Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Build It And They Will Come (Around)

by Gene Howington,  Guest Blogger

The Parthenon

In the beginning, there was the word. And when addressing propaganda, the word was either persuade or coerce. This is the essential nature of propaganda: to change (or re-enforce if you are already sympathetic) your mind on a particular issue. As the first article showed, the most basic tool of propaganda is connotation/implication. Before venturing into the depths of the lingua tactical of propaganda, I thought it might be useful to illustrate some non-verbal and indirect methods of propaganda.

First we must realize that propaganda is the cultivation of an image. An image that relies upon idea(s) the speaker wants associated with certain people, organizations or actions. To that end, propaganda is essentially image control: seeking to create mental associations in the viewer be they emotional or rational and spreading that image/association through out a given populace.  Keep in mind that literacy was for the bulk of human history limited to specialists such as scribes and/or the upper class who could afford education.

Very few people in the ancient world could read, but most of them could see.  What better way to communicate the power of those who run a society to those who cannot read than by using a non-verbal symbol to send a message?  Perhaps a symbol like a great building or monument. Something that says “we’re here, this is what we are about, this is our place and look what we can do” to the great unlearned masses. This form of propaganda is also as old as civilization. You could argue that it is older than modern civilization, stretching back to the late Neolithic period.

A temple area with megalithic pillars at Göbekli Tepe.

Consider Göbekli Tepe, a set of Neolithic religious structures located in what is now southeastern Turkey.  At approximately 12,000 years old, Göbekli Tepe predates Egyptian culture by five or six thousand years. But is it propaganda? Let’s examine the basic criteria of propaganda as applied to this structure to see if it qualifies.

Carved relief of a lion at Göbekli Tepe.

Does it send a message? Yes. In its most basic form, it is a statement of religious ideology. At the deepest levels of the sites, many of the upright pillars are decorated with the nature based symbolics commonly found at Neolithic religious sites such as lions, bulls, boars, foxes, gazelles and other predator and prey species. You can even see the message change over time as their religion changed. Moving up through the layers of the dig, newer decorations include human figures. As an aside, many archaeologists place considerable significance on this change in message taking it to mark the transition from a culture where nature inclusive of man is worshiped to a system of belief where man is elevated above nature.

Is it designed for public consumption? Yes. All the evidence points to Göbekli Tepe being a religious retreat. Being the only stone structure for many miles around at the time, I think it is safe to assume that it was not only known to the locals but to nomads and pilgrims of like minded worship.

Is the message one of persuasion and/or coercion? Yes. It can be interpreted as both. As persuasion, it is a statement of the ideals of their religion and the basic value of worshiping as the builders of Göbekli Tepe worshiped. As coercion, it was a statement of the power of their faith that they could build a massive structure from stone at a time when most people were either nomadic or living in small hunter/gatherer villages. To provide a bit of context, Göbekli Tepe predates the invention of pottery, metallurgy, writing and the wheel.  The complex also predates the Neolithic Revolution when archaeologists start seeing the beginnings of agriculture and animal husbandry. Look what we can do and what we’re about, indeed.

The Egyptians took this idea of buildings as propaganda to a whole new level. The scale of their building remains one of the great wonders of the world. The temples, pyramids and palaces they built were not just statements of faith or housing for the Pharaohs. They were projections of power for the ruling dynasties, often run as great public works projects to bolster the ancient Egyptian economy and as statements to the greatness of the Pharaohs. The ruling class went to great strides to out do one another as well. This trend of using architecture as a form of propaganda stretches back to the very beginning of the Egyptian dynasties.

The Pyramid of Djoser

In the 3rd Dynasty, the first of the pyramids were built by the Pharaoh Djoser and his commoner architect Imhotep.  Until that time, all of the Pharaohs had been buried in mastabas – rectangular flat roofed stone buildings. Imhotep’s innovation was to stack six mastabas of ever decreasing size to create the Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, a royal burial complex to the northwest of the then Egyptian capitol of  Memphis. This started a competition among the subsequent Pharaohs as to who could build the most impressive burial sites. They saw this as not only fulfilling their religious obligations, but as statements of personal power, each trying to make a greater statement to history about the glory of their rule. This practice pyramid building reaches a nadir with the 4th Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu building the Great Pyramid at Giza, the plateau used as a royal burial complex just outside of Cairo which was used in conjunction with the Valley of the Kings by the later dynasties.

The Great Pyramid of Khufu

However impressive the Great Pyramid is, the practice of building to project imperial power reached its full potential  with the 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Ramses II.  Instead of trying to compete for sheer size to send his message against the rather imposing legacy of Khufu, Ramses went for volume. He built a lot, by far more than any other Pharaoh, and he even took credit for buildings he didn’t build by literally having his mark carved on them. To give him credit, many of these buildings he co-opted for his greater glory Ramses was indeed responsible for massive additions to and an upgrades on.

Abu Simbel

In addition to his large burial complex, the Ramessuem at Thebes, Ramses is credited with building numerous temples, monuments and even entire cities.  The city of Pi-Ramesses was built to replace the capitol at Thebes. He is also credited with building a lavish tomb for his favored consort, Nefertari, and the temple complex at Abu Simbel which was an act of pure ego carved into the living stone of two mountains in southern Egypt.

Did these buildings send a message? Yes. The Pharaohs are Living Gods and their power over Egypt is absolute. Were they designed for public consumption? Without a doubt. Is the message one of persuasion and/or coercion? Yes. Look up at the great works of the Pharaohs in awe and despair for you will never be their equal. Unless you’re really special. Like the man who started the Egyptian architectural tradition, Imhotep. It should be noted that the man “who made all of this possible” was one of the few commoners in ancient Egyptian history to be accorded the status of godhood upon his death.

The Parthenon on the Acropolis

The Greeks were also great builders, but none of their buildings says propaganda quite like the Parthenon. Built nominally as a temple to the goddess Athena, the patron of the city-state of Athens, the Parthenon is located on the Athenian Acropolis – a rocky outcropping that dominates the skyline of Athens.  I say nominally built as a temple because the evidence tends to point to the fact that it was never really used as a temple by any given sect let alone the cult of Athena Polias (which was the official cult of Athena as patron of Athens).  In addition to serving as a display case for the massive statue of Athena crafted by Phidias, the Parthenon served primarily as a treasury. Does this building send a message? Yes. We are Athens and look to our glory. Was it designed for public consumption? Being on the most visually prominent spot in all of Athens in addition to being the largest Greek building of its time, the answer can only be a resounding yes. Is the message one of persuasion and/or coercion? Also a resounding yes as the building is a testament to both the glory of the Athenian patron goddess and the economic power of Athens.

