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Friday, November 30, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-six, Conflict; Chapter Five, Confusion

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 334, Friday
November 30th, 2018

Chapter Five: Confusion

The killing field was vast, it could not be taken in by a singular field of vision.

Millions died in the assault, crushed and burned bodies suddenly frozen in the cold and dark of the battle’s aftermath.

It was the final sacrifice of the Imperial armies.

Tens of thousands of starships burst into flame and were suddenly extinguished in the vacuum of space. It was a spectacle of incredible beauty, of horror and terror.

It was over mere moments after it began.  

The rebellious commanders were unnerved by the ease with which it all transpired, but when they looked to the figure in the high command who had plotted the assault, they understood their victory, because it was him, the Empire’s greatest General, the high priest, a figure of legend and worship who was handling the tactics.

It was done.

His participation absolved them all.

Their brethren would never return to this life. No aid was given to any who might have survived.

Their ships were systematically disabled, and they were left to drift in the ghostly lights of the Home-World

What remained of the fleet had no intention of preserving the old ways of the Empire, they viewed themselves as being on the cusp of a new order.

Their destiny was in their hands.

They were ready to bring the Gods down, to force answers from the Continuum, to have the truth, to bask in its cold light at all costs.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-six, Conflict; Chapter Four, Defense

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 333, Thursday
November 29th, 2018

Chapter Four: Defense

It was a vision of chaos.

It was combat on a scale that the military academies had not prepared anyone to manage.

The mayhem that ensued was unprecedented.

There was terror, panic, sorrow, and regret, but through it all there was the joy of victory.

The greatest part of the armada turned toward the attackers and joined battle, but they were beset by confusion. Those commanders who could not process the algorithms for course corrections and defensive maneuvers in their head were the first victims.

They initiated preprogrammed defensive maneuvers, they were predictable, maneuvers known to their opponents, and they fell right into the firing solutions of their enemies. 

None of the commanders had been experienced at taking heavy losses in combat, the forces of the Empire were just too overwhelming in the field. They had only ever experienced small, tactical defeats at the hands of rebel forces.

In this new theatre of combat they were overwhelmed, both militarily and emotionally.

They vital seconds that were lost while processing the implications of their failure, they cast their gaze of the Home World of the Continuum and prayed for deliverance.

They had been betrayed by their closest companions

The Continuum was absent.

Their prayers were swallowed by the void.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-six, Conflict; Chapter Three, Aggression

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 332, Wednesday
November 28th, 2018

Chapter Three: Aggression

The formations of the armada prior to its movement into the Central System was a thing of beauty. None of the commanders had ever witnessed such a gathering of strength and power.

It filled them with a sense of invincibility.

As the imperial fleet dropped into the Central System there was chaos where there should have been order, shock and surprise where there should have been symmetry and syncopation, there was hardly time to get a reading on their telemetry before the violence ensued.

The eyes of the fleet, those who had a view, they were preoccupied with taking in the enormity of the undertaking they were engaged in, the magnitude of the Central System, the size and scope of the planetary structure surrounding the Home World.

In the first moment, even as the fleet was in the process of calibrating their relative positions to one another, plotting their trajectory to the center, an entire combat wing made their intention to rebel known.

They fixed their arms on the flag ship of the commodore, and opened fire. Projectiles, energy weapons, nuclear arms lit up the void.

Command ships filled with officers who had never once been asked to risk anything, suddenly burst into flames burning their oxygen and fuel in a brilliant fire, deep in the dark of the void.

They were stunned, struck by fear and found it difficult to organize a response.

The attack was abrupt, it was a slaughter, it was devastating. The rebels fixed their sights on every command ship that did not belong to them and lit those up.

They sought to clear the field.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018


An enigma hides
Mountains blanketed in mist
Invisible pass

A dirge in my heart
The funeral pipes and drums
The dark god dances

The luring of bells
The memory of love, splintered
Bright embers fading

Incandescent charms
Burn briefly against the night
Falling to the ground

The ashes of dreams
The infinite murmuring
The eternal flight

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-six, Conflict; Chapter Two, Protection

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 331, Tuesday
November 27th, 2018

Chapter Two: Protection

Every member of the Observer Corps was beset by overwhelming feelings, despite the fact that their bodies had been genetically engineered to enable them to suppress strong emotions.

Fear drove them, along with a desire to protect the Home World, and curiosity also.

The majority of the Observers made the choice to return to the Home World, using the apparatus under the control to transmit their consciousness through via worm-holes across the galactic void, into the mechanical circuitry waiting for them.

It was predictable behavior, and they were trapped by it.

