The signs as fancy words

Aries : Quintessential (adj.) - representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.

Taurus: Zealous (adj.) - Active interest me enthusiasm

Gemini: Camaraderie (noun) - Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together

Cancer: Fastidious (adj.) - Giving careful attention to detail

Leo: Eloquent (adj.) - Fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.

Virgo: Acrimony (noun) - Bitterness or ill feeling
Libra: Revel (Verb)- To take enjoyment in something

Scorpio: Insouciance (adj.) - A casual lack of concern; indifferent

Sagittarius: Assiduous (adj.) - Showing great care or perseverance

Capricorn: Axiomatic (adj.) - Obvious or self evident

Aquarius: Capricious (adj.)- Given sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior

Pisces: Equanimity (noun)- mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation

To be close to her is such a delight,
Exciting; awe inspiring above all.
Her eyes epitomize a starry night,
I spiral, an astronaut in free fall.
To touch her skin is electrifying,
Titillated fingers glint at contact.
All that we are craves our unifying;
Wavicles flare with each bodily act.
To kiss her is an explosion of quarks,
A vehemence my body cannot hold.
Spiralling in infinite brilliant sparks
All secrets of the universe unfold.
Oh, to love her is the last known magic
In this world that often seems so tragic.
—  Axiomatic lover, M.A. Tempels © 2017
The Forms of Spirits Defined

Is the shape of a nature spirit given form over time by a culture and its linguistic perception of that spirit or is it formed in a more immediate way through the prism of cultural perception in the individual having the experience, defined by that culture’s language?

When we look at the cultures of the world, both classic and contemporary, we see a spectrum of belief in “spirits” that is prevalent in all cultures continuously throughout history. In some form or another the concept of spirits is as wide ranging as language itself. An instrumental part of the development of all socities, the nature of these spirits takes on a wide variety of roles depending on the culture in which they have blossomed.

From the ancient jinn of the east, to the nagas of Asia, the fae and sidhe of the Celts, the ancestor spirits of Africa and her diaspora in the new world, the German goblins, Norse trolls, the Vodoun lwa, the saints and demons of Judeo-Christian pantheons, the world over is full of the belief in beings whose form is transitory yet whose power is recorded as often enormous in scale. Who exist at the edge of temporality and are supplicated with offerings, orisons and rituals.

Yet while the concept of spirits is one that is universal, little contemporary thought has been given to the nature of these beings and their origins on a practical level. Relying heavily on pre enlightenment ideas of corporeality the contemporary magician is often working under conditions that have proven to be obscure at best, fraudulent at worst.

What then is the nature of these beings with whom all magicians the world over interact? How are we to express in terms scientific and yet openminded, those entities with whom our craft is indebted? Where are we to find the headwaters of these beliefs and their origins in human culture?

To say that nature is the source of all life is axiomatic, for nature is itself all life, the very mathematic formula that drives evolution on all its scales. While the boundaries of what makes up life may be little understood its form, as we perceive it, tends toward that which is measurably obvious to the viewer. As mankind has developed intellectually over the past few centuries our understanding of the complexities and subtleties of living beings has grown immeasurably. From the first understanding of the nature of germs to CRISPR gene editing in under two centuries mankind is just now beginning to scientifically understand the fields of energy that surround us that have long been overlooked.

The electromagnetic fields of all living things stretch far beyond the boundaries of their physical masses. The electromagnetic field of the earth itself functioning like an engine driving our planetary variables, steering tectonic plates, controlling weather systems. The interplay of these electromagnetic forces, coupled with energies we are barely able to understand that exist in quantum interactions and dimensional concepts too complex for a blog post, are just now being looked at, let alone fully grasped at this stage in our intellectual enlightenment.

It is in this realm, of complex energies, vibratory frequencies, and misunderstood quantum mechanics, that we find the root of those beings who can be grouped into the categories of “spirits”. From Grecian daemons to Galician mouros, lwa to kitsune, wight to ghost, the patterns of energy that make up these beings are all drawn from that stream of energies which is invisible to mankind, though slowly being revealed under the lens of contemporary technology.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla

While this river of energies may be just now coming into focus through accepted scientific practice the craft finds its very roots at the base of this tree of knowledge. The varieties of dealing with these spirits are as complex as the cultures that bore them. The negotiations of these relationships across the world playing similar tunes, yet varied in their composition to reflect the variables and practicalities at hand.