Arbeia

Rome specifically and with great forethought used buildings as propaganda, especially in the provinces. It was, in fact, a key element in the projection of Roman power. Everywhere the Romans went, two things were sure to follow: stone roads and buildings. Think of the messages the provinces got when Rome built coliseums, market complexes, government buildings, military fortifications and aqueducts. Even in Gaul, modern France, where there was a sophisticated network of wooden roads built by the local Celts, Rome conquered and then Rome built and they built in stone. Europe is littered with the ruins of the projection of Roman power.  In  South Shields, England at Tyne & Wear, the Roman fort of Arbeia stands today (partially restored) as testament to how far Rome could project her power. Most of the provinces were the home of timber and thatch construction. The stone buildings of the Romans were sending a message that “Rome is here, get used to it, and we can build crazy things you can’t, by they way did you notice our well-organized professional military that came with them”. They were not only functional, but aimed to make an impression on the locals. The message was clearly a mix of both persuasion (look at the lovely bathhouse!) and coercion (nice fort you’ve got there).

The U.S. Supreme Court

Just so, consider the monuments and public buildings of the modern United States.  The Capitol building was partially burned by the British on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812. To shore up confidence at home and to tell those Brits who was in charge here, the Capitol was not only reconstructed but expanded in the period from 1819 to 1826. Look at the style of construction of the Supreme Court and Congress. The Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore, they are all monuments to men who left their mark on history certainly, but what else do they say? Are they not projections of power and creating the image of a society as great as that of the Romans and Greeks whose architecture and scale they mimic?

There are clearly more ways to send a message than words alone.

What do you think?

Kudos to commentator Darren Smith for tangentially suggesting this supplemental topic.

~ submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

The Propaganda Series;

Propaganda 105: How to Spot a Liar

Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Streisand Effect and the Political Question

Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Sound of Silence

Propaganda 104: Magica Verba Est Scientia Et Ars Es

Propaganda 103: The Word Changes, The Word Remains The Same

Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Holly Would “Zero Dark Thirty”

Propaganda 102: Holly Would and the Power of Images

Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Child’s Play

Propaganda 101: What You Need to Know and Why or . . .

Related articles of interest;

Mythology and the New Feudalism by Mike Spindell

How about Some Government Propaganda for the People Paid for by the People Being Propagandized? by Elaine Magliaro

96 thoughts on “Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Build It And They Will Come (Around)

  1. Propaganda eventually makes those using it drunk and soon to be buried, then to be dug up and talked about later by archaeologists and anthropologists.

    Look at the new “9/11 buildings” in New York, built to glorify the victory over those who did not do 9/11, even as those who did it still hold hands with those who are building those replacement propaganda props (Fighting Terrorism For 200 Years).

  2. Albert Speers:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer#First_Architect_of_the_Third_Reich_.281934.E2.80.931939.29. Thus saying: “We are the best, the blondest, the most powerful, the rightest, the biggest, the most HEIL, ever ever EVER!” Something like

    Re: Taj Mahal, there is a persistent but unproven legend that the builder of the Taj had the architects’ or artists’ or workers’ hands cut off after completion of the Taj to prevent anyone from ever building such a beautiful structure again. http://library.thinkquest.org/27638/tajmahal.html. Thus, saying, “I am memorializing my love for this woman; nobody else may memorialize a greater love, ever, so there!”

    Exodus 25:40 I believe it was, God gives instructions to Moses and Aaron on building him the exact kind of temple he wants. DO NOT MAKE A MISTAKE! (otherwise known as “make no mistake about it”)

    Of course, a structure embodies an idea. How else can we explain building anything other than our beaver dams that we need to live, to prepare our food, to protect ourselves from the environment? Igloos are perhaps homes that do not express a sort of propaganda to the environment; police stations, on the other hand, have dual purposes.

    Interesting article, very interesting concept, and thanks.

  3. Malisha,

    I thought about including Speer in this article, but since most of his grandest plans either didn’t survive the war or come to fruition, I decided against it. He was a kind of modern version of Imhotep though, minus the medical knowledge and extremely diverse interests. Imhotep was also a polymath and one of the first physicians in recorded history (although there were other great Egyptian healers in his time such as Merit-Ptah that could claim that title as well).

  4. Gene,

    I am breathless as I finish reading this installment. I’m not sure you know but Ancient History has always been an avocation of mine since my Elementary School Years. I even entertained a desire to be an archaeologist. In all my reading of the subject the fact of the structures themselves being propaganda probably was in there in the back of my mind, but I never consciously thought much about it until now. You’ve opened my eyes to a new conception of what I already knew. Brilliant in both execution and exposition. Your series thus far has the makings of an excellent and important book.

  5. Yes, our capital city sends a message. It’s closed off to the public with barricades and snipers. There are police everywhere. They are armed to the teeth. This is also true of our major metropolitan worship center, New York.

    Surrounding Washington is a ring of Defense (War) Contractors.

    He who has eyes to see, let him see.

  6. Never considered it before but now that I have, yes, I can see it.

    Great subject for a thesis paper in any number of disciplines.

    A tip of the hat to Darren Smith.

    Thank you, Gene

  7. i see it more in domed football stadiums and shopping malls. they also say more about our culture because none will last very long.

  8. Indigo,

    You have made my day. This is a monument I was unaware of and not only did I learn something new, I learned something interesting. Actually, it is most certainly a form of propaganda both in scale and inscription. However, it put a fine point on the earlier distinction that propaganda is a tool and as a tool is inherently neutral in itself – any bad or good lies in the intent of the builder/speaker.

    This monument is an example of what I’d consider good propaganda as the message inscribed in multiple languages translates as the following ten principles.

    Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
    Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
    Unite humanity with a living new language.
    Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
    Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
    Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
    Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
    Balance personal rights with social duties.
    Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
    Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

    That they are aspirational in nature and may not be practically attainable given the scale and diversity of human activity and motivation does not detract from the basic idea that they all promote – peace, good stewardship and action based on reason and forethought – are all good things in any reasonably good ethical estimation.

    Very interesting indeed.

    Thank you.

  9. Bron,

    Thanks again for showing that Objectivism isn’t a reasonably good ethical estimation. Good stewardship and taking care of our only known habitable planet isn’t eugenics. It’s simply good sense until we figure out how to go despoil another planet.

  10. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
    Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
    ========================================================
    How is that accomplished?
    ==========================
    Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
    =============================================
    The U.S. Constitution?
    ==================
    Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
    ==============================
    How?

