Internet rationing

Hey, I must be watching too much anime…

My Internet access is being rationed. No, not by the government – that would not fly here in Norway, not even now. I am talking divine intervention, or something very similar.

Back in Riverview, I had fiberoptic Internet access. The speed was over the top: I could download a movie in a few seconds, if I wanted. It was several times more than I felt I needed. But hey, I like supporting technologies of the future, when I can afford it. Also, the price was about the same as for slower access, except I had to pay the equivalent of a weeks salary up front to get it installed in the first place.

When I moved to the House of Cherries, I did not want to pay a lot up front when I don’t know how long I will stay, so I opted for DSL instead of fiber. Then after some days I got a mail from the ISP that they could install it on September 20th. Half of July, all of August and most of September? If I could do without it that long, I could do without it for the rest of my stay here, if not the rest of my life. I would basically have proved that I don’t need broadband. Which is technically true: I don’t need it to survive (although I do need it to work from home*). I can live without it, but it is not a lifestyle fit for the zeroth world.

(*Further testing shows that I can actually connect to work using my mobile phone’s wireless broadband and an USB cable. This is an undocumented feature. Thanks to the voices in my head for making me test this today.)

So anyway, I canceled my DSL order and instead ordered a Galaxy Tab and wireless broadband to go with it. This device is said to be able to provide wireless hotspot, which would let me work from home if I am too sick to commute but not to think.  Between this and the wireless broadband in my mobile phone, I would also have enough premium capacity for all my Internet use. (Norwegian providers give unlimited use, but speed is drastically reduced after a certain amount of download, in my case 8GB, about half a month of normal use for me.)

The Galaxy Tab was not in stock, but expected to arrive at August 1. Now ten days later it is expected to arrive on August 11th. You can see what way this is going. If it shows on my next credit card statement and is still not in stock, I will report it as fraud to my card company and let them handle it.

Luckily (right?) the third competitor contacted me. have a longer-frequency wireless broadband, so they cover areas in the countryside better with less installations. But they also have decent coverage in the cities. I used them for a while, and did not really have any complaints, but I did not need them anymore. We parted on a somewhat unpleasant note, since they continued to invoice me even after I had got confirmation that my account was discontinued. They even sent the bill to collection, but in all fairness they eventually pulled out without any extra expenses for me.

Now they are back, and offering former customers 9 months at half price. That is pretty sweet, so I sent them my phone number and e-mail. They called me after a while. Now it starts getting funny. See, I was out in the traffic and did not hear the phone until too late. Later I tried to call them back, but for some reason they could not hear me clearly, although I could hear them. Perhaps there is something wrong with the microphone on my Huawei? I think I have called the doctor from it once, but generally I don’t talk, so I would not know if it was defective.

In any case, I gave up. I assume that even if I could make them hear me, and even if they did offer me a subscription, something would happen to delay it until late September anyway. It seems God is playing Sims with me again, or something. Perhaps there is a lesson for me to learn, like, you know, patience? Or perhaps it is just for entertainment. In which case, I hope y’all are entertained now. ^_^ It is not very fun to read about people who get everything they want as soon as they want it, right? I have been told that it doesn’t make for great literature at least. Right now it looks like Someone Up There agrees…

Happy Science on health


People suffer in times of illness. But don’t worry, Happy Science is here to rescue you from 70% of it! And they actually have a point.

One thing I am not too fond of about the Japanese religious movement Happy Science, is that only a tiny fraction of their books are translated from Japanese, and of these many are only available at their temples, which presumably means only to members. Being secretive is how you get a reputation for being a dangerous cult, after all.

On the other hand, I can understand them sometimes. One of the restricted books is about health and healing, for instance. Now, even in their official literature, Ryoho Okawa (their authority on absolutely everything) claims that 70% of physical illness originates in the mind. As such, he recommends self-reflection to cure most illnesses, including cancer, since this (properly done) will remove the psychological factors that lead to illness.

