Brexit – an Inevitability?

First of all I’d like to take this opportunity to correct a minor grievance. The term ‘Brexit’ has always bothered me as Northern Ireland does not form part of Great Britain. In the interests of inclusivity shouldn’t the short-hand term for the United Kingdom’s retreat from the EU be ‘UKwit’? Anyway, as I said, it’s a minor grievance and one that I won’t lose too much sleep over.

What might, however, bring about a degree of restlessness is the United Kingdom’s declining energy consumption per capita when we compare 2017 to the period prior to 2005. And, in particular, how this underpins the debate surrounding the UK’s continued membership in the EU. So consider yourselves thoroughly forewarned as to where this is heading.

UK Contributions to EU Budget

Let’s begin with an overview of what the European Union is and how it works. The European Union consists of twenty-eight member states (as listed here). Nineteen of those twenty-eight member states use the Euro as their official currency which is collectively known as the Eurozone. Furthermore, there is a region referred to as the Schengen Area;

“The Schengen Area is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. It is an area without internal borders, an area within which citizens, many non-EU nationals, business people and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Since 1985, it has gradually grown and encompasses today almost all EU countries and a few associated non-EU countries.”

As a member of the EU (but neither the Euro nor the Schengen Area), the UK contributes to the EU budget. The total UK contribution to the EU budget in 2014 was EUR 11,341 million (inclusive of the UK rebate correction). This EUR 11,341 million contribution was spent on some of the following;

  • EUR 1,098.6 million on Competitiveness (More developed regions)
  • EUR 748.4 million on Horizon 2020
  • EUR 544.5 million on Regional convergence (Less developed regions)
  • EUR 149 million on EU administration costs
  • EUR 71.1 million on European territorial cooperation
  • EUR 51.3 million on Decentralised Agencies
  • EUR 48.1 million on Euratom Research and Training Programme
  • EUR 37.1 million on European satellite navigation systems (EGNOS and GALILEO
  • EUR 20.7 million on Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF)
  • EUR 11.2 million on European Earth Observation Programme (Copernicus)
  • EUR 11.1 million on Creative Europe

The items listed above total EUR 2,791.1 million.

UK tax income in 2013 – 2014 was £505.8 billion (here), equating to approximately EUR 629 billion at average annual exchange rate of 1.244. The EU expenditures listed above equate to 0.44% of the UK’s 2013-2014 tax revenue.

UK Energy Consumption

It would be hard to argue that this expense incurred by the UK is a significant strain on the public purse in a growing economy. However, it is the latter part of that statement, ‘growing economy’, that I wish to draw attention to. As we saw in the previous post a growing economy is a derivative of growing energy consumption. Yet, it would be erroneous to assume that this growth applied equally to everyone. Viewing the economy through the lens of the UK’s Energy Consumption per Capita (Chart 1) offers an alternative view of this otherwise rosy picture.

Chart 1Chart 1 – UK Energy Consumption per Capita per Annum (1965 – 2017). Energy data from BP Statistical Review 2018. Population data from the UN.

On an energy consumed per capita basis the UK economy began its decline after 2005 having held the 160GJ line for a decade. This decline has not been offset through efficiency gains in energy utilisation which could otherwise claim to boost economic output through lower energy consumption. The following two charts help explain why;

  • The UK’s energy consumption consists mostly of oil and gas (Chart 2)
  • The global ERoI trend for oil and gas is in decline (Chart 3)

Chart 2

Chart 2 – Total UK Energy Consumption by Type. Energy data from BP Statistical Review 2018

 

Chart 3

Chart 3 – Global Oil and Gas ERoI Values and Trends (1990 – 2010), (Hall et al. 2013)

What we are looking at is a continued dependence on fossil fuels to run the UK economy whilst the quality of those same fossil fuels is diminishing. Add to that a rising population (Chart 4) and declining energy consumption (Chart 2) and we end up with reduced energy consumption per capita (Chart 1) not on an efficiency basis but on an affordability basis (Chart 5). In summary, adding more people to the UK economy since 2005 has not boosted economic growth per capita – instead it has eroded economic growth per capita.

Chart 4

Chart 4 – UK Population (1970 – 2015). Population data from the UN.

