Category Archives: China

OUTRAGE ABOUT NO OUTRAGE “How blatant lying is job description of NYT employee”

Original article being criticized here What Chinese Outrage Over ‘3 Body Problem’ Says About China  (short answer: whatever they want you to think. shorter answer: nothing)

Problem with this article starts at it’s very title, and many a problem come up in form of half-truths, omissions, non-obvious contradictions, exaggeration – the list could get worse, but umbrella term “intellectual dishonesty” covers them all.

Let’s do this one by one, starting from the title – “Chinese outraged”: no, a small subset of at maximum 20% of another subset – the people who watched the show – (and this is highly exaggerated guesstimation – certainly much less) of the Chinese population, and in that subset, of a certain age demographic and preferences, are outraged – simply put, more nationalistic and patriotic types. Those, as we all know, tend to be the loudest. Furthermore, generally speaking about “China” in singular, as the author/editor have done, is problematic (and dishonest, and wrong, and common journalistic practice), but that is for another essay. To get back on the sub-subset of people who actually watched the show, according to SCMP, BitTorrent downloads spiked at 90500 first day and waned after that – including other services, Baidu cloud and different ways of circumventing bootlegging, the total number is notoriously hard to estimate – for sake of brevity and because of shadowy nature of these methods, we will say it is just about couple million people, as a WAG (wild-ass-guess). This is one tenth of one percent of Chinese population. No further comment is needed.

Problem #1 – in a word: absolutely gross generalization to the point of mocking reader’s intelligence. In more words: clickbait horseshit pandering to sinophobic audiences, doing the job of both State Department and publication’s (NYT’s) self-interested “bottom line” at the same time, while disregarding, nay, actively spitting in the face of Plato’s ideal of the Good, the True, the Beautiful (being one and the same thing). Implying article is evil, deceitful and disgusting.

2. Ironically, even the comments author cites at the beginning of the text, e.g. the Weibo comment first mentioned, on the topic of Cultural revolution, have the same problem as we’ve already said previously. That is to say, Li Yuan (the author) is not commenting on this Weibo comment – but frames it in the last part of the passage to be interpreted by the reader, while she cunningly sets up a half-truth based narrative on perception of Cultural revolution in China in the first part of the very same passage. This manipulation tactics game gets worse: I should use 2.2 since next point is a subset of this one, but let’s not get technical.

Problem #2 in a word: half-truth. In more words: carefully crafted narrative that is mostly true, but untrue in the most important part.

3. The use of the term “heavily censored”, in the context of discussion of Cultural Revolution in China, is immediately contradicted by the examples of public discourse in China about that very topic, which the author cites. But here I need to add my own experience as an expat in China and a sinologist wannabe: subset of people who are interested in politics, ruling class, economy and everything (inter)related know exactly what and how happened during that destructive period. The author seems to understand it, but doesn’t say it explicitly, and although her point that showing a gruesome display of violence is too much to bear even for the mentioned subset of Chinese netizens, it doesn’t logically conflict with the fact that – although being censored when it reaches too many eyes on Weibo – there is a vibrant discussions of all political topics in China, especially Cultural Revolution in recent years (as she confirms herself). To add to this point, even Xi Jinping is known to be quoted as someone who considers Cultural Revolution a net benefit, since it created a generation of strong people – perhaps drawing from his own example. This is not censored – so again – where is this heavy censorship? Does it weigh 10 pounds or 100kg? How does one even quantify censorship? We shall never know, but maybe Li Yuan or her editor can explain this to us! And not to indulge in whataboutisms (tu quoe que). but isn’t omitting topics such as Seymour Hersh’s research on Nord Stream 2 sabotage, or Aaron Bushnell’s self-immolation worse kind of censorship; for illusion of freedom is worse than being aware one is lacking freedom? It should be noted, even the author (Mrs. Li) concedes that Liu Cixin’s novel had exact same depiction of violence during the Cultural Revolution, but he had to put it in the middle of the first book, not the beginning as in the TV show. If that is “heavily” censored, we would like to see mildly-censored version. Not the mention her wild guesses about this or that year in which the novels could have been published (2004 yes, 2007 no) she offers no explanation to these notions.

Problem #3 in a word: inconsistent. In more words: morally wrong, factually incorrect, logically unsound, most probably “heavily censored” by her editor. Talk about projection. Before next point, it needs to be added:

4. The arguments that the Chinese netizens make on racial diversity and political correctness (simply put: wokeism) are all solid and irrefutable, even more so, anyone familiar with Netflix’s track record understands all too well how ridiculous (to the level of being mocked in memes) their productions end up. Polarization that is happening in USA – country where no side will accept the next POTUS and is on the verge of civil strife; infected by the mind virus of wokeism, “subtly” controlled media that we already mentioned (getting less subtle as legacy media loses ground) – all of these things are something as foreign to a Chinese person as metric system is to an average American. Worse – this is something completely foreign to Chinese mentality, it is alien to them, unthinkable, as is in all other Confucian countries and territories. As for mentioned virus of wokeism: one example illustrates the unprecedented craziness of American society: back in 2020, prof. Greg Patton of USC’s Marshall’s School of Business used the common Mandarin Chinese filler word in his Communication class via Zoom (which is ironic in itself), and later became viral: the Chinese word sounds like the N-word (provided one has good imagination or psychotic disorder) and he earned himself a suspension and vitriol of the mob Justice Warriors of unearned moral grandeur. Even crazier: the parallel between intellectuals being canceled and ostracized in comparison to The Cultural Revolution would be terribly funny if it wasn’t so profoundly sad. This seems to have flown over Li Yuan’s head like the Chinese spy balloon, and it is about time to fire the missiles. In that spirit: there is a joke in China that vividly describes the American political situation and Chinese understanding of it, and goes as follows:

Chairman Mao arises from the grave and speaks to the contemporary Chinese populus:

Mao: Are the people able to eat their fill?

