Did He to make the lamb, make thee?

February 26, 2010

This is a keeper from Hugh MacLeod.


The cut worm forgives the plow.

January 20, 2010

Mom-and-pop franchising is unsafe at any brand because on a pre-sale basis, an accurate measurement of  potential in-term business risk is impossible to do.


— William Blake

Brazen, Bull & BS litigation: Who said Tyranny enablers lack a sense of humour?

January 15, 2009


brazen adj. 1 flagrant and shameless; insolent. 2 made of brass

– Canadian Oxford Dictionary

Torture is a technology of tyranny.

The message is intended for those foolhardy enough to think of resisting a tyrant’s wishes.

It is the affect on the majority not the tiny numbers of actual victims. Torture creates a prison without bars and there are both physical and psychological types of torture.

William Blake suggests that lies and deceit:  forges fetters for the mind.

Brazen Bull was a form of torture that was popular for a few centuries that I was not aware of.

The story seems to start in Greece with an artisan called Perillos who proposed a new method of controlling the mob to Phalaris, the tyrant of Sicily. Perillos, the ambitious craftsman:

…cast a bull, made entirely of brass, hollow, with a door in the side. The condemned were shut in the bull and a fire was set under it, heating the metal until it became “yellow hot” and causing the person inside to roast to death.

So that nothing unseemly might spoil his feasting, Phalaris commanded that the bull be designed in such a way that its smoke rose in spicy clouds of incense. The head of the ox was designed with a complex system of tubes and stops so that the prisoner’s screams were converted into sounds like the bellowing of an infuriated bull. It is also said that when the bull was reopened, the scorched bones of the remains shone like jewels and were made into bracelets.

It seems Phalaris (who allegedly ate suckling infant children) liked the invention a lot but wanted to have it tested. Perillos, ever the ambitious servant, hopped right into the device and true to reputation…

… Phalaris immediately locked him in, and set the fire…

Perillos believed he would receive a reward for his invention; instead, after freeing him from the bull, Phalaris threw him from the top of a hill, killing him.

The lesson here is that anyone that invents new ways to enable tyranny, should not expect either laurels or a quiet death at a ripe old age.

It appears to have taken the lives of some martyrs, notably Saint Eustace (and family), Saint Antipas and Saint Pelagia of Tarsus in 287.

The website HowStuffWorks fleshes things out a bit:

  1. the victims usually had their tongues cut out first (better audio?),
  2. as things heated up, the occupant thrashed about which mimicked  a bull’s movement (visual as well as audio),
  3. the improved movement and sounds gave  great amusement for the audience, while
  4. distancing themselves from the brutality of the torture (reduced cognitive dissonance), and in the spirit of continuous improvement
  5. the device became more sophisticated.

This form of torture was similar to being boiled alive but the without the visible fuss. A party game like Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Lawsuits are simply there to provide an illusion of remedy (pretense of remedy) which is not without entertainment value to a decaying empire’s elite.

On the Nature of Tyranny

July 12, 2008

For the longest time I thought the main fight was between the franchisors and the franchisees. The more I looked into it, the more this bad guy :: good guy idea stopped explaining the behavior I was seeing.

And then I started to go over some authors that I had, as a young man, been unable to understand. One of them was Northrop Frye who wrote Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake in 1947.

His interpretations of Blake’s ideas have stood up well and their insights about tyranny were interesting to me. Blake believed the following about tyranny:

1. Tyranny is seldom (in the long run, never) imposed on people from without; it is a projection of their own pusillanimity [the victim’s passivity, small mindedness, lack of imagination] p.57

2. Tyranny is the co-operation of parasite and host; no tyrant maintains itself by force, but by trading on his victim’s fears. So although “A tyrant is the the worst disease, and the cause of all others,” the tyrant can at any rate be seen, and the imagination can handle anything that can be seen.

3. Tyranny requires a priesthood and a god first, and these make it permanent. p.60

4. …the real war in society is the “Mental Fight” between the visionaries [prophets] and the champions of tyranny. The latter are not the tyrants themselves but visonary renegades: poets like Virgil who write for Caesar; philosophers who “teach doubt & Experiment”…[the Apologists of tyranny] p.68

5. The source of all tyranny is the mental passivity induced by abstract reasoning the the victim’s mind, and until he has got rid of all rulers will be compelled to be tyrants. p.130

There are no Bystanders: The tyrant and the tyrant’s apologists prey on the victim’s fears. The victim builds the fears up and assists in forging his own chains.

  • The franchisor and his priests [franchise bar] trade on the franchisee’s fears.

The “victim” franchisee responds by wanting revenge for his “wrong”.

Listen carefully:

For those who live under the curse of the law…retribution is not only bad in itself but a waste of time. Wars, penal codes and persecutions never become positive acts: and while the will always exist as long as the world is fallen, they are never more than the endless working-out of a decimal proved millenniums ago to be recurring. p.69

The Curse of the Law:“…the endless working-out of a decimal proved milleniums ago to be recurring.” If that isn’t the best description I’ve ever seen of the wasted time and money in a legal approach to franchising problems.

Blake’s Prescription

  1. renunciate all forms of punishment (do not sue or push for laws),
  2. separate the acts from the actor, and
  3. release your imagination. p.69

Go ahead, it’s your funeral: Seek revenge. An eye for an eye. Pound of flesh. Try to have them feel as much shame as you do. [Should a cat feel guilt in successfully hunting a bird?]

My experience is this approach just ends up in bitterness and pain.

I’ll cover Blake’s idea of the Visionary role in another posting.

Lawful cautious & refind

July 4, 2008

William Blake, 1757-1827

[How to know Love from Deceit]

Love to faults is always blind

Always is to joy inclind

Lawless wingd & unconfind

And breaks all chains from every mind

Deceit to secresy confind

Lawful cautious & refind

To every thing but interest blind

And forges fetters for the mind

Discussion at Able2Know.com

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