Yet we must wonder at the nature of these manifestations against the cultures in which they are perceived. What causes such a diverse narrative and a motley assortment of creatures that have long interacted with mankind? How are we to know wight from lwa? What defines the differences and commonalities of these beings? How can a river of energies so universal manifest so differently among disparate cultures, while retaining distinct core similarities in their nature?

I propose that these manifestations are given form via the specific language a practitioners understands and communicates in. That the culture whose folk narrative has given form to these spirits is manifesting the boundaries of said beings through the use of language itself.

We are linguistic beings by nature. Our entire world perception is defined through the language we speak, and not all words in all languages easily translate across linguistic boundaries. We may speak in one language of emotions and concepts that are entirely alien to the thoughts of a native speaker in another language. The sounds of one culture’s joy may be the sound of aggression in another culture and its linguistic palette.

Thus as a culture has become defined throughout time, like the polishing of the facets of a jewel, mankind’s perception of these entities that exist at the boundaries of our perception have come to reflect the inherent peculiarities of a given culture. Our fears as a people, our inhibitions and immoralities, our taboos and desires projected onto these entities we encounter in the natural world.

Thus the differences that have grown between cultures are the differences in mankind’s pantheon of spirits the world over. Some are to be feared, as that culture is one of fearfulness, others to be befriended, as that culture is one of openness and sharing.

Though as much as there are differences, more striking still are the commonalities between cultural perceptions of nature spirits. That their roles remain often identical in light of their polarized appearances, that they are more common among the untouched places of the natural world, that they can be bound, threatened, supplicated, bribed.

When in the course of the practice of the craft a magician of any ilk encounters a spirit, through accident or intention, it’s best to be aware of the shape that they manifest in relation to our perceptions and expectations. That their form is one that easily fills the container of our language and its inherent biases and preconceptions about the nature of reality. We give to these spirits as much of their form and power as they themselves, much the way we give to our rulers the power over us that we must yield in order for them to rule.

While much research in this field has yet to be done the current of this form of spirit anthropology is just now awakening. Considerable historic documentation exists to outline the ever evolving relationship between mankind and that other. Yet a fuller look at the extent of human participation in spirit interaction may be a decade or more in the making. 

It would do well for the practitioner to keep in mind that the nature of the spirit catalogues of antiquity are that of slow evolution, where names shift over time via generations of misspelling and misappropriation. Recent research has been done in tracking these changes, yet the full scope of how the spirit is given specific form by the language, and thus the perception of reality that the practitioner holds, has yet to be done.

To they whom traffic in the boundaries of the landscape, know that your expectations place you in a precarious position. Those beings with whom you court and barter, supplicate and invoke, are more than your perception of them. They are merely being given form by your expectation of their presence. When the magician commands the demon to appear in a “comely form” it is to oneself the words are spoken. For the eyes only deceive us in our dealings with that world, no truth can be had in the illusion that is sight. The lies our eyes tell us have names made of the words we have been raised with, a set of linguistic boundaries on which perception is given form by that great deceiver that is culture.

Trump's Latest Healthcare Bill Tries Once Again to Punish Women for not Being Fleshlights

Motherfucker and his GOP goons want to eliminate preexisting condition coverage again. And it’s axiomatic this version also punishes those of us who deign to get ill with bankruptcy-inducing premiums.

Particularly the ladies, because as history shows, we exist just to ruin the fellas’ good time. These guys really would be happier if we morphed into a bunch of Fleshlights.

Last month we successfully curb-stomped GOP healthcare and they couldn’t even bring their bill to a vote.

Get on the phone with your Senators and Congressional Representatives again.

High fives to all, particularly my fellow persisters.

‘… for capitalism it is a question of binding the schizophrenic charges and energies into a world axiomatic that always opposes the revolutionary potential of decoded flows with new interior limits. and it is impossible in such a regime to distinguish, even in two phases, between decoding and the axiomatization that comes to replace the vanished codes. The flows are decoded and axiomatized by capitalism at the same time. Hence schizophrenia is not the identity of capitalism, but on the contrary its difference, its divergence, and its death…’

– deleuze & guattari, anti-oedipus

Tell Me Your Story.