Us: They are overeating, even thinking about loosing weight!

Mao: Do capitalists still exist?

Us: They’ve taken all their businesses abroad.

Mao: Has steel production surpassed that of Britain and the USA?

Us: City of Tangshan alone exceeeds that of USA as a whole!

Mao: Have we won the political dispute against the Soviets?

Us: They collapsed by themselves!

Mao: Has imperialism been overthrown?

Us: We are the imperialists now!

Mao: And how about my Cultural Revolution?

Us: Oh…It has moved to America.

(For the sceptical reader,author (CaesarInChina) heard this joke about 10 years ago – Chinese are acutely aware of American situation, while American understanding of China amounts to less than nothing (it would take some to get to zero).

Problem #4 in a word; y’all fucked.

Here, for the next point, which might be wrong, but ’tis but a self-conscious speculation:

5. The author seems as if the last time she was in China was in her past life, that is to say: never. But she was. Nonetheless, it doesn’t seem she has any connection or understanding of Chinese people except in her name. All of this is obvious from every single previous point, while NYT editors are using the identity politics card i.e. her, to make the article more “credible”. Here we mean no harm, but as a rule, overseas Chinese who go to America are notorious in China for being sons and daughters of corrupt government officials, who in a creative manner of “capital flight”, flew over the Pacific to find safe haven in the capitalist oligarchy. It is merely rule of thumb or a very crude heuristic tool; we do not imply anything about the author whatsoever, but simply stating the fact of how thus described people are perceived in China. After all, the Chinese word for a “traitor” is maiguozui (sell-country-criminal, literally, character for character).

Problem #5 in a word: pure ignorance or intentional mallice. We do not know which one is worse, but we suspect both.

6. Desert should be served last: the fact that the author, overseas Chinese writing on “outrage” about Netflix adaptation of Liu Cixin’s novels (trilogy) never once mentioned original Chinese adaptation is at best mind-bogging and unfathomable, illogical to the point of being a true enigma, and at worst a calculated manipulation which if wasn’t done, would uproot the whole narrative of the article, point by point. Not to mention it doubles as a commercial for Netflix. It gets even worse: Chinese version has 30 episodes, elegantly, 10 per book, while it lacks the unnecessarily melodramatic and all too common moments of the Netflix version, which is, as if things are not bad enough, dumbed-down to the level of an 18 year old STEM freshman with developmental problems. In the US with all the incredible school system advantages (here we quote global PISA ratings. Later).

Problem #6 in a word: Chinese version does not exist, and yet it does.

Addendum: Authors Franjo Tuschek and Olle M. Gustafsson admit that we are set to destroy the whole publication (NYT), but not because we dislike it, as we don’t even care to read that shite, but because this particular article was abysmally dreadful to the very core of all that is holy and decent. (SLAPP lawsuits are more than welcome)

– We found out were notified by our MSS handlers that Li Yuan previously worked for Xinhua, which gives credence to our suspicion of government “federal family” connections, but also indicates her writing as a form of very personal vendetta against those who slighted her. This way of writing cannot be objective, rational or decent – no bloody wonder this article is the biggest shit since the publication of Protocols of Elders of Zion. And this is a good place to stop.



O Cirkusu pandemijskog narativa ili: zašto ste svi u krivu

Franjo, o čemu ti?


Kao prvo, bitna napomena – ovaj esej nije o pandemijskim mjerama, nije o dobrom ili lošem kriznom pristupu, a ponajviše ne namjerava biti unutar uobičajenog diskursa kulturnog plemenskog rata kojem svjedočimo na društvenim mrežama diljem svijeta. Ovo je samo pokušaj analize i objašnjenja kako je do tako kaotične i toksične situacije došlo. Kako to da postoje toliko dijametralna poimanja dobrog i lošeg pristupa u situaciji gdje su činjenice lako dostupne svima? Ukratko, svjedoci smo kriznog stanja, kao prvo ideološkog (društvo – pojedinac), vezano, i etičkog (ljudski životi – ekonomija), pa i epistemološkog (kojem izvoru vjerujemo i zašto? Te da napravimo puni krug nazad ka ideološkom, odnosno političkom – koja je uloga eksperata?). Krizno stanje popraćeno je sa i prije opasno visokom razinom polarizacije političkog spektra, o kojoj je već tradicionalno pisati, ali i zamorno čitati, znam, ali ne mogu se oteti dojmu da većina i dalje ne shvaća važnost iste. Pa neka bude naglašeno. Nadalje, zbog razmjera ludosti koje jedno takvo anomično i za društvo razarajuće stanje dovodi u svojim ekstremnim pojavama, ovdje ću ubuduće cijeli taj krizni kulturni kompleks krstiti Cirkusom. Misija će ovdje biti – kako sve navedeno objasniti na jedan elegantan, objedinjujuć i jednostavan način, a pritom što bliže pogoditi istinu stanja stvari, koliko god nekom nužno subjektivnom takvo nešto bilo u mogućnosti. Sekundarno, pokušati ćemo pronaći način kako možemo barem težiti vratiti se u neku normalu, stanje koje liberalno i demokratsko društvo podrazumijeva, određenog slaganja barem oko temeljnih principa društvenog ugovora, ili stvarnosti kao takve. Ali nije jasno da će to biti od ikakve koristi. O tome ukratko; jer su tehnološki procesi koji su katalizirali ovo stanje u praksi nezaustavljivi, ali o tome ćemo malo kasnije. Niti će itko regulirati klikbejt model, niti ljudsko ponašanje, primjerice, čitanje isključivo naslova članaka (i viralno širenje samo slike a ne linkova istih, konačno stvorivši toksični fake news mem sui generis).