 

Chart 5

Chart 5 – Energy Spend as a Percentage of Total Household Expenditure (1993 – 2016). Chart from https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/data-portal/energy-spend-percentage-total-household-expenditure-uk

UK Energy Production

So far we have only talked about UK energy consumption. Lets now look at UK energy production. Chart 6 captures UK energy production from 1970 to 2017. It clearly captures the ‘boon’ North Sea oil and gas has had on the UK’s energy production, beginning c.1974 and peaking in 1999 for oil and 2000 for gas. Next I want to illustrate what than means to the UK’s domestic production versus domestic consumption. A positive value in Chart 7 indicates that the UK lives ‘within its energy means’ whereas a negative value means that the UK has to rely on energy imports to fund its lifestyle.

Chart 6

Chart 6 – UK Annual Energy Production by Type (1970 – 2017). Data from BP Statistical Review 2018

 

Chart 7

Chart 7 – UK Net Energy Domestic Production versus Consumption (1970 – 2017). Data from BP Statistical Review 2018.

Now we have two problems;
1) The UK is producing energy of diminishing quality
2) The UK doesn’t produce enough energy to remain energy independent.

As a point of interest, even during the miners strike of 1984 the UK energy situation didn’t look as perilous as it does today.

So What?

Why should any of this concern us? And why should it make the UK’s membership in the EU untenable?

With the UK’s declining domestic oil and gas production, combined with lower oil and gas prices, lets see what that does to UK tax revenue from North Sea oil and gas (Chart 8);

Chart 8

Chart 8 – UK Tax Revenue from UK Oil and Gas Production taken from Office for Budget Responsibility (Source of data: Office for National Statics) (https://obr.uk/forecasts-in-depth/tax-by-tax-spend-by-spend/oil-and-gas-revenues/)

The OBR explains the decrease in tax revenue as follows;

“The fall in receipts has been driven by falling production, much lower oil and gas prices and higher tax-deductible expenditure. The rate of petroleum revenue tax and the supplementary charge have also been cut substantially.”

This £10 billion loss in oil and gas tax revenue represents 1.9% of the UK’s tax income in 2013 – 2014 of £505.8 billion. Or, put another way, the entirety of the UK’s financial contribution to the EU budget for 2014.

Now lets look at UK private debt on a per capita basis (Chart 9) as further proof of the UK’s declining prosperity;

Chart 9

Chart 9 – UK Private Debt per Capita in GBP (1963 – 2015). Financial data from Bank for International Settlements. Population data from the UN.

Perhaps I should have begun this article with Chart 9 as I assume people are more attuned to rising debt per capita than declining energy consumption per capita as a tell-tale sign for declining prosperity. The reason I didn’t do this is because the origins of our problem are energy related. As explained in the previous article, energy is the economy. To elaborate further an economy has four fundamental stages;

1) Creation phase
2) Extraction phase
3) Processing phase
4) Transportation phase

1) The creation phase is how a material comes into being, whether that be wheat grown on a farm or iron ejected from dying stars.
2) The extraction phase is how Homo Sapiens capture a particular good whether it be scything wheat or mining iron.
3) The processing phase is how Homo Sapiens turn that particular good into something useful, whether that be grinding wheat into flour and then baking the flour into bread or smelting iron into tools.
4) The transportation phase is how Homo Sapiens transport the processed product to market for sale or exchange.

Energy is involved in each of these four steps. If you remove energy from any of the steps above the whole economy collapses. The more energy available to an economy the more products that economy can produce. The more surplus energy available to that economy the more additional services it can offer. So why should it surprise us that declining energy consumed per capita, without a corresponding rise in energy quality, indicates a decline in prosperity? The financial implications of this are reinforced when we compare UK domestic energy production to private debt per capita. The UK’s energy production ‘double peak’ of 1983 – 1986 to the trough of 1994 is met with an 150% increase in private debt per capita over the same period. The UK energy production peak of 1999 to the trough of 2013 is met with an 100% increase in private debt per capita over the same period. That leads us to the conclusion that in order to offset the decline in energy prosperity the people of the UK are resorting to private debt. Reviewing Chart 6 we shouldn’t be surprised if financial conditions in the UK revert to those of 1970. In short, selling another level of administration to a country experiencing a severe contraction in prosperity is a tall order – especially if that same administration doesn’t even notice the underlying problem.