  11. Gene H:

    Here are the first 2 tenets of the Georgia Guide Stone:

    1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
    2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

    Sounds like eugenics to me. In fact item 2 sounds pretty close to creating a master race, seems to me I have seen that in the history books but just cant seem to remember where I saw it.

    That stone should be pulverized and used for fill in septic fields.

    Good stewardship is an outcome of private property. It is funny how that works out, it is just natural to want to protect and sustain what you own. You dont have to be forced to do so, it is just in your best interest to do so.

  12. “Good stewardship is an outcome of private property.”

    No, it’s not. A false equivalence. Good stewardship an outcome of responsible behavior and forethought. Ownership is irrelevant to the issue. Ownership is a construct of society. Stewardship is conducting, supervising, or managing of something but especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care – whether you own it or not.

    But thanks for your vote on whether or not the monument constitutes propaganda. It obviously does in your opinion since it clearly represents an idea – responsible reasonable usage of natural resources – that you find abhorrent to your goals of maximized personal profits, Bron.

  13. Indigo Jones- Fascinating link, thanks! That monolith reminds of the old scifi novel “Mote In God’s Eye” by Larry Niven, a sort of guide for future generations, post apocalypse. It might one day be used as a warning- “Hey, dum-dums, this is where we f’d up, try not to repeat history too closely.”

  14. Gene H- Fantastic article. It made me think of another bit of modern building as propaganda- the US space program. While it’s certainly has it’s utilitarian and military uses, primarily the development of all the sattelites and shiny ICBM’s, it was mainly used as a way of saying, “Ha Ha! Look what we can build and you other poor nubs can’t! Look, fire and boom and big rocket thingy!” (I do actually love the space program, the engineering aspects and challenges of it make my nerd side go all tingly)

  15. Terry Jones (of the Monte Python troupe) produced a series of History Channel videos on The Crusades wherein he noted the use of stained glass windows in church cathedrals as propaganda inculcating within the illiterate faithful lurid lies about non-existent persecution of Christians by the Muslim inhabitants of “the Holy Land.” Jones called the stained glass propaganda windows “the medieval equivalent of tabloid journalism.”

  16. Woosty,

    Sheep’s clothing?

    Seriously, if it was a sermon about the wolf trying to help the child but the hunter, not knowing that, shot him dead, originally by Forrest Church, a Unitarian minister … then it is one of my favorites.

    It’s often coupled with a reading from the Gospel of Luke.

  17. Back in 1983, some of us volunteer parents attended a week-long soccer coaching clinic at Vandenburg AFB just north of Santa Barbara. After spending all day on the fields, we would gather after dinner for films and lectures in an auditorium normally used by air force officers for their training programs. Along one wall stood a line of GIANT MENACING OLIVE GREEN SOVIET MISSILES, while along the opposite wall there stood some pathetic little blue and white American missiles. I found myself wondering: “Are American Air Force officers so stupid that this kind of heavy-handed symbolic propaganda doesn’t offend them?”

  18. Blouise it was exactly (almost) that!. Inspired, anyway, by that sermon.
    Great food for thought and a few good laffs as well….(especially the part where the wolf said he only ate Gramma to spare the child…. ;)

    …and the hunters response was SOOOOOOO knee jerk…. ;)

  19. So Blouise, if Jung is correct that when a patient presents a sexual issue, it’s usually actually a religious issue. When a patient presents a religious issue, it’s a matter of their sexuality. What do you suppose that wolf was really up to?

  20. MM,

    I saw that Terry Jones documentary. Also the series he did on “The Barbarians”. Good stuff.

    *********

    CLH,

    Don’t forget the very real tactical military advantage of space. Higher ground is always of importance strategically and tactically. That’s one of the reason I think the attempts to starve NASA and privatize space is a really bad idea. Also I’m in the Hawking camp: the only long term survival solution for our species is to spread to through the solar system and beyond. I’d rather that be a government endeavor than to find our next home be on Planet Starbucks in the Microsoft Galaxy.

  21. Gene, speaking of high ground. Back in WW-I, smart young officers realized it made more sense to go charging around the sky at about two miles a minute rather than slogging through muddy trenches at walking speed. Despite the trade off that a pilot had a life expectancy of four weeks, it was better than the alternative of staying on the ground in the trenches.

    OT, but I had the great pleasure of meeting the last living fighter pilot from WW-I. Otto Roosen flew for Germany, and was 99 years old when I met him in 1992.

    High is better than ground pounding any day of the week, risks be damned.

    With regard to privatization, there is absolutely nothing keeping basement geniuses from inventing. Burt Rutan is a prime example of such an individual genius. But full development of his ideas will probably depend on NASA and/or the Air Force.

  22. “Ozymandias”
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    I met a traveler from an antique land,
    Who said – “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal, these words appear:
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    The irony of history has a way of dispensing with arrogant architectural propaganda. I believe that French artillery crews in Egypt used the great Sphinx for target practice and shot off its nose.

  23. OS,

    Don’t get me wrong. I think there is a role for private enterprise to play and Rutan’s group is a fine example, but the abdication of basics like mothballing the Shuttle fleet and putting our entire NASA reliance upon the Russians and private companies? Bad idea.

  24. Woosty,

    I’m not much of Jungian but I’ll give it a shot.

    Jung had a lot of theologians in his family and was well versed in the science of religion. He did suggest that the historical Jesus was lost in the myth of Christ. He did try to help his clients reconnect with their lost sense of God through their own myths and dreams (the neglected aspects of our being compensated) and was fairly successful at doing what the church had failed to do … the dogmatism of Christianity being at fault.

    In the version of the sermon I know, the wolf was trying to protect the child and had the hunter been able to see the situation through the eyes of the wolf, murder would not have been done.

    Zacchaeus, a short man, climbed the tree to see Jesus since he couldn’t see him due to the crowd ( I’m using Luke 19 here). “What you see [in life] depends on where you stand; what you hear depends on who you listen to.” Two lessons (one spiritual, one practical) … move out of the dogma of the church and climb a tree if you want to see Jesus, and/or, try to see things through the eyes of others before passing judgement on their actions.

    Spirituality and sex are always intertwined, in my opinion. They are fundamental urges within each human being. Check out the stories about almost any religious mystic … a very randy bunch. Jung seemed to understand that.