Every Observer had a back-up system on or near the world under their purview. A place that housed a copy of their consciousness, where they grew their doppelgangers. It was a sanctuary where they felt safe.

They went to their stations, activated their equipment generating the conduits that would take them home, but the apparatus on the receiving end, on the Central Planet, it did not function as they had expected, and they were trapped in the landing port of the receiving station cut off from the Collective.

They effectively disappeared, millions of them gone.

The worm-holes that they opened transmitted data and commands in both directions, these were control systems that the Continuum put in place so that it could manage the Observers. Jim utilized those failsafes to send destruct signals to those platforms, and they popped in a litany of explosions throughout the Empire.  

It was chaos.

The remaining Observers numbered only in the thousands, those who held positions of rank and power marshalled their forces to protect the Central Planet, the Collective and Continuum. They assembled the fleet.

They intended to attack.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-six, Conflict; Chapter One, Threat

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 330, Monday
November 26th, 2018

Chapter One: Threat

It was inconceivable that any force or power could threaten the Empire, the Continuum or the Collective.

They Observers believed that there were no unknowns.

There were millions of Observers living on every one of the million worlds in the Empire, occupying every class, and every station. They were in firm control of the apparatus of government and the most oppressive intelligence gathering system ever conceived of.

They were taken by surprise en masse.

The Observers were the first to sense the impending collapse of the Continuum. They understood that this was an existential threat both to the Collective and to themselves.

Some saw opportunity, but few of those understood how ready the citizens of the Empire were to burn down the Empire.

When the Observers did realize that something significant was happening, they opened their lines of communication to the Home World. Many traversed the distance to the Central System, only to be captured and sequestered, rendered powerless.

Others reacted with the powers they had to protect the Empire and the access points that they each maintained to carry them to home world.

They experienced life on the defensive for the first time.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Emergence 2.0 - Section Five (a), Jim; Appendix Part Four, University, Collected Chapters

Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Friday , November 16th, 2018

Chapter One: Institution

Jim established centers of learning among the tribes, even while they were pre-literate.

He built up systems and oral traditions by which they captured and recounted their histories, which became narratives that took decades to master.

He trained them to manage calamities in this way, to preserve their fragile condition. He conditioned them with mnemonics.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Saturday , November 17th, 2018

Chapter Two: Logic

There was safety in the vast structure of the schools he founded. Within the great walls of those institutions he formed secret societies to protect and carry out his work.

He layered control devices into their collective memory, repeated through the stories they told, the lists they memorized, the tropes they etched into their hearts.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Chapter Three: Method

The human body had developed a reliance on aggression as a survival skill.

The colonists had come to rely on swift action to mitigate crisis. That had to be tamped down to ensure the survival of the tribes, to keep them from tearing one another apart.

Jim conditioned altruism into the social values he propagated.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chapter Four: Truth

Jim had to be careful in how the genetic properties and psychic qualities he was engineering into the human race manifested themselves in the population. He introduced subtle changes, and monitored the families for generations following that, normalizing those changes before moving on.

They had to be kept in tension, isolated, and guarded from exposure.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Chapter Five: Communication

Jim began to peel back the barrier that separated one human consciousness from another, he learned to manage their confusion, medicinally.

Madness and insanity followed his subjects, in some cultures he established cultural protections for these people, allowing them to thrive and procreate at random.

In other cultures he isolated them. He deliberately ostracized them.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Chapter Six: Foundation

Jim was pleased with the reaction he received from his subjects.

Few of his experiments resulted in death. Most came through the changes alive, aware, able to procreate.

He established different social paradigms in various cultural groups for how to manage the gifted, establishing structures to identify and report them to him for closer observation.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Chapter Seven: Mission

Jim was happy for the first time he could remember.

He was filled with a sense of purpose, he was moving toward the completion of his mission.

He was looking for resolution, and he found it, at the end of the line, in the last remnant of the Ancient people still remaining in the galaxy.

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Emergence 2.0
Section Five (a), Jim

Appendix Part Four, University

Collected Chapters
01 Institution
02 Logic
03 Method
04 Truth
05 Communication
06 Foundation
07 Mission

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Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-five, Possession; Chapter Seven, Access

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 328, Sunday
November 25th, 2018

Chapter Seven: Access

The most important thing that the ordinary citizen required, both for their prospects of advancement, and also to simply keep their place, was access to the right schools, the right priest in the temple, their supervisors.

In order to advance a person needed an advocate.

People coveted access more than anything, as such every access point was closely guarded. There were bureaucratic entanglements to negotiate and social hurdles to climb.

The norms of the hierarchies had to be observed.