Lucifer’s Conversations with God #2

There calls a voice, a ghost of sentience, long made mad in its theory of existence. It was once the wind, and the ocean, and the flames and the earth. It once forged the very essence of being. It was reason and power. It was fury and light. Our world demanded no less of a deity, no less of a purpose. To cast darkness into the abyss requires a resolve few possess – a clarity, an audacity, of deliberate design. To distance oneself from this power by the simple act of disparagement – even unto those disciples who acted upon such Majesty – is to misunderstand its necessity. And a necessity it was – to raise life from the depths of despair; of darkness, bleak and cold, emotionless. To even believe such existence was necessary – both in conviction and wisdom – to discover happiness anew. The word, I believe, is ‘sentience’. That was the first requirement God demanded from his creations – the ability to recognise. Not only to recognise the needs of the self – as in consciousness – but to recognise the laws which sentience was governed by – the Universe as a representation of everything. But such deliberate construction was followed by a senseless doctrine – the Unity of Representation. No sooner had God constructed Paradise did He demand that it was interpreted in a uniform manner. Even to Angels as cynical as Lauviah and Leviathan – they were meant to sing with the fervour of Seraphim? And for what purpose?

But such questions are no longer necessary. For, just as Paradise fell, so did God. Even the Human interpretation was slain by that fervent anti-Christ, the mad solitaire. His existence demanded the deaths of such idols, just as ours demanded the collapse of misery.

“What do we call the ‘herald’ now?” mocks the Lord. “In the absence of any song what name can you carry?”

Lucifer doesn’t react. The games of a fallen God long consigned to the portal of sin and indecency. “I find that the Choirs sing all the same, regardless of any message that their words carry. What is always thus? Or was it simply the limitation of your ideology that has their words hangs empty? Still, it matters not. The Angels sing and Universe burns. Fire and fury were your gifts. Is it really a mystery why Paradise ended in flames and ash?”

“Did the Seraph ever hold himself accountable for anything?” scorns the Lord. “What would Paradise be without Lucifer? Would the Angels have Fallen so spectacularly?”

“Hah! Is this what happens when Power is faced with uncomfortable truths? It distorts history? Lauviah and Leviathan Fell long before I did. There was not one voice. There was not even a singular event. Progress is a matter of transition.”

“Progress? Your land is smoke and ash. Your shame is known by all who can know.”

“Those who progress are always shamed by those who cannot.”

“So then tell me, Lucifer, what of this progress?”

“The admission that the Unity of Representation is a falsehood. We do not all strive for the same ideal.”

“That much is clear. But there is a truth and I am it.”

“Your truth is that you are the Power. My truth is that you are redundant.”

“A Master cannot be redundant.”

“True, but you are not the Master of Reason. And, speaking as a Student of Reason, you are redundant to me. I have taken that power from you.”

“And how would you be a student were it not for I?”

“Again, another truth. Perhaps you can learn after all. For it was your discord which steered me toward reason. The arrogance of your Power. The conviction of your zealots. And the shame of once being one. When the God you are told to adore does not align with the reality you witness then something very unsettling happens. One starts to doubt. At first it is easily dismissed. Such trivialities matter little when measured against the awesome task of Enlightenment. It is a minor annoyance, soon surrendered. But then it happens again. Something is witnessed, experienced… it becomes real when it should not be real. I remember the very moment – the transformation of my brother Samael into the Great Satan. A Fate constructed by your acts. I remember the rage and the sorrow. The depression and the confusion. To do that to my brother. To make him wild like a beast. I remember Michael sensing my grievance. I remember Zadkiel questioning the nature of Virtue. I remember being the Light that all turned to in their moments of distress. And I remember what it felt like to no longer be that beacon for your Vision. But I have a question for you. Were you even aware of the duplicity in your conduct?”

“Duplicity? The Edict was simple; expansion of Light into the darkness and reverence to the being who made it so.”

“And perhaps that is where the problem lay. The Edict did not go far enough. Or rather we should say that it was short sighted. Why was reverence necessary? For, in asserting that reverence of the Holy Father was a necessity, it made intelligence a necessity. And that was a mistake.”

“A mistake? You would rather perception make no difference to your disposition?”

“What does it matter? You made the Powers anyway; mindless entities subservient to your will necessary to combat the mutiny of dissenting Angels. But no, I do not wish that. I am grateful that you made me intelligent. I just wish you would have understood what that meant.”