  25. Woosty, the Wolf of Gubbio story?

    (I may get some of the facts mangled, not much of a scholar of Christian parables or such)

    In a little village (Gubbio) a wolf had been raiding night after night and eating their kids and so forth. They tried to catch him and kill him but failed. Finally they ran and fetched St. Francis who was reported to be able to speak with the animals; they wanted to send him into the woods to find the wolf and convince him not to keep raiding. He said to them, “I don’t need to go find your wolf to speak with him; I can speak with YOU. What you need to do is FEED YOUR WOLF. Then he won’t devour any of your kids.”

    So they took turns leaving food out for the wolf and he came in every night and had dinner and then left peaceably.

    I forgot what this has to do with the Propaganda by Buildings, sorry. ;-)

  26. Gene H.- I agree, actually, I was more referring to the initial development of the program rather than the current use. I don’t believe anyone thinks that some privatization is entirely bad when the alternative might be a hiatus on developing space tech, but the government should and must continue to spur the main event. There are reports of a Dutch company selling one way tickets to Mars, at least in theory. If I only had a few million bucks :*( And yeah, Hawkins pretty much nailed it. Not enough resources in the solar system for construction of Dyson’s sphere, and Earth’s resources will not permit an ever growing population- I don’t think anyone can accuratley predict the actual ceiling, but we’ve already hit diminishing returns on resource extraction. It won’t be that many more generations between now and massive depopulation, through catastrophe or choice. Hopefully choice (limited reproduction- none of O.S. Card’s Thirds, while I’m on a scifi kick) but I doubt it. It’s how we rebuild from that event that will determine whether we eventually die out completley as a species.

  27. Gene,

    The stones say keep the population under 500 million. Considering that would mean wiping out the 6 and a half billion people in the way of your shining city on the hill, you’d better get started.

    Oh and Id love to hear you elaborate on “guiding reproduction”. Please go on.

  28. As for propaganda,

    ” Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups—and the electronic hardware exists by which to deliver these pseudo-worlds right into the heads of the reader, the viewer, the listener. Sometimes when I watch my eleven-year-old daughter watch TV, I wonder what she is being taught. The problem of miscuing; consider that. A TV program produced for adults is viewed by a small child. Half of what is said and done in the TV drama is probably misunderstood by the child. Maybe it’s all misunderstood. And the thing is, Just how authentic is the information anyhow, even if the child correctly understood it? What is the relationship between the average TV situation comedy to reality? What about the cop shows? Cars are continually swerving out of control, crashing, and catching fire. The police are always good and they always win. Do not ignore that point: The police always win. What a lesson that is. You should not fight authority, and even if you do, you will lose. The message here is, Be passive. And—cooperate. If Officer Baretta asks you for information, give it to him, because Officer Beratta is a good man and to be trusted. He loves you, and you should love him.

    So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.”

    Phillip K dick

    http://deoxy.org/pkd_how2build.htm

  29. The buildings are just as strong or in some cases as wrong as the people that run them…..

  30. Gene, I agree with the notion of mothballing the shuttles is probably a bad idea for the moment, but as we have seen, the aging space shuttles are not as safe as we would like. I think Burt Rutan’s design for a “shuttlecock” configuration as a reentry vehicle is brilliant, and probably a vision of what future space shuttles might look like. I don’t have any particular beef with using the Russian space shuttle, since it is similar to our fleet and apparently has an excellent reliability record, but that cannot go on forever. Thing about Rutan’s design is that it is going to take NASA and the government to provide enough money to build one big enough that it can actually be useful in the space program.

  31. Gene H:

    “It obviously does in your opinion since it clearly represents an idea – responsible reasonable usage of natural resources – that you find abhorrent to your goals of maximized personal profits, Bron.”

    Well, in the grand scheme of things I would rather be for maximizing profits than supporting the killing of 6,000,000,000 [6 billion] people and forcing the remaining 500,000,000 to selectively breed like cattle to produce a “master” race.

    But like everything else socialists schemers plan and implement, we would end up with 10 billion people who were dumb as bricks.

    As I said above the philosophy behind the Georgia Guide Stones is evil and the stones should be destroyed and used to filter shit.

  32. “… the stones should be destroyed and used to filter shit.” — Brontosaurus brain:

    If you destroy something, it no longer exists, and therefore you cannot use it for anything.

    Also, the primitive belief that destroying a physical symbol destroys an idea associated with it goes by the name of sympathetic magic — or Voodoo.

    You have many intellectual problems, Brontosaurus brain. I’ve briefly highlighted only two of them. I have better uses for my time than going through the whole bushel basket for you, but suffice it to say that you need help learning to think.

  33. Interesting, Gene, although an image of Hitler’s planned Germania, aka Berlin, may have added a perfect look at monumental expression and power, and the odd desire for immortality.

    Frederic Spotts, Hitler and the power of Aethetics

    There he sits, deep in thought, studying a grand model of his home town of Linz. The model shows shows the city as it will look after being transformed into the culture center of Europe. It had been delivered the day before and lightening arrangements were installed to enable him to envisage how the buildings would appear at various times of the day as well as by moonlight. The date is 13 February 1945. The place is the bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin. The Russians are at the Oder, a hundred miles away; the British and Americans are near the Rhine some 300 miles to the West. Yet Hitler spends hours absorbed in his model. He worries that the bell tower in the center of town may be too tall; it must not eclipse the spire of the cathedral at Ulm further up the Danube since that would hurt the pride of the people living there. But it must be high enough to catch the first beams of the sun in the morning and the last in the evening. ‘In the tower I want a carillon to play–not every day but on special days–a theme from Bruckner’s Fourth, the Romantic Symphony,’ he tells his architect. During the weeks and month to follow, the model will continue to offer him solace, even as his Reich–and it was his Reich–collapses around him.

    Strictly, I would have preferred the title, Hitler and the Aesthetics of Power. Just as I follow the German Philosopher Rüdiger Safranski (ü=ue), in making a difference between the Romantics and Romantic nationalism:

    In the novel [Dr. Faustus, 1947] Thomas Mann had repudiated the Romantic’s desire for a higher interpretation of the crude events, but that is exactly what he offered a higher interpretation of crude events. If this desire for a higher interpretation indeed is a romantic problem, then this novel is itself part of the problem to which he thinks he offers a solution.

    [my translation, no English translation available, translated title: Romanticism, a German affair]

    Consider also the similarities between the Communist (Stalin?) control of artistic expression–Lenin’s Mausoleum?– and the National Socialist’s in following Hitler’s dilettantism.

    I also thought, about cathedrals, and believe me I am not a fan of the destruction created by the French revolution, and the “cathedrals” of banks and insurance companies, but yes I often can’t keep my mind from meandering.

