[This is a five-part series based on a couple of hours of interview for community radio. The aired version will obviously be much shorter, but I thought the content was interesting enough to warrant an unabridged text version. Each part will include an Index (at the end) to the whole series.]

PART FIVE: Why Worry?

DE: So we’re speaking here of cults, and we’re speaking with a sort of a shared understanding that this is not a good thing, and that if friends of ours get sucked into this we feel concerned for them, and we would actually kind of like to rescue them…


[This is a five-part series based on a couple of hours of interview for community radio. The aired version will obviously be much shorter, but I thought the content was interesting enough to warrant an unabridged text version. Each part will include an Index (at the end) to the whole series.]

PART FOUR: Theatre, Grift, or Passionate Belief?

DE: Did you see the defence Alex Jones put up in, I think it’s a child custody case? It was asserted that his behaviour online showed that he was, you know, not good parent material — I forget all the details, but the defence was very interesting. The defence…


[This is a five-part series based on a couple of hours of interview for community radio. The aired version will obviously be much shorter, but I thought the content was interesting enough to warrant an unabridged text version. Each part will include an Index (at the end) to the whole series.]

PART THREE: Among Our Friends

DE: Do you have personal experience of QAnon, and is there a QAnon presence on Cortes Island, in our small and remote community?
DARSHAN: The answer to both of those is yes. Alex had already read quite a bit about QAnon before we got introduced to it in person…


[This is a five-part series based on a couple of hours of interview for community radio. The aired version will obviously be much shorter, but I thought the content was interesting enough to warrant an unabridged text version. Each part will include an Index (at the end) to the whole series.]

PART TWO: The Narrative, and Susceptibility

DE: Do you think some people are more vulnerable or susceptible than others, to getting sucked into a cult?
DARSHAN: Well, cult experts say that there are two things that really make a person susceptible to getting into a cult. Actually, first of all cult experts say people often…


[This is a five-part series based on a couple of hours of interview for community radio. The aired version will obviously be much shorter, but I thought the content was interesting enough to warrant an unabridged text version. Each part will include an Index (at the end) to the whole series.]

Introduction

I live on a smallish, semi-remote island embarrassingly called Cortes, on the inner coast of British Columbia, Canada. The population of our island is about 900 year-round, though in the summer months we’re swamped with tourism. The demographics are interesting and very mixed: First Nations people, early C20 Anglo…


Been thinking a lot — like everyone else who isn’t living under a rock, I guess — about why heavily-armed, heavily-trained, Kevlar-clad American police officers so easily and so often panic and shoot civilians. Especially civilians of colour. Especially Black civilians.

The history of American semi-apartheid, or in places de facto apartheid, or in places de jure apartheid, explains a lot — about a cultural continuity, an institutional memory, of policing Black people as Untermenschen, undesirables, lesser beings. …


The principle known as Occam’s Razor states that all other things being equal, “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” in any theory. The most parsimonious, or least elaborate, theory that is (a) falsifiable by experiment and (b) adequately explanatory of observed facts, should be preferred over its competitors.

The poster-child for the principle is Ptolemaic astronomy, which starts with the premise that the Earth is the centre of the universe and everything else (sun, moon, planets, stars) moves around it. This geocentric view prevailed for quite some time; but its math grew ever more baroque, as optical technology improved and…


A lot of epithets get slung around like spitballs in the highly polarised politics of the crumbling American Empire. After a while, they’re just angry noises and we hardly pay attention to their meanings. But if what if we slow down and consider them seriously…?

When you call someone a name, and by doing so assert that they are sad and bad and simply awful, you necessarily imply that the opposite of that name must be a good thing.

Obviously when someone disses eco-activists as “tree huggers”, the implication is that the speaker doesn’t give a toss about any tree…


Just when you think things can’t get any stranger

It’s a bit of a puzzler, why the minds of that hall full of Bible-reading, God-invoking radical rightwing, whitewing Americans didn’t immediately leap — as mine and many others’ did — to the beginning of Exodus 32. If the reference isn’t familiar, allow me to retell the story in (very) brief.

Moses went up the mountain to keep his date with destiny. But he was a long time coming back, and the people got nervous. One bright soul among them, by name Aaron, had the idea of melting down all the…


Actually, there’s a whole lot of Star Trek tech I wish we had. Clean energy generation via dilithium crystals, nice. Transporters, very nice. But the thing I was actually thinking about was that seldom-mentioned medical instrument, the Dolorimeter. It could measure — actually quantify — pain and suffering. I suspect the Star Trek version was conceived as measuring purely physical pain, as in neurological activity; but this is fantasy, so why stop there?

How I wish I had millions of them, billions of them, all networked, installed all over the world, reporting and geotracking and aggregating their data in an…

De Clarke

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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