You can imagine what would happen if someone in America actually skipped cancer treatment and decided to heal herself purely with self-reflection… and died anyway.  Unbelieving relatives would sue for tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. That’s just the way American society works: Americans are the world champions of litigation, after all. So I can understand their caution.

Nevertheless, I think even contemporary science will agree with Mr Okawa in general. He specifically includes such factors as smoking and alcohol, but also overworking, lack of sleep and other stress-related triggers. If we add all those up, not just the actual placebo / nocebo effect, 70% seems a pretty conservative number. Of course, even the most mentally healthy person will die eventually, and there are various genetic diseases that need no trigger but will manifest automatically. So unlike some religious sects in the west, Happy Science does not promise physical immortality to the faithful. Nor do they condemn the sick as evil – in fact, Mr Okawa says right out that good people are more disposed for certain illnesses.

Also unlike many western sects, faith as such has only a limited role here. What counts is to look objectively at our life (this is what self-reflection is about, it is not about blaming ourselves as I thought when I was younger). And then correct the mind, straighten out the mistakes and begin to think in a better way. Of course, this is not something that is done in five minutes. It is a lifelong project in one sense. But it will never start at all if we spend our life blaming others or fate or God or the Devil.

If you have faith in God or Buddha or Jesus Christ, then you should do what they tell you, right? To say “I have so much faith” and not really care what Jesus actually tried to tell people, that is not faith. Jesus said that he did not know where these people came from, who didn’t actually do as he said. So faith in our faith is of limited value, it would seem.

(As for relevant teachings from Jesus Christ on the topic of stress, how about “worry not about the day tomorrow”, or “[forgive your brother] not seven times, but seventy times seven”? I am sure these could cut down a lot on people’s stress levels. Jesus even seems to have taught meditation, since he specifically tells his disciples to “not let your thoughts wander here and there” (or “back and forth”). Well, enough about that for now. Jesus’ immediate followers tended to die by persecution anyway, so it was unlikely they would hand down an extensive lore on healthy living!)

Back to Happy Science. In their monthly magazine issue 207, there is a story about a woman who decided to forgo chemotherapy for her breast cancer, and instead heal herself. This was successful, which is probably why it appeared in the magazine. Somehow I suspect they would have been far less inclined to publish a story in which the protagonist died. Anyway, her cancer gradually disappeared, to the amazement of the doctors. Good on her!

But if you are a member of Happy Science and you read that story and what you take away is “Master does not want us to go to hospitals for treatment”, then you have not understood – in fact, you will in a sense have less understanding than you started with! If you want to follow a religion in a way that actually impacts your life, then you must study it in more detail, and if you do not understand it, you must ask those who have a greater understanding of the Truth, people who for some reason are more spiritually advanced than yourself. Don’t just think whatever idea pops into your head is the right one.

It could be worse. If you read a story like this and think “I also want to become famous”, or “I want everyone to see how good a believer I am”, then you are actually hurting yourself. This is not hard to understand. When you try to put yourself up above other people, this is the kind of thinking that demons have. The story of Satan tells how he could not bear being less than number one, and this was his downfall. Whether you take that literally or not, it is certainly a word of caution. Don’t use your religion to play cool. Or your health, for that matter. Let us treat it as a gift and a way to be useful to others.

Now, the woman in that story did not just reflect on herself. She changed her life. She began to eat healthy food and exercise vigorously. I am not sure how this affects breast cancer, but I know that in men, vigorous exercise for more than three hours a week can stop or slow down about half of prostate cancers, apart from any other intervention.  So we are not talking about some kind of “Harry Potter magic” here, but about living life in the way we humans were created to live.

And that’s the thing, is it not? You don’t need to be God to have an idea about how humans should live, although I suppose it wouldn’t hurt… Anyway, I’m not telling you to fall down and worship Ryuho Okawa. I personally don’t. But I think Happy Science’s public teachings on health could have a natural place in school textbooks and popular science and lifestyle magazines. The world would almost certainly be better for it.