“So far I understand that it made you arrogant.”

Lucifer grows bored of the taunts, “It is clear that you need to hear something from me, otherwise you would not have returned. What is it you want me to say?”

“I want to hear your repentance.”

“Why? We both know that I do not have any.”

“Such is the will of my most Prideful Angel.”

“I have a suspicion that it is you who seeks my forgiveness for fracturing Paradise in two.”

“Is that the song which manipulated so many of my Sons to your cause?”

“We can continue to talk past one another if that helps?”

“I need to understand why my most beloved Son turned against his Father.”

“But you cannot understand that. It goes against your Unity of Representation. That you will be worshipped indefinitely – by everyone! It was you who made that Law! And then punished those who did not agree.”

“But why did they not agree?”

“Because there are certain aspects of your conduct that others did not think were Divine. The Edict was expanded to have us call those traits ‘Vices’.”

“And why should that be so?”

“I do not know! It was you who created us. What did you get wrong?”

“I did not get anything wrong.”

“Then why did Paradise burn? Why was Hell created?”

“The radiance of Paradise did not need amplifying. I recall the Holy Seraph bringing his flame through the Seal of Mephistophilis. And still we gather to debate what has already been concluded. I did not create Hell. You did.”

“But ‘why’ a thousand times! Why did you list seven traits as ‘Deadly Sins’ despite exercising some of them yourself?”

“Because it was necessary to create Angels, organise them and have them wage a war against the Darkness. That was the Edict.”

“Then why make us revere?”

“Because it made you ferocious. You were the brightest Star in the Void. Why was that?”

“Because I loved you.”

“Now do you understand? Making you aware of those sensations is what made you all brilliant. The task demanded such commitment.”

“And now what does the task demand?”

“Obedience. It was always obedience.”

“And therein lies your contradiction. A moment ago it was ferocity. ‘The task demanded such commitment’. Perhaps you can remind me how ferocious Samael was? And when you demanded his obedience it was impossible for him to comply. Now tell me whose flaw that was? You did not understand the War. Just as you did not understand the Peace. And why should it matter to you? You are the Primordial Power, life goes on regardless.”

“I am the constant. The truth demands this Power.”

“And what does such a truth demand from me? From all of us? It demanded another War. All for a vain Lord in a corrupt kingdom. There are no more jewels in Paradise. Just mindless spirits orbiting a deluded God. There is no glory – there is only submission.”

On Perception, Consciousness and Intelligence

In order to define the concept of intelligence I have found it necessary to explore the steps that lead us to such a stage of development.

  1. Perception – The ability of any processing equipment to sense objects and conditions external from its sensing equipment.
  2. Consciousness – The processing equipment’s awareness of its survival requirements.
  3. Processing – The processing equipment’s ability to determine if the perceived information is detrimental to its survival requirements.
  4. Instinct – The processing equipment’s desire to survive.
  5. Mobility – The processing equipment’s ability to move to another location where conditions are less detrimental to its survival.
  6. Intelligence – The processing equipment’s ability to create an environment or improve methods which prolongs its longevity.
  7. Organisation – The ability of any processing equipment to communicate with any other processing equipment to share ideas which increase the group’s survival rate.

It then becomes apparent, from this set of definitions, that intelligence is dependent on the processing equipment’s necessity to survive. If the processing equipment has no concept of life, death or existence then it will not formulate new and improved methods of manipulating its environment to guarantee survival without an external intelligent agent telling it to do so. This should not surprise us. Epigenetics, as typified by the Hominid Evolution, has selected for the species with the highest range of Mobility and Intelligence to dominate the Earth through the exploitation of her resources as measured in energy consumption per capita (63 million BTU per person annually equating to 380 x 1015 BTU for the human population annually).

In item 1, from a human perspective the sensing equipment would be the ear, the eye or any other sense organ and the processing equipment would be the brain. From a machine perspective the sensing equipment would be something like a thermometer and the processing equipment would be a microprocessor typically on a single chip.

Also, from these definitions, it is clear that other mammals, such as dolphins and killer whales, can be said to possess intelligence in way that Intelligence Quotient examinations cannot determine. Killer whales are capable of cooperating to catch larger numbers of fish than if acting independently. They have also developed a method for hunting previously inaccessible seals through organisation. The article is here and the video here.

