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Monday, October 31, 2016

our desire to flee from the necessary, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 345


Why formulate hypothetical solutions to hypothetical problems when there are real problems at hand? ... the first problem being our desire to flee from the necessary by burying our heads in the hypothetical.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

a relationship between Evil and habituation, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 174


There is a relationship between Evil and habituation, where the discomfort or even panic of breaking with a tradition is Evil, and diagramming the mechanical basis for this Evil interferes with the return to the ingrained habit with a good conscience. One aggressively shoves away any explanation or person who interferes with this inertia, this way back to complacency ... back to the ease of old habits ... back to the good conscience.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

the tenacity of my grip, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 346


The important thing is to sink my nails deep into the necessary, for it is not the necessary itself but the tenacity of my grip upon it that deepens me. In a word, repetition. Only repetition bores deeply into the surface of things. What repeats is of secondary importance.

Friday, October 28, 2016

dominance-submission relationships, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 175


We find a similar requirement for ignorance within dominance-submission relationships. To explain the hierarchical underpinnings to “Good and Evil” would humiliate the majority and, in the modern world especially, would challenge the legitimacy of the dominant and his status. To explain the hierarchical origins in morality is itself an act of insubordination and is therefore evil.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

If one cannot refine desire, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 347


If one cannot refine desire, which destroys everything, fast, then it is only because one has not yielded to necessity, by going slower — reducing all things to what one projects, and there is nothing more or less than this projector that is not another illusion.  And so one “builds” everything by reducing understanding to necessity.  And this is slow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

domination, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 176


What if domination were a mechanism whose function ended in our professed desire to “compensate” a crime? We would then measure out the punishment to balance the beam against our own unsatisfied appetite for domination.  We would need to find someone to punish, and anyone who interfered with the flow of this need would become himself an obstacle to be removed.  He in fact becomes the object of our frustration, and consequently an additional target for punishment.  Thus, even if we were in a position to overcome our drive for dominance and argue against this reflex for punishment, we would then find ourselves at one extreme of their scale for having taken a central position on ours.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We do not have beliefs or arguments; we have customs., A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 348


We do not have beliefs or arguments; we have customs.  Take away a man’s belief and he refutes the theft.  Take away a custom and he drowns in despair.

A man speaks with great words, carefully delineating what he lives by ... then loses his job and suffers an emotional breakdown.  Even the loss of electricity and water for one week would provoke an uproar among average “good citizens.”  Observe what would happen to a man’s value system were he suddenly deprived of his usual tobacco, beer, or coffee.  There seems to be no limit to what we take for granted, because they are precisely the limits which we do indeed take for granted.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Aggression, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 177


Above the surface, aggression is Evil.  Beneath the surface, Good is the easy flow of aggression ... and this good conscience depends upon the successful denial of aggression's role within moral interpretation.  To expose the causality of another person’s Good and Evil removes his justification for releasing aggression.  And when one puts a hand on the valve and threatens to shut off another's conduit of aggression, one becomes an accomplice with the outside threat.  Both that which triggers the release of aggressive pressure and that which threatens to shut off this release are designated “Evil.”


  • To forbid a causal explanation for an injury is a precondition to justifying retribution, constituting goodness by precluding the evil of moral examination.  

  • It is our not seeing the actual causes to the effect – “Evil” –  that contributes to our Good and their Evil.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My goals, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 349


My goals: First, to recall the exiled half of myself, the amoral machine view.  Second, to allow all opposing forces to fix me in place, just as an axle remains fixed by the opposition of spokes: this bit of my own good here, that bit of their necessary evil-me over there; here a friend, there an enemy; here, a relevant struggle, there an irrelevant contradiction that I neither deny nor resolve.  And third, to roll on this wheel of habits ... roll on the power of my own nature.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Master, Servant, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 178

  • Master's Perspective: We find it difficult to identify a cause for our own good behavior when doing such requires the sacrifice of our imagined superiority over others.  And we are thus motivated to condemn anyone who seeks to explain this to us,

  • Servant's Perspective: We find it difficult to identify a cause for our own good behavior when doing such requires the humiliating admission that we either beg for the approval of a superior or have reversed the prevailing standard of values in order to imagine ourselves superior through our serviceAnd we are thus motivated to condemn anyone who seeks to explain this to us.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

a fence with two evil sides, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 179


