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Thoughts for Tonight’s SurrealPolitiks Member Chat 20230607

The last time I felt this optimistic, Donald Trump had not yet been sworn in as President. Those weeks between his 2016 election victory and the beginning of his administration were, for me, among the most hopeful days of my life.

Prior to this, I had become convinced that societies follow a more or less universal trend. Whether according to the “Strong men make good times” theme, or the “liberty to abundance, abundance to apathy” model, I had become more or less certain that I was born to endure the declining phase, and that my only role in this world was to suffer through it, and attempt to discover the strength to build a better world on the other side.

For what was, in the grand scheme of things, a very short period, I thought perhaps there was hope to avoid the most painful consequences of that decline. I thought, perhaps, the trend might be reversed. Maybe, just maybe, we had learned enough from history, that this time around, we were not necessarily doomed to repeat it.

The following year, from my cage in Albemarle County, Virginia, I was more or less dissuaded from this view. There, in solitary confinement, I made peace with my fate. The trials and tribulations to follow were, however unexpected in their specifics, by no means categorically surprising. I, and others like me, would be persecuted. Lies would prevail over truth. Frenzied, celebratory destruction, would be granted greater social approval than childbirth and lesser forms of creation. Death would be neither mourned nor given any spiritual significance, but rather take on a rather mundane character, given its chaotic pervasiveness.

From another cage, alone once again with little but my own thoughts, I read the bible, twice. I listened to it, more accurately. They gave us these modified Android tablets which included with them a Bible app that offered several different versions of the Bible as an audio book. I listened to two different versions of it. I took many notes as I did.

I was surprised at the comfort it gave me, and more so at the wisdom I perceived in it. I did not consider it an accurate historical record, but many stories we learn over the course of our lives enjoy something of a duality in their straddling of the line between truth and fiction. Fables, perhaps being the best example, teach us very real lessons by telling us about animals who speak whatever the language of the human storyteller. Upon reflection, one might marvel at the number of dialects in which that Fox learned to curse those grapes as sour.

More to the point, the Bible, and other stories like it, tell us to expect suffering here, and to store up riches in heaven. This much I understood from compulsory study as a child. I used to think this was a terribly destructive thing to learn, and bordering on criminal to teach. I have loved America’s Declaration of Independence from my earliest memories of it, and in particular that part about the pursuit of the happiness.  Telling them that happiness was to be found only in death, seemed to me rather morbid, and not at all conducive to human flourishing.

But I pursued happiness in many ways for many years and though I smiled and laughed and… shall we say, found much in the way of carnal enjoyment, happiness was not forthcoming, fundamentally. Satisfaction was so fleeting, and ephemeral. One chases it from one moment to the next like a drug addict, and in some moments this is no metaphor.

Only after I took a more active interest in politics, and studied philosophy for this purpose, did I find anything that could fairly be described as contentment. I was by no means content with the state of our politics of course, but internally, having purpose beyond my next paycheck and how to spend it, beyond even the horizon of my own existence, I found the meaning of eternal life.

This gave me a certain sense that, I might find some opportunity even in death. I did not and do not think I will go to heaven, and even if I believed in God I don’t think my character quite measures up for such a reward, but rather that, the idea of me, of my presence in the world and my impact on it are what constitute who I am, far more than the physical material which experiences pleasure and pain. In this sense I was not a body but a force, and that force, even in the most deterministic of worldviews, had no expiration date. My body could pass at any moment and so long as I had previously made the right investments of my energies, that force could continue on indefinitely.

This, you could in a sense say, was when I died. I have since been a dead man walking, uprightly and quite content. I am amused by threats, because dead men are rather difficult to intimidate.

This is not to say that I am unfazed. I am deeply disturbed much of the time, most of it, really. I am plagued by dark visions of what may befall my fellow man, and women in particular, and I feel personally responsible for all of it. I curse myself for not having the power to stop it. As I am made to suffer, whatever the ostensible cause of this suffering, I consider it just punishment for this failure.

And while that might not sound to you like the achievement of happiness, I would endeavor to correct you. This is a limitless fountain of purpose, the only real currency in life.