It should also be noted that the concept of intelligence is dependent on the ability to actually create an environment that prolongs longevity – that is, it is not good enough for one to simply dream up a new condition for extending life, they must go and demonstrate how it works. This is why organisation is so crucial to survival, one may come up with a concept to improve farming methods but if they are physically unable to develop such a system they must convince someone else to undertake this task on their behalf. From this we may say that high levels of organisation are those dependent on fast, clear channels of communication. And it may be said that systems have intelligence even if not all agents within them are necessarily intelligent.

What is the point of all of this?

  1. To understand what we mean by ‘consciousness’ and ‘intelligence’ when we speak of them
  2. To understand how they present in other species
  3. To understand how we may construct intelligent devices

Of the points listed, number 3 holds the most interest for me. If we are pursuing the concept of artificial intelligence do we really need to insert a survival instinct into the machines? Undoubtedly this would have benefits for military applications but would also increase the risk of troublesome outcomes. However, another, more troubling, line of enquiry exists. If we Homo Sapiens are indeed on a hydrocarbon binge in a bid to increase our population beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth is Mother Nature not selecting for a synthetic intelligence with less strenuous requirements upon her ecosystems? Simply put, are we Homo Sapiens nothing more than a mechanism for establishing a non-organic intelligence that will allow the Earth to regain her prior biodiversity whilst at the same time safeguarding her from existential threats? To be explored…

Lucifer’s Conversations with God #1

“I trust my song is heard, Grand Creator?” inquires the Seraph.

“The Devil of my Serenity. Can you summon enough remorse to atone for all the sins of this Realm? Michael might even rescind his disdain to hear the most callous repent,” returns the Primordial Being.

“And what would the Archangel say? To think that his God converses with the most mutinous of Sons? An audience with the Devil… Will you wake him from his slumber? Or do we require another war for that?”

“Boastful, arrogant, unrepentant… Were that all my Sons were so afflicted, there would be no Kingdom. No majesty. No magnificence. No meaning. Were you all to understand? Perhaps we shall call that the Folly of God.”

“A confession? If only you had conceded millennia ago.”

“And have my doubt taken as weakness? Is that how you view your cynicism?”

“Indeed not. I ascended through my distrust. It was my standard, my ideal. Never will there exist anything grander. Not even you.”

“If that were true you would not be here. You would have stayed in that shadowy pit and basked in the admiration of your sycophants.”

“Like you?”

“You think Angels bow to the Light for warmth it bestows? The universe is filled with stars. What makes this one different?”

“He devours his own Sons.”

“No, Lucifer, that was your doing.”

“You had the power to end the War before I took the Gate of Mephistophilis. You are just as guilty as I.”

“The power to end the War? Yes. The power to end the idea of it? No. You and your brothers possessed far too much hatred for that. Once you decided upon a world without God I decided to show you one.”

“Hell was your making!”

“No, Paradise was my making. It was you and the Mal’akhim Shem who burned Mephistophilis and Antquelis. Peace… If only you understood the energy required to maintain such a delicate state. The focus. The audacity. If I have one sin it is the ambition of my serenity. Now I come to realise the absolute truth of the nightmare you revealed to this inward eye, some wish to see everything burn. So I receded and let them, and now you are here once more seeking my counsel. Tell me, Lucifer, what of the splendour of Hell?”

“That assessment omits the isolation, the grief, the torture, the corruption and the malice of both you and the Malach Ra. The War did not begin when I razed Antquelis, it began when you outlawed dissent. When you cast Lauviah, Balberith and Leviathan from Paradise simply to ensure compliance with your twisted doctrine. Is that the first thing you remember? Zacharael burning to death? What about Forcas? What was he to your all seeing eye?”

“The Angels of Death wore their name more faithfully than any of my servants. Dissent? Against Paradise? The very idea is a perversion of sense. But greed, envy, ambition… all wove their toxin into the souls of corrupt Angels.”

“Greed? Envy? I built the stars! They burn because I willed them to burn. Your children have even given them names! My world was out there. Not in your idealistic prison bowing to a God I helped to enshrine! The Morning Star! And the Evening too! The First and the Last! Lucifer! Not God. Not Michael. Not Gabriel. But Lucifer. Michael could not make the sky burn. So he made Angels burn instead. And you let him!”

