Pedophilia and unicorn hunts

I came across this story via the blog “Unfiltered Perceptions“, which ironically is in Norwegian for the most part. International readers can use their favorite translation service (such as Google Translate) to find out more. Anyway, the story in short: A policeman logs on a chat room with the nick “Pernille12” (Pernille being a Scandinavian name more typical of the child generation than the parent generation, names being subject to fads even here).  He then waits until a middle-aged man contacts him, and leads the guy on until he gets him to masturbate in front of a web cam, presumably believing the policeman’s assurance that he is indeed a 12 year old girl and not a gay man, as the other first suspects. The masturbator is then formally accused and sentenced for the two men’s shared activity.  The judge briefly reflects on the fact that you just don’t get evidence this way, but sets this concern aside because of the severity of the crime.

Since laws vary a bit from nation to nation, even in the somewhat civilized world, it bears mention that in Norway you can’t use this kind of evidence-gathering, thus the pause of the judge. But the rules of due process only count for real humans, evidently, not for pedophiles.  These predators must be caught even when they are hunting unicorns – that is to say, something that is not really there.  As the blogger points out, it is hardly a given that a real 12 year old would lead the man on like that.  What exactly does this say about how the police, the court, and the society view 12 year old girls?  Please, if there are girls who are that desperate to see a guy masturbate, they are going to find some way, even if it means enlisting a classmate or their stepdad.  Perhaps we should have policemen passing as pedophiles so we can arrest the girls too? For their own protection, of course.  They are much safer behind bars, as are we all.

But as I said yesterday (and occasionally over the years), there is a reason why we habitually suspend law and decency when pedophilia is involved.  That reason is that pedophilia is commonplace, to the point where almost everyone has been either involved personally or had a close friend or family member involved somehow. And even for those of us who have somehow escaped this ubiquitous scourge, there is ever the risk that we may be seen as criminals or at the very least aiding and abetting the crime unless we scream “death to the infidels!” at least as loudly as the guy next to us.  Oops, wrong geographic location, but the same principle still applies.

Or in other words, pedophilia and incest have just recently been criminalized, so no one knows for sure just where they begin and end.  In real life, off the Net,  it can be hard to tell whether a girl is 12 or 16, depending on her physical development as well as clothes and makeup.  In Norway, it is legal to have sexual intercourse with a 16 year old, but it is illegal to have pictures of them that may be sexually enticing to a lonely old judge. On the net – or on mobile phones – they are children, and must be protected at all cost; but in bed they are men or women.  More fun with human sanity!

I may sound like I have something to defend here, and I do.  Once we have established that due process does not apply to pedophiles, any man who had ever been alone with a child is utterly at the mercy of said child (even after it is grown up), its mother and its therapist or basically anyone who can convince the former child that the problems in its later life must come from SOMEONE having done something terrible in the past. And when they come for me, there is no one left to speak up for me.

Pedophilia, a brief history

So Michael Jackson died. I personally never liked him nor his music, but he was supposedly one of the greater artists of the previous century. He also did things for race relations in the USA that not many could do. Without Michael Jackson there would probably not have been a President Obama. But all some people can think to say about MJ is that he was a pedo.

I don’t know about that. More importantly, neither do you. He was not judged by a jury of his peers (how many peers did he even have?) but by the press and the rumor mill. And so heinous was his crime that allegations were enough – no need for a fair trial, no innocence until found guilty.

More importantly, pedophilia is such a heinous crime that we are willing to perforate the Constitution and put in place technical systems that can, at the flip of a switch, be used to track down and silence political dissidents when that becomes expedient.

Given the gravity of the crime, you’d expect it to be found prominently among the Ten Commandments, but actually there is no mention of it anywhere in the Law and the Prophets. Jesus does not mention it with a word. Muhammad the Prophet married a girl he would not have been allowed to look twice at today. It is as if the notion of pedophilia only decades ago descended into this world.