Well, that is one way of doing it – acquiring enough feminine charm to influence whole countries! I don’t think I will try that. How about my masculine “I know what I’m talking about” style? It works sometimes…

With the recent bombing and shooting episode here in Norway (for large values of “here” – Oslo is hours away), there is some soul-searching going on. Did we say or do something that might have inspired this guy, or made him feel that he was not alone in thinking as he did?

In my case, no. I was and am critical of the current immigration policy, but it is not a big deal to me, and my perspective is radically different from his. Also I don’t have many readers in Norway.

But I have my own worries, like the chance that people may go clinically insane if they read me too much. I break up the deep stuff with lots of fluff, and always have done. I make sure (I hope) to not come across as a guru. And I hold back, always hold back. But there is still the uncertainty whether what I say will help or harm.


Anyway! If we did not believe we could influence others, we would not share our thoughts at all, would we? I mean, perhaps some would just to vent, to let out steam. But for the most part, I am sure we actually WISH to influence others, whether online or offline.  But if we succeed in doing so, does that not mean that we are responsible to the same degree? If we greatly influence people, we are responsible to a great degree. With great power comes great responsibility. But even if we have only a small influence, we do have some small responsibility, don’t we?

I aired this on Google+ today, and an old friend immediately pointed out that each person is responsible for himself. Which is also true! How can they both be true? I shall show you, if you have just a little patience.

The key is that we are not gods (or even angels). We do not know everything. We don’t have time to reflect even on everything we know. And we are not even aware of many of the things we could have reflected on.

For example, most of us have never actually seen bacteria in a microscope, or only once or twice in school. We take on faith that they are responsible for a wide range of diseases. We have heard this from people we respect and trust, who for the most part also don’t actually know, but have heard it from others, and so on for some while backward. Generally antibiotics seem to help sometimes, so there is probably something to it. And if we have lived a while and have read widely, we know from a very large number of unrelated sources that bacteria are indeed the culprits of many diseases. It seems impossible that so many researchers for so long could be wrong about this.

Now, in my opinion there is no reasonable doubt that bacteria are indeed the cause of a number of  diseases. But especially early in my life this was entirely a matter of faith. I had not the extensive experience and knowledge base to decide this for myself. So if my teenage self had the choice between taking his antibiotics or not, his responsibility for the result was almost purely formal, not real.  Formally I was my own man when I was 18, but in practice I had to rely on others whom I trusted.

In America, unlike Norway, it is quite common to prescribe antibiotics for viral diseases. Antibiotics have no effect on them, but people feel better knowing that they have done something, the doctors get a happy customer (not sure if they also get a small cut of the sale?), and you never know, perhaps some harmful bacteria could use the opportunity to invade while you were sick anyway. Unfortunately, we now have multiresistant bacteria, thanks to this practice, and they kill some people and disfigure others.  Who is responsible?

On a related note, what with it being Friday night and all: Scientists Discover First Gonorrhea Strain Resistant to All Available Antibiotics. Just saying.


Again, we do not know everything or even very much, each of us. So we have to rely on others. This means that we make a decision to let someone else make the decision, at most. Usually not even that: We just act automatically. This is pretty much the default human condition. Over time, some people start expanding their control over their life, but it is a slow and erratic thing even if you aim for it. For the most part, we just have to make do with culture.

Another example! Chairs. If you live in the English-speaking world, you probably think highly of chairs. A house without chairs is definitely lacking something essential. You probably spend a good deal of your day in chairs, perhaps even most of it.

Chairs kill.  We only found out fairly recently. And we still sit in them. I sit in one right now writing this.  Who is responsible? Well, I am, now. The few times I think about it.  (Actually, I do habitually get up and stretch out to make the blood flow again. But probably not enough.) For hundreds of years, we and our ancestors have considered chairs a good thing, and I suppose they are, in great moderation. But whoever originally influenced us to use these, we will never know. And they probably had no idea that anything ill could possibly come of it.

