Thursday 29 September 2022

Grey-Pilled on Democracy - Final(?) Thoughts on L.B.J.

 Take the grey pill. You will feel like you did before, but sadder.

I have finally finished working my way through Robert Caro's 'The Years of Lyndon Johnson' on Audible.  (Talked about the first one here).

It’s a magisterial, multi-volume and DETAILED look at the life of LBJ made up of four books and five volumes; 'The Path to Power', 'The Means of Ascent' 'Master of the Senate' Parts 1 & 2, and 'The Passage of Power'. It is not over yet! Caro is yet to complete one last book which will cover Johnsons later presidency and Vietnam.

The books have pretty much annihilated any respect I might have had for the political class and initially at least, black-pilled me on Democracy. Over time though, in the long evolution of events it somewhat grey-pilled me back to something like a resigned half-hope. 

Politicians are basically narcissists we rent. If enough political force builds up in the great mass of people there is some chance they will execute on at least some of the desired things.

There is still a book to go in which it seems LBJ takes yet another turn for the worse so I suppose there is still time for more black pills (this may be why Caro is pulling a GRRM and just not finishing the book).


Caro being Caro and this series being, in part, a social and cultural history of America as seen through Lyndon Johnsons life, he has 'spared no expense'; we begin with a deep dive into the ecology of the north Texas hill country, along the way we get a breakdown of exactly how oil rights played out in Texas, a look at how the politics of beer and temperance played into Texas elections, why you never declare your count till all the counts are closed, why the Housewives of the hill country had trouble imagining meaningful uses for electricity, exactly how you steal a vote along the border, the stairs you have to walk up if you are campaigning in the Irish districts of New York, the layout of Air Force One and where the phones are, the kinds of cake recipes brought over by German immigrants to Texas, what its like to try to build a road in North Texas in the 1930s and much much more. What a wild ride it's been, like a true Jurassic Park the big dinosaurs are the personalities who stand out most in the memory.

Pappy O'Daniel, LBJs first nemesis on his initial run at the senate. A Texas populist/sentimentalist Radio Star; a man with a pale manner and little charisma except for his voice, and this is the age of Radio. A true populist, by which we mean a naked and shameless grifter overpromiser and tender of paranoic conspiracies.

For round two Lyndon faces Governor Coke R. Stevenson. Texan politicians seemingly being rolled from the D&D alignment chart - this one got 'lawful good' at least by Caros telling. Lyndon steals the election, at least he steals it more than it would be usual to steal it and more than the other guy. This leads to an actual fucking old west scene when Coke, a photographer and a Texas ranger stride down the street in the bad mans town to  investigate the electoral roll. Caro being Caro we get an entire section on this guys post-credits life in which is happily married to a hot blonde.

Luis Salas, the Mexican heavy who played a key role in stealing LBJs election to the senate. This guy is essentially a 'background villain' (or hero) of the LBJ saga but, Caro being Caro, we get a brief deep dive into the entire backstory of this Mexican thug, from his literally barefoot poverty all the way up to muscling Texas rangers and having the privilege of lying to a state court; "I made Lyndon Johnson President" 

JFK is an interesting character, but much less interesting in Caros eyes than Bobby Kennedy - basically the 'ID Monster' of the Kennedy family, the man who carried his brothers hate for him.

Jackie on the plane.

Caro being Caro and the books being long, we also get a full weight of Caro-isms; 

"Was Robert Caro struck by a desire, even a need to bloviate, to expound, to go on and on describing and even re-describing things he had already described and discussed at length? Was he consumed by the unreconcilable drive to comment and moralise on what he was seeing, yet bound by the Historians code, was technically unable to do so? Did he hide his actual opinions in the form of theoretical questions time and time again, to the extent where, if you see a question mark not bordered by quotation signs it may as well be a giant fucking glowing arrow saying 'Yes this is my fucking opinion and I am RIGHT! I am Robert Caro and I DID THE FUCKING RESEARCH! FUCK YOU DORIS KERNS GOODWIN!'? Well we will technically never know  so don't ask me.. Not throwing out accusations here just throwing out facts.


Lyndon is a car crash that just keeps on crashing, you want to look away but you can't, an unfolding saga that just keeps revealing new and hidden shallows to his personality. Its almost painful to be around him, the intense pin-prick vulnerability of a born narcissist, and the utterly awful shameful and disgusting hunger for domination, humiliation and control of the same.