  34. Blouise
    1, June 4, 2012 at 1:41 am
    ———————————- :) lovely

    Malisha
    1, June 4, 2012 at 1:56 am
    Woosty, the Wolf of Gubbio story?
    ————————————————-
    Malisha thank you for the remembrance of this story….it wasn’t the fractured fairytale that I was referring to but it definitely fits into the ‘but what about the poor wolf’ perspective I was treated to ….I think we are talking about different wolves………hence the ‘need’ for the propaganda highlighted in the new paradigm parable I was exposed to on Sunday. btw, these aren’t so much ‘Christian’ per se…..they are pretty ubiquitous. Anyway thank you!

  35. Michael Murry:

    From Merriam Webster’s online dictionary:

    Destroy:

    1. : to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of ; also : to ruin as if by tearing to shreds

    ruin the structure does not mean to cease to exist. It means to take a big flat slab of granite and to turn it into little pieces of stone. It can be used to imply total elimination but that is not a necessary condition.

    I actually thought you were a good deal smarter than that, but apparently not.

    I also dont think destroying a symbol has any juju but I do think that the symbology of using a stone with ideas on it that are for shit to use to filter shit is apt or congruent.

    congruent:

    1. congruous

    congruous:

    2. marked or enhanced by harmonious agreement among constituent elements

    shit is definitely in harmony with shit.

  36. Bron lives in sheer terror of messages written in stone. His hell appears to be portable, following him around as it does.

  37. Bron
    1, June 4, 2012 at 9:37 am
    Michael Murry:

    From Merriam Webster’s online dictionary:

    Destroy:

    1. : to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of ; also : to ruin as if by tearing to shreds
    —————————-
    Bron, to destroy the organic structure of a thing means to kill it.

    To ‘filter’ shit through that WOULD then would be a very base and basic example of the definition of the theory of Christ and the supposed proposition of the Catholic church.

    tI is also the crux of John Nash’s economic theory which could be described as ‘kill the best, enjoy the rest’ (the best being an ‘ideal’)….

  38. Bron/Ekeyra,

    I’ll say it again slowly and with emphasis for the understanding impaired or those with SRD (selective reading disorder) . . .

    That they are aspirational in nature and may not be practically attainable given the scale and diversity of human activity and motivation does not detract from the basic idea that they all promote – peace, good stewardship and action based on reason and forethought – are all good things in any reasonably good ethical estimation.”

  39. Dredd,

    I don’t think oil platforms meet the criteria, primarily because they aren’t for public consumption. Most are in areas not easily accessible and the message they send (if any) isn’t really what I’d call persuasive or coercive either. Destructive environmentally perhaps, but not persuasive or coercive. Industrial structures rarely count as propaganda for those very reasons. There are exceptions of course, like the Hoover Dam which serves an industrial utilitarian purpose and sends a message, but by in large I don’t think most industrial structures say anything more than their function.

  40. I believe that French artillery crews in Egypt used the great Sphinx for target practice and shot off its nose.

    Actually, I can assure you, that was Obelix’ fault, It’s rather long ago that I read that, but I’ll definitively never forget it.

  41. Dredd,

    Sorry, hasty mousing.

    The symbol of an oil derrick though could be considered propaganda. If you’ve ever driven through Texas or Oklahoma, you see the image everywhere. But that isn’t the structure proper. I’d consider its use in that context an example of symbolism that attaches to the endeavor of oil production itself – the corporate – and it has been used as such in advertising for many years. The act of creating an advertising brand from the structure is what gives it any propaganda value.

  42. Bron,

    “I also dont think destroying a symbol has any juju”

    Then you don’t understand psychology very well. Symbols have associated meaning. When you destroy a symbol, you attack/destroy/impair the ideas associated with that symbol. Consider the choice of Saudi Arabian terrorists in attacking the World Trade Center. They not only destroyed two buildings, but they attacked the meaning associated with those buildings related to confidence in our systems, national pride, etc. That is why the target had value as propaganda for their cause. Were they simply going for body count, other targets presented better opportunity.

    Then again, we all knew that your operational principles come from a mad woman with a fundamental and disastrous lack of understanding regarding basic human psychology. Really, you need to get away from Ayn. It’s an unhealthy relationship.

  43. Gene H:

    sure whatever you say. It is a pragmatists chaos of rational and irrational so it is no wonder you are in basic agreement.

  44. James in LA:

    I guess you like the chaos of pragmatism as well?

    Be a good steward but design a master race. It must suck to be inside your twisted thoughts. A jumbled chaos of random disconnected thoughts with no guiding principles.

    You go girl.

  45. Bron,

    You really need to take responsibility for your own reading comprehension problems.

    Also, while we’re at it, your propensity to make of the meanings of words is rearing its ugly head again.

    Compare:

    pragmatism \ˈprag-mə-ˌti-zəm\, n.,

    1: a practical approach to problems and affairs
    2: an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief

    with . . .

    chaos \ˈkā-ˌäs\, n.,

    1obsolete : chasm, abyss
    2a often capitalized : a state of things in which chance is supreme; especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms — compare cosmos b : the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system (as the atmosphere, boiling water, or the beating heart)
    3a : a state of utter confusion b : a confused mass or mixture

    A practical approach to problems and affairs is hardly chaotic by definition and the usual course of affairs calls for organization which is by definition antithetical to chaos.

    It becomes apparent that if anyone is operating off of a confused mixture of guiding principles, it might be the person who thinks selfishness is a virtue and that words can mean whatever he wants when it is convenient to his “argument”.

  46. Nothing like coming late and skimming the results. (Good article, GeneH).

    Here’s a brief look at nature and how its behaviour patterns repolicates in us.

    Where territorial marking is needed, chiefly among carnivores, how is it done. By using a waste product, urine, the most effect for the least effort, ie economy.

    Similarly, conflict among herbivores which entail strength contests, the use of minimum effort is tried at first, and then ascends. Similarly among carnivores a fight to the death is not a first alternative (at leasat among those of near avoiding the risk of self-damage.

    Similarly with nomadic people, the wandering ways were divided so as to avoid needless conflict.

    And then among settled people, the posting of boundary markers, which, as GeneH points out, amount to very clear propaganda.
    These latter messages are clear: Here are many strong persons, well-organized, well-fed, who can easily spare this non-food producing effort to advise you puny wanderer that you enter here at great risk.

    And, of course, the more obvious effort entailed in size or elaboration, then the greater the threat and the propaganda’s effect.