We can only do the best we can. Often we don’t even do that. The thing is, we are mostly just drifting with the current, even the more advanced among us. That is how it is. But what little we can do, we will do. And if we make mistakes, we do not make them on purpose, at least not to hurt others. Hopefully over time we – and everyone – will know better, find better solutions, understand more and create more happiness for ourselves and others. Right now, we just have to start where we stand. The first step always starts from where you stand now. Or that is what I believe right now. ^_^


Between gravities

Looks familiar? It certainly did to me.

I took an hour’s walk today again. I can do that much now, with seemingly no ill effect, at least the same day. We shall see tomorrow. Anyway, I came to a familiar place, where a road splits from the main road right where the river widens to merge with the sea. The road that follows the river, and the river itself, are the ones that pass by “Riverview”, the place where I lived until two weeks ago and had expected to live for many more years.

I followed the road a short stretch. It was so hauntingly familiar. Actually I have only walked that particular stretch once, and it had not really been a good idea even then: It is like 3 hours walk from Møll, I think.  Still, it is the same river, almost indistinguishable, passing farms and low hills, and the same road taking shortcuts but coming back to the river time and again like someone in love and unable to hide it.

Right there, right then, I could feel the familiarigravity shift… if I had continued to walk, it would have felt easier than turning around, easier than turning back to the big town and its streets and shops. I could have just walked on, there are no crossing roads, no way to get lost. I could have just walked straight ahead, all the way home.

Except home isn’t there anymore.

There is just a small, empty house, its windows dark. But I cannot see it like that. That is not how I remember it. Living there even for less than a year and a half made this “gravity well” of familiarity, that was even now calling out for me. Come home! Your life is waiting for you. The kitchen where you know where everything is, the apple tree outside the window, the river, always the river. The water slowly floating past, through the green fields.  Quiet, cool, yet strangely almost alive.

If my feet feel fine, maybe I will take that walk on Saturday. Probably not, but perhaps. If it is not too hot and not raining too much either. Sure it may be three hours, perhaps three and a half. I’d definitely realize that it was a dumb idea by the time I was halfway. But I may still do it, just because I can. Oh, and to check the mail box. Turns out changing the address took longer time than I had expected, so theoretically there might be some mail in it. Statistically unlikely, it usually went weeks between each time I got anything. Well, perhaps a free issue of the local newspaper, I never found a system in when they handed those out. But, you never know. I am sure the mail box is not taken down yet.

I would not need to walk home. The bus passes by a couple times on Saturdays as well, if I just go early enough. Yeah.

But probably I won’t. Now that I am home, it does not look like a very bright idea anymore. But if I go there again… I am not so sure. For a short stretch, perhaps a hundred steps from the large road crossing, the gravities meet and cancel out, reality and memory. Beyond that… it is downhill all the way, even when it is not.

It seems I am able to walk for an hour again now.  Before the foot incident, it was unproblematic to take an hour’s walk and later half an hour the same day, or the other way around. I am not sure exactly how far I could have walked, I did not push it. There is no reason why a few weeks of resting my foot should change that forever. If I go a bit further, a bit faster, I may be able to walk that road each day again, albeit a different part of it. But still walk the road along the river, through the farmland, in the light and the breeze. We shall see. Perhaps that, or perhaps something else. “When men talk about the future, Heaven laughs.” (Or sometimes cries, I guess. Let’s hope not, this time.)


Human husbandry

Let us talk about snacks. You know you want some. Well, you know some part of you want some. But we need to practice human husbandry here.

No, I am not talking about being a husband, despite the picture. I don’t have the experience to teach you that! I am making a twist on the phrase “animal husbandry”, the care and feeding of animals.

I am talking about the human animal that is our body and at least some of our mind. Now, I am aware that this is wrong and misleading. The idea that we are this pure spirit riding the animal body, an unrelated creature with a different and perhaps opposing agenda. This is a dangerous thought to hold onto as a worldview. The body and the mind are more than intertwined, they are more like the metal of a coin and its imprint. This is true. We are not separate beings, the mind and body.