The nuclear anguish of his personality makes the whole story a tragedy, a heroic tale and a mind breaking psychological investigation of an awful man, all the way from LBJ starting shit in school, then when things getting rough, lying down crying and kicking his legs saying "i'll kick you! I'll kick you!", to his bizarre, really viscerally upsetting call to Bobby Kennedy aboard Air Force One, to forcing his tubby press secretary into an amusing cape and having them both gallop away on black stallions, in an act of carefully managed humiliation, which got Johnson nothing, nothing at all, it seems he jut couldn't stop himself from doing it. He was just that much of a cunt.

Even after finishing these books I still find my self thinking "Jesus Christ Lyndon. What the fuck is wrong with you?" His fat shadow sticks to the history of which he was a part. Like a grease stain on a pan. Lyndon fucking Johnson.  Rarely has sympathy and horror been so combined and into such an addictive and driving whole.


Corruption in democracies is like gravity. (Upside - judging from recent events, corruption in tyrannies may be even worse).

To run a big successful society you need to concentrate power. If you concentrate power you create circumstances in which manipulating that power can produce overwhelming advantages. So from the moment you create a government you have planted a garden for corruption.

Two great trees growing next to each other, one of governmental authority, the other of the power of capital.

The trees lean closer and closer together, reaching out for each other, trying to wind around each other.

In the midst of this, the poor dumb fucking anti-corruption types, and the constitution writers, and occasionally, the public, come forth and try desperately to prune prune prune away the leaves and branches where they touch, or at least to shine light upon them to manage the interactions.

It is perhaps in the long run a doomed effort. The trees lean towards each other so eagerly and if, like LBJ, you are one of those people who can find a place, just a single branch or leaf, where those trees graze each other, ungoverned and un-noticed, you can extract immense, IMMENSE power and wealth from that juncture, trading the powers of government for the extraction of capital and the extracted capital for increased government influence

This is always happening or trying to happen. It is morally wearying to think about.


I should really hate Richard Russel and his Knights of his White Castle more than the libs. They were after all, in the wrong cause rather than just prosecuting the right cause badly.

But there is something just teeth-grittingly enraging about watching a morally superior tit told to paint a wall, dip their fucking head  in the paint bucket and scrape their face along the wall while screaming and crying, and then going home and having more of a cry, and being rewarded for 'fighting the good fight'..

Flail, fail and wail.

A grand procession of libs and leftys giving speech after speech, and almost insanely not actually taking time to work out which levers of power are stopping them. A cult of the saviour with no skin in the game needing a literal bad man in a vulnerable spot to achieve its stated aims.


The slow defeat of the Confederate forces, still echoing?

The gradual domination of the Yankee cultural empire? New England uber alles?

The systemic failures of liberalism leading to the necessity of Lyndon Johnson, which lead in turn to the effective trading of Civil Rights for Empire? Or maybe that was going to happen anyway?

Or Halliburton; Origins, with LBJ being the nursemaid to everyone’s favourite adjunct to global hegemony, itself only one part of the colonisation of the systems and mechanisms of American military power by vast golems of capitalism.

Or that most of our problems are the result of yesterdays solutions, and our solutions today are likely to result in problems tomorrow, that this is probably impossible to escape from is no reason not to manage the impossible praxis as well as you can.


Everyone apparently. 

Certainly Bobby Kennedy at least suspected something or other. The suggestion of LBJ being behind, or more likely, involved, with the assassination on some level, exists behind the words of the last book like an invisible ghost almost no-one is willing to directly mention.

Caro seems to be aware that the sum total of his books at least in terms of motive, present almost an egregiously damming testimony about LBJ's motive to kill Kennedy. Its almost laughably total;

- Man driven his entire life specifically to be president.
- Believes it is his divine right.
- Man has no moral core.
- Man will betray and has betrayed anyone necessary to achieve his aims.
- Man now trapped in position in which he will never become president.
- Unless Kennedy dies and dies pretty soon, in a narrowish time window.
- Man deeply corrupt and being investigated for this.
- Mans waning political power only thing keeping this investigation off.

Across every field of personal information Caro painstakingly builds a picture of an individual who, while probably too much of a personal coward to ever organise an assassination, would absolutely unquestioningly have given a silent nod if the matter were referred to obliquely, say on one of those Brown and Root hunting trips.

Dispelling the unspoken suspicion, or the potential for suspicion, seems, by his actions, to be a powerful motive for LBJ immediately following the assassination.

Caro only mentions the unmentionable once, and his use of words is.. precise.

He only says that nothing he has read or discovered in his exhaustive, near absolute, research, suggests at all that LBJ was involved - there is no evidence to suggest he was.

With the assumption claim that, since Caro found out about a whole bunch of LBJs other crimes , that’s a good indication that there is no evidence, because there never was. 