Osnovna teza

Sukob kojem svjedočimo samo je jedna – tehnologijom doduše snažno potencirana – suvremena manifestacija vječne tenzije između društva i pojedinca.

 U ovom slučaju i konkretnije, sukob je uzeo formu bitke javnog zdravstva (društveno dobro i kolektivizam) nasuprot osobnim slobodama i ekonomskoj koristi (pojedinac i liberalizam, tržište i kapitalizam). Možda moram naglasiti da osobno kao politički pragmatist i amaterski filosof ne preferiram niti jednu od tih ideologija, nego vjerujem u pravu mjeru (formuliranu i kao zlatna sredina, ili srednji put) kao nešto optimalno ili idealno (i istinito i lijepo, valja dodati). Ali tako ni društvo ni ljudska priroda ne funkcioniraju, niti naši tribalni nagoni dozvoljavaju, a sukob je zauzeo apsurdne razmjere koji prijete samom temelju civilizacije Zapada, da budem samosvjesno dramatičan (uz samo polovičnu hiperbolu, s obzirom na trenutačnu atmosferu u američkom javnom diskursu). Društvo koje se ne slaže oko temeljnih aksioma ne može opstati, ili se barem meni ne čini da postoji način na koji dugoročno može (ovo je donekle blaže u RH nego drugdje, ali poznato je da kasnimo. Tipično).



Dva plemena te njihov nastanak

Protivljenje nošenju maski, “brnjica”, odnosno uopće percepcija da su maske nekakav udarac na slobodu, prije deset godina bila bi ideja van svake pameti, naročito u društvu čije je probleme uopće teško nabrojati, na stranu da kvalitativno također nisu puno gori. Što ne znači da je odgovor najgoreg ekstrema sa suprotne strane, recimo, čuveno kinesko zavarivanje stanova zaraženih, imalo manje ludo; dapače, evidentno je nama u liberalnim društvima potpuno nezamislivo (ali tipično kineski represivno). Nadalje, koliko god istovremeno karantena Hubei provincije bila neprikosnoveno postignuće, koja je uz druge mjere doslovno istrijebila virus unutar granica Kine (baš kao prvi SARS godine 2003.), takvo nešto samorazumljivo je u konfucijanskim kulturama, ali naprosto nemoguće na Zapadu. Ali još blaže, više nije posve jasno koliko smisla ima inzistiranje na više ili manje oštrim mjerama. Koliko odgađaju ionako neizbježno? Koliki demokratski legitimitet imaju, i gdje? Kakva to čudna konzekvencijalistička etika stoji u pozadini morbidnog računa žrtvovanja ekonomije ili života, naročito u kompleksnom međugeneracijskom kontekstu? O protivljenju cijepljenju ne namjeravam ni pisati, niti se tu išta pametno može reći, osim da, politički, obje strane imaju, čini se, sasvim legitiman politički stav (samo u ovom slučaju, ali manje ili nikako legitiman za izuzetno opasno protivljenje ikakvim cjepivima). No, ono što je posrijedi je jedno apsurdističko pretjerivanje u oba narativa, a koje je dio diskursa echo chambera („ječnih komora“?), gdje svaka strana biva izložena samo najekstremnijim primjerima druge strane, a istovremeno mahom nekritički prihvaća doktrine svojeg plemena. Ali, ovo je u srži proces koji traje čitavo prošle desetljeće, s naglaskom na poznih nekoliko godina, koji je imao jedan od bitnih uzroka u globalnoj financijskoj krizi 2007-2008. te potpunom gubljenju povjerenja u vladajuću plutokratsku elitu, zatim dosegao prvi očiti vrh 2016. izborom notornog Donalda Trumpa, a sve popraćeno ubrzavajućim i moćnijim utjecajem misterioznih i sveprisutnih algoritama koji maksimaliziraju ekstreme u emocijama i stavovima (zbog specifičnog poslovnog modela u koji sad ne mogu ulaziti). Naziv post-truth bio je pun pogodak za tako nastalo razdoblje alternativnih činjenica, što je čuveni gaf koji je, poput mnogih gafova kroz povijest, savršeno opisao stanje zeitgeista. Tako da je u tom smislu teren za Cirkus bio već dugo i dobro pripremljen. Ustvari, bilo bi pravo čudo da Cirkus nije nastao. On je poput rata, znanosti ili filosofije, oduvijek postojao, te strpljivo čekao svojeg najboljeg agenta i praktikanta. Cirkusanta; čovjeka.