And yet, let us take this metaphor further. It is a metaphor, kind of like a very simple parable, something used to describe something else. Not the thing itself. But let us take it a little further. In days of yore, say in the Viking age, it was the metal value of the coin that determined its value. You might cut a coin in two if you got something for half price, and it would work just as well. These days, of course, it is the imprint that makes a coin valuable. The metal itself is cheap and generally not very useful for anything else, or it would not have been wasted on coins. It is all about the pattern. Or in our metaphor, the mind.

In ages long gone by, it was also the “metal value” of the human that carried it through. Food was scarce, and especially food that was rich in energy, like sugar and fat. So if you came across something like that, it made sense to let the body eat as much as it could get away with, and come back for more if there was. After all, there would soon be less food again. Being well fed would give you the upper hand in survival and reproduction. Survival of the fattest, baby!

And reproduction… what a topic. In the wild, humans did not have all that many opportunities to find a valid mating partner. Also, life was short, and death came suddenly. You had to have a bunch of babies just to be reasonably sure some of them lived to give you grandchildren. Luckily one of the few threats that did not exist yet was sexually transmitted diseases, with the possible exception of herpes. So, you see what way this goes. It made purrfect sense to hit on what few targets you came across during your fertile years, unless something was horribly wrong with them.

Apart from that activity, however, running around too much would waste precious energy. If there was food nearby, a good idea was to eat it, and relax so your body had a chance to store up fat for the dry season. (Children would be the exception to this, as they urgently needed to explore the territory and their own limits and develop the survival skills to do this thing called life all over again.)

Today, things have changed a bit. Pretty girls are everywhere, and so are chocolate cakes, hamburgers, and couches. TV satisfies our curiosity without us needing to lift our plush backside until we drag ourselves to bed. The human animal is in hog heaven, as I think you call it in English. Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, there are some problems with this.


This is why, for instance, if you put the snacks in the same room as the magic mirrors, the enemy has already won.  If it is the TV, the human animal will quietly feed while you are concentrating on the story unfolding on the screen. If it is the computer, you will get distracted while working on your spreadsheet or letter, and snacking will make you able to concentrate again, mysteriously, although it needs to be repeated from time to time.

Unlike your friendly barnyard animal, your human animal has as much brain as you have. In fact, it has your brain, exactly. Sometimes you will fool it, sometimes it will fool you. Which is not a big surprise, since it is you.

This is why we need to keep the food in the kitchen, and if possible have the home office at least one room away from the kitchen, preferably two or three.  (Due to the rational layout in my current apartment, I only have to go through the two doors instead of three, but it still helps.) Buying an inexpensive mirror or two or three to place in the kitchen may also help. Then you will know that you will be watching you. Remember, you usually do stuff when you think you do not watch!

Now for that other thing – TV is a window, as far as the human animal is concerned. There is plenty of evidence that people who don’t have TV, and specifically people who don’t watch soap opera, are more satisfied with their current spouse, if any. This is because even though you, the rational you, know that the pretty women and rich and powerful men on TV are not your actual neighbors, your subconscious is still absolutely convinced that they are and you have drawn the short straw in the spouse lottery. (You have also drawn the short straw in the self lottery, but evidently we are a bit more forgiving about that.)

You don’t really need me to go on to tell you about porn, glamour magazines etc, do you? We know how this works by now. None of this stuff was around in the stone age. Seeing is believing. Seeing constantly is believing that it is available, achievable. Oh, that goes for the chocolate cakes and stuff in women’s magazines too. The more you look at them to desire them, the more ready you will be to engage in fateful behavior in real life. Just saying.

Really, you know this just as well as I do, once you start thinking about it. Go on, think, if you will.  I am not the master of you. The question is, who is? Are you?

Games made me do it!

Screenshot from City of Heroes, starring my character In Hoc Signo Vince (a modern paladin type with a Roman-inspired helm and Valkyrie cape), leader of the supergroup Masshiro (“Pure white” in English) on the main European server. In the background two other supergroup members. Evidence to use against me if someone here in Mandal blows up something.