That is actually a pretty fair description. The word itself harks back to the 1950es. Even the notion of childhood itself did not appear until the Industrial Revolution. In earlier history, infants (babies and toddlers) were recognized as different from adults, but children were not. If you read any ancient text, you will find that the word “children” is not used about an age group, or if it is, refers to small children. Usually it simply means offspring. In the agrarian society, children would start farm work or apprenticeship from the age of 5 or so. The notion of childish innocence was absent, and not least: Consent was not really something people worried about. The person who was in a position of authority made all decisions, and that was that.

During the early years of the Industrial Revolution, children were an important part of the workforce. Geography is history to some extent: There are still countries where child labor is taken for granted. And returning to the topic of pedophilia, there are still countries where prepubescent girls are married off, although it is going underground more and more as the concept of childhood is still spreading around the world from its epicenter in France and Britain. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for all his faults and the pernicious rot his philosophy has introduced in the western world, may have been the first thinker to have a clear vision of childhood as a distinct life phase, or at least he was near that point in time and space. The industrial revolution itself made it possible, for the first time, to let children spend their days in school and play, as their labor was no longer needed on the farm . Yet it was only with Piaget that we finally realized the length and depth of each human’s growth and development. Or at the very least he deepened, formalized and popularized the topic like no one before him. By then we are squarely within living memory: I had recently got my job when Piaget passed from this world.

So the notion that children cannot consent to a sexual relationship is itself very new. It is also far from obvious. In fact, it requires a certain degree of faith from all involved, since children actively seek not only attention but intimacy. This makes things hard to see clearly, not only for the pedophile, but also for the victims.

Humans are unique in that our instinctual knowledge is extremely rudimentary, compared to what we need in life. Kittens may spend time playing, but they are mainly just unfolding their existing cat nature. In contrast, a small child cannot develop into a human being without downloading its human-ness from those who have gone before it. To accomplish this, children have a literal biological need for attention, just as for food and warmth. Experiences from early communist-era child-rearing centrals showed that children who were simply fed and sheltered but not given attention would soon sicken and die. Children need to bond with adults; if they cannot, then the conditions for life are not deemed to be present.

On the other hand, children are amazingly tolerant of their adults. They will cling to you even if you are a drunkard, a scoundrel, a thief and a liar. Or a pedophile. They do this because it is a necessary part of their programming, which has served their ancestors well through the millennia. (The definition of “served well” when it comes to evolution is the very fact that they became your ancestors.)

The pedophile who jumps out of the bushes, abducts a child, rapes it and kills it (or occasionally the other way around or both at the same time) is sure to get publicity, but this is exceedingly rare. Most pedophiles are extremely subtle and at least as much in control of their impulses as the average straight person. There is a sliding scale from bleeding-anus sodomy to cuddly behavior that is so perfectly normal that you would never know anything was going on unless you actually check the pedophile’s genitals for signs of reaction.

(We interrupt this scientific essay for an amazing WTF moment from the author’s personal life: In my late teens I actually had a 10-12 year old girl suddenly grope my groin, very obviously checking on the state of my male member while I was playing with her younger siblings. I guess that makes sense, but it is rather impolite. It also made me kind of wary about the internal workings of that family for a time. Now, back to our regular programming.)

By sheer synchronicity, I read an article some hours before the Jackson incident: “Not unusual to forget childhood sexual abuse“, by Harvard Science. The somewhat startling conclusion is that to most children, sexual abuse – even when physically painful – was not seen as extraordinary, traumatic or seriously threatening at the time. As such, it was forgotten, or at least ignored for many years, not because of some desperate attempt to shield the fragile self, but because children generally don’t go around remembering things that are not reinforced through repetition or conversation. So temporary sexual abuse was not seen for what it was until later, when their own sexuality had developed and they realized what had been done to them. That’s when the trauma set in.