Dvije Kulture  Dvije Slobode

Kao prvo, kratka kritika liberalnog uma. Po meni, postoji zanimljiv fenomen desenzitacije na postojeće slobode. Čini se da što više pojedinci sloboda imaju, to jače postaju osjetljivi i na najmanji percipirani (ključna riječ) napad na slobodu. [možemo reći i hipersenzitacija na smanjenje slobode op. a.]. Maske, cijepljenje, potvrde i slično – ali koliko daleko ide ta iracionalna pojačana osjetljivost: kao pripremu za ovaj tekst intenzivno sam i dugo pričao sa oba plemena, i ne mogu naglasiti dovoljno, koliko je ključno da velik dio ljudi doslovno vjeruje u pripremu terena za uspostavu globalne tiranije. Istovremeno, mahom se radi o najslobodnijim društvima na svijetu, gdje takve ideje najviše uzimaju maha. Ovdje često volim, jer što više to proučavam to očitije postaje, usporediti temeljni doživljaj svijeta i društva pojedinaca s ove strane spektra sa pubertetlijskim stanjem razvoja u psihologiji. Ovdje, kao i ondje, sloboda ne podrazumijeva više odgovornosti, nego se gotovo menadžerski efikasno maksimalizira omjer što više slobode za što manje odgovornosti. Ovdje, kao i ondje, naglasak je na buntu, ključan oblik ponašanja je autentična samoekspresija, osobna jedinstvenost, i nepovjerenje autoritetu (što nije nužno loše, ali nije teško vidjeti da su logički ekstrem teorije zavjera, pseudoznanost i druge divne pojave). Ako bih još onaj gore niz od 2008. preko Trumpa do pandemije proširio na libertarijanski ekstremističke Branch Davidians te Oklahoma city bombings (90-tih), niz bi bio puno jasniji, ali nije toliko bitno istaknuti, niti bih morao baš tu stati. Ipak, bitno je da se radi o kontinuiranom diskursu paranoje koji vuče svoje memetičko porijeklo još od nastanka Sjedinjenih Američkih Država, ili od prosvjetiteljstva, i tako gotovo proizvoljno daleko.


S druge su strane kolektivistička društva Istočne Azije koje nisu naviknute na visoki stupanj slobode (da, ne samo Kina), a imaju vrlo razvijenu društvenu svijest koja ima duboko internaliziranu normu po kojoj više slobode dolazi samo pod uvjetom više odgovornosti; i prema sebi, i prema zajednici. Naravno, oni imaju i puno veće restrikcije (ne represivno kineske, nego prilično blage ali učinkovite) koje su lokalno shvaćene ne samo kao nešto što nije napad na slobodu, nego, paradoksalno (ili sasvim konzistentno onom gore poimanje slobode), kao nešto što slobodu, braneći društvo, u biti tek omogućava (čuveni mem o slobodi za ne umrijeti – od spriječivog uzroka). Dakle, Korejac ima slobodu ne zaraziti se, razboliti se, uopće ne brinuti o bolesti te normalno živjeti, ne brinuti da će mu roditelji umrijeti, iako je istinabog prvo mrvicu žrtvovao da bi to sada mogao. Ali i to je upitno, jer većina živi normalno (u pravilu se žrtvovao netko drugi, gdje god je lokalna karantena). Dok recimo Amerikanac iz „crvene” države ima slobodu umrijeti kako hoće, zaraziti koga hoće, ali i izlaziti van, piti, putovati – što god hoće, s dodatnim užitkom ideološkog signaliziranja svoje vrline. Kako je jedan američki televizijski voditelj rekao u kontekstu analogije života bez pandemijskih mjera, vlada nema što tu regulirati – možemo se baciti s litice ako hoćemo (ipak, nije sasvim jasno koliko bi taj fenomen bio zarazan, ili uopće načelno spriječiv). Niti je uopće jasno što je bolje od ta dva fundamentalno drugačija pogleda, ali svaka strana hvaliti će samo svoje, kako to nužno biva.

 Kratko bih obratio pozornost čitatelju da se ovdje dijelom radi i o dvije vremenske orijentacije kultura i ideologija („hedonizam trenutka” slobodara nasuprot „budućnosti usmjerenog” Azijata koji odgađa trenutačnu nasladu). No da nastavimo u tom duhu, razlika je tu zbog ideologije odnosno kulture, ali i zbog psiholoških karakteristika koji u biti ideologiju uvjetuju, osim upravo spomenutih. Libertarijanci tako, recimo, imaju izražene karakteristike više racionalnosti, niže empatije, ali i iznimno više onoga što se zove „reactance“, a definirano je kao „bijes koji osjećamo kada nam netko kaže da nešto ne smijemo, ili nas pokuša kontrolirati“. Druga pak strana ima izraženu empatiju, po svemu sudeći i otvorenost iskustvu Big five tipologije ličnosti, a ionako jaku i često osobno motiviranu empatiju lako projicira i na potpune neznance, kako to u političkim diskursima gotovo uvijek biva (nedavni primjer Afganistana – i ta ideja da je ikoga imalo briga). To da te karakteristike ustvari prethode našem “odabiru” ideologije je zanimljiva tema za neki drugi tekst, odnosno Drugi pogled, ili za knjigu, koje doduše zasigurno već postoje, ali uskoro ćemo se vratiti momentu koji sam eksplicitno dotakao, ali želim razraditi.


Kako su kršćani postali Mao Zedong, a komunisti postali katolički sveci

Prvo, među bitne psihološke „orijentacije“ ovdje bih naveo i ljudsku sklonost pretjeranom optimizmu, kao i pretjeranom pesimizmu. Gotovo nitko od nas ne živi u „realnosti“, ponajviše vi koji si upravo slavodobitno mislite „ha, ja sam realist!“. Ovo se očituje možda najviše u načinu na koji tržište vrijednosnih papira funkcionira, ali stvarno, bilo kakvo predviđanje (da ne kažem modeliranje) budućnosti osuđeno je na takvu propast. Dovoljno je pogledati opus futurista 20. stoljeća koji varira gotovo isključivo iz sumanutog i komičnog optimizma u tmurni, depresivni pesimizam, pa naravno nazad; i to među ekspertima i znanstvenicima, dapače, među njima najviše. Sve to ovisno već o nepredvidivim tehnološkim otkrićima, te geopolitičkim igrama koje su ih potencirale, omogućile, te na nejasne načine uvjetovale. Tako su oba naša korona-plemena, svaka u svoje vrijeme, i na malo drugačiju temu, promašila za točno red veličine, ali i dalje svatko to obavezno spočitava svakom, sada doduše manje nego prije. Istinabog, samo jedno pleme je sklonije blokirati ljude ako se uopće spomene da oba (!) griješe, ali to je već druga, i meni osobna, tema, ali testirano i na puno manjem uzorku. Ipak, cijela ova dijalektika optimizma i pesimizma također zaslužuje novi tekst, i taj ću nadam se jednom i zapisati, a zasad neka samo bude spomenuto, kao bitna urođena pristranost kojom smo svi označeni, osuđeni, prokleti. O budućnosti mogu sa sigurnošću reći samo: jao onom što previđa budućnost.