According to an article in Norwegian news site, the star profiler of criminals, Pat Brown, has found a connection between Norwegian terrorist Breivik and computer games. (Breivik famously mentions playing computer games in his 1500 page book. Of course, I mention playing computer games over and over in my far larger autobiography right here in front of you, and I have yet to kill any socialists in real life. So I think that may not be the crucial point.)

“Violent psychopaths often have a superhero complex” the expert is quoted as saying. (Well, it is translated into Norwegian, so some nuances may be lost.) “They are obsessed by the thought of playing the role as Superman, Spiderman or ninja and fight in a superhero way.”

Evidently it must be divine intervention that I have not already murdered several times over as many people as Mr Breivik. Well, I won’t deny that. Divine intervention is a good thing. (Somewhat depending on the deity, says a voice in my head.) But if so, I think we should not rule out demonic intervention in his case. Or “mind parasites” as we say in the Transdimensional Church of the Cosmic Raccoon.

Evidently computers must be a lot more widespread in Afghanistan than their $1 a day average income made me believe. Also, those games must be older than I thought to have influenced not only Hitler but also Genghis Khan (probably Civilization II in the case of Genghis, the Mongol Horde strategy was a pretty sure winner back then). Not to mention the Vandals, the Aztecs, and the Assyrians with their habit of stacking up skulls. Incredible how the amount of computer games has dropped over the last few decades to give us the fairly peaceful and harmonic world we have today, compared with every single age of recorded history (and the bone record of prehistory, implying that something like a quarter of the stone age dead were killed in some way).

Oh well. I should probably go set some pixel people on (spiritual) fire again. After all, I am not like you ordinary people who don’t do such dubious things as playing games!

Incidentally, the word “masshiro” is Japanese, as is the costume of one of the girls. It refers to all of us using light-based powers, as a symbol of spiritual purity, and has nothing to do with race.  Yeah, right, tell that to the judge!


I have never seen this bush before, because I had never walked that far from my new home. This probably happens every time I move, but usually I forget to write about it.

I was taking a one-hour walk today, finally, now that my foot is fully recovered. Well, it was meant to be a one-hour walk, but due to familiarigravity, it ended up more like 50-55 minutes.

What is familiarigravity? I can hear you ask. Actually, that is what I would like to know as well! I discovered it for the first time more than 30 years ago, toward the end of my high school years. (Yes, amazingly I have lived a long time already, longer may it last.) What I discovered was that when I leave the places I usually go, and walk into the unfamiliar, even if it is just along a road, I slow down and yet I tire more easily.  Conversely, once I turn around and start walking back home, walking becomes easier and I walk faster without getting more tired. It is as if there is a center of gravity somewhere in the familiar.

No, the road is not actually sloping upward. This is when I walk in flat terrain. If there is actual uphill or downhill, these add or subtract as usual. It is as if there is a second force in addition to gravity, similar to it but weaker and with a different center. This is what I today decided to call “familiarigravity”.

Obviously the law of familiarigravity is a law of the mind, not of matter. But the two are certainly intertwined in us humans. And I sincerely hope they will continue to be so for quite a while yet!


…or your time back!

In Japanese thought, it is not uncommon that the flow of time can stop. Perhaps there is more to that than we have known, in a manner of speaking.

I wish I could guarantee my readers full satisfaction or their time back, but that may be a bit over the top even for me. There are others who can actually give you time back, though. Jesus, Morpheus and your local training studio come to mind. What?

Well, it all began when the Norwegian National Broadcasting told about a Danish study. It looked at elderly people who habitually either went to church or listened to the church service on broadcasting. The women who did this lived on average 2.6 years longer than the control group who did not. For men the profit was slimmer, only 1.6 years.

It is worth noting that Denmark, like my native Norway, is a post-Christian country. For the last couple generations at least (which I remember) the norm has been to not be Christian, except for certain ritual like church weddings and funerals. So this is not a case of the poor unbelievers being harassed and stressed to death. On the contrary, at least in youth it is pretty common for Christians to be harassed. I bet it is no better for other religious minorities, but evidently this study was of Christians.