And a big part of the horror of being a victim of this crime is the feeling of being an accomplice to it. Or so I’ve heard. This is why it is so important to realize that the instincts of children are different from the instincts of adults, even when they sometimes seem to meet halfway. Cuddling up to a molester is a perfectly normal, healthy behavior for a child. This applies EVEN IF the molester has already done something secret or humiliating or even painful to you. You should NOT have known better. You were NOT leading them on. The child’s need for adult contact takes priority. It may look very differently when that instinct is pruned from your brain by puberty and replaced by the adult sex drive. But you cannot rewrite the past. Neurotypicals have this unfortunate tendency to always try to do just that, because they believe in consensus reality: That the things people agree on are true, and the things they don’t agree on are not. But this is exactly the power behind child abuse, the power of well-placed silence, closed doors and things only hinted at.

And this is of course also why you cannot defend yourself from accusations, even if you are Michael Jackson and have the best lawyers money can buy. Because the things you would do if you were a pedophile and the things you would do if you just loved children are largely identical, at least as long as there are witnesses present and sometimes even if not.

Quick update

Regular readers may have noticed that the dating of the recent entries has been out of order.  There are reasons for this. Basically, there have been “seeds” for entries on certain days, but they have not been finished until days later.

Tonight I am almost certainly brewing on some kind of virus infection.  Despite no mowing today (for a change), my pulse has been far above normal for most of the evening, around 95 when sitting (!), the same as I normally have when walking leisurely around.  (This is the opposite of what I wrote about some days ago.) It has slowed down a bit now that I approach midnight, but it still well over normal.

The heat does not exactly help. I am not made for heat.  I can put on more clothes if I am cold, to a certain point, but I cannot take of my skin when it is this hot.  The nights are worst, because I can’t keep wet while I sleep.  Perhaps if I had a waterbed. ^_^

Sims 3: Children


Girlfriend’s daughter wants a laptop that she can play Sims on!  This stands to reason, since her mother is also a computer geek like me.

Needless to say, the girl is not mine, even in the game.  Although she is a major reason why I decided to live with them, to help the little girl grow up well.  Growing up well has taken on a new dimension in Sims 3:  It now directly influences the traits of the children.

If you are playing the pregnant mother (there are no pregnant fathers in Sims 3) then her happiness during the pregnancy transfers to the baby.  If she is healthy and happy, you get to choose the two starting traits of the child.  Remember, each Sim has a maximum of 5 traits, chosen from a few dozen good, bad and just weird ones. Two are determined at birth, the third when the toddler grows up to child, the fourth when she becomes a teen, and the last when growing up to adult. At any of these occasions, a truly horrible past is likely to be reflected in negative traits, such as Evil, Insane or Kleptomaniac. A so-so upbringing will give a random trait, while a happy life leaves the choice to the player rather than just picking a good trait.  This is a nice incentive to keep an eye on the kids, but also painfully unrealistic.

It is a sad sign of how much the fake liberal philosophy has permeated society that the game has completely abandoned any trace of inheritable traits.  In The Sims 2, there was a strong tendency for nice Sims to have nice Children, active Sims to have active children and so on.  You could then modify these traits if one of the parents (or even grandparents) had a particularly strong side, they could encourage children to develop in a special direction despite their genes, but it took lots of time.  The new system makes for more drama and hilarity, sure, but it is a long step backwards in realism.  At the very least the two birth traits should have been picked at random from the parents’ traits.  (Or the parent’s trait, in case of parthenogenesis.)

Have I gone on and on about (sim)parthenogenesis yet?  I should.  The game takes place in a town with a limited but fairly large number of houses.  It is not actually a town, of course, but there are a couple dozen families I think.  There are not quite that many when you start, but new families will randomly move in from time to time.  Some families will also randomly move out unless you have a hack to stop them, such as the ever useful Awesomemod.

