the kids’ mathematical saying, “three into two won’t go”? Well here’s a case of “mind into brain won’t go” in the sense of Chalmers‘ hard problem.

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Leonard koan, yes, yes — from Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Did Escher know Fludd?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — I was looking for Ramon Llull’s wheels of knowledge, and found Robert Fludd instead ]
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I am wondering whether MC Escher, whose Waterfall dates to 1961, knew of the work of Robert Fludd, and his water screw perpetual motion machine, which was invented in 1618, though the image below dates from 1660 — the year in which King Charles II was recognized and the and the tyrranous Interregnum under the vicious Oliver Cromwell finally laid to rest.

MC Escher, Waterfall:

Robert Fludd, Water Screw:

DoubleQuote!

The image of Fludd‘s water screw is accompanied by this note:

Robert Fludd’s 1618 “water screw” perpetual motion machine from a 1660 wood engraving. This device is widely credited as the first recorded attempt to describe such a device in order to produce useful work, that of driving millstones. Although the machine would not work, the idea was that water from the top tank turns a water wheel (bottom-left), which drives a complicated series of gears and shafts that ultimately rotate the Archimedes’ screw (bottom-center to top-right) to pump water to refill the tank. The rotary motion of the water wheel also drives two grinding wheels (bottom-right) and is shown as providing sufficient excess water to lubricate them.

Hmm, I wonder.

On the literary transmission of terror: 2: cascading texts

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — from 1500 pp via ~80 to 4, the amount of writing irate people can manage has been diminishing — next up, silence! ]
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In 1999 — the year in which Ahmed Ressam on behalf of al-Qaida attempted to cross the northern border of the United States with a truck-load of explosives, hoping to detonate them at Los Angeles airport’s International terminal on the evening of the roll-over to a new millennium, but was mercifully stopped by a suspicious US Customs official and detained, currently serving 37 years in a Colorado supermax for his terrorist offence — another quasi-religious organization with terror on its mind published a manifesto.

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The group was Wotan’s Volk, and their publication the “Exclusive Millennial Wotansvolk Edition” of Ragnar Redbeard‘s 1890 novel, Might Is Right, or The Survival of the Fittest.

A Social Darwinist manifesto? plea for eugenics? Racial purity? — or is the book a satire on all of the above?

It wasn’t satire when Wotan’svolk republished it, it was a manifesto for race war:

Look at that sword — the phrase 14 Words inscribed on its blade refers to a popular white supremacist slogan coined by a member of the 1980s terrorist group, The Order:

We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

Redbeard‘s book, like William Pierce‘s 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries, is more political pamphlet than literature — except in the widest sense of that term covering all textual materials including invite posters announcing the times and locations of church bingo sessions. Peirce‘s book inspired Timothy McVeigh to commit the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 of us: published or posted words have the potential to infect thought, and the fever at times spills over into violence. And Redbeard‘s 1890s novel inspired the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, killing three plus the gunman just a week ago.

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But fiction is not alone in infecting thought that spills into violence: non-fiction “manifestos” — now also known as “screeds” — serve the same purpose, though with muted imagination.

Anders Breivik‘s “manifesto” 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence runs to just over 1,500 pages, and draws on other sources, though many of them, like “Pamela Geller, Paul Belien, Diana West, the Baron [Bodissey] and Dymphna from the Gates of Vienna blog”, have disclaimed any association with Breivik, the use he made of their texts, or his actions, extremely, fatally ugly as they were.

Breivik‘s sources, in fact, were many and various, as this para, one of thousands, illustrates:

Since the publication in 1970 of his book The Poverty of Critical Theory, Rohrmoser has promulgated, in constantly varying forms, the view that Marcuse, Adorno, and Horkheimer were the terrorists’ intellectual foster-parents, who were using Cultural Revolution to destroy the traditions of the Christian West. Academics such as Ernst Topitsch and Kurt Sontheimer, who saw themselves as educators and liberal democrats, followed in Rohrmoser’s footsteps. In 1972 Topitsch, a critical rationalist who was Professor of Philosophy in Graz, had stated that behind the slogans of “rational discussion” and “dialogue free of domination” there was being established at the universities “a distinct terrorism of political convictions such as never existed before, even under Nazi tyranny.”