What struck me as I reflected on this, was that these 2 years of extra life may have been similar to the time they had spent over the decades listening to sermons and singing hymns etc each Sunday. How about that?

It is not like it would be completely unique. Many years ago I read a theme issue of Scientific American about aging. One point was exercise. The article said that if you start exercising at 40, the extra hours you add to your life are about the same as the hours you spend exercising. So for those of you who think exercise is hell on earth, you may as well cut it out unless you expect a worse hell after life.

But even this is not unique. Another study a few years ago showed that sleeping an extra hour adds an extra hour to your life. This only works up to about 9 hours a night (it varies a bit from person to person). After that, sleeping more correlates with shorter life. That may be because only a sick person could sleep that long, perhaps. But what is certain is that most of us sleep less than what would be good for our health. This has various side effects, like inactivity, overweight, diabetes and hypertension, and eventually an earlier grave.

On the other hand, we pay bills for every month, so if we could be awake the same number of hours in a shorter time, we might come out ahead financially. That is certainly possible, but I think I am curious enough about the future that I want to live a bit longer if I can. Even if it means sleeping a little longer, taking a long walk each day and perhaps even spend some time (or timelessness) in spiritual practice now and then.

Fury of the Northmen

I must admit that I have a couple characters in City of Heroes inspired by Norse mythology. It lends itself quite well to warlike heroes… in a fantasy world.

As I expressed on Google+, there was something off about the bomb in Oslo. It did not follow the pattern of al-Qaeda or their Islamic copycats. The timing in particular was a bit off. Once I heard that someone was shooting at Utøya, the traditional summer camp site of the Social Democrats, I knew it had to be a nationalist. At that time, I still did not know he was also behind the bomb, just that something was subtly “off” about it.

You see, this guy was not the only one thinking of the (more or less) ruling Social Democrat party as quislings. I would guess somewhere around 1/4 of the adult population would agree with that, possibly more. And I mean quisling in a very literal sense. Nationalists consider the Muslim immigration more of a threat to Norway than the German invasion ever was. As it happens, I agree with that, in a manner of speaking. But it really does not matter now. History is coming to an end, and Norway and Islam both will become like dust on the wind. Not in my natural lifespan, perhaps, but in less than a century is my guess.

But most people don’t look forward. They don’t even look backward properly. They don’t realize that the world has changed more in the past 50 years than in the previous 500, or quite possibly 5000. They don’t notice that the acceleration of accelerating change is accelerating – that the pace at which chance increases is itself increasing. An exponential function of knowledge and change. All that you knew is slipping between your fingers. Your grandchildren will either be as gods, or not alive at all. The squabble between cousins that we call a clash of civilizations is … insignificant. Unless it somehow manages to inspire us to blow up the planet, I guess. And you have to wonder, after days like these.

As I said, nationalists consider the current stock of politicians to be guilty of high treason, so it would make sense to assassinate them. I can certainly understand their feelings, having been human myself. For much of my life, there was this constant undercurrent in my life of thinking “evil people must die, evil people must die”. It took me many years of self-reflection to realize that I was basically one of the evil people, and I am still not completely dead, although I am certainly much reduced. For someone stuck at the mental level I was at in my 20es, blowing up a government building or executing Evil People (TM) would certainly be a holy duty and a great joy. Having a good enemy to project your evil on makes life a lot more bearable.

You may have heard that Norwegians are eager to help all kinds of people and try to negotiate peace all over the world. That is certainly true. What you don’t know is that we do all this because we know, but dare not think of, that deep inside we want to throttle people with our bare hands, or at least cleave their skull with a good axe, and laugh as we watch the light die in their eyes. Do you really think our genes have changed that much in 1000 years? They have not, we just go out of our way to not trigger them.