Good can be a fence with two evil sides.  There is a need to discharge and a need to remove any obstacle to the discharge.  As for what we discharge, we will here outline only a few perspectives.  We need (1) to have our enemy, (2) to vent our aggression, (3) to maintain our herd’s unity, (4) to maintain the inherited social hierarchy, regardless of our rank, (5) to preserve or return to old habits, (6) and to achieve all of the above with a good conscience ... through a denial of the mechanical causes of “Good” and “Evil.”  And so with this last element (6) we see how the one who provokes the causal explanation into the foreground of consciousness is an Evil accomplice.  He is evil by (not “of”) removing the justification for that conduit through which another must discharge.  Thus, on one side of the fence, the Good have the Evil they need and on another side, they have the Evil which threatens the satisfaction of this need.  To explain Evil – even in the very attempt to cure it – is to become its accomplice.  And if a man were truly good, he wouldn’t be.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Setting a new habit, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 351


Setting a new habit: One cannot lift a cogwheel into the air, let go, and expect it to remain, and so we must find one or two other wheels which are already in place and then position the new wheel accordingly.  The morning or evening rituals are the best places to begin.  One then approaches the chaos of midday, piecemeal, slowly assembling a productive machine from the strewn and wasted parts of an uncultivated life.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry, aphorism 180

  1. A victim lies upon the altar of God and is not to be defiled by an honest explanation of the causes leading up to the injury.  

  2. Self-deception and an unfailing instinct for causal ignorance are necessary if an individual or herd is to justify a punishment with a good conscience.  

  3. Causal ignorance is not the obstacle to morality; it is rather this very hollowness which makes the moral conduit possible.

Monday, October 10, 2016

a breaking point, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 352


There is a breaking point when setting a habit, much like the violent shock in a sonic boom.  In the tremendous silence and smooth gliding afterward, one no longer comprehends the difficulties.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 181


The False Assumption: “There is no guilt if we are machines.”

To the public, one becomes immoral when one does not agree that Free Will drives the human machine: the public needs a target of guilt in order to discharge aggression.  If one stands between the target and the discharge, one is as good as the target ... and as bad. 

The mechanist’s view is guilty of several thefts.  It steals the guilt from the villain, the right for revenge from the victim,  and from others, the right to dominate through punishment.
Thus, it would be impossible for the whole world to be absolved of blame, since the engineer of such would then take the blame for his having absolved it.

Even if one only privately admits that one is not driving the machine, one does not preclude guilt ... for by one’s own admission, the machine is driving.  One stands between one’s own target and one’s own discharge.  One shoots oneself.

When Evil is no longer our ability to justify our target, it then becomes our inability to find all blame mitigated by the human condition.  The machine never stops.  We cannot stop blaming, and even for this, we blame ourselves.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

turbulence, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 353


Turbulence: All significant change is violent and lies precisely with those customs whose immutability my peers have already taken for granted.  The river is white.  I can not swim in turbulence.  I let it carry me, wait for calmer waters ... hope for the best.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 183


Anyone who suggests that ignorance of human tractability is the precondition to moral justification and righteous confidence has already broken with every accepted notion of moral decencyIt is almost as if honesty were a moral concept that could not be successfully actualized without undermining morality itself ... as if “Moral Truth” were a contradiction in terms.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Calm, A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 354


The Calm: I do not need symbols or metaphors ... anymore than I need thoughts or spirits.  I set these aside for story telling.  What I need is my own territory, great health, stimuli toward life, an ascending network of habits, objects strategically placed, and most of all, courage and stamina to grip a new repetition, grip all necessary change until a lower frequency of instability hums with engineered precision, presenting to thought its gleaming possibilities.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Mechanics of Virtue, aphorism 182


Evil eludes definition because the truth-speaker is asked to recuse himself for having removed the link of ignorance from the moral chain.  And he often obliges the request, for he suffers from his own conscience to a greater degree than the moralists suffer from theirs.  

The mechanist struggles with an honest introspection that appears to others as a lack of confidence, because it is.  He trespasses over his own morality to describe its machinery, but does not thereby escape from being the function of this machinery.  Guilt and lack of confidence, as a rule, accompany a fearlessly honest inspection of morality.  And all the while, the good ... the confident ... the complacently ignorant hold up their own smooth conscience as the solid evidence that convicts the wavering mechanist.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Human Strategy by Matt Berry, aphorism 355


Imagine the “mind” and its “awareness of reality” as something similar to standing at the edge of a pond, all of the autumn colors ... all of the creatures in our life shimmering in reflection upon it ... and where much of the luster of the reflection depends upon the purity of the water.  Now imagine that this reflection is our only view of this small world.  Would we not do everything we could to preserve the purity of the water?  ... blindly, as best we could, work the landscape, turn the woods into aviaries, tame the deer, kill only the closest snakes, let all distant predators run wild?  And would we not look back at ourselves and laugh at our former attempts at “self-improvement” ... by plunging our hands into the water?