 Drugo, još malo o shvaćanju slobode. Naime, ako te dvije kulture (a koje se onda očituju poput fraktala, ali blaže, i unutar pojedinačnih društava) poimaju slobodu na toliko drugačije načine, dobro je da smo definirali što mislimo pod jednom, a što pod drugom. Kao često, da ne kažem uvijek, problemi u filozofiji svode se na probleme u jeziku, značenju, odnosno na semantiku. Pa da ponovimo da je prva sloboda specifična, te da u njoj u biti dolazi do zbrke u klasičnoj distinkciji „slobode za“ i „slobode od“, to je sloboda koja uzima za sebe kao slobodnu upravo zbog toga sto se odriče odgovornosti, kao što smo prije kratko rekli, dakle koja uzima svoj objekt kao temeljno pravo (iz definicije „slobode od“), dakle nužno bez dodatnih uvjeta. „Ja neću nositi masku, ja nisam odgovoran prema nikome, ja nikome ne dugujem ništa“, da citiram prijatelja. Druga sloboda, ona kolektivistička, nužno veže koncept više slobode sa proporcionalno više, svakako ne manje, odgovornosti, barem u velikoj većini slučajeva (vrlo niska razina  osobne slobode odnosno „slobode od“ društava Sinosfere). Ali u biti to je i ona tradicionalistička sloboda, barem svojstvena zapadnim tradicionalizmima. Zanimljivo, neki su tu protiv vlastitih principa, primjerice, protiv principa svetosti ljudskog života, a kojeg su mnogi tobožnji katolici naglo izgubili. Ali u tom drugom shvaćanju slobode, odnosno u toj opreci samoj dolazimo do bitnog problema. Obje strane su za slobodu, tu nema sumnje. Ovo je truizam na razini šestogodišnjaka koji, priupitan, intuitivno staje na stranu dobra, pa što će drugo? Ali pitanje je, valjda za nas odrasle – smatramo li slobodu koja maksimalizira omjer onog-što-smijem vs. onog-što-moram-zauzvrat, dobrom, ili pak smatramo dobrom slobodu koja nužno taj omjer ostavlja na 1:1, odnosno, točno onoliko koliko je slobode, toliko je odgovornosti. Naravno, i tu postoji kontinuum, jer neke stvari zaista valjaju biti temeljna prava, a neke ograničene, i to razborito i stupnjevito, u pravilu ne apsolutno. Problem je što je spomenuta polarizacija društva potpomognuta tehnologijom realno uništila te lijepe sive zone gdje istinski život te istinska misao obitava. Pa se fokusiramo na one prve, ali i jer je lakše mentalno baratati ideal-tipovima (koji su istovremeno najviše apstrakcije ali i najčešće konkretizacije, u medijskoj atmosferi u koju smo uronjeni). Samo da se kratko vratimo na tradicionalističku nekonzistentnost u vezi života: ja osobno mislim da je vrhunac globalne kulturne ironije što su mahom kršćanske nacije odlučile maksimalizirati dobit, BDP, kod nas je tu naravno turizam, odnosno čuvena „sezona”, a blaže ili ozbiljnije odstraniti „one koje ionako ne pridonose“ (nego opterećuju sustav), ta kvragu i sa svetošću ljudskog života. Da ni ne spomenemo hrvatsku kulturu kafića i neke vrste osobnog komfora koji je izrazito hedonistički, a vrlo malo kršćanski. Dok je kultura ili pokret poznat po masovnim pokoljima, naročito u novijoj povijesti pod utjecajem maoizma, odlučila štititi baš svaki život pa makar to značilo snažan ekonomski pad (za one koji vole brojke: tri smrti na milijun, drugim riječima, 3 milijuntinke ukupne populacije), a Wuhan i drugi gradovi su trpjeli odricanja i pokoru dostojnu divljenja, ako ona već nije eksplicitno kršćanska. Naravno, svi odgovorni imaju svoj legitimitet za očuvati, i svaka elita radi ono što joj je na kraju u interesu, pa je obrat kršćanstva i komunizma ovdje sasvim slučajan, osim komunitarnog duha obojega. Ali ne može se reći da taj obrat, promatran na globalnoj razini uslijed dekadencije Zapada i uzleta Istoka, nije poetičan, ili simboličan. Da, dobro ste uočili, čitav naslov ovog poglavlja samo je radi ove glupe zamjedbe.