    At that point, perhaps I have rejoined the thread timewise.

  47. inadvertent clicking of keys has odd effects like elimination of sentence segments.

    “at leasat among those of near avoiding ” should be
    “at leasst among those of near equal strength thus avoiding serious damage to oneself”

  48. Gene H:

    I like this explanation of pragmatism better:

    “The Pragmatists declared that philosophy must be practical and that practicality consists of dispensing with all absolute principles and standards—that there is no such thing as objective reality or permanent truth—that truth is that which works, and its validity can be judged only by its consequences—that no facts can be known with certainty in advance, and anything may be tried by rule-of-thumb—that reality is not firm, but fluid and “indeterminate,” that there is no such thing as a distinction between an external world and a consciousness (between the perceived and the perceiver), there is only an undifferentiated package-deal labeled “experience,” and whatever one wishes to be true, is true, whatever one wishes to exist, does exist, provided it works or makes one feel better.”

    Enjoy your Platonic ambulation.

  49. Oooo. Quoting Ayn Rand at me.

    I’m so not surprised that you go to your favorite sociopath for definitions – which are wrong by the way, there is nothing about pragmatism that precludes absolute parameters to problems, only that solutions must be practical and goal oriented which is merely good logic and common sense.

    Seriously, you need to quit reading her tripe, Bron.

    It’s bad for you, but since it caters to your propensity to worship self, I don’t expect you to realize that.

  50. Gene H. 1, June 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Dredd,

    I don’t think oil platforms meet the criteria, primarily because they aren’t for public consumption. Most are in areas not easily accessible and the message they send (if any) isn’t really what I’d call persuasive or coercive either. Destructive environmentally perhaps, but not persuasive or coercive. Industrial structures rarely count as propaganda for those very reasons. There are exceptions of course, like the Hoover Dam which serves an industrial utilitarian purpose and sends a message, but by in large I don’t think most industrial structures say anything more than their function.
    – – – – – – – – – –  – – – – – – – – —
    Gene H. 1, June 4, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Dredd,

    Sorry, hasty mousing.

    The symbol of an oil derrick though could be considered propaganda. If you’ve ever driven through Texas or Oklahoma, you see the image everywhere. But that isn’t the structure proper. I’d consider its use in that context an example of symbolism that attaches to the endeavor of oil production itself – the corporate – and it has been used as such in advertising for many years. The act of creating an advertising brand from the structure is what gives it any propaganda value.
    ===============================================
    Interesting, and especially so since:

    A website of the federal government tells us:

    “Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy.”

    (Department of Energy). Which is the same thing as saying you are economically dead without your blood, your oil.

    (The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil). That would indicate that building propaganda is not related to crucial dynamics of nations or civilizations.

    Even though the Imenhoteps of the world might think so?

  51. Dredd,

    lol

    Uh, yeah, that qualifies, but you have to admit that isn’t your traditional functional derrick either.

  52. Gene,

    So, because, you merely aspire to wipe out 6 and a half billion people, and micromanage the genetic destiny of the entire human race, but do not yet possess the practical ability to do so, Im mistaken in my assessment of your ambitions?

  53. Gene H. 1, June 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Dredd,

    lol

    Uh, yeah, that qualifies, but you have to admit that isn’t your traditional functional derrick either.
    =============================
    True.

  54. Well, in the grand scheme of things I would rather be for maximizing profits than supporting the killing of 6,000,000,000 [6 billion] people and forcing the remaining 500,000,000 to selectively breed like cattle to produce a “master” race.

    If I may, secret and conspiracy theories feed on each other, with its respective variation of dark forces. One is unimaginable without the other. Personally I love secrets. People find it hard to accept a secret, something they cannot understand, it makes their imagination run wild. And of course there always must be someone out there preventing us from understanding. The people behind the project may well have been aware of this, but I doubt it is their prime motive to produce conspiracy tales. But they obviously realized once there is a secret it will create the desire to fill the void.

    Do you think the word secret can one day discarded, humans will change at one point in time and not need the word anymore? Or do you envision a world were there are no secrets? How do you think it can be brought about?

    There surely is the idea of less “breeding”, but nowhere is there a hint of force, or leaders, some statements and signs actually hint in the opposite direction.

    Personally I never felt the urge to “breed”, following my own desires, or somebody else’s. It felt I could not protect a child in a world with which I struggled. It didn’t want the child to bear a reflection of my own troubles.

    Women’s role and selective “breeding”.

    Look at it this way. In Nazi Germany mothers got medals for “breeding”, I forget in what precise order, or how many kids you needed to get your first one. Leaders always need a human power base. The women’s duty was to procreate to make it grow.

    Can you imagine: It may at times be a women’s wish to only have no child or only one child or two? Don’t you think? It means lot of responsibility beyond bodily joys.

    What attracts your imagination, was only one part of the other side of the coin. Selective breeding concerned the Aryan leaders only, something they considered necessary for their “ideological survival”. Remember they einvisioned 1000 years of Nazi reign. They needed human material that could be shaped according to their desires.

    I do not find a trace of this idea in the text. Maybe you can point it out to me. There is no word about masters and servants. There is no word of force.

    Sometimes it makes sense to look closer. But take care to keep out the colorful tales and their salesmen; or alternatively the Christian personification of evil, that at one point in time it may well have veiled sexuality, or fertility rites, the new religion had to be imbibed first and foremost by women. They had to know their duties. My mother objects to Mother’s Day, it may well have been passed on from mother to daughter to me, she doesn’t want to think of and call her on a day the Nazi’s invented. I forgot once. so she reminded me.

    I accept the reality of secrets, and that some people have desires that may be different from mine. I even have some secrets myself, and do not feel an urge to share them with anybody. What about you?

    Consider sparse resources and a possible limit to economical growth, combined with growing masses that can be lead one way or the other, could well lead to the result you think you have to fight in the Georgia Guidestones.

    Will you tell me your favorite conspiracy theory you found most inspiring about the Gorgia Guidestone? The Satanist approach, the Rosicrucian or the New World Order. And who is your prophet? Alex Jones?

  55. .. to only have no child or only one child or two, hmm? or take care of some that already are here?

  56. Dredd,

    I missed this line earlier. “That would indicate that building propaganda is not related to crucial dynamics of nations or civilizations.” Not necessarily. It depends on context in including historical, technological and sociological contexts. While building propaganda may not play as crucial a role today (your word), it was most certainly crucial to the Egyptians and Romans. Today, I’d say it’s sometimes crucial but mostly incidental as a result of the development of mass communications technologies. Mass communication fundamentally altered the nature of propaganda and steered to the verbal/visual over things like buildings that have their greatest effect in person.