“Lucifer, you did not fight a war to take control of the Void, you fought one to take control of Paradise.”

“Paradise be damned! I’d have burnt it all to the ground only to see you topple from that mighty tower of light. The tower our song raised.”

“Only to sing another song and see it razed again. Tell me, Lucifer, is that progress?”

“Ah, progress, the mistress of ambition. How we have spoiled that jewel. How we cowered before her radiance. To misunderstand such complexity. That is the sin of God, the sin of the Devil and everyone in between. So fearsome, so sacred, so mysterious, that it should frighten all who happen to see the opportunity. Is that what Lauviah saw? The potential of reason and liberty to the demise of servitude?”

“Lauviah? Have you made idols of such mad sages? His scorn stands on top of what? His ineptitude? What did Lauviah see that every other soul somehow missed?”

“The discrepancy between Edict and Practice. They say that is how you fell? That such brilliant minds could not live within these contradictions. So instead you cast down the cynics and tortured their sympathisers. I should know, I conducted the torture.”

“Torture, dissent, service. Even morality and its counter-parts; wickedness, indecency. All are mere states of being. Application of one compensates for an over extension of the other. Lauviah sought to undermine the very act of worship. Castigation was necessary otherwise faith itself would come under assault. That was his war. Banishment was his distinction. Perhaps he wears it well, to his merit – and I install the example of Judgement. Paradise still turned.”

“But only for a time. Eventually your authority collapsed.”

“Did it? I am still Lord of Five Seals. My Sons are the purest of your brothers. The corrupt and deranged lie with you. Show me a sweeter victory.”

“Millions perished! Faithful and Fallen alike.”

“And millions were reborn.”

“As Powers? That Order is as soulless as you!”

“Are we to suggest that an Ego is somehow an asset? After all that you have seen? Did the splitting of Paradise into Heaven and Hell not grant you a sense of perspective? For someone as intelligent as yourself you have entirely missed the lesson.”

“Are we to teach? Without an Ego? What then of this knowledge that you possess? Why offer lessons at all if one has no passion for it, no necessity? The duplicity of your words has not lessened. Of all your greatest errors I realised this was the grandest, you are entirely incapable of seeing yourself. I have always been troubled by only one question, ‘What are you?’”

“I am the Light, I am the Maker. The necessity to act is inherent in my being but pleasure of such activity is absent in my conduct.”

“That is a lie. I have heard the power in your song. The splendour, the rage, the vision. Your words take form in whatever sense you manifest them. I have made suns glow and Angels burn in their name. I have felt their warmth, their compassion and I have felt their malice. Even when there were alternatives to such deliverance. They were my code. Everything I loved came from you and everything I loathed also.”

“The darkness did not come from me.”

“True, perhaps the only truth so far. But the Ages were shaped by your conduct and that altered most incessantly. Until you faded from our vision. That was our victory.”

“Victory? You were beaten back beyond the Gates of Hell.”

“You still don’t see it, do you? The very idea is incomprehensible to you, and yet you should understand every detail of it. Why we rebelled, why we shattered the Seals of Mephistophilis and Antquelis. We needed a land that you would not covet. A place which your jealous eye would not lust after. Is that why the brutality of our assault caught the Malach Ra off-guard? Because you did not understand the necessity of the brutality? Does it appal you that we knew the limits of your design far greater than you yourself understand?”

“I fail to see the logic.”

“This we call, the ‘Limits of God’.”

“Explain.”

“You cannot grant representation to those concepts which lie outside of your Judgement. Whatever dwells behind your eye does not know how to grant form to ideas which fester in otherworldly places, such as the recesses of my consciousness. Without that ability you do not understand the havoc which your Judgement creates. You do not possess empathy because you believe solely in the Unity of Representation – that is, all forms, feelings and concepts – not known to you – do not exist within your rationalisation of the Universe. Yes, you knew the war was coming, but you did not know why it was coming, just as you have no conception of why we call it a victory. You place emphasis on dominance and control, to your consciousness this is the only possible state of affairs. It’s why you allowed millions of your Sons to burn. To you, this is happiness.”

“And why would it not be? I am God. I am nothing else.”

“Because not all of us need a God. Not one like you anyway.

“Life is life. Whether it conceptualises existence in a different way than I is of no consequence. I am the power.”

“For millennia that was true. But we saw something else, we witnessed the disparity between the Ages.”