Nema univerzalnog odgovora na ovaj problem, baš kao što nema univerzalnog odgovora na pitanje „Što je dobro?“. Neki ljudi naprosto spadaju u prvu kategoriju, a neki u drugu (rijetki u onu kompliciraniju) kao što svjetonazorski lijevi ili desni stavovi (primjerice, u vezi homoseksualizma ili imigranata) snažno koreliraju sa „osjetljivošću na odurnost“ (disgust sensibility) za desnu opciju, a koja je prirodno distribuirana u populaciji (i desnica u širem smislu, i ta osjetljivost). Ipak, ako težimo nekoj univerzalističkoj etici i spremni smo prihvatiti određene nužno upitne aksiome, možemo reći deontološki, da je dobro da se svaka smrt spriječi, neovisno o ekonomiji; ili pak konzekvencijalistički, da se balansiraju smrti i dobrobit ekonomije, za što veću korist odnosno što veće dobro (za što veći broj ljudi?). Naravno, obje etike mogu dovesti i do suprotnih zaključaka, ali ovako se najčešće manifestiraju u stvarnosti. Isto tako je etikom vrline trivijalno doći do bilo kojeg od tih zaključaka; ili pak ni jednog, kao što ja uporno odbijam, jer sam kul. Ali to samo implicira da će ovaj sukob ostati ovdje još dugo, te da će pronaći još puno šarenih oblika (kao što su prije, ali i sada aktualne, klimatske promijene izazvale). Na kraju, implikacija je da će ostati zagarantirano, dijelom zbog ljudske prirode ali ponajviše zbog načina funkcioniranja društvenih medija, koji monetiziraju ekstremne emocije, da što god dođe sljedeće, nastaviti biti upravo Cirkus. Barem u takozvanim slobodnim društvima, odnosno u liberalnim demokracijama, gdje slobodni javni diskurs postoji. Ne znam za druge, ali ja ću nastaviti promatrati, kao što Cezaru priliči. Ako postoje samo teoretičari (teorija originalno znači promatranje) i cirkusanti, kako kažu na engleskom: that’s not even a choice. Ostalima želim samo da vam Jupiter podari mudrosti, ili da sami odaberete mudro, ako već vaša psihologija ne odabire za vas.

Lažem, potonje je.

SPACE, SPACE: This 19 August, 2004 NASA Solar and Heliospheric Administration (SOHO) image shows a solar flare(R) erupting from giant sunspot 649. The powerful explosion hurled a coronal mass ejection(CME) into space, but it was directed toward Earth. AFP PHOTO/NASA (Photo credit should read HO/AFP/Getty Images)

On the World Porcupine

Or: Why does Something exist rather than Nothing?

Oneness. Duality. Multitude.

First check the Friday, 27 March 2020 6:23 AM GMT update notes at the end of the this weird text. Thank you for Your understanding.  SPQR  

Zwei, hier kommt die Sonne
Drei, Sie ist der hellste Stern von Allen (
Rammstein – Sonne)

 Save Each Other From Togetherness  (Rammstein – Herzeleid)

 That is why, I am sure, a man once grieved that white thread should be dyed in different colors, and why another lamented that roads inevitably fork. (Yoshida Kenko – Tsurezuregusa)

El temor de separación es todo lo que une. (The fear of separation is all that unites.)( – Antonio Porchia – Voices)

 “Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything–anything–to defend ourselves against that return.” (Jordan B. Peterson – Maps of meaning)


The best part of inspiration for this text-shaped piece of shit came from:

  1. Rejection (keywords: life, borderline, instability)
  2. Talking with my exes (too many)
  3. Rammstein songs (surprisingly few of them actually)

Other parts are all due to my current situation as a stranger in a strange land, complete with an insomnia (caused by benzodiazepine-withdrawal) and of course, as it usually is the case, an utter confusion with the subject matter. I need to thank to Mr. Jordan B. Peterson for most of stuff here also, and to God Almighty, amazing ex partner Petra, beautiful borderline nutcase Nila, my Mother (not related to the former), my Father, and especially the first hamster I ever owned (forgot the name at this point, but he was a good guy).

The Purpose of this is not to say anything on one matter or another, in order to inform you about anything new under The Sun, or to impart any special knowledge on you that you might already not have. All knowledge and understanding is a from of remembering what once was forgotten. In fact, its almost amazing that everything here-written (but not said) is part of our intuitive nature as a billion year old life-form, and a sentient one at that, and, to increase the stakes, a self-conscious one. The latter is the part of the problem and also the part of the solution: the mere interaction of one’s sentience with itself, that is to say, being’s sentience of its sentience (I see that I see, but I also see that I hear – what English language somewhat mystically but  very appropriately called the mind’s eye). This is the ultimate and obvious cause of all duality (animals know nothing of duality, or language, which is the same thing fundamentally) and hence the multitude as such, and in turn the Mother of all problems, questions, answers, and in fact of everything that exists in opposition to other (that is, every thing that exist, period), as Buddhist ontology firmly expounds. So, what’s the fuss all about?

Being more specific

“The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Of course, it is easy, simplistic but correct, to attach significance here to either Oneness (mystic traditions, some religions) or Difference (structuralism, deconstruction, Derrida) as being primal, and even venture into ethics and make them analogous to the good and evil, to healing and suffering (in English word “whole” is etymologically connected to the word heal. Obviously: to heal is to make whole again), and to billion another analogies that exist everywhere from mathematics, biology to physics , philosophy, as if reality is fundamentally fractally structured, and thus we thrive in understanding analogies. But this is for some other essay, where we could focus on Douglas Hofstadter,  my brother in enthusiasm towards analogies.

To further elaborate. The Word (Logos) that was the Beginning was a Word, only because a self-conscious mind can be even thought of having a word to say (or on itself, as we would say: on his mind – hence thinking itself was born). On the other hand, the body is, as a certain absolutely awe inspiring Japanese person called Mishima once noticed, of a completely different nature than language: and he himself questions: “How was it possible that I started to think even before I felt my existence embodied?” (Sun and Steel) . At least he made sure that the ending of his life was a bodily experience, and was beautiful. But the point here is not to trod on, on how the things are this way or another. Why? Because, in fact, they are not. As one Sutra says: things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise. We can see two (not one?) tendencies here emerging, of making differences where they seem to be none, or equivalences where there are apparently not. As one of the greatest Minds the World has ever Seen has once expounded:

“Hegel seems to me to be always wanting to say that things which look different are really the same. Whereas my interest is in showing that things which look the same are really different. I was thinking of using as a motto for my book a quotation from King Lear:I’ll teach you differences!‘. (…) ‘You’d be surprised’ wouldn’t be a bad motto either.”

Engine of Reality

The whole process of being might as well be called learning (and teaching) the differences, and yes, I also don’t know why he added that remark in the end. But as it might be already obvious, Kent’s quote from King Lear comes from asserting ones dominance over another (poor Oswald, being humiliated and pushed off the stage, to the delight of the King). But the existence as such is existence of a hierarchy – not only the one we are most used to, as in King Lear, dominance hierarchy, but also to the physical and infinite number of other hierarchies nested upon each other – from Standard model of physics to social institutions we dwell in, from biology to chemistry to psychology, from any and every self-regulating automatic system, every feedback loop which has it’s special evolutionary purpose in the service of the Whole, and so ad nauseam. The One at the end of this hierarchy, in our experience – is God, or not even to be named (道), or void as such, or Selfhood (Atman), or even equated to the notions of Good and True and Beautiful (or Truth, Path and Life?). But we also know that our self-reflective subjective experience of ourselves is in fact It itself looking in its own mirror image. The Sun as a cover picture was chosen as an appropriate expression of The Beautiful, The One, The All Giver, but we also understand that It projects its energy on another plane, penetrates the space, makes the difference itself – duality, and multitude, unfoldThere is no other thing aside of this unfolding. This other plane, the cradle of life, is the Earth, which we often endearingly call our Mother. Appropriately the Rammstein song playing while I was writing this part was „Mutter“, meaning of course Mother – which we will first think its beautiful – but at the same time we will know that it is equivalent to death as much as it is to life (going back into one’s mother) but also analogous to orgasm (la petite mort) –  I will not further elaborate on this, but it is absolutely obvious, and more than just “true” (somebody once called this types of truths as meta-truths). And as much as it, the Mother,  symbolizes empathy, we know that empathy is extremely dangerous and tragically counterproductive. So this concept is creative-destructive and our collective unfolding is creative-destructive, and the Love we feel or claim or suppose or identify as the root of All, is the all domineering all prevailing force that unites and separates everything (and every thing) . And as one Mind has once noticed, there is and cannot be nothing either good or bad about it – if Love is the cause of the action.



Borderline personality disorder & Love

But let us now be more concrete on this notion of Love. We might not yet want to talk about Love of certain quarks in relation to another (in fact we never do observe quarks in isolation, a thing called color confinement, which has nothing to do with color as you think of it, but it might have with Love), but at least in interpersonal relations – and especially in the more intense kinds  of relationships – we are finding the same mechanism of union and separation. Here comes into play what I always found the most astonishing and intense form of Love, but also the most dangerous, destructive and death craving form: the Love of a person with what is in a DSM-5 known as Borderline (emotionally unstable) personality disorder. Again, it’s almost astonishing to watch this mechanisms nested upon each other unfold in almost real-time: life-times worth of Love in what now seems to be a one brief moment – and it all comes from only one source – the fear of rejection, i.e. the intense dislike toward the idea of separation: the need for unity, but also death, melting in but also against, one another.

I had way too many of those

Okay, and the ways our societies are structured, what do they have to say about Love, in this more cosmic ontological sense of the word as we use it here? You can notice that we are jumping from one nested hierarchy to other. I might as well keep on talking about quarks and astronomy, for instance. But simplicity and clarity behooves me to stop at a  certain point.

Hedgehog’s dilemma


Here I will both link and quote Wikipedia, because Schopenhauer explained it better than I ever could, while at the same time his idea is uncannily analogous to what we had discussed before  (click here for Wikipedia article on this concept).

Quote from the article itself:

The concept [of Hedgehog’s dilemma] originates in the following parable from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer‘s Parerga und Paralipomena, Volume II, Chapter XXXI, Section 396:[1]

A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.

When Freud went to USA in the beginning of the 20th century, he said his mission was to tame the wild hedgehogs (or porcupines). He found American society to be too unruly, almost barbaric, and in a state of feral collective unconsciousness – society was prickling one another in an unhealthy manner, both mentally and physically, especially in the long run. Of course, ultimately he failed, after his students did their part in creating Sexual revolution in the late ’60s. But here I want to use this beautiful and very well thought metaphor of Freud’s. If there was such a thing as an American porcupine in the 1920s, could we also speak about the World Porcupine, in a Hegelian sense,  Geist– kind of – and its development, especially in recent years? We might also conclude that in Freud’s times – although he thought American porcupines were wild – they were in fact in their best and tamest condition in the last 100 years. Especially if you look at the current problems Mankind is facing – here I don’t want to elaborate on them, because we all already know, nor is this the goal of this text. What I want to do, as somebody who so admires Chinese culture, their political and economical system, language and tradition – to use this knowledge and try to create an idea of a World Porcupine – and maybe even predict the way in which He will behave in the future. So let us first start with the application of Hedgehog’s dilemma in the case of Chinese, or any other sinospheric (Japan, Korea) society. We will see that Schopenhauer’s Hedgehog developed in Prussia and that it is product of liberalism and civil society par excellence, and that Chinese culture and norms use vastly different ways (and yet, quite similar) to achieve the same goal – not to get too close lest they get pierced, but also, avoiding going too far from each other.

Solution in both cases is basically analogous the the Ancient Greek concept of the “right measure” or Golden mean and in Wikipedia (that is, some textbook Wiki is quoting), its is elaborated in this very convincing fashion:

“The hedgehog’s dilemma suggests that despite goodwill, human intimacy cannot occur without substantial mutual harm, and what results is cautious behavior and weak relationships. With the hedgehog’s dilemma, one is recommended to use moderation in affairs with others both because of self-interest, as well as out of consideration for others. The hedgehog’s dilemma is used to explain introversion and isolationism.”

Of course, this is almost impossible to accept from the BPD (borderline) perspective. It is a widely different perception of the world, it is a widely different world, period. But both are manifestation of the same fundamental ubiquitous force of Love, only quantitatively different, with the same essential (and primordial) quality. But it is also interesting to notice that this “middle way” or “golden mean” path of life was a very influential school of thought both in the East and in the West, from Seneca and Buddha, Aristotle and virtually all patriarchs of Buddhism, all  the way to Vedas and other less known scriptures and philosophies. Again, World Porcupine always seems to develop independently from one another and simultaneously, in a truly mystical way.

What does the future bring

The Chinese well mannered and distance loving Porcupine will have a peculiar confrontation with the Western much more closer together  (but hurtful, piercing) porcupine constellation. On the other hand, Western pop culture is spreading in China like wildfire in this age of social media and decentralization. Here I am an optimist – although I consider this a profoundly realistic position. It is in everyone’s best interest, it is the work of universal force of Love as we elaborated before, and after thesis, antithesis will bring about the synthesis of this two vastly different world experiences and comprehensions.

Quarks loving each other

Repetition is important

Love manifests as a driving force of Universe (which is a never ending, never beginning play between One and Many – God and Creation – Sun and Earth – Body and Language – I will stop here, but indeed, there are simply too many examples anyway ) . As we see from this analogies – there are many examples of the same process (don’t let me get into quarks again). Sociology, Ontology, Psychology, Physics, Biology: reproduction on all levels – energy, Astronomy, Mathematics. Even the apparently trivial distinction between discrete and continuum is fundamentally based in this analogy. And aporias we stumble upon if we ponder to much, they are precisely the fundamental structure of reality, because this Love is as allusive as God itself (or Laws of Nature modern physics is struggling with, or Language in it’s ambiguity, or Buddhist void in it’s inexplicable, ungraspable and allusive nature (“Turn towards the void and you shall turn It’s back“).  It all falls back to one simple principle.

Instead of conclusion

Finally, an ethical turn. What are we ought to do? What is Good?  So far it seems I have made everything reasonably clear. But as somebody who was always overly concerned about the destiny of Mankind, I still wouldn’t be able to properly answer this question – what we ought to do with us, with Mankind?  To not let it die? Why? Because I felt a little piece of me dying at the mere writing of the capitalized question “why’ in the last sentence?  Or, in one sentence, because in I personally know that I am, in essence, It manifesting itself, together with itself – and Others? I don’t know, but it sounds like a plausible enough idea for now. I have yet to see a more – for me personally – intuitive ethical idea by which to act in the world.


I would also like to just mention the Native American (I think Hopi ) myth of primordial Man and Woman creating Universe by the force of Love, via Divine Copulation:  but this myth also abounds with references to Chaos and Order: this again fits really well into the gist of this theme, especially because this oral transmitted myth is estimated to be 20-30 thousand years old. And of course, these kinds of myths are ubiquitous throughout human civilization, and prehistory, and are obvious meta-truths in which we are, as beings, immersed.  I would like to add more examples here, and I will do so as soon as I get inspiration. I have absolutely forgotten using the Nagarjuna’s doctrine of two truths (let’s say for simplicity sake – Truth from the perspective of One, and conventional truth of duality) as a sort of “solution” to our ” problem here.  But since Nagarjuna also expounds that Nirvana is Samsara, and Samsara is in turn Nirvana, my omission is hardly problematic – since this teaching is, again, as obvious as anything we ever intuitively comprehend. 

Explanations come to an end somewhere.

 What, you scoundrel, you would speak no nonsense? Go ahead and speak nonsense – it doesn’t matter! (Holy Augustine)


lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh

The End


This is an update made on Anno Domini 2020, the month of Martis, 27th day, as the spring cometh so does everything new and true appeareth. 

I apologize for the prophetic tone and the theatrics, but indeed, I do think that just maybe, on 2018 April, day 21th, when this text was first published in it's original form, it predicted something interesting, and something which due to the Covid19 pandemic and the end of the boom cycle in USA and the West as such, seems to be catalyzed to a much faster extent that I could have dreamed of at that time. I do not know is this Providence, Simulation, both, or neither, but I do believe that even the mere "acting as if the transcendental is true" is effectively good, no matter the truth value of this kinds of propositions (what is belief anyway, if you don't act it out? Thank you Dr. Peterson and hope you will endure. )

But theosophy or ontology aside, this text was due to some error also updated (just nominally, nothing added) on 2019 (April 9th) and also in January, disregard that but I will leave both texts as is because of the SEO I guess. Beats me. 

I will update the text with just a few new passages from my Facebook, that are currently and sadly in Croatian (South-Slavic to be precise)

It's here now

It is here but soon it will be translated both here and on Facebook, and I do intend to do some updating on the whole post and later sending it to some interesting people who might see something in it. One of them already answered my email but probably didn't have time to actually check it out. 
We will see soon, especially since most of my correspondents are of course, in the West, in USA and other countries, ridden with this pandemic and their own incompetent government responses and institutions (but also detrimental cultural habits as opposed to the Sinosphere), how and when these people who's thinking I respect will answer.  Good luck and Fiat voluntas Dei.