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And Breivik‘s work was itself a call to arms, inviting followers of his Oslo and Utøya “Knights Templar” killings to follow suit — albeit in a manner presented as fiction:

It [his “Manifesto”] also describes specifically how this hypothetical fictional group, “PCCTS, Knights Templar”, would choose to respond towards the so called ”enablers” or the so called “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist” elites that are allegedly allowing millions of Muslims to enter Europe. The book contains detailed strategies (guerrilla tactics, instructions to execute, political campaigns etc.) which normally would be partly incriminatory to anyone who published or distributed the book (had it not been fiction).

Indeed, Breivik himself later argued that “his main motive for the attacks was to publicize his manifesto” [Bloomberg, via Wikipedia].

Breivik claimed himself to be a “Justiciar Knight Commander for Knights Templar Europe and one of several leaders of the National and pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement” and invited others to become “Knights Justiciar” thus:

The European military order and tribunal; Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici – PCCTS is represented by self appointed European judges known as ”Justiciar Knights” or “Knight Judges” (Latin: justiciarius=man of justice, judge — Knight=Eques or Cavaliere in Old Italian, Chevalier in French, Ritter in German)”. Any self appointed Justiciar Knight has been given the authority, by PCCTS on behalf of;

1. The free indigenous peoples of Europe
2. Those Europeans not yet born
3. The legacy of our forefathers and fallen martyrs

– to act as a judge, jury and executioner until the free, indigenous peoples of Europe are no longer threatened by cultural genocide, subject to cultural Marxist/Islamic tyranny or territorial or existential threats through Islamic demographic warfare. It is therefore within any- and every-ones right to act in accordance with the given guidelines.

and:

All free Europeans have a right and a duty to become “Justiciar Knights” for the order/tribunal

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Breivik‘s call for more “Knights Justiciar” and more actions congruent with his killings in Oslo and Utøya, and in some cases the killings themselves, have infected other minds, albeit minds few and far between. JM Berger, author of Extremism and a friend of mine and this blog, describes the cascading waterfall effect:

The Newtown shooter Adam Lanza reportedly collected news clippings on Breivik’s attack and other incidents of mass violence before he killed 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Other young men, such as the British college student Liam Lyburd, have been inspired to plan or carry out mass shootings based on their admiration for Breivik’s lethality, rather than his beliefs.

Then, JM tells us, the Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson attempted to follow in Breivik’s footsteps:

planning a mass-casualty attack modeled in significant part on Breivik’s strategy, and bearing the marks of his belief system

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Fast forward to this March, and the Christchurch, NZ mosque attacks. The shooter here, Brenton Tarrant, wrote at 87 pages a far shorter “manifesto” than Breivik‘s — The Great Replacement — albeit in it he linked his attack explicitly to Breivik‘s, writing that he “took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik” and claiming:

I have only had brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik, receiving a blessing for my mission after contacting his brother knights

Manifesto to manifesto, rant to rant, action to action, the infection cascades, spreads and, thankfully, dilutes.

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A week ago, there was the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, and this weekend we have witnessed the shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH .

The Dayton shooter I dealt with in the previous post, contrasting his leftist online presence with the El Paso shooter‘s online presence from the right.

In the El Paso shooting, the motive seems clear. Crusius begins his 4-page screed thus:

In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto.

There’s the cascade. His immediate follow up gives his motive:

This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.

Further on he says, again referencing the Christchurch shooter’s rant:

Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement.

He continues:

This manifesto will cover the political and economic reasons behind the attack, my gear, my expectations of what response this will generate and my personal motivations and thoughts.

And that’s pretty much what he delivers: lock, stock, you might say, and barrel.

But enough: all this delving into killers’ minds is disgusting.

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Documentation:

  • The Unabomber, Industrial Society and Its Future”

  • Ragnar Redbeard, Might Is Right, or The Survival of the Fittest
  • Anders Breivik, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence
  • Brenton Tarrant, The Great Replacement
  • Patrick Cursius, The Inconvenient Truth
  • Added:

  • Dylann Roof, manifesto
  • A second DoubleQuote from the El Paso / Dayton shootings

    Monday, August 5th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — following on from On the literary transmission of terror: 1: mirroring Twitter-feeds ]
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    This one’s a matter of two sisters — onw of whom is a martyr-victim, the other a target-victim:

    Giving one’s life to protect one’s kin is an easily understood, deeply honorable affair; getting killed by one’s kin either in vengeance or unintentionally — in haste, with a too-rapid-fire weapon — is saddening and sobering.

    May there be less dead sisters, and less dead in mass casualty events, going forward. That’s a prayer.


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