I was nearly an abortion. I was an unplanned accident, born out of wedlock, and the one before me was aborted.

I was born to immigrant parents, who naturalized and met in New York. They started with nothing, working as many as 100 hours per week, slowly and painfully saving money until they could open their own businesses. They believed this was a great country, and still do. My father served alongside the U.S. in the Vietnam War, and he is a proud veteran of this nation.

Many of us have these sorts of stories; they inform who we are, what we believe, and what we fight for, and so we are a myriad of uniquely shaped stories, each giving rise to a different voice in the world.

The really tragic thing is when we superimpose a particular idea on someone without attempting to hear their story first, and their voice is then stamped and smothered. We can too quickly assume a person is only their picket sign, their political party, their social media feed, or a cartoonish, dogmatic, one-dimensional archetype sensationalized by a grab-bag of Hollywood images. We predict what they might or might not believe without asking, without listening, without understanding.

A person’s voice is always built from their stories, their experiences, their very real pains, and it’s this blend of blisters that has brought them to stand on their particular hill. It is a hill, whether rightly or wrongly, that has been reached by a stream of forces that no two individuals can fully comprehend in each other.

So we can only try. Patiently, graciously: to hear their story on the hill.

I have several military friends in counter-terrorism who have seen the very worst sorts of evil. As intel is gathered, from one criminal atrocity after another, the evidence is undeniable: you can imagine my friends’ nightmares, the stomach-churning scenes they have witnessed over and over. My father has been tortured; he has seen entire villages burned to the ground. I imagine he has a very different view of justice and law than the leisurely suburbanite. I am certainly disturbed and disgusted by “terror-phobia” and I am not so cynical to think that evil lurks in every shadow. Yet I’m aware that such evils do happen. I cannot agree with the current methods used to fight them (methods which appear misguided and disproportionate), but with utter reluctance, I think I know where it’s coming from.

Every “issue” continually raises new angles, new questions. I have had extended family members who permanently moved in, who were running from ills in their former country, and while it is a noble thing to care for them, it’s also exhausting and draining. I have seen so many romanticize an issue without considering its implications in the long run, because issues involve people and people are not predictably packaged. It is right to be compassionate and kind and generous, and yet, it is just as right to be wise and protective and gracious to yourself. This is a dialogue that must happen with practical, intelligible exchange, and not hot-headed slogans that only scratch the shallow surface. All this requires smarter solutions than the fear-drenched overreactions of escalating, misinformed spectators.

Mostly everything is complex and complicated, with layers yet to discover, and multiple ways to help and to heal. It does not require that we believe the same things, but that I believe you, and you believe me, and we can join in the same place.

There is a way to help, not merely driven by one-liners, but by a marathon momentum at the ground level. I don’t know what that looks like all the time, but it does demand more than verbal outrage and tribalistic assent. It demands more than changing your profile picture or sending up prayers or another thought-piece (like this one). Real passion, after all, continues to strive long after the initial emotions have ceased.

The more stories I hear, the less I believe that people are simply axiomatic poles that must bend to one absolute or the other. I’ve quit trying to guess. We do not fit in simplistic boxes, and there may be multiple points of tension depending on the twists and turns of our journeys. Our positions were informed by a tangible reality. We have each seen a piece of something that brought us to a belief, to which we have the right to stand for. And whether I agree or disagree, I remain a student of stories, to hear the grief and anger and agony.

I want to be slow enough to listen, and loud enough to tell my story, too. We each have a right to them, and to hear and to be heard. And sometimes, there is only silence, only presence, without a solution right now, because not everything can be fixed, and I can only be with.

— J.S.

anonymous asked:

Could you explain this tfw no ZF joke? I really dont get it... :D

Get ready for a long explanation! For everyone’s reference, the joke (supplied by @awesomepus​) was:

Q: What did the mathematician say when he encountered the paradoxes of naive set theory?
A: tfw no ZF

You probably already know the ‘tfw no gf’ (that feel when no girlfriend) meme, which dates to 2010. I’m assuming you’re asking about the ZF part.