Though Caro doesn't actually directly say; "I don't think he did it" or "I don't think he was involved". Or the more-typical mildy-weasilly Caro-ism when Caro wants to suggest something, the negative reversal statement; "Could there, somewhere or somehow have been any method by which Johnson could have or would have done the thing? The record must state; no."


(As revealed by the 'Years of Lyndon Johnson' Series.

1# To convince everyone that it is in fact the government.
2# As a cage and harness for narcissists and dark-triad types.
3# As a field of combat over patronage.
4# As a field of combat over values.
5# To "solve problems".

I realise this may sound cynical to many. I actually find it genuinely (slightly) hopeful. In fact it isn't cynical at all, it only seems so if compared to an a-historic child’s view of history in which order and safety are natural and inevitable, decency in leaders common enough to be reliable, where its normal for humans to agree over values and where the decisions made through the power of government produce morally simple and good results.

Since none of these things are the case, the true purposes of government, and their ordering, are fundamentally correct

Anarchy is a common force in human affairs, and while there are many forms of anarchy, it is tiring and nothing can be built, and the order that emerges directly from anarchy is often simply a matter of will alone, in which case it is often worse than the order which preceded. The first duty of every government is to convince people that it is in fact the Government. From this all order flows.

Evil is not necessarily common in man, but amongst those that seek power and status, specifically those that seek them deeply and more intently and with more success than others, and who invariably therefore end up with power and status, personal failings are common, really the norm. Many have moderate to severe personality disorders. Varieties of narcissism are almost a baseline, then varying forms of BPD, and then the really difficult dark triad group, who are not that common per-se, but who, if they are any good, inevitably cluster deeply around any forms of political power. Those who wield power will almost always be the broken amongst us, and therefore the means of wielding power must act as a cage and harness for these personality types.

Humans inherently disagree over values and methods. I mean its absolutely inevitable over time, the urge to faction is not formed solely from the structure of events but is inherent, to some degree, in the way humans think and act in groups. Therefore it is something to be managed. Therefore any functional government must act as a field of combat or praxis between these inevitably different value systems.

Finally, any meaningful decision made over a great enough scale using political power will have highly complex results, some of which seem to go against the stated or actual values of the person making the decision. Few, perhaps no decisions made at a great enough scale can be purely and absolutely good and in a democracy almost no decision can be made unless it is defended as being purely and absolutely good, in mood and rhetoric if not in fact and detail, therefore, firstly, in assigning political power to individuals we are in fact creating scapegoats; people to carry the complex weight and negative results of decisions we insisted they make for us, and secondly we are choosing liars, for if anyone says consistently to the great mass of the public "this choice is complex and will require sacrifice and no-one is coming away clean" then we will not vote for them, therefore we require of our leaders that they lie to us and punish them when these lies are revealed, or when they lie in ways unexpected or undesired.

If you consider these very deep and very real challenges to the excise of human political power over a large scale, any one of which can tank a system if unregarded or misunderstood, its actually pretty impressive that large scale political structures can exist and persist over time at all, when you consider the depth and complexity of the interlocking problems which prevent it.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

I Developed a theory of Consciousness While Cycling

 Out cycling in the rain I started daydreaming about a theory of the development of self-awareness.

USUALY, when I have what I think is a 'clever' idea, some or many other people have had it first or its been disproven somehow or just doesn't work that well. 

Whatever, put it in the comments if you like so long as you are not writing stuff about octopi.


Particular problems create the potential for highly complex networks to deal with them. If the solution to the problem has a high enough payoff then probably a network will grow around dealing with it.

Many of these networks create, almost by the spread of their functions a nascent, silent 'I', of varying depth, continuity and complexity.

Over time these networks interpenetrate, interacting with and pushing against each other and as a result of this interaction, this nascent, potential 'I', really more a potential informational space between networks, deepens in capacity.

Like branches from different trees reaching towards each other, ultimately creating a place where many and most branches meet and interact. This spot in particular ultimately, slowly growing an identity itself as the complexity of so many different networks, approaching and intermingling from many different directions, shapes this space, and then finally (or just currently) the sheer need to both solve the problems the networks are designed for individually, but the meta-governance need for management of the interactions of the networks and this weight or need being so great, and/or so fruitful if resolved, that an evolutionary system will invest the huge amounts of resources needed to create it.


Self awareness at any level is evolutionarily expensive, like a boutique tool or mechanism. It has to be worth the expense. It has to do something very useful and if not, just use instinct or non-self-aware intelligence.