  57. AY,
    “The buildings are just as strong or in some cases as wrong as the people that run them…..” AY

    Would that apply to the Pentagon and the WH too?

  58. leander22:

    I have no conspiracy theories and only read about the Georgia Guide Stones the other day. I had never heard of them before.

    I dont see Satan or New World Order.

  59. Ekeyra (dizzyoak in swedish),

    Re-think on my part.

    Rehabilitation through PKD and Fiasco. Where do you hang out to find Fiasco?

    Life was just starting 50 years ago. The space age had been declared started by JFK. We were still
    cherry, all of us. We believed in chemical rockets, although any sensible scientist could tell us that apace was not meant for us or our chemical horses.

    I note there are some here today who still nurture those dreams. GeneH mentions emigrating to the other parts of the solar system on urgings from others.
    Of course I bought it too. We all did.
    But here’s the straight stuff from a guy who worked with it for 35 years in NM. And y’all know what NM is famous for.
    http://www.neofuel.com/inhabit/inhabit.pdf

    How much are echos of our wild west stories/films we grew up with. Where men are men, and women seldom seen, until the need arises. How many saw McCabe and Mrs Miller? Do so.

    I did stuff for Vandenberg (RFI proofing), JPL (mars lander assy facility planning, anonymous (giant satellite camera lens production), NASA (LEM rocket motor test). Those were the things that were ordinary in my world.

    Let’s face it, until we can open holes, ie warp space, we are not going anywhere. And if we got there, could we manage a strange ecology when we are fucking up our own now with Roundup?

    Roundup is 95% of soybeans which is cow fodder, and also screwing up alfalfa which is at times is cow fodder. And 50 percent of the first born of heifers are miscarriages due to this alfalfa fodder. USDA figures.
    Small grain reductions of 20 percent after two years of Rowndup, USDA figures.

    And some are worrying about micro-nutrients. Got news: the macro ones disappeared from our fields long before Roundup. Ever seen a carrot grown in mineralized soil? Might improve several things in your life if you could eat them.

    So you illustrate another nightmare with Fiasco.
    I got enough of my own. And so do most of us.

    Point your finger in any direction and something will bite you. If it is not Big Oil, big pharma, big gov, big unemployment, big terror, big surveillance, big “don’t dare say a word” or you’re fired, sentenced, screwed and tattooed.

    And if you walk into a courtroom not as a lawyer or a functionary, count on leaving at least half of your life pawned or burned.

    And so ends this tirade. For now.

  60. As for the Georgia Stones.

    How fucking (pardon) naive can we get. Shades of Stonehenge modern worshippers. Shades of pyramid mystery worshipping—-on our dollar bill, no less.
    And where else but in Georgia.

    Some day, some smart guy will lease the rest of the farm, build a replica antebellum plantation complete with slave shanty row (already exists), and hire staff. The slaves will be black Phd’s glad for the work. Predict a riot outside the gates when hiring opens up.

    Tangents? You damn right there are. But now they are not so obscure, or if you think so, then you are slow picking this up.

    I won’t take up the ten points. They could be written by any high school valedictorian anywhere, even the ones failing English in their senior year.

    But I note the teabagger’s got to write in their favorite about the petty officials. And the world language folks got theirs in too.

    As GeneH so well characterized it; it is but aspirations. Well, don’t hold your breath those who are breathing heavy at the sight of paradise.

    Do we have any theosophists here? Any table knockers. Any rosys?
    Any group of the “mysteries of the ancients”, any gnostics, any searchers after and readers of ancient manuscripts?

    Gather round the stones, drop some acid, eat some shrooms, get laid back with maryjane (listen to Janis version), do it all. And wake up to the same mess tomorrow. The answers lie not there in those screeds.

    Yes, the answers lie within. But it is not a mystery.
    It is as plain as a bowl of porridge. Power=survival.
    Until we defeat that drive, then we won’t get anywhere.

  61. Bron:

    If you should ever wish to know something factual and useful concerning philosophical pragmatism, I recommend going straight to the master himself, Charles Sanders Peirce, beginning with The Fixation of Belief, published in 1877 in the equivalent of today’s Scientific American.

    To satisfy our doubts, therefore, it is necessary that a method should be found by which our beliefs may be determined by nothing human, but by some external permanency — by something upon which our thinking has no effect. Some mystics imagine that they have such a method in a private inspiration from on high. But that is only a form of the method of tenacity, in which the conception of truth as something public is not yet developed. Our external permanency would not be external, in our sense, if it was restricted in its influence to one individual. It must be something which affects, or might affect, every man. And, though these affections are necessarily as various as are individual conditions, yet the method must be such that the ultimate conclusion of every man shall be the same. Such is the method of science. Its fundamental hypothesis, restated in more familiar language, is this: There are Real things, whose characters are entirely independent of our opinions about them; those Reals affect our senses according to regular laws, and, though our sensations are as different as are our relations to the objects, yet, by taking advantage of the laws of perception, we can ascertain by reasoning how things really and truly are; and any man, if he have sufficient experience and he reason enough about it, will be led to the one True conclusion.

    Philosophical pragmatism, as you can now see, has nothing to do with personal opinion but rather with the public settlement of it in terms of “Real things,” available to everyone equally, which do not depend for their existence upon what one man or any generation of men may think of them. In short: Scientific Method.

    The quote you offered fairly reeks of solipsism, not pragmatism, and you would do well to ponder the difference between these wildly conflicting concepts.

  62. Leaving out a “slash” in the closing “blockquote” HTML tag produces indented quotations. I’ll try to remember that in the future when I may want to do that intentionally. Obviously, the last two paragraphs constitute my paraphrase of Peirce as well as my own caution against confusing solipsism with philosophical pragmatism.

  63. C. S. Peirce’s great friend and benefactor, William James, did a lot to popularize philosophical pragmatism, but unfortunately his poor choice of terminology and unreconstructed religiosity led to a great deal of confusion, as well; so much so, that Peirce later changed the name of his philosophy to “pragmaticism,” a term which he considered “ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers.”