Mathematically, ZF is a reference to Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, which is a set of axioms commonly accepted by mathematicians as the foundation of modern mathematics. As you probably know if you’ve taken geometry, axioms are super important: they are basic assumptions we make about the world we’re working in, and they have serious implications for what we can and can’t do in that world. 

For example, if you don’t assume the Parallel Postulate (that consecutive interior angle measures between two parallel lines and a transversal sum to 180°, or twice the size of a right angle), you can’t prove the Triangle Angle Sum Theorem (that the sum of the angle measures in any triangle is also 180°). It’s not that the Triangle Angle Sum Theorem theorem is not true without the Parallel Postulate — simply that it is unprovable, or put differently, neither true nor false, without that Postulate. Asking whether the Triangle Angle Sum Theorem is true without the Parallel Postulate is really a meaningless question, mathematically. But we understand that, in Euclidean geometry (not in curved geometries), both the postulate and the theorem are “true” in the sense that we have good reason to believe them (e.g., measuring lots of angles in physical parallel lines and triangles). Clearly, the axioms we choose are important.

Now, in the late 19th and early 20th century, mathematicians and logicians were interested in understanding the underpinnings of the basic structures we use in math — sets, or “collections,” being one of them, and arithmetic being another. In short, they were trying to come up with an axiomatic set theory. Cantor and Frege were doing a lot of this work, and made good progress using everyday language. They said that a set is any definable collection of elements, where “definable” means to provide a comprehension (a term you’re familiar with if you program in Python), or rule by which the set is constructed.

But along came Bertrand Russell. He pointed out a big problem in Cantor and Frege’s work, which is now called Russell’s paradox. Essentially, he made the following argument:

Y’all are saying any definable collection is a set. Well, how about this set: R, the set of all sets not contained within themselves. This is, according to you, a valid set, because I gave that comprehension. Now, R is not contained within itself, naturally: if it is contained within itself, then it being an element is a violation of my construction of R in the first place. But R must be contained within itself: if it’s not an element of itself, then it is a set that does not contain itself, and therefore it is an element of itself. So we have that R ∈ R and also R ∉ R. This is a contradiction! Obviously, your theory is seriously messed up.

This paradox is inherently a part of Cantor and Frege’s set theory — it shows that their system was inconsistent (with itself). As Qiaochu Yuan explains over at Quora, the problem is exactly what Russell pointed out: unrestricted comprehension — the idea that you can get away with defining any set you like simply by giving a comprehension. Zermelo and Fraenkel then came along and offered up a system of axioms that formalizes Cantor and Frege’s work logically, and restricts comprehension. This is called Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory (or ZF), and it is consistent (with itself). Cantor and Frege’s work was then retroactively called naive set theory, because it was, of course, pretty childish:

There are two more things worth knowing about axiomatic systems in mathematics. First, some people combine Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with the Axiom of Choice¹, resulting in a set theory called ZFC. This is widely used as a standard by mathematicians today. Second, Gödel proved in 1931 that no system of axioms for arithmetic can be both consistent and complete — in every consistent axiomatization, there are “true” statements that are unprovable. Or put another way: in every consistent axiomatic system, there are statements which you can neither prove nor disprove. For example, in ZF, the Axiom of Choice is unprovable — you can’t prove it from the axioms in ZF. And in both ZF and ZFC, the continuum hypothesis² is unprovable.³ Gödel’s result is called the incompleteness theorem, and it’s a little depressing, because it means you can’t have any good logical basis for all of mathematics (but don’t tell anyone that, or we might all be out of a job). Luckily, ZF or ZFC has been good enough for virtually all of the mathematics we as a species have done so far!

The joke is that, when confronted with Russell’s paradox in naive set theory, the mathematician despairs, and wishes he could use Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory instead — ‘that feel when no ZF.’

I thought the joke was incredibly funny, specifically because of the reference to ‘tfw no gf’ and the implication that mathematicians romanticize ZF (which we totally do). I’ve definitely borrowed the joke to impress friends and faculty in the math department…a sort of fringe benefit of having a math blog.