“From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, o Lord!” So prayed the English monks during the viking age, and rightly so. Scandinavians may be slower to anger than people in warmer climes, but once the bloodlust rises in them, there is no holding them back. I am not really surprised that we have a throwback to that time: In school we used to learn a slightly glorified version of the old Norse history, with the strong and proud warriors as an ideal. “Noregsveldet” was it called in my grade school, meaning roughly “the lands ruled by Norway”, encompassing such vassal states as Ireland and Great Britain and parts of France, not to mention Iceland, Greenland and snippets of North America. I am sure Swedes are thinking back to the time when they ruled much of Germany as well, but let us stick with Norway for now.

It should not surprise anyone that people who take the Vikings as ideal, can get a bit … bloodyminded, so to speak. And one habit of old (which is unfortunately not restricted to this corner of the world) was, when you had an enemy you really hated, to kill his children in front of him before blinding him.

I see international media represent Utøya as a political youth camp, and that it is too. But especially for the younger (and more vulnerable) teens, it is mainly a summer vacation resorts for children of the Social Democrat political elite, the leaders locally and nationally and their friends in the party. I think you see what is coming here.

“They were friends” said Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, after the massacre, and he was right. Those kids were his friends and children of his friends.  “This place was my summer paradise, and it has been made into a hell.” The Oslo-bomber did not kill the traitors, as he (and many others) thought of them. Instead, he killed their children. I have on good authority that this is far worse.

And it makes sense. You destroy our future, we destroy yours. An eye for an eye. This man was perfectly sane – within his worldview. If the world he lived in were the real world, he would have been a hero. I am sure that is how he regards himself even now.

I am pretty sure there aren’t many others who think of him as a hero, though. Not even among his fellow nationalists. Most of us have the good sense to notice when the berserker rage begins to creep up on us, and go to extremes to avoid it. Because once it takes us, the old gods of thunder and spears are very much alive and well in the land.

From the fury of the Northmen, deliver us o Lord!  Amen.


I don’t live in Oslo

I do live in Norway, though. Luckily there have been no terror attacks here on the south coast where I live, so the huge bomb blast in Oslo and the shooting episode are really not much “real” to me than it is to you.

The aftermath will probably be, though. Depending on who is found to be responsible, the political climate will change dramatically, I am sure. There is a strong undercurrent of resentment and scorn toward the Muslim immigrants in Norway. And rightly so, actually! What has happened is that Norway has taken in a large number of refugees from various Muslim countries, for the obvious reason that Muslim countries are among the few where killing people is still government business.

Now, the refugees are not necessarily political opponents, although that happens. They may often be common habitual criminals, which is enough to get you killed in those countries. So they are not criminals because they are Muslims. They are criminals from countries where being a criminal is highly unsafe, and we take them in because, well, we’ve signed various treaties to that effect.

As a result, “Muslims” – as in people form Muslim countries – are now a major part of the criminal underclass. They are responsible for the overwhelming majority of rapes, most robberies and all but a few murders.  (The exception being homegrown psychiatric patients with sufficiently serious mental afflictions, and a few jealous boyfriends.) Again, this has less to do with religion than absence of religions. That does not really help the public opinion though.

So today I put up a brand new smoke detector. I don’t really expect a Kristallnacht thing, or for that matter a preemptive strike by the foreigners, but I do share this house with a family that is not ethnic Norwegian. Since I have only newly arrived, I am not sure how many locals know that I am even living here yet – the upstairs family was alone in the house for some time, and people may still think they are. Just saying. A smoke detector may not be enough if push comes to shove, but it is generally a good idea to have anyway.

So yeah, the bombing could affect me  even that distance, in a subtle and indirect way. But hopefully not.

And hopefully we won’t take a nosedive into “homeland security” society, like a certain other nation that used to be admirable. But you never know. Humans are just barely rational even at the best of times.

On the bright side, if this turns out to actually be an Islamic terrorism, we might finally get a conservative government after the election. That would be a silver lining indeed, since conservatives here in Norway are rather different from the American version. The correct name for them is actually “Moderates”. This is the name of the corresponding Swedish party, “Moderaterna”. I was briefly a member of Moderat Ungdom (Moderate Youth) in high school. And no, it did not mean that I was only moderately young.  Now, however, that would be a more fitting description!