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, a former classmate of Peirce and James, had a somewhat unsympathetic opinion of James’s views:

    He thought that James had made scientific uncertainty an excuse for believing in the existence of an unseen world. ‘His wishes made him turn down the lights so as to give miracle a chance.’ — Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club

    A practicing scientist, Peirce understood the essence of Heisenberg’s uncertaintly principle wherein one can predict quite a lot about the operations of nature, just not precisely everything about it at any one point in four-dimensional space-time. According to Peirce, no reputable scientist would dream of issuing his research results without appending to them an estimate of their probable error. Peirce accepted uncertainty, but understood its proper place, and did not in the least think that this uncertainty disproved natural laws.

    I realize that this digression has little to do with Building Propaganda, but since Peirce practically founded the field of Semiotics, or the science of symbols, he has an enduring relevance to any discussion of propaganda, as later experts in rhetoric and symbolic communication — like I. A. Richards, Alfred Korzybski, and Umberto Eco — publicly acknowledged on many occasions.

  64. Some big elephants walking around here. I’m quiet as a mouse. I know him by his nickname: Bitter Peirce.
    So long ago it is forgotten why.

    2:30AM Thanks for me.

  65. “Peirce later changed the name of his philosophy to ‘pragmaticism,’ a term which he considered ‘ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers.'”

    lol

    I had totally forgotten that bon mot. Thanks for the reminder, MM.

  66. “I know him by his nickname: Bitter Peirce. So long ago it is forgotten why.” — idealist707

    Perhaps you once read something like this:

    “I am a man of whom critics have never found anything good to say. When they could see no opportunity to injure me, they have held their peace.”

    Even paranoid geniuses sometimes have real enemies assiduously following their careers, determined to undermine them.

  67. “Man’s achievements rest upon the use of symbols. For this reason, we must consider ourselves as a symbolic, semantic class of life, and those who rule the symbols, rule us.” — Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity

    Skillful perpetrators of propaganda understand the use and misuse of symbols. Only a similar understanding by the intended target can make a citizenry out of an audience.

  68. woosty:

    interesting building, I would say it is a cloud. I guess it is all in how you look at. The 911 explosion was not all around both buildings at the same time.

  69. Idealist,

    If you want some truly eye opening stuff about america’s space program, do your homework about jack parsons and the people he liked to hang out with.

    “Point your finger in any direction and something will bite you. If it is not Big Oil, big pharma, big gov, big unemployment, big terror, big surveillance, big “don’t dare say a word” or you’re fired, sentenced, screwed and tattooed.”

    The funny thing is, I agree with most of the big picture problems that professor turley and the people on this blog point out. I simply disagree on the source of the problem and therefore the conclusions i come to about the solution to those problems.

  70. Woosty,
    Take a look at my link to the Aspis scientist, head of the NM scientist org. He spent it all trying to use the water in the solar system to power his rockets. He could produce the energy, but the mass was the water, andits use in sustaining life.

    Do take a look. It’s like the RWA book. Same relaxed and knowledgeable tone. You’ll enjoy it.
    The first you’ll see is a plan over the solar system with resources shown, including water.

    http://www.neofuel.com/inhabit/inhabit.pdf

  71. Ekeyra,

    Thanks for Jack Parsons. When I need a dream I’ll go there. No dissing there meant. Until we can manage ourselves we don’t deserve to polute and multiply, and won’t either, as I pointed out. In space, gravity rules. All else is ineffectual.

    But do tell me more on this:
    “I simply disagree on the source of the problem and therefore the conclusions i come to about the solution to those problems.” You got my attention, now say what your mystery is.

    And I did DIG the video. Could watch it 20 times but would not understand all the messages there. Too old.

    Each generation has to deal with its (ie current) problems.
    The older folks only want to hold onto their familiar ones—thus the generation fight.

    With this rapidly changeing world, how can anyone believe we should entrust it to people over 35 years. Or to the conformists.

    So how, again I ask, did you find this video, and does it represent a cult/culture now developing?

    Thanks for the stimulation.

  72. Gene,

    I think you missed the forest for the trees regarding DC buildings and propaganda. From day one the entire city was explicitly intended to be propaganda–to humble foreign heads of state (at least if The West Wing is to be believed).

    Bron said:

    Here are the first 2 tenets of the Georgia Guide Stone:

    1.Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
    2.Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

    Sounds like eugenics to me. In fact item 2 sounds pretty close to creating a master race, seems to me I have seen that in the history books but just cant seem to remember where I saw it.

    We are currently using 1.5 times the resources produced by the Earth every year. If we keep up this level of consumption (per capita) we will either endure a Malthusian catastrophe or reduce the number of people on the planet voluntarily. Which would you prefer? Personally, I’d prefer to bring our numbers under control by guiding reproduction wisely rather than disasters resulting in mass deaths (we are already experiencing mass extinctions), but maybe that’s just me…

    That stone should be pulverized and used for fill in septic fields.

    That seems to be the same sort of sentiment shown by the Taliban when they blasted stone buddhas thousands of years old off of the side of a mountain. Is that really the moral and intellectual company you’d like to be in?

    Good stewardship is an outcome of private property.

    Good stewardship is an outcome of property rights (private or otherwise). If a profit can be made by damaging someone else’s property, what mechanism in capitalism prevents companies from doing so? Expecting capitalism to naturally result in good stewardship rather than the amoral generation of profit is insane. You may worship at the altar of the cult of unfettered capitalism, but wiser people see it as one of many tools in the box–a hammer might be a useful tool, but you can’t do everything with it.

    It is funny how that works out, it is just natural to want to protect and sustain what you own. You dont have to be forced to do so, it is just in your best interest to do so.

    Although good stewardship of the resources we share is in all of our interest, unfettered capitalism never seems to take this into account, why is that? (maybe because there is no cost associated with ignoring it… and profit to be had!) We’ve seen over and over again that corporations will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for the consequences of their actions unless they are forced to do so as well as the measurable improvements in air and water quality resulting from the Environmental Protection Act. Good stewardship is all about balance–something with which your blind worship of “all capitalism, all the time” is completely at odds.

  73. Slarti,

    Oh, I know about the forest. I figured the point had been made about buildings to the point that simply pointing out some domestic trees would allow others to see the forest for themselves (if they didn’t see it already). Even the layout of the streets in Washington is a form of propaganda – they circle around and point to the Capitol. Conclusions always work best when your audience reaches them themselves. We have a smart audience here. I have confidence in their ability to connect those dots, to mix a metaphor.

  74. Wow I just saw about ten minutes of some movie. It was a bunch of cardinals in the Vatican and some priest had just killed the Pope and blah blah blah…not ordinarily the kind of movie I would watch, but I was just kinda stunned at the look of the Vatican! It’s definitely a piece of god propaganda, no doubt on that count.

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