Since time flows for everyone in this game, the members of the various families will grow older and eventually expire.  (They may also die in accidents, but this is not common.) If the neighbors did not also reproduce, we would soon end up with a literal ghost town.  The game is very reluctant to let any household die out, even if it happens to only contain a single sim or a couple friends of the same gender. So does it compel them to seek out a mate?  No, it simply dumps a baby on them.  If they do happen to be married, the baby will have two parents and inherit its looks from both of them.  But if the parent is single, the baby has only one parent and retains its skin and hair color, although it is not a complete clone. Also, there is no visible pregnancy.  (This makes sense as it can happen as easily to males.) We call this parthenogenesis, virgin origin. Lest someone suspect blasphemy, let me assure you that the concept is well known from biology, as many insects routinely reproduce without intercourse, as do a few vertebrates.

Wanja in the picture above is a spontaneous offspring of Ari Moore, my self-sim’s in-game girlfriend. (Not to be confused with my imaginary girlfriend. This is my imaginary self-sim’s imaginary girlfriend.)  Ari lived with two other women and had, to the best of my knowledge, no romantic relationships.  Certainly Wanja is listed as having only one parent, and looks a lot like her mother (but not an all-out clone). Since I was not playing that family, the game randomly gave the child two traits, fairly decent traits luckily, but none of them were from her mother.  So it fell to me to give her some realistic traits while raising her. As you can see, it worked out pretty well…

Sim children have a lot of schoolwork. Certainly more than Americans, who only have symbolic amounts of homework compared to other civilized countries. On the other hand, they have a longer vacation. Wait, that’s on the same hand. Anyway, Sim children have no vacation ever, and their homework takes the better part of the rest of the day unless they get help.  Luckily a skilled parent can cut down heavily on the time spent and the frustration felt.  Failing that, doing homework together with other kids will make it more fun, although I am not sure if it actually goes faster.  More testing is in order.  Sim Magnus usually would help Wanja with her homework, of course. He also had the option to tutor her, although I am not sure what effect (if any) this has in the game.

If your simulated child fails to do homework one day, all is not lost.  When in school, there is a small menu where you can decide what they do there:  Work hard, work normally, make friends, hang out with existing friends, or do homework.  If they fail entirely to do their homework, and don’t work hard during school hours, grades start slipping.  There is a happiness reward for good grades, but not only that: Bad grades means your kid risks growing up to an insane kleptomaniac or a neurotic with commitment issues.

Luckily there are certain random events that let a child improve its standing in school temporarily by for instance catching a particular fish or writing a report.  My teen sim had this, not sure if they get them in grade school too.  It does not happen all the time though so don’t rely on it.

Teen Sims still have homework, and can take a part-time job as well. Luckily they come home earlier, just like in Sims 2. But between work and romance, the long homework really does cut into their lives. Having a parent (or resident genius) to help comes in very handy.  I suppose this also applies in real life. Then again I am not some liberal post-modernist extolling the virtues of the post-nuclear family.



My cell phone is ringing, while my girlfriend is telling me what she REALLY thinks about me. How did it end up like this?  Luckily it is all a game, namely Sims 3, and I have a backup from before I got a girlfriend to begin with, before the whole midlife crisis thing.

Pretty much each evening I’ve spent a good chunk of time playing The Sims 3. I finally got around to making a self-sim!  Actually you saw him yesterday too, although that was not an entry about the game.  I am not good at making sims, since my right brain hemisphere is pretty much stuffed with hay as regards any talents more complex than walking and slightly erroneous typing. You would probably not have mistaken this guy for me if you met him on the street. But once you know he’s my self-sim, you can probably see it.  If you have seen me in the flesh or on the innumerable photos in my journal in 1998 and a few years onward.

Even though I was pretty enthusiastic about the game already, I was taken by surprise by just how much fun it is to have a little computer guy who looks and acts vaguely like me, except he is a talented painter and scientist and grows a garden of “life fruit” that keeps him aging much more slowly than people around him.  (Myself I only have the brainwave thingy, and it is not quite that efficient.  At least not yet.)