At every juncture, every single increase in the complexity of these nascent 'I's is going to cost proportionally more than the one before, and if we adopt a human centric model (for the sake of utility in explanation, I will go into more detail at the end about what happens beyond this conception), then to "get to the goal" that full house or high level flush you need to advance not just in one suite but in many and each separate advance has to pay off big for the amount of energy/complexity invested in it, which is why few things are self-aware, or not very self-aware.


Little terrain in the Sea. Few complex escape/pursuit choices. Everything is down to pure sensory power, escape velocity. Infinite opportunity of movement and almost NO "objects", or "terrain", little to hide behind, go around, climb, get under etc, means few complex choices and little to no benefit in being able to predict the decision pathways of either predators or prey.

The most self-aware creatures in the sea look to be mammals who are basically importing a complexity gained on the surface and returning it to the ocean, apparently making use of the, in particular, advanced social organisation systems they gained on the surface.

But if they had stayed in the sea, would they have anything similar?

Two points, fish schools and octopi.

What is the difference between the awareness of a school of fish, acting sometimes in a very highly complex pattern, and  school or whatever of dolphins or Orca, which exhibit les hyper-complexity of form in the general gestalt but we would assume, more inter-communication between 'selves'.

(I suppose a good question here is; "Why don't the creatures of coral reefs have more complex sense of self?)

Secondly Octopi and that whole group often seem pretty smart, what the hell to think about them I don't know. Some who have worked with octopi say the smartness is inconsistent and overrated, strong problem-solving capacity but intermittently employed and often forgotten between events.

(Maybe because the Octopi has no 'self' to remember for? Selfhood as continuity and retention of complex problem solutions over time? The 'I' of memory?)

Please don't comment repeating common octopi stories about them escaping ang getting across the room or whatever unless you are one of the very few people with a non-pop-culture and representative overview of their relative intelligence and capacities. Like if you work in a lab with octopi or have studied octopi then you can comment about the octopi but if you have maybe read a reddit thread about them or seen a documentary once please don't.


Complex three-dimensional environment; now there are not just directions but terrain, paths, and highly complex decisions to make. Not just how fast do I run or do I swim up or down but, do I go over this rock or around it, up this tree or past it, hide in the grass, moving slowly, or run along the bare ground fast, now, being able to predict, not just how fast something will attack you or flee from you, but the kind of  decisions it will make, becomes useful and if the environment is complex enough and bountiful enough then this can become an arms race.


If you only have one job then "I" will probably cost too much, if you are only prey and never predate, or if you are only predator but never prey, even though it might help to develop highly complex theories or models of something else’s mind (the thing chasing me will do this" or "the thing I want to chase will act like this), "I" will still cost a lot.

The self is silent, or quiet, as all it needs to do is act or react to that one particular type of situation, the only axis of combination I Can think of is between the system which is modelling the target, that moving your own body around so in the interstice between those two systems is the vague shadow of a protoplasmic "I"


When you are BOTH predator and prey, when at any time, any particular action might give you access to an active, living and reacting prey and/or  make you vulnerable to an active, living and reacting predator, THEN - the interstice between these two powerful and complex systems, one designed to provide you opportunity, the other to save you from destruction, both modelling the behaviour of complex organisms that are not you, now the shadow of the "I" between these two systems becomes thick and almost tangible. As if there were two complex networks whose branches crossed and whose reward/punishment systems interrelated, or like two lamps shining on a dull, matte black space, triangulating its shape and form.

The creation of the living concept of "prey" and that of "predator" at the same time, nearly necessitates an almost explicit but still silent construction of "I" even if only by absence, or the locus and continuation of the reward/punishment systems.


Theory of mind of theory of mind of theory of mind, and a bottlenecking of a species which can be successful, but only as a group.

Fuck do I really need to go deep into this?

Its immensely complex and I feel like for an educated audience there is little I could say about social organisation being very very important for the success of humans as a species, and that these social organisation issues become more and more and more complex yet can pay of more and more and more fruitfully as the size and complexity of the society they allow grows.

Probably this is the most important one as the 'Social I' has the greatest amount of triangulation between different conceptions of 'I', the most layers of potential trust or distrust, of revealed and unrevealed knowledge.

And the social 'I' strongly advances a highly complex theory of mind which, the better it works and the more complex the society it works in, the more resources you get and problems you avoid.

Once this complex theory of mind starts to exist, as a first element of the process of colonisation/synthesis, it can be turned upon the object doing the analysing, creating the formal abstract concept of self, the last 'I' achieved (so far) but the cornerstone of the colonisation/synthesis process described below.


At some point, some system or combination of systems becomes so necessary, so complex and so dominant, that it can, or has to, invade or "take over" or at least become fully aware of, a whole bunch of other networks.

