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Magickal experience and feedback systems

By neutralrobot | February 3, 2011 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 1 Comment

Test tubesPractical magicians deal with a lot of unknowns when it comes to getting results in the “real world”. Sometimes a magickal operation will be met with stunning and hard-to-doubt success, sometimes with an ambiguous success (the old “would that have happened anyway?” or “just a coincidence” conundrum), sometimes with a totally unknown degree of success (for example, if it is possible that the operation succeeded in an unobservable way), sometimes with an apparent failure. Navigating through the jungle of mixed results can be a real headache, especially where a magickal operation has apparently failed when it (of course) should have succeeded.

When testing out or trying to perfect a new technique, these kinds of issues can cost a lot of time and effort. If you have Continue reading »

Never say die

By Jack Faust | September 19, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 6 Comments

As a special treat for International Talk Like a Pirate Day Jack Faust has written an in-depth and thought provoking essay about piracy – what it is, what it means and what it could mean in the future.

Anticopyright: September 18th, 2010.

The following is the sole “intellectual property” of Jack Faust…but he doesn’t care what you do with it. Hell, you can even lie and claim that all of these ideas are your own. But if he catches you, he’ll probably make fun of you for a long time.

Biting the Hand that Feeds

Information was never intended to be free. Knowledge has almost always come with a price tag, though the price tag differed depending on which civilization you were a part of. One way or another, however, you’ve almost always been expected to pay for that knowledge. In the past, the reason for doing so was often a matter of prestige; access to privileged information lead to a “special status” to which the consensus thus granted power to in the form of authority. Of course, technology has now made it so that such status, privilege, and information might not last forever…

Some forms of piracy, on the other hand, will last forever. One might take the instance of Somalian pirates in recent years. Largely faced by a lack of economy, which has been made worse both by the recent Somali civil war, and the divestment of fishing territory by foreign corporations. Before one was to begin discussing the moral implications of such activities, it should be noted that the yearly per-capita income of a family in Somalia is $600, making it one of the poorest countries in the world.

But let’s not mistake the above for what’s happening across the Internet. The first children of the 21st century and the last children of the 20th century are not occupying somebody else’s boat with guns, divesting them of their property, and then making off to sell it on the black market. Why, then, do we call the act of file sharing piracy? Continue reading »

Piracy hurts

By Psyche | September 8, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 6 Comments

SkullRecently two publishers have come out against piracy, and my feedreader’s been awash with responses to it.

Yesterday Scarlet Imprint published a post titled “Tarnish” explaining their frustration shutting down distribution of pirated copies of their titles.

They’re not just concerned with their own works, however, they cite several other independent occult publishers: Ixaxaar, Golden Hoard, Xoanon, and the fate of the publishing industry in general:

Many illegal uploaders believe that they are providing a service, that they are disseminating knowledge for the right reasons. However their actions are destroying the marginal livelihood of the authors they are copying. They are seriously jeopardising any future work.

Lest you think this only pertains to small press, Donald Michael Kraig, blogging for Llewellyn, discussed this back in August as well in “A Humble Request“.

Authors don’t make much from their books. When you steal a book, it hurts authors, agents, editors, copyeditors, publishers, distributors, bookshops and more business and people than you likely realize.

This isn’t news. We’ve discussed it here before.

Over on The Wild Hunt, Jason Pitzl-Waters discusses its effects on Pagan culture, pointing out that this affects indie artists of all kinds in “Piracy and Paganism“, and on Dionysian Atavism Jack Faust is threatening to unleash a history of piracy and capitalism with the understanding that “the technology isn’t going away” so we’d better “find a way to use it for your benefit, or be crushed by reality”. Rufus Opus has also offered a few expletives.

Scarlet Imprint describe themselves as a “talismanic esoteric and occult publisher” – the value of their works isn’t solely in its text but the books as objects in and of themselves. Pirating their publications is cheapening their efforts however you look at it.

This isn’t about technology, it’s about integrity.

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