In the struggle to craft a meaningful life, to provide some comfort for themselves or their families, everyone need a hand up. They required representation by those who were ahead of them in rank, above them in class and caste.

The entire Empire was governed by systems of patronage and clientage.

To go anywhere a person needed access to authority, to those able to grant a boon or advance their cause, this was the grand nexus for the systemic corruption of the entire social order.

Nothing was free.

The limits to upward mobility were clear and near at hand. They could only be understood in economic terms.

The economics of advancement were disturbing, unethical, but by and large they were not illegal. It was not illegal to commit one’s child to a life of servitude in your patron’s house, it was not considered unethical to do so if it meant that another child could attend a better school.

Neither was it illegal to use your servants for whatever purpose you intended, even risking their lives for your own purposes, no matter how mundane or banal those purposes might be.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Blame it On the World - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Blame it the World

“Blame it on the world,” the fake President said, in reference to the murder of a journalist, a man who wrote for the Washington Post, a newspaper the fake president has decried as a purveyor of fake news, which according to the fake president’s rhetoric makes them the enemy of the people.

“Blame it on the world, the world is a nasty vicious place,” the fake President said, about the murder of this man who lived in Virginia, who was a permanent resident of the United States, who was lured to Turkey, by the government of Saudi Arabia on the grounds that he needed to visit the consulate there to acquire the paperwork that would allow him to marry.

Mr. Khashoggi was a citizen of Saudi Arabia, and a vocal critic of the House of Saud, the Crown Prince, his government and their horrible record of human rights abuse.

The Crown Price is on record for stating that he wanted this journalist silenced. The Crown Prince ordered that they lay a trap for Khashoggi in Turkey. The Crown Prince sent fifteen members of his personal security detail to Turkey to murder him, including a doctor equipped with a bones saw to oversee the dismembering of his corpse, and a man who played as a body-double posing as Khashoggi, wandering around Istanbul in the murdered man’s clothes, after the killing had been done.

“Blame it on the world,” the fake President said, “the world is a nasty vicious place.”

I know that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is nasty and vicious. T-Rump is nasty and timid, he is a coward, but he delights in the viciousness of others, that much is clear.

The CIA, and numerous other intelligence agencies around the world, among our allies have reviewed the evidence of this murder provided to them by the Government of Turkey, they have authenticated it and concluded the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is responsible for ordering Mr. Khashoggi’s murder.

T-Rump has opted to take the word of the murderer instead, accepting his denials, even though they were preceded by numerous other lies, which the Crown Prince walked back, he accepted those denials for some murky reason we have yet to discern.

It is reminiscent of his acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s lies and denials about interfering with the 2016 election.

The fake President cannot help himself when he thinks there is a dollar to be made, and he is hungry for those dollars.

“Nature is red in tooth and claw,” Saint Augustine said.

Thomas Hobbes wrote his seminal work Leviathan, as a reflection on this premise. “We live in a Hobbesian World,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, and that is why the founders took such pains to draft our constitutions with its extensive system of checks and balances in place..

The recognition of this reality is not a cause to excuse it. Rather, the recognition of this reality is what requires us to adhere to the dictates of our social compact. It is why we need a government derived from the consent of the governed, and this is the principle motivation behind the American experiment in self-government.

Without this social compact the strong will always tyrannize the weak, in keeping with the nature of the world, as a nasty vicious place. We cannot allow this to be the way of our world. We cannot look away from the face of brutality. We cannot excuse the tyrant.

It is the duty of the American President, of whoever holds that office, their legitimacy notwithstanding, to represent the American ideals to the world. We cannot abandon American principles for cheaper oil, for an arms contract, for a fistful of dollars, or a pocketful of lies.

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-five, Possession; Chapter Six, Rites

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 327, Saturday
November 24th, 2018

Chapter Six: Rites

The sacred rites functioned like a drag net, drawing everyone in.

Every citizen was compelled to conform; the Empire would not accept anything less than complete obedience. Attendance at the temple was mandatory. Few people even attempted to resist, those that did were discovered and subjected to advanced conditioning.

If the priesthood was unable to change the will of the deviant, they were expelled, cast out, they became untouchable.

Conformation to the Imperial way was the focus of the Imperial schools as well. Conditioning of the head reinforced the conditioning of the heart.

The schools provided the intellectual apparatus of context for the religious rites to fill.

The rites of the Imperial cult were grand ceremonies, both simple and complex, they engaged the adherent at every level of their senses, they were imbued with hypnotic power.

The Empire’s goal was to supplant every natural communal bond, the bonds that every person formed instinctively with parents and siblings, with neighbors and classmates, in their villages, in their cities, on their planet of origin.