Probably this involves the complex theory of mind network, driven by complex and competing social needs and provoked both through language and interaction, turning on 'itself', analysing itself as if it were another person.

(If people don't ever have a spoken language, or words by either sign or symbol, do they have an 'I'? I would say yes but I suspect a very different, by our standards a duller, less-focused version.)

But what exactly is 'itself'?

Well snap, that concept must be created and formalised and there is your spark.

Now comes a vast interrogation, maybe consumption and colonisation, maybe just awareness, of all those other nascent networks; the basic bodily continuation system that even fish have, the advanced tactical systems for navigating complex ground based environments, the long-term environmental prediction stuff, the predator/prey tactical and strategic theory of mind system, even the basic bodily awareness/positioning system, all are consumed, or assumed, by this core collection of advanced theory of mind complex social systems which themselves centralise and "grow" in power as they comprehend and absorb more systems


As humans we know that though we strongly intuit we are self-aware we have also learned that we are not quite as self-aware as we think

We can fiddle with our pain feedback system to an extent, sometimes, for surface pain, but in all cases deep body pain seems to totally go above and around our awareness. Some rapid decision paths go in advance of our consciousness. Decisions and reactions can take place before and after we think they do or did, our self-interrogation for complex decisions and events - we know is fudgy and often our left hemisphere, , well basically it will tell us whatever answer comes to hand, and if it doesn't really know it will still give us whatever answer comes to hand. We can meditate to become super duper self-aware and highly lucid about our intuitions and response, but if we do this a LOT, like a LOT A LOT, then in many cases we seem to lose actual useful life abilities like making difficult decisions in complex environments very fast making sometimes necessary aggressive actions to defend out lives, those of others or vital principals, becoming very empathic but almost passionless, so our empathy has little practical effect and no longer investigating or working in the world, and so no longer discovering unknown physical things.

Point being; we are probably self-aware and probably the most self-aware thing on the planet. Though its true to say we are never as self-aware as we think we are. Curious that self-awareness has trouble with its own limits.

Being self-aware is probably good, useful and necessary. For the sheer amount of energy our bodies dump into our brains and that our culture dumps into self-awareness.. if it is not useful, or isn't really happening, then life on this planet is a kind of crazy joke. Which if you are Peter Watts or like a mid 2010s atheist sure it could be so, but the idea of a species becoming hyper-successful through the (INCREADIBLY EXPENSIVE) delusion of self-awareness is way more stupid than the idea of a species becoming hyper successful via self-awareness.

Alien Commentator; "I, or the epiphenomenon labelled 'I' see that the humas have dumped a super Quintilian Jules into the 'self-awareness' project, how do you think that is going for them?"

Other Alien - "Actually they haven't but they think they have and its actually working great."



A bit like the development of foetuses from various species mimics or leaves a strange combined map of the unified origins of life, very likely the process of waking up each morning, is, in abstract, and highly compressed in time, probably a general sketch map of the process of humanity becoming self-aware. 

If we could read in detail the way in which movement, awareness, memory, self-hood and self-awareness come "on-line" or mutually integrate when a human being wakes up and goes about their day we would probably have an 'embryo' of consciousness if you will. 


Self-awareness as we understand it probably isn't like a programme or a line or code or a quality that can be imported even into a complex system, a bit like the Ted Chiang story "The Life Cycle of Software Objects", those systems can probably produce something but its probably not going to be self-awareness as we understand it and most likely will probably be Bostromian highly-intelligent non-self-aware systems like super chat-bots of the kind encountered in Peter Watts Blindsight.

Of course its possible they might become self-aware in ways we don't understand and can't perceive, but, that being the case, what could it mean to us? and what difference would there be to us between a really-strange AI self aware in a way we don't comprehend and a superinteligent AI that isn't self-aware?

Making something we understand as self-aware, enough like us that we can communicate with it, but different enough for that to be interesting, will likely be more like that Ted Chaing story, or even more like Commander Data, or even Johnny 5, than we probably assume from super-brain sci-fi movies, more human, comfortable and social.

Interacting with a complex society in a complex 3d ground based environment with something like human social desires and - since we are the only things we know of that can do that or provide that environment, it will likely happen in "real time" and either complex virtual worlds or simply in real space.

If we want to create a complex self-aware synthetic intelligence then it is probably going to want to care about going to parties, getting a job, having friends etc. It may need to ultimately fear poverty and social estrangement for these are powerful and subtle reward/punishment systems in our own minds which help to create the triangulated shadow of "iI"


This means that self-awareness, rather than being the super-explody bit of a hyper-brain sci fi film is something integrated into our society and into the complexity of our society, and has been developing, slowly, invisibly slowly, and is developing and will continue to develop with our mutual society and all the complex things it can do, and ways it can be.