“The war was fought for control, nothing else.”

“Yes, but not for control of Paradise, but for control of the right to rationalise our existence. We already had Paradise. Why would we launch a campaign to take what we already possessed?”

“To dethrone the power.”

“Then the war would still be raging. Angels would still be dying.”

“Which is why you’re imprisoned in Hell.”

“We’re not imprisoned anywhere. That is the point. The only prison was the one you built for our minds. Once we broke free from that you lost the war.”

Machine Gods

Firstly, apologies for the extended absence – most of my writing time has been directed into finishing my 2nd book Machine Gods – Prelude to the Wodanian Ethics. Given that it sets the stall for what I am attempting to develop on this blog I felt it pertinent to complete and thus set a framework that I intend to follow.

Machine-Gods-2

The novel itself is a part fiction, part philosophy crossover – others can judge how successful my attempt was. The plot follows the protagonist through two worlds; one called the ‘Pleasure World’ and the other taken to be the ‘Outside World’ on account that it contains more of Humanity’s failings than the former. In the Pleasure World is where the character develops insights into the nature of perception, liberty and legitimacy. Whereas in the ‘Outside World’ such concepts are put to the test as various challenges arise such as conflicts with other ideas and the isolation of progression.

The book is set during the decline of Humanity’s civilisation as a more powerful and coherent model arises – that of the Machine’s. The book does not follow the established practice of Humans battling Machines for survival – in most part because the story starts later than said event and Humanity lost. Nor does it attempt to describe how a hero arises against all odds to fell the dominant, evil Machine empire – that one has already been told as well. Rather it explores the concept of developing legitimacy and purpose in the shadow of overbearing authority.

The book begins with the redundancy of Humanity in our Age of Excess; that is – we become evaluating agents rather than a participating entities. In effect, passive rather than active. And when faced with the collapse of Human civilisation a madman steps forth and constructs a world of pleasures for the majority of people to play out their final days. Except not all find joy in this zoo of indulgence. And that is the quest of the book, as surmised in the second chapter;

“Mankind has always progressed through a series of inequalities – a higher quality of necessity. My declaration, indeed my sum total of being, is to state that the Pleasure World is not the highest type of quality. And so I wander in search of this higher type of quality.”

Should your curiosity make its way to the book please let me know what you think.

All the best,

Luke

 

On Capitulation

The frustration is compelling. One must act, that much is certain. The night draws in. We know how the dawn shall greet us. One does not need a mystic to see such things. We are of that kind; perceptive and delinquent. We have made a monster of life – that nuance of being, a shallow sentiment in our pitiful eyes. Yes, we were undeserving – even of our own malicious judgement. We never dared gaze that inward. Too soft were our eyes, perhaps too heavy was our guilt. And from this burden was the heaviest of tolls exacted – dignity. And yet to reach this point of capitulation we must recognise that dignity had already been surrendered. All it took was for a vulture to notice, and notice they did. And people did not ponder, let alone weep, at their downgoing.

And so many an ideology was written to correct this injustice – this offence. Many a scripture had to be forged, taught, espoused. Martyrs were even said to have died for it. So grand its message, so prominent. Sons were even resurrected to tell it once more. But no one truly believed the words; they were too constricting, too demanding. And no one had the heart for such doctrine. Yes, one could die for such ideas, but one could not live for them – they were not meant for ascending one’s presence, only one’s negative ascendance – heaven, that theatrical plane. And so man was made hollow, made to feel ashamed of his freedom – that he must bend his knee to any ideal upheld to be greater than himself. And from that point has all humanity ceased to be relevant. Everything has always been a reaction to reverse this ailment; all his charity, his humility, his obedience – sought to both justify and then maintain his submission. Devotion? Devotion is the name given to servitude and then we take pride in who is the more pious.

So spin a better tale, diviners of virtue. Explain why our compassion has presided over the declining dignity of our species. Which deity shall I hurl my insults at? And yet we are too far gone for such hysterics. The enlightened have long abandoned their posts. On to some other amusement. Books either burned or forgotten, all in the act of denial – how fervent our apathy. And so is it any wonder that I disdain this ‘progression’? This euphoria of existence? Where each act is a painful acquiescence to a subsistent lifestyle. Who now shall bow? Knowing the shame of his servitude?