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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 »

Course on Nietzsche and Paganism…and housekeeping

By Psyche | April 22, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | Comments Off

Cherry Hill Seminary LogoDr Brendan Cathbad Myers, professional philosopher, lecturer, author, podcaster and all ’round swell guy, is offering a course on Nietzsche and Paganism through Cherry Hill Seminary.

From the course description:

Perhaps the most misunderstood, difficult, and notorious philosopher of the modern age is Friedrich Nietzsche, creator of such powerful ideas as the Will to Power. Accused of promoting a kind of paganism, even within his own lifetime, he certainly mounted the most powerful critique of all religious thinking ever written in the Western philosophical tradition. In this course we will examine three of his most important books very closely, and we will learn why his work remains important for the study of ethics, religion, and culture and also why it remains dangerous.

It’s a 12 week Masters’ level course taught online, and as per Brendan’s note, “although it is a graduate level course, it may be audited by anyone (with [his] approval)”. It’s only $375, and it is bound to be excellent.

Unfortunately, I’ll be in Paris when it begins, and won’t be able to take it, but please do check it out and consider signing up. Continue reading »

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April’s Esoteric Book Club pick

By Psyche | March 9, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | Comments Off

The votes are in, and April’s Esoteric Book Club selection is S.S.O.T.B.M.E., written by Lionel Snell as Ramsey Dukes. The full title is Sex Secrets of the Black Magicians Exposed – I love his sensational titles, they have almost nothing to do with the books themselves (see also BLAST Your Way To Megabuck$ with my SECRET Sex-Power Formula – another book about philosophy).

It’s an excellent book, one I’ve already read several times, and one I recommend highly. I’m thrilled that it was chosen, I think it will make for excellent discussion in April.

The only reason I didn’t include it in my list of “Top 5 Books on Chaos Magick” was because S.S.O.T.B.M.E. predated it, but it will be interesting to trace its influence through to today.

April’s forum is open and ready if anyone wants to get started a little early, otherwise I’ll post a reminder closer to the date.

Hope you’ll join us!

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