Keep reading

What makes Polanyi’s theory of the double movement so appealing to a certain kind of left is its tendency to conflate capitalism itself with the logic of the free market and thus to reduce its ideological expression to economic liberalism, understood as a force of social disintegration. Once one has accepted these premises, however, resistance can only be imagined as conservative. If capitalism as an ideological formation is reducible to the tenets of economic liberalism, and if market freedom tends inexorably to disintegrate, disembed, and homogenize social existence, then any viable countermovement must seek to reanchor value as a way of arresting these trends. This imperative applies not only to the ‘fictitious commodities’ of land, labor, and money–which the social protectionist movement seeks to ‘decommodify’ and restore to a position of fundamental value–but also to social life more widely, which ultimately demands to be stabilized and reembedded within the institution of the family. If capitalism is theorized as uniquely and exclusively destructive of prior social solidarities, then the countermovement can be imagined only as an effort to restore, or at least reinvent, that which was alledgedly destroyed by the advent of industrial capitalism.

Melinda Cooper, “Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism”

Another way to understand Deleuze and Guattari’s description of the deterritorializing drive of capital (what Marx described as its immanent drive to self-valorize): not absolute deterritorialization but a “conjunction of deterritorialized flows” relative to the axiomatic of capital (infinite exchange/circulation). Reterritorialization, as Cooper rightly points out, is always conservative. Her answer is a better understanding of how capital itself necessitates/calls for this reterritorialization in order to sustain the social order. Deleuze would also warn us of the danger that lines of flight might turn to lines of death. 

she wants to say ‘i love you’
but she keeps it to ‘goodnight’
because love will mean some falling
and shes afraid of heights
she wants to run and kiss him
But she keeps to a simple “hi”
Because what if he rejects her
And then she would lose her mind
She wants to stay forever
But she knows he’s no good
Because he does some bad things
And she knows she never could
She wants to be okay
But she know it won’t happen
Because love doesn’t treat her right
And she’s stuck in this madness
She wants to go to sleep
But she knows she won’t awake
Because the medicine is all gone
And it’s now twenty five past eight
She wonder would he miss her
But she knows he doesn’t see
Because he left without a warning
And now she goes to sleep
He wants to hear I love you
But now he can’t get a goodnight
Because he fell in love
And she was scared of heights
He wants to run and kiss her
But he can’t do that anyways
Because she is still sleeping
And she won’t wake up today
He wonders why she did
But he now remembers why
Because he left without a warning
And now he begins to cry
He wants to reverse time
But he knows he cannot
Because his love is now dead
And at twenty five past eight his mother heard a shot
Above all, there is no longer any need of belief, and the capitalist is merely striking a pose when he bemoans the fact that nowadays no one believes in anything any more. Language no longer signifies something that must be believed, it indicates rather what is going to be done, something that the shrewd or the competent are able to decode, to half understand.

Deleuze and Guattari on the “axiomatic” in Anti-Oedipus, p.250

On ‘post-truth’.

5.The realm of nature, axiomatically determined in outline by this pro-ject, now also requires for the bodies and corpuscles within it a mode of access appropriate to the axiomatically predetermined objects. The mode of questioning and the cognitive determination of nature are now no longer ruled by traditional opinions and concepts. Bodies have no concealed qualities, powers, and capacities. Natural bodies are now only what they show themselves as, within this projected realm. Things now show themselves only in the relations of places and time points and in the measures of mass and working forces. How they show themselves is prefigured in the project. Therefore the project also determines the mode of taking in and studying of what shows itself, experience, the expend. - However, because inquiry is now predetermined by the outline of the project, a line of questioning can be instituted in such a way that it poses conditions in advance to which nature must answer in one way or another. Upon the basis of the mathematical, the ex- perientia becomes the modern experiment. Modern science is ex- perimental because of the mathematical project. The experimenting urge to the facts is a necessary consequence of the preceding mathematical skipping of all facts. But where this skipping ceases or becomes weak, mere facts as such are collected, and positivism arises.
—  Martin Heidegger, Modern Science, Metaphysics, and Mathematics

anyone curious about U-zombies should read Greg Egan’s short story Learning To Be Me, available in his Axiomatic collection or online where someone with scant regard for IP law appears to have uploaded it.