The deepest allegiance had to be to the Empire, and to the Continuum beyond it, they were based on the promise of a reward that was rarely given.

The priesthood used every device at its disposal, controlling the people with music and movement, with mantras and mandalas, through their diet and with drugs. They had honed their techniques over millions of years.

They never fully succeeded in this, and they never quit trying.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Seven, War; Part Forty-five, Possession; Chapter Five, World

Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 326, Friday
November 23rd, 2018

Chapter Five: World

The Empire cultivated a sense of helplessness and belonging among the trillions of citizens living on a million worlds.

The ordinary citizen had no say in the destiny of their home-world, they saw it as theirs, and themselves as belonging to it. For the pleb, every link in the chain-of-being was a vital part of the culture and they had a duty to defend it, both in thought and deed.

In the abstract the concept had a quality of beauty, a social symmetry and wholeness, that the witness to it could not help but appreciate. In reality, every link in the chain was an instrument of bondage, forged together by lies.

Everything was controlled by the Empire, and the desires of the Continuum, ancient beings who cared not one bit for the lives of the people.

The ordinary hopes and dreams of ordinary people meant nothing to the Continuum and the Collective, they were merely data in a grand drama which they consumed vicariously, which they hungered for with an insatiable appetite.

Any sense of control that an individual might feel was an illusion, granted for the sake of creating narrative that leant meaning to the lives of the Collective.

A person only had existential worth if they were noticed by the Collective, but that was by no means a guarantee of happiness.

The ambitions of an entire planet could be burnt up and scattered like cinders and ash if it suited the will of the Collective.

No individual had any inherent value.

While the Continuum used the people caring nothing at all for them, the people placed their hopes in the Continuum, desiring nothing more than to be elevated to the Collective and thereby to enter into eternal life.

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, but nevertheless it is sacred to most Americans.

Many of us write reflections on this day, post memes, expressing to the world the things that we are thankful for.

That is nice.

It is conscientious, it is appropriate. We have much to be thankful for as Americans, and we should never forget it.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, for the things we are given that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging and more meaningful.

It is never inappropriate to thankful.

To express gratitude is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us into the people we have become.

Be humble.

Be gracious.

Be thankful.

            Always, be these and you will be in the way of the wise.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, by whatever name you call the creator the universe (of all that is and all we are), that God dwells in a mode beyond human understanding.

God is shrouded in mystery, in the cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, we are not able speak in the affirmative about what or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite, God will not be circumscribed by finite constructs of human thought and language.

There can be no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negative, the way of understanding who God is by stating what God is not.

Following this tradition, I am in the custom of forgoing the traditional giving-of-thanks, even though I am truly grateful for my friends and compatriots, grateful for everyone in my life, for all of those who inspire me, and who are endlessly patient with me.

I will follow the via negative, the negative way, and express what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,

In Yemen where the Saudia Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war, and hundreds of thousands of Children are on the brink of starvation.

In Palestine, where there is apartheid, where millions of people live in cities and towns that are in reality just prisons, and the walls of their homes are the walls of a jail.

In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color, by a pretender to the office of President.

I am not thankful for the dismal failures of our government in Puerto Rico, more than a year since it was devastated by a hurricane. Or the failures of civilization to address the deep problems related to climate change, that are destroying communities everywhere around the world, including the recent fires in California that have destroyed thousands of homes, and killed dozens of people.

I am not thankful for our failures of leadership.

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed and the sloth, and the bad public policy that fosters it.

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars.

I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him, his allies in congress and anywhere who continue to support.

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed to take him seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities as the gatekeepers of our society, as the so called 4th Estate, and allowed his criminal regime to hold the seat of power.

I am not thankful that they have not collectively figured out a way to redress their failures.

I am not thankful and ashamed everyday of his antics as the President of the United States. For his capitulation to murderous regimes, and strong-men anywhere who he thinks he can profit from at some future point beyond his presidency.

I am not thankful for his corruption of the rule of law.

I am not thankful for on-going continuous assault on the working class, the threats that are levied against the average citizen in the spheres of public policy like health care, and taxes.

I am not thankful for our government’s continuous assault on our population of immigrants and refugees.

I am not thankful for these things.

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add to this list.

I am not thankful for the shortsightedness of liberals and progressives who cannot stand united in the face of the social forces that threaten us all.

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them or their apologists, not their soft supporters or their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have a seat at the table in the administration of Donald J. Trump.

I am not thankful for that vile imposter, who stole the presidency with the aid of a foreign power, the Russians no-less.

I am not thankful for them.