Dispensing now with the poetic element, I’ll get to the point. My hopeful sense of the day is not borne of my contentment with the grim, but rather with the prospect that we might all enjoy another brief moment in the sun before the darkness inevitably returns in this eternal struggle.

“Tucker on Twitter” premiered last night, and as I mentioned elsewhere, I have launched a campaign to try and get him to cover Antifa’s role in the Charlottesville setup of 2017.

This has been warmly recieved, and I have, for the first time, purchased advertising on Twitter. My account was approved for advertising, and I was notified that the ad campaign for this was active.

As I began composing today’s show notes, however, I discovered that the ad was halted. This part is obviously not good news, but I have submitted a support request and I await word on what the problem is. Even if I cannot run the ad I intended to run, the capacity to purchase advertising on Twitter is a thing I intend to make use of going forward. One can spend as little as $10 at a time to do this, so I don’t require much of a budget for that purpose, and to the extent such campaigns can help me gain followers on the platform, they will continue to pay dividends long after the money is spent. If I must, then I will simply run ads on mundane subject matter to draw attention to myself, and I will let those who find me in this way discover the more pertinent material through such a process.

I sent this image to Twitter support to illustrate the problem.

 

I also signed up for an account to advertise on Gab, and this too I plan to make some use of, though at the time of this writing I have not yet made much use of it.

Now that I am able to accept payments on Odysee, it seems quite sensible that I look into paid promotions on that platform as well, but this is a project I’ve not yet endeavored to do at this time.

I have long known, as those of you who have paid for the privilege of joining this session surely know, that if I am heard, people will be influenced by what I have to say. The people who try to prevent me from being heard, surely agree.

Though it has largely been carried by a small number of people (special thank you to Tony and Afternoon Shift), I’ve brought in roughly $100 per episode in Odysee tips. I don’t expect these individuals to carry quite so much of the burden themselves for long, but those revenues gave me a little much needed breathing room with regular expenses, and I’m really all too happy to invest this right back into the project.

You might recall I was plagued by technical problems after my release. We still see this from time to time, but you might notice their frequency and severity have declined some. The tech situation is stabilizing and the efforts I’ve been investing my time in are beginning to pay off.

The free blogging platform at FreeTheRight.com is up and working. I don’t yet have much in the way of contributors, but I haven’t made much effort to recruit them yet, and my automatic content generation features are functional.

I ran into a slight technical barrier in my plans for the paywall content network. The original model I had in mind would allow each producer within the network to run their own payments to sell memberships, and give members access to the entire network. The software I had in mind, which is the same software that controls the paywall functions of SurrealPolitiks.com, does not actually work this way. This has some ups and some downs, and I’ll talk to you about this in more detail once we’re alone.

I’ve experimented more with several of the AI content generators, and signed up for a paid account with OpenAI, in addition to my Midjourney image generator account. The results are very promising, and I’ll talk to you more about this in private.

I also downloaded something called GPT4All, which is a free open source AI chat bot that allows you to work with different, what are called “models” for interaction. This is an interesting proof of concept, but it seems to only use the CPU for what is called “inference” whereas the high end systems use the much faster graphics processors (GPU) to more rapidly produce responses. GPT4All, as such, is not suitable for the purposes I have in mind, but it is a step on the path to me building my own fully functional text generator, which I can train with all of my prior writing, all my sent emails, all the transcripts of all my audio releases, all the books and all the news I have read, to produce a very powerful assistant for me, and what I imagine might be a very amusing pastime for many of you.

The rapid advancements in this technology while I’ve been away have proven challenging to get caught up on, but I am motivated by the challenge. I am enjoying this thoroughly, and I am in awe at the potential.

There is a momentum building, and as we approach the 2024 election cycle, I intend to capitalize on this. No matter what you think of Trump as a candidate, as a Republican, as a President, or as a human being, he is unrivaled as a promotional opportunity. It might be to the Nation’s detriment that Tucker Carlson was taken off of Fox News, but this too presents opportunities for us to influence discussion.

With all of these things culminating in this fashion, converging in time as they are, I expect a thrilling ride ahead.

Thank you for making it possible for me to devote myself to this effort.

I will do my best not to fail you.

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