  1. It’s a joke. We’re imagining an alternate universe where Nora isn’t Steven (that sounds a bit axiomatic) and doesn’t do the bad/questionable things Steven does;
  2. Nora’s gender doesn’t even play into this; and
  3. When I was 14, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have pushed one of my friends to forgive their abuser immediately. 

(And yes, when I was 14, I was very much in a position where my friends were being abused. In fact, I was 13 when the worst of my being abused started! Kids can understand and relate to abuse, and many of them will know that it’s not as easy as just saying “sorry”.)

I’ve been thinking about the Northern campaign in books/seasons 2/3, and I keep coming around to a failure in cognitive empathy. I don’t mean ill will or a lack of compassion; I don’t think that they’re the real villains or anything. I do think that Robb and Catelyn are often either unwilling or unable to exercise cognitive empathy and really wrap their minds around the fact that other people’s knowledge and interests may not be the same as theirs. 

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A few moments ago, Donald Trump was sworn in as our 45th president. It is for many of us a moment we still have not been able to process. It comes with a host of emotions including, for many, revulsion, dread, and outright fear, as well as some fundamental questions about what this means for our country, and how ordinary citizens can and should respond.
So if you’ll permit, I’d like to share some thoughts, first on those questions we have. Here’s one I’ve been pondering: As Trump announced his advisors and cabinet nominees, most reasonable people began wondering outright: “Why is he appointing people who are clearly unready and unable to lead us?“ There’s a climate denier in charge of the EPA, a neurosurgeon inexplicably tapped for Housing, an bumbling Texan who campaigned to get rid of the Energy Department now named to head it (though he doesn’t even understand its solemn purpose)–the list goes on and on.
I don’t for a minute think even the Trump transition team honestly believes these are the best and brightest folks. But I do worry that they will serve a far darker purpose—to cause us to lose utter faith in government.
Top Trump strategist Steve Bannon, the banner bearer for the alt-right, does not even hide his plans. In fact, he speaks fondly of darkness as tool. That’s how confident he is that it will work. For if they can sever the bonds of trust between the people and their government, if civic disengagement becomes the norm, then nothing will stop men like him from achieving everything they want. They already have begun this effectively with the “truth” and the press: If they spread enough fake news and propaganda, if the citizenry cannot tell fact from fiction, or more importantly does not care to discern the difference, then anything is fair game. That is how lies become fact.
And so it is with governance. If we cannot distinguish competent governance from poor, if it’s just a complete disaster by all counts everywhere, then the people will begin to despair, and ultimately they will ready to be led by literally anyone. This means we must do two things.
First, we must remind ourselves that good government is a good thing. It is something that helps everyone, all of us. Without that belief, we are lost. And so we must find faith again in government, hard as that presently sounds.
Second, to help achieve this, we must raise up and support our best leaders, from those who toil for us at the local level, to the women and men of principle and grit in Washington. If we turn upon them, too, again we will be lost. We cannot allow the worst excesses and failures to define our expectations.
Now, a few thoughts on what many of us are feeling. When you feel anger, disgust, or fear from the latest piece of horrible news out of Washington, or feel shame or dismay at a 3am tweet from our new president, don’t dwell on that thing clouding your spirit. That is what they want. That is in fact their tactic, a textbook manipulation, hoping you will take the bait. So while it is perfectly fine to feel a moment of pain, take it instead as a welcome reminder and ask yourself this: What does it actually mean that I feel this dread? What does it mean that I feel so angry?
The answer may surprise you and lend some comfort. It means that you are a good person. It means that you care about your fellow citizens, and this country, and what we stand for. It means you are paying attention and can recognize the threat we are under. Let your feelings reinforce and remind you of your own core values. Let each reaffirmation make you stronger.
It is axiomatic that nothing worth fighting for has been won without a fight. So while it may feel as if the Ministry has fallen and Death Eaters are now in charge, that should serve as the strongest of reasons to double down on our convictions and principles. No one said the Resistance would be easy. And so, everyone, now it begins. Wands up.
—  George Takei (via Facebook)