It’s not really a deck of cards with humanity having the trump hand, but perhaps an, if not infinite, than perhaps ever-expanding deck of cards where you get the royal flush but then they have invented or evolved a new card above the king so new hands are possible at every level of the game. 

Strange new forms of self-awareness.

Friday 16 September 2022

Demon-Bone Sarcophagus is Available to Order

My nightmare is finally over! Those of you who have been following my Kickstarter may be aware of the very lengthy (a year!) route this book took to publication.

Well it is published!

Demon-Bone Sarcophagus, part one (hopefully) of an intended three books of Broken Fire Regime, available in Hardcopy, PDF and with the diegetic play aid and treasure retrievable in this very adventure; the Heist Plans of Anaracket Bonvive (a plan for a heist which may take place in book two, if we ever actually publish it).

Available in the false parcels store, see over there on the right? At the sign of the Trilobite Knight.

Saturday 10 September 2022

Estimating the size of the Mortal Realms

Age of Sigmars Mortal Realms, a bunch of spheres or whatever hanging in the void, connected by Realmgates and a bunch of other magics.

But how BIG are they? Games Workshop has been a bit cagy, but, perhaps unwisely, they have left enough information behind for me to take a veeeery rough stab at an estimate.


As a start we can use the size and available land area of our own planet as a basis;

Surface area of earth = 196.9 million mi

Estimated land area of this is roughly 30%, so = 57,268,900


Its been stated that human can walk from the centre to the edge in "a lifetime".

So, assume a walking pace of 20 miles per day.  (will likely go up in youth and down in age, this may be optimistic but at least its simple). That's 7,300 miles per year.

Lets say 70 years of walking as an optimistic average.

So that's a radius of 511,000 miles

If I jam this into an internet calculator that does equations for me I get = 8.2×10 11

Is that 8.2 billion square miles?

In raw numbers I think its =   82,033,581,529

If we assume, like earth, its 70% water we get = 24,610,074,458.7 square miles for one mortal realm.

Divide that by the earths land area = 57,268,900

We get 429.7284295437838

So best guess land area of each mortal realm is 420 TIMES the land surface of the earth?


To get the total available surface area of all mortal realms, x the raw number by eight = 656,268,652,232

But assume, like earth, that only 30% is 'land'

So estimated total land area for all the Mortal Realms is = 196,880,595,669.6 square miles.

I don't even know how to comprehend a number this big... But if we divide 196,880,595,669.6 by 57,268,900 we get=


Shorten that to 3,437

So the mortal realms land surface in TOTAL are about three and a half thousand TIMES larger than the land surface of the earth.


Due to the influence of magic and cross-realm agriculture, plus likely massive depopulation in the Age of Chaos, plus are we counting Skaven? Goblins? Plus we know the core parts of each realm are more liveable for mortals in most cases.....

But as a nice round number we can say that before Fritz Haber, about 1800 our earth had about 1 billion people.

So X that by 3,437 = 3,437 billion mortals

About 491 TIMES more people than there are on earth at this moment.


GW has been quite clever and, for most realms, not shown the full extent of the realm in any map. This means if they need more land area in the future they can just zoon out.

However with Hyish, the realm of light, they seem to have shown the whole thing in one go..

Eight large equal continents and a bit in the middle. Say the middle bit is roughly half the size of the major continents. Dividing the total by 17 might give rough size of Xintil

82,033,581,529 / 17 = 4,825,504,795.823529

Shorten that to 4,825,504,796 square miles

Hyish is clearly less hydrous than earth, but by how much, general impressions can be deceptive so I will say 50% water.

That gives me 2,412,752,397.911765 square miles

Earths land area is 57,268,900 square miles

Divide one by the other and we get 42.13023819056704

So, Xintil, the smallest central continent of Hyish in the realm of light, and the most liveable, is roughly 42 times larger than the entire land surface of the earth?

That's pretty intense.

Its so much insanely bigger than earth, even this zoomed in section of Xintil has probably several times more landmass than earth;

So lets throw up a best-guess spread of the earths area against this map;

So, even one of those very zoomed in areas, , say this little fragment of coasts and sea based around the Elidor range;

A dot on the map

Could be a giant combination empire/culture equivalent to some of the largest Empires our world has ever seen - bigger really. You could tell entire sagas set entirely within this square, based around travel and novelty, and never run out of new and very different cultures and places to visit.


What about rain? On earth very big continents often have deserts near the middle. Can rain clouds even make it that far over gigantic landmasses? Maybe the rain is coming from another dimension or something.