Also, it makes for a wide range of illustration “photos” that I could not possibly produce in real life.

Dentistry, summer and fat


“Faint praise coming from you” my self-sim seems to think.

I have lost count of how many weeks I have gone with a loose tooth. It was one of the three ceramic teeth and was fastened on the root of the original with a thin metal bar. This is, I believe, the third time it has been broken. Hopefully it will be a while till next time. Perhaps that depends on my computer shopping habits, however.

I have written in the past about this peculiar pattern. At first I thought the rule was “Every time you buy a computer, God kills a tooth.” (Patterned after the infamous “God kills a kitten” meme, which I am sure Google can explain to anyone who may have been spared it until now.) Later experience showed that I could buy desktop computers without breaking teeth, so I amended it to “Every time you buy a laptop, God kills a tooth.” This time, however, the tooth broke while I still considered buying a laptop for a friend. Actually in part I did this to test whether the cosmic law only reacted to buying for myself or whether it was the objective act of buying a laptop that invoked it. Instead I found that it was the decision to buy. Perhaps at some future point, I will break teeth even by looking at a laptop to covet it?

In any case, I got it fixed at a sufferable cost, and in time before the summer vacation. (Not mine, I don’t have vacation in summer, but presumably the dentists have. Summer vacation is almost sacred up here in Norway, where the summer is short but intense, with warm bright nights that don’t invite to get up early next morning for a long day of hard work.) The dentist’s equipment had broken down today but he borrowed that of a colleague; they are a small team of dentists working together and sharing office services. Despite the unfamiliar workplace he seems to have done a good job.

On my way back to work, I noticed how hot the day had become. It was by now rather late in the workday, around 15 (3PM) and the heat in the city felt almost tropical compared to the cool days of the past couple weeks. I have thoroughly enjoyed the cloudy weather with occasional showers, since I am not really made for heat. The newspaper claims that the heat will last for a week or more. I would not be surprised, the south coast of Norway is a naturally sunny place all year long with only scattered rainy days. No wonder people from all over the country come to relax on the beaches here.

One recurring concern when the word “beach” comes up is the extra pounds from the dark season. They just don’t seem willing to leave in order to render you good-looking in swimwear. Of course, this is hardly a concern for me, since I get violently ill if I eat more than a few grams of fat. And even were it not so, I have long since given up on swimwear. Not so much because of the skin disease that makes much of my body look like that of a toad, but mostly because melanoma runs in my family. I can only hope that I realized this soon enough – I have mostly stayed out of the sun since I was around 20 – but I certainly don’t want to run any risks now. Life is short enough as is.

Fat is not known to make life any longer, at least in our time when there is an excess of it. And that was the thing I noticed on my way back from the dentist: Norwegians really are growing fatter. Norwegians and Sims. One of the most eye-catching changes in The Sims 3 compared to the earlier versions is the wider range of body shapes, from fat to skinny to muscular. A goodly number of the inhabitants of the imaginary town are shaped like couch potatoes, and unfortunately so are also those in the real town where I work. It used to be that Norwegians were still lean and active compared to our American cousins. Well, they are still ahead of us in sheer obesity, but not in overweight.

To make this clear, the border between “normal” and overweight is set pretty low. Unnaturally low, I believe, as studies show that mortality is actually slightly lower in the barely overweight group than in the “normal” group, which includes some decidedly skinny people. I am not sure who set up those categories. They should probably have been set a little higher. But in any case, technically obesity is a different group from overweight, and at this point the health cost is obvious. It is hard for the obese to move around efficiently, and their hearts are hard pressed to keep the blood flowing through the bloated body. Hypertension and diabetes are almost unavoidable if enough years pass in such a state.

Norwegians have become overweight to the same degree as Americans – about two in three is now above that artificial line – but we have far less outright obesity. I am afraid this is only a matter of time, though. Looking around today, I saw a lot of fat. There is definitely more of it than there used to be when I was young. Unless someone finds a miracle cure, we will have the same wave of chronic lifestyle diseases as our American cousins, with all the cost and suffering involved.

After work I went home and trotted out the manual lawnmower again. As the voices in my head remarked: “I am become death, the destroyer of grass.” (Thank you, Oppenheimer.) But better it than me. I can do without a tooth for a few weeks, but not a heart.

Meditation’s part in life


This tree did not become like that in 30 days either.  Keep it up.

I believe that meditation is a natural state of mind, one of several, just like the various phases of sleep and waking consciousness. All of these have their place in a healthy human life, but they have different weight through our lifetime.

In part I base this on the fact that meditation in some form (or some similar experience) is found in different cultures at different times of history as part of very different and sometimes opposing cultures. But it is also based on my own experience. As I like to say, I learned meditation from God. I was praying and I found it rude to just rattle off a wish list and hang up. So I waited for God, not necessarily to speak to me as some guy would do (I already knew better than that) but to somehow accept my presence. And in that wordless waiting, something began to know. This was where I learned to meditate, although I did not know it by name until a more advanced Christian came upon me when I thought myself alone with God, and commented on it.

Occasionally others will tell their own story about experiencing this inner stillness by some other name. I don’t think this would happen even sporadically if it were not a natural function of being human. And besides, the useful effects of regular meditation indicate that it is not some synthetic add-on to our lives but a vital part that are missing in many lives because we have become disconnected. In general, meditative practices have been connected with religion. As other aspects of religion have been overturned, such as its iron-age level of science, the meditative practices have also been discarded as people sought happiness through material abundance. This, as we know today, did not work out well. Desires run ahead of our acquisitions like the rainbow runs ahead of those who chase it. No matter what we have, we can always think of something more. That is not to say that abject poverty does not make us unhappy. But at some point, fairly early actually, there are other needs that also need to be met. One of these is meditation.

I believe that in our natural state, meditation will gradually expand later in life, while sleep gradually takes up less space. Because people fail to meditate, they only experience the lessening of sleep, and they suffer from insomnia. Middle-aged and elderly people lose productivity to a great degree because of this. Meditation will never completely replace sleep, for the simple reason that the replacement is a very slow process and we don’t live for centuries. But the 70 year olds who do meditate or pray a couple hours every day tend to be in many ways as vital as when they were young. Sure, the body becomes brittle and fickle over time, but their mind is far more resistant to the ravages of time.

It seems that the teen years are to natural time to learn meditation. But after this, it will tend to keep a low profile during the reproductive years, when attention is on the practical things day by day. Then comes the transformation to the third life stage, an event now called “midlife crisis”, although it need not be a crisis unless you cling to your withering youth. At this point, many people renew their interest in meditation, and also find it easier.

There are a few who have gone ever deeper on the Innerways at a time when others were satisfied with building up their outer lives. These few tend to become shining examples, but is this because of their practice or were they always different, since they already long ago chose differently? We cannot decide this by a controlled experiment, because it takes place for the longest time in a realm where no one can get in and see what you actually do. Only when the results become obvious can we know. Or that is how it used to be. Today it is possible with scientific instruments to measure roughly what is going on in the brain. Not each particular thought, but whether you are sleeping, thinking, meditating or daydreaming. Perhaps we will get more scientific data on this soon?

But we already know that for many people, meditation (or some other spiritual practice) is the missing ingredient to a calmer, happier and often longer and healthier life. And mid-life is certainly not too late to get started. Why should your last decades be darker and more troubled than necessary? Even a little practice each day adds up to a great change over time. In fact, a little is exactly where one should start. If you keep watering that little sprout, it will grow all by itself, until it becomes a mighty tree, obvious to anyone who passes by.

Meditation: mind and body


The mind can quickly create feelings of joy or pain, which have virtually no connection with the long time effects of what we do.

Meditation (and its recent love child with science, brainwave entrainment) is not a matter of belief. It is a matter of experience. I will comment today on some of these experiences and their time frame, which is very different for each perspective: Mind, body and spirit.

When you sit down and shut up for the first time, your MIND will release a surge of unbound awareness. If you sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed, that awareness will not be able to attach itself to sights and sounds, but will instead rush to attach to objects of the mind: Thoughts, emotions, memories, bodily sensations. These experiences are then drawn to the mind by free awareness, and will seem magnified because they are not drowned out by the usual activity of the mind. They can be pleasant, or unpleasant, or just plain weird. But by and large they will be somehow unusual. And one thing more: They will all pass. Some will fade as soon as you end the session, but in any case a regular practice of meditation will withdraw attachment and at the very least they will fade then.

This means a double threat to the casual would-be meditator. If the first experience is painful or frightening, you will not want to do it again at all. But if the first experience is pleasurable, then when it starts fading you will be upset and disappointed. Most likely you will then move on to some alternative technique, hoping to get that first rush of goodness again. In either case you fail to reap the benefits of a regular meditation practice.

While the mind acts literally in the blink of an eye, the body adapts more slowly. When you have a new experience of any kind, the brain will start growing new connections. The more unusual the experience, the more new connections in the brain. For most people, just sitting down and shutting up is a truly alien experience at first. If you used brainwave entrainment you will quickly experience some degree of synchronization between the two hemispheres of the brain, which should encourage growth of connections between these two halves. (With unaided meditation, this will happen somewhat later and more gradually.) It is not a good idea to overdose on these things, as I have reported elsewhere. It can cause seriously trippy side effects that can even be similar to psychoactive drugs, or at the very least weird and sometimes scary dreams.

The changes in the brain start within hours and continue for several weeks as the new connections grow and mature. After this they will be maintained for a while, but will slowly become more permanent and continue to grow if you repeat your practice regularly. After decades of meditation, there are large visible changes to the brain, with some parts of the brain being visibly larger and having more gray matter than in people who don’t meditate (or pray, or chant, etc) habitually. But long before this you should be able to notice that you are more emotionally stable, thinking more clearly, learning easier and sleeping better (albeit not necessarily more). Stress related illnesses will have less and less power over you. Eventually your mental health will reach a level where you see some of your past habits and thought patterns as sheer insanity.

As you can see, there is no real connection between the first rush of experience when you try meditation (or brainwave entrainment) and the lasting benefits after years of practice. The first is just a rush of new experience; the latter is a fundamental change of who you are in this world. If you just keep repeating your mantra, or count slowly to four, or chant the Holy Name, or listen to the binaural sound track, you will change. More exactly, because meditation is a natural part of human life (despite being repressed in some cultures), you will change into who you were meant to be. More about that “natural part” thing in our next update, Light willing.

Jammie Thomas pays my music


In the trash they go. There will be no new ones.

Jammie Thomas, one of the most ordinary people in the western world, was just fined nearly 2 million dollars for having made 24 songs available for upload on the file sharing service Kazaa. (The songs became available for upload because she downloaded them – this is the nature of most file sharing systems.)

I get the impression that the court’s decision did not spark much controversy in the USA, and this seems reasonable:  Americans are used to farcical trials, where the best paid lawyers win more or less by default; so much more when the opponent does not belong to the ruling ethnicity. For us Europeans it seems strange, but once you get to know a number of Americans, you realize how little faith they have in the judicial system.  And if neither the particular crime nor punishment has any direct consequence for you, you just ignore it.  Mind your own small business.

The reaction here in Scandinavia is very different.  A wave of hate  and contempt is sweeping Norway (the homeland of “So sue me” DVD-Jon) and neighboring Sweden (harbor of The Pirate Bay). Particularly the younger generation vow to never buy a CD again. I am not sure they will stick to that always, but probably as long as they can effortlessly download the songs from file sharing sites.  Certainly whatever sting their conscience may have offered them before is now gone, nay reversed:  A deep sense of righteous glee filling them each time they get to stick it to the fascist recording industry and the corrupt governments that allow it to run rampant over the back of the poor.

My reactions are more mixed. I developed a pretty large software package for certain businesses a couple decades ago, and I remember the murderous rage I felt at the thought of people stealing it.  I would not particularly mind seeing them in debt for the rest of their life – actually how I felt at the time was that they were not really human and their lives worthless.  Of course, this is true most of the time for most of us, but I was still projecting much of that then, thus the intensity of feeling.  Objects and random strangers cannot incite such intense emotions, they always need to have an anchor inside us.

For the young and angry virtual mob, the anchor is no doubt the reasonable fear because they too have been sharing songs online, and probably more than 24 of them at that. The thought that their entire lives could be ruined any random day and that there is nothing they can do about it would be pretty upsetting.  (This does not in any way change the fact that this was a gross miscarriage of justice and should never have happened.) Personally I have bought and paid for my hundreds of CDs, which I am throwing away, except for the Japanese ones.  I am even more motivated to get rid of them now.  I do not really want to have physical objects in my house associated with the cRIminal Association of America and its lickspit running dogs here in Norway.

Actually downloading music used to be legal here in Norway, until the current mainly Social Democrat government changed it. Their minister of culture is still supporting the record label industry, whereas the state’s less political privacy watchdog is pulling in the opposite direction.  This is no great wonder, for the Social Democrat leadership is strongly in favor of the European Union, from which we got the current law.  This again makes sense since the EU is dominated by Social Democrats. As such it has an extensive bureaucracy with many leading positions that may be available to former politicians who have been good at wagging their tail, and with no more need for elections to maintain your status.

When I was young – in the 1970es – we had cassette recorders, which people used to play music casettes they had bought, but probably more often songs they had recorded from the radio or copied from one another.  This had been going on since the days of the spool tape recorder, about half a century ago.  Kids these days have probably not seen those contraptions, but I have one stashed away in a closet here, as well as a couple tapes with songs copied form Light knows where.  (Although by far most of my tapes are recordings of meetings at conferences in the Christian Church, popularly known as Smith’s Friends. I am keeping these for as long as the tapes may still last, or I do, lest they be lost forever.)

OK, that’s a pretty roundabout entry.  But I am currently working on getting Opera Unite running stably on my machine, so I can stream all those thousands of songs I have bought and paid to friend and family.  (Who else but friends and family would wade through a blog like this?)

I will come back to the actual address of my music streaming server if I get it to work stably. So far it stops working on my home machine with Windows, my old Linux machine is too weak to pull it, and the new Linux machine is only active a few hours a day.  But my intention is good, at least.  ^_^

Not dead yet

Although I am sure I am moving in that direction, at a speed of about 24 hours a day… Well, 19 hours a day in a manner of speaking, since the average life expectancy is still rising by 5 hours a day even in the developed country.  If only it were 25!  Life is too awesome to just end without a really, really good reason.

I am still here, but I am shrinking.  I don’t check my weight every week – it would just get cluttered by random things like whether I have been drinking lots of water – but several times a year.  This was one of them.  It is the lightest I have been in a couple years.  (As regular readers will know, I lost weight involuntarily for nine months after the mysterious illness in Easter 2005, then regained it over about the same length of time after I moved here.  It has been very stable since, at a moderately lower level than before (probably because I still can’t eat more than traces of fat).

I will probably be checking more frequently for a while.  But it is less likely to be an undiscovered cancer and more likely to be just forgetting to eat while I play Sims 3, I think.  After all, if I can forget to update the Chaos Node, I can forget pretty much anything!