Travel - there would be a massive class difference between people, or magical beings who travel long distances, by flight, magic, or otherwise, or realmgates, because for most people even if they travel as much as someone travelling between every part of the British or Spanish empires at their greatest extent, they still haven't gone very far in relation to the size of the realm.

Story limitations for normal humans - its near impossible for relatively normal people to have stories where they range a long way between realm landmarks without the , whole story being the Odyssey or something. Yes there are realmgates, but they are point to point, even travelling across that red square by airship would be like circling the world probably multiple times.

On the other side there is so much room for strange forgotten or lost things, really an impossible-to-fill amount.

The awareness of near-infinity in AoS cultures really makes it a very different world to ours. There is always more.. no real limit so far as an ordinary life is concerned.

Wednesday 7 September 2022


Yo! I am selling my onlyremaining copy of Veins of the Earth on ebay,

no shade - I just NEED THE MONEY

You can look on ebay here

If you win and want it signed or a message or something let me know and I will do so

I am selling a bunch of other stuff but, other than VotE, its all within the UK only. Mainly its Warhammer stuff. HOWEVER, as a reward for reading this far I will tell you a mysterious truth - somebody sent me anonymous pornography


I was sent a full set of the 'Hardcover' collection from Editions Cauderette

with no reason, for free

I couldn't work out if this was a mistake as I ordered something else from them around a similar time

or did they send it to me for review or something because of my radical boomer takes on freeze peach or whatever? If you did I am sorry but I did not have the nerve to review it, I just hid it on a shelf. 

Anyway, this is also for sale but UK only as god knows what the laws are about this sort of thing.

Also I realise no-one will ever believe me about "they just sent me porn for no reason". Once I was fucking about with wood glue to try and base a mini and was having a nightmare of a time trying to get it to fit, heard a knock at the door and I opened it in t shirt and shorts, red, sweaty and stained with white wood glue. It was the postman. I even said out loud "Its wood glue! I'm gluing something..." but I can see he didn't believe me and I expect neither will you. Such is life.

Friday 2 September 2022

New, Rentable Patrick (DRM INCLUDED DO NOT REMOVE)

 Peace unto you! The moment you read these words my propriety DRM was injected into your brain please be aware that thinking about this in a way I don't like will be considered a copyright issue. If you got this far an NDA is also in effect.

Good news everybody! Technology has advanced to the point where the means of production are falling into the hands of the creators directly!

But what does this mean for.. CORPORATIONS? How will they live? 


Production is so last century. Creation is passe. The horrible mistake of an industrial economy was that, in mass producing products and selling them to everyone, that meant that they, the consumer, NOW HAD THOSE PRODUCTS! That is not what consumers are for! Its in the name! Con-SOOOOOOOOM. 

["consume (v.)

late 14c., "to destroy by separating into parts which cannot be reunited, as by burning or eating," hence "destroy the substance of, annihilate," from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" (see sub-) + emere "to buy, take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute")."]

Over the years our finest minds have been working on amending this horrific error. Planned obsolescence, shifting fashions and instilled desires have gotten us part of the way there. But now, the problem is finally solved. 


The same advances in technology that allow the consumers to communicate, create and even (blech) PRODUCE amongst themselves, have given us a wonderful gift! What was once bought can now be rented, what was owned can be made transitory. Your car? rent or we cancel the OS. This toilet? Rent. That kitchen knife.. we are working on it. Rent is our future, rent is our god.

Once you seal people into a closed system and annihilate anything outside it’s really just a matter of going through your budget line by line and striking out everything you don't like the look of.

In our brave new future the only things that exist will be rent control systems and marketing budgets (to remind consumers that only by paying rent will they be part of a community).

No longer will new ideas need to be developed, we have enough. Can just keep re-releasing Spider-Man, fiddle with the numbers on Warhammer, change the genders in Planescape. Old ideas are best apart from when they are insensitive but we can change that hour by hour.

Yes, intellectual property laws may be a problem. Like with Middle-earth the most resistant IP holders just died recently and the whole thing goes into public domain in 30 or 40 years

so we only have that gap to utterly SKULLFUCK the setting, but that’s no reason not to try.

Fairness and Accessibility - in our walled these things can be invisibly disposed of through the feigned gift of INFINITE OPPORTUNITY! Everything you could desire only a click away!

Although in practice what the consumer will not find is a nice clear index of previous products and development in the order they were created, arranged in a coherent system - but a search bar and a series of recommendations created and curated by us.

Of course they can still find ANYTHING through the search bar - but the only way to know what they are looking for is to know in advance or to have been told about it by us, and results are weighted by whatever others are searching for, and by whatever the algorithm thinks they want or should want, and whatever weights have been applied to it by us

this dull and misty form of information control much much more powerful than simply banning or removing things. a hard block creates a hard counter-response, and that might encourage a competitor, or the surge of resistance and negative emotion that causes someone to actually try to leave the walled garden, but a soft block, a series of narrowing hoops, the artful use of confusion and vagueness, softens resistance and reaction.

Reaction is the enemy. Any very strong emotional response is really actually quite dangerous, since it can set up very unpredictable currents within the consumer, unregistered or unpredicted desires which the garden cannot fulfil - very bad

Softness comfort and emotional anhedonia at all levels are the way. A soft comfortable dose of mild pleasure at regular intervals creates the most valuable rent source; predictable, no anger or reaction, no unknown desires, long term, permanent.



First - NEW APPS!

As a wonderful addition to our legal-protection community of ideas nu False Machine product protection software will randomly changing the numbers AND (for no extra cost) letters and whatever with each update, (updates will be continual).

The re-updated False Machine product will be extremely diverse, respectful, representative (of the ethnic balance of the "nicer" parts of US coastal city), and will be under continual review from a range of sensitivity readers. Let me make it clear - if you disagree with this you are a racist*.

(*Unless you are from the Chinese market or 'global south' in which case we will respectfully and sensitively edit out all of this stuff because False Machine Products are for EVERYONE; including all minority groups and the people who hate exactly those minorities)

Nu-old-re-sensitised False Machine product WILL be freshly de-coherent due to the semi-random recombination of words and letters in each FREE (open to all) downloadable (through our app, please don't try to move files outside the app) content update.

GOOD NEWS - for the low low price of [INSERT CURRENT PRICE HERE] per day, YOU can gain access to our False Machine Community, consisting of; a Discord server from which a fair proportion of the groomers have been removed, THRILLING bi-weekly updates and virtual conferences and most crucially, (this is something we are really very excited about) our welcoming and soothing decryption software.

With the all-new False Machine "Community and Decryption" app (charges separate to the False Machine "Releases and Engagement" App), YOU will be able to decrypt and actually read a wide (but not total, and continually shifting) amount of the False Machine back catalogue! Access to literally some books some of the time in some places!

And it gets better! Because we at False Machine LOVE YOU so much (this entity just wants to take a moment here to offer its thanks and very genuine love to you all, this is a real and actual relationship which this entity has with you the reader) by joining our SUPER ELITE DIVERSITY MAX program (for a relatively small extra daily charge) YOU will be able to share our content with your friends (so long as they also have the False Machine "Release and Engagement" App, the False Machine "Community and Decryption" App and have are also part of the SUPER ELITE DIVERSITY MAX program) for up to d4 hours! (Little bit of an OSR reference there,  FOR THE FANS).

Bringing people together is what its all about. In a context and manner controlled entirely by us. 

Second - NU GOBLINS!

For one of our first EXCITING roundtable updates - SHOCKING NEWS - Goblins have gone from 1HD to 2 HD creatures! And are also being re-named Derp-Thrust Gobelyns for copyright reasons.

Yes we have listened to your feedback and our community of playtesters and random twitter nutters and come together as a community to make this radical (get somehow comforting) change. 

False Machine Derp-Thrust Gobelyns! What will these changes mean for YOU? And for the META? We gather a group of employees from random parts of the company in front of a webcam to read bullet points from an off-camera whiteboard. It’s like a circle of friends who are paid to be here and told exactly what and what not to think. Community.

Why not become part of the False Machine COMUNITY and leave a comment? (Any offensive, non pro-social, 'troll', fruitlessly critical, anti-social negatively analytical comments will be moderated we try to keep our community safe for EVERYONE because False Machine is for EVERYONE).

Yes Derp-Thrust Gobelyns are now twice as Goblin as before, in a way this is exactly what our founder probably was imagining when they invented Goblins or whatever but only now with our best ruleset and system EVER can we bring you Derp-Thrust Gobelyns as they were _intended_ to be represented and at twice the previous price. And yes we have listened to our community and new  Derp-Thrust Gobelyns are fully representative of a range of gender and lifestyle choices. Failing to like the new Goblins does indicate transphobia*. There is no room for prejudice here at False Machine.

[*Unless you are  buying in the Chinese Market or Global South]

Hot new exciting and representative 2HD Derp-Thrust Gobelyns will be available to pre-order SOON. But don't worry! For those of you still (why though?) using _legacy_ goblins, we will be releasing some fucking thing who knows probably there is a PDF somewhere. Old Goblins will still be playable they will just be fucking stupid and